Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Some interesting things coming up

I know we are all well into holiday plans, holiday parties and holiday gift shopping. That’s going to be on the radar for the next crazy few weeks as we approach the end of December.

And, while I can repeat what I have done for the past three holiday seasons and harp on the gift-building/gift-giving process, what I want to do is use today’s column as a sort of a to-do list. Besides giving you a little break from the holiday hubbub, it will give you a little something to look forward to once the presents are unwrapped and we’re back to normal.

On January 28, Heritage Village, my county’s historical park, is hosting its annual Folk Festival. This event has always proven to be one of the most popular on the calendar. They have music, food and craft demonstrations featuring weavers, blacksmiths and other skilled trades from back in the county’s pioneer past. The only craft I really have yet to see at the event is – surprisingly – woodworking.

That’s why I have asked the St. Petersburg Woodcrafter’s Guild to help me remedy this situation. We’re working on a plan to bring a number of guild members up to Heritage Village that day to build a workbench. Well, maybe ‘build’ is too ambitious of a term. We may need to mill all of the components to size in advance and then bring them to the site to cut the final joinery and assemble it. I’m working now to get some southern yellow pine donated to the effort, and I hope to get over to the park soon to check out any antique fixtures (vises, holdfasts, etc.) that we can use for the project.

Oh… and I guess I’m going to need a plan for a workbench appropriate for – say the 1920s in the deep south… :-)

The week of February 5 – 11, I’m hoping to get some other woodworkers involved in the first ever Get Woodworking Week. Modeled after Marc Spagnuolo’s successful Woodworker Safety Week, this event is an opportunity for woodworking bloggers – and hopefully, more people, companies and publications out in the woodworking community – to encourage others to give the craft a try. I want this to be an open-ended effort with everyone participating having free reign to publicize whatever they want. Some of the ideas would be:

  • Teach a youngster (or group of youngsters) about the craft
  • Share the story of how you got started in woodworking
  • Discuss what a budding woodworker should have in his or her tool kit
  • Design and build some projects a novice could handle with a minimum amount of tools
  • Challenge yourself to build something with basic tools

Basically, anything that can create a buzz about our craft, with an emphasis on sharing your story with others. Offer encouragement for the wannabe woodworker to get off the couch and explore the world of woodworking on their own.

I also have the big art contest coming up in January. Since I’m planning on taking a week off between Christmas and New Years, I’m going to have to get on the stick and start building something to enter. Maybe my first chair? Who knows!

Monday, December 12, 2011

MWA Meeting 5 Atlanta

Another great meeting here in Atlanta.  We met at the usual spot for breakfast, Boulevard Diner, and then headed over to Woodcraft of Atlanta to pick out a few of our own Christmas presents.... well, at least Bill Akins picked up his own Christmas present, a #7 Lie Nielsen plane.  That is one of my favorite planes in my shop and can tell you it would be hard for me to put that one under the tree until Christmas morning. 

I also have a big announcement to make.  I few weeks ago I asked Aaron Marshall if he would be interested in doing a demonstration/ training session of Google SketchUp at a future event.  As most of you know SketchUp is a great tool and Aaron's knowledge of the software is very impressive.  For those of you not familiar Aaron does all of the Google SketchUp drawings for Marc Spagnoulo's Wood Whisperer Guild.  The current guild project is a Roubo split top workbench and the drawings Marc and Aaron have provided have an amazing amount to detail. 

We were able to work out most of the details at this months event and now have a date and place.  Steve Quehl the owner of Woodcraft here in Atlanta has been gracious enough to allow us to use the classroom in his store for the class and we are scheduled to hold the class on  Sunday February the 12th at 1pm.  My guess is that we will just move the monthly meeting to that date since we are scheduled to meet the day before.

As myself and many others on here have said, we want MWA to be about online and offline support, teaching, and camaraderie.  As part of this we plan on making the session available to members online, we still need to work out the details on this but it is a chance for MWA members from across the country to be able to participate in an event together.  So make sure to put the date on your calendar and keep an eye out for the final details. 

If you have not had a chance to come out and join in yet, keep in mind that all are welcome and we would love to have you out. 

Monday, December 5, 2011

MWA Meeting 1 Seattle

This last Saturday was the first meeting of the Seattle Chapter of The Modern Woodworkers Association. This first get together was only myself (Mike Lingenfelter) and Marilyn Guthrie.

We made a trip to Edensaw Woods, one of the better hardwood dealers in the area. For us it includes a ferry ride but it's always worth the trip. Although, this time it was a little bit of a bust for me. I had been emailing Edensaw for awhile, looking for some Douglas Fir I wanted for a new workbench. After getting there I found out they didn’t have any in stock, even though the guy I talked to said they did!

It wasn’t a total bust, because I still needed some Beech for a project I’m working on, and Marilyn needed some Maple for a workbench she's working on. It was a smaller load than I planned but any wood in the truck is a good thing.

On the way home I decided to stop into Dunn Lumber, a local commercial lumber yard. I was pleased to find some large Douglas Fir timbers, for a really good price. Now I have the lumber for the new bench!

This first meeting for the Seattle Chapter was only the 2 of us, but we have received interest from other woodworkers in the area! I’m sure December is going to be busy for most people, so I will put together a January 2012 meeting, for everyone who has expressed interest. If there are other woodworkers in the Seattle area, who are interested in joining us, my contact information is on our Contact Us page.

Kenny's Shooting Board

One of my favorite things to post is projects that members of our group have built.  Last month at our Atlanta meeting Kenny Boatwright questioned me about creating accurate miters.  There are many techniques that can be used to get the results he was looking for but y suggestion was using a shooting board.  Kenny e-mailed me over the weekend to share pictures of his shooting board that he has built since the meeting. 

The design was based off of the shooting board that built a few months ago and can be seen here High Rock Woodworking: Shooting a Shooting Board.   Kenny also added a few great attachments base on David Charlesworth, David's books and videos can be found at his site David Charlesworth.  The project turned out great and he is now looking for a plane to use with it.  The only suggestion that I mentioned to Kenny was to add block on the downward 45 attachment to be used as a rest to keep the board square. 

To me this is what we are about helping each other by sharing our knowledge with woodworkers new to the craft and in the process learn ourselves.  To be a part of Modern Woodworkers Association just e-mail me or one of our other administrators on our contacts page and we will be more than glad to answer any questions. 

Have a project you want to share? Send us a picture and we will post it for the rest of the group to see.

Great job Kenny and thank you for sharing!  Keep up the good work....