2017-11-14 – Monthly Meeting

Nov. 14, 2017 – North Woodside Community Center, 230 Pleasant, Dartmouth

25 members and 1 guest (former member)

Call to order by chair at 6:45

Business & Reminders

Welcome guests.  Review of agenda.  Cheque for Phil in amount of $70 for planer (donated by Gene for auction)

  • Review of Minutes
  • Business Arising
  • Reports (if any)
  • Presentation
  • New Business
  • Show and tell

MOTION:  Accept agenda as presented

MOVED: Walt VanderKeift                   SECONDED: Don Shubaly                 MOTION CARRIED

Business Arising

  • Stephen reported on the Board meeting held Nov. 5.
    • The first item was to identify broad goals of the BOD
      • Stabilize and improve financial situation
      • Grow membership including new promotional approaches
      • Seek new partnership opportunities
      • Improve value of member services
      • Celebrate and share & member skills
    • The BOD also discussed broad responsibilities of committees, as presented last time
      • Finance & Compliance: Co-chairs Stephen Parsons, Phil Carter)
      • Member Services: Walt VanderKeift
      • Marketing & Communications: Mary Elizabeth O’Toole)

A sign-up sheet was circulated to ask members to volunteer for committees of interest and chairs will also approach people directly to invite participation.  Committees are expected to only meet 1-2 per year.  The first meeting of each committee will be to identify committee priorities and approaches before next BOD meeting (expected to be held in the spring)

  • There was a decision to move the December meeting forward one week to the first Tuesday of the month as this better suits the schedule for the Salvation Army
  • It was also decided to change the fee payment schedule from the current March – March to run from September – August, which is a better fit with our meeting year. A payment adjustment will be determined and shared with members/


New Business

Special Resolution: Bylaw amendment

The Board of directors proposed a bylaw amendment that applies to Membership, Item 10

As it now stands, the article reads:
Special membership may be conferred as an honorific in recognition of significant contributions to the Society.  Such membership may be conferred for one year and may be renewed for additional one year terms by the Board.  Special membership confers all rights of a member in good standing except the right to vote in the affairs of the Society.

The proposed change would replace 

Such membership may be conferred for one year and may be renewed for additional one year terms by the Board. 


Such membership may be conferred under terms and conditions determined by the Board. 

MOTION:  To accept the proposal amendment as written

MOVED: Tom Patterson                 SECONDED: Phil Carter     MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY


Library Dedication

Tonight we made a special dedication, naming our library the “Graham McCulloch Library of Woodworking” in honour of Graham, one of the founding members who has made extraordinary contributions to the organization, including the donation of many of the library materials.   Graham also received an honorary lifetime membership.  The plaque was made by Stephen parsons and laser cut by Trevor Edis.


Our presentation tonight was by member, Ted Monk, who shared his process and products for his line of shaving supplies, which he markets under the name ‘Spiffo’.

Ted started by telling us about the turning of the handle, which typically starts at about  2 1/2 “ with a 4-jaw chuck.   The first step is the ferrule.  The diameter of the ferrule is determined by the diameter of the knot and the depth by the amount of loft desired.  Ted and a fellow brush maker have custom designed special tools to simplify and control some of the specific tasks.

Handles have to be made in a variety of styles and sizes so any user can find a one that fits comfortably in the hand.  There are also different materials used – Ted has handles made of wood, resin, and hybrid of resin and wood.  Handles are sanded to 400 grit and then coated to make them durable and highly water resistant.

The other piece of the brush is the knot that is used.  Most common is badger but boar, horse hair, and synthetic options are also available.  There is a range of prices and the difference in cost for badger knots is mainly a result of where the hairs come from on the badger.  The quality is not necessarily better with higher cost but the number of brushes that can be produced from some areas of the animal is more limited so cost is higher.  Choice for individuals depends more on the feel and factors such as loft, softness vs. stiffness or backbone (resistance when you press against the hairs).  Big improvements in synthetic knots, which are mostly nylon, have made this a more popular choice than in the past.


There was a lot to learn and Ted gave some great insights in to making, and using shaving brushes – as well as choosing them for yourself or a gift.

“If you just want to shave and get out the door, you go electric; for a more relaxing spa experience, go with the wet shave. “  Ted Monk

Break – 50/50

After the break, Gary drew for the 50/50 prize.

This month there were three extra prizes, thanks to Steve LeBlanc (Expressions of Wood) who donated 3 bundles of walnut.  These were won by: Mike Winslow, Bob Baird, Walt Vanderkeift

The cash prize of $35 went to Roy Hirtle

Show and Share  

This month, our challenge was to work in miniature and most of the show and tell pieces were along this theme:

  • Mary Elizabeth started by sharing a restoration of a piece she had picked up curbside and repaired as a miniature chest of drawers. She cut down the base and turned it into a top, which required using a router with an ogee bit on the sides to match the decorative trim on the front edge.  She also replaced /repaired drawer facings and covered with amber shellac before adding new handles.
  • Don Shubaly made a miniature mission stool based on an arts & crafts Charles Limbert’s table #153, presented in a 2016 Fine Woodworking article. Don made it at about ½ scale to turn the plan for a library table into a stool.  He used ash and oak, coloured it with an aniline dye and finished with a coat of shellac
  • Julie shared sympathy shingles and memory blocks that she has for sale
  • Brad took an example from the Anarchists Diary (Schwartz) section on scale modelling to create a scale design for a saw bench using hangers for legs. The model allowed opportunity to experiment with splay and angles for the leg and create the correct compound angles.  Brad has not used scale models for his furniture design but might do it more and suggests it for others trying to figure out proportions, angles etc.
  • Brad also shared his new Lie Nelson carcass saw for joinery
  • Stephen presented the muffin butler that combines wood and fabric for a bread / bun/muffin warmer (a shared project with Mary Elizabeth). This one was made as a gift for Ted and Debbie Monk and delayed while Stephen sourced a heating stone, which will, hopefully, will start to be customized and sourced locally.
  • Gregory shared a bow made of white ash and finished with ebony. He made it using traditional methods during a course with Rodney Spencer of Free Spirit Farms in Tatamagouche.

Other Business

Update from Stephen and Brad about Hands on Halifax, which will be closing at the end of the year if they do not get a buyer – or a team of people.  AWA can not take this on according to bylaws and operational guidelines but some members might have an interest in helping support ongoing operation of this valuable resource There is a possibility of operating as a NFP with a BOD so if anyone has any suggestions or thoughts of being part of a cooperative, talk to Stephen or Brad who will coordinate further discussion. 

Next Meeting / Challenge


Tuesday, December 5, 2017 at Lee Valley in Halifax

CHALLENGE:  Toys for the Salvation Army toy drive



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