Eastern Massachussetts Guild of Woodworkers

Upcoming Guild Events

April 14, 2018 9:00 AM • Woodcraft Walpole, 3 Walpole Park, South Walpole
April 16, 2018 7:00 PM • Home of Ken Zoller, 3 Manning Way, Sharon
May 12, 2018 9:00 AM • Woodcraft Walpole, 3 Walpole Park, South Walpole
May 21, 2018 7:00 PM • Home of Steve Hoffmann, 113 Flanagan Hill Rd, Shirley, MA
June 09, 2018 10:00 AM • Tartaglia residence 6 Old Colony Rd Worcester

Upcoming Non-Guild Events

February 24, 2018 12:00 PM • Fruitlands Museum, Harvard, MA
March 24, 2018 • Saratoga Springs, NY
April 16, 2018 5:00 PM • LexArt (Lexington Arts and Crafts Society), 130 Waltham St., Lexington, MA
April 20, 2018 12:00 PM • Southbridge Hotel and Conference Center, Southbridge, MA

Featured Piece of the Month

The March issue features a bench made by a self-described novice.  We should be so lucky to have a piece like that of our own.  Read Andrew Davis' story of building this piece with dowels for joinery.  If it's strong enough, clean enough, aesthetic enough, and achieves the purpose of its existence, it seems to me that it's a piece worth featuring.  Click Bench Story to better understand Andrew's process.

Message from the President

March Meeting
Images for Marquetry

Marquetry has a number of attractive features.  It is literally attractive for several reasons.  It is beautiful to look at, it allows for more creative expression than some types of woodworking, it enables production of pieces with the “Wow!, I could never do that” factor.  But how does one come up with images if one can’t draw?  Well, I can’t draw but I can trace and with a little help from Google I can find no end of images.  Enlarge, reduce, rotate, and print them then cut up and arrange them to be easily traced in whatever level of detail you choose.  If that’s too much work start with one of the many books from Dover publications (http://store.doverpublications.com) and trace whatever you like.  Sure, there are lots of other skills to learn to do marquetry but don’t let lack of subject matter stand in your way.

Featured Piece of the Month

The Featured Piece of the Month is the newest addition to the web site thanks to the efforts of Vincent Valvo.  This is a place where members can display and comment on one of their favorite pieces be it recent or years old.  All you need do is email Vincent at: vvalvo@verizon.net.  Attach several pictures and a description of the piece you would like to feature.  This is a great way to show the world the work of our members.

Ray Essington and the Triangle Woodworkers

Former member Ray Essington recently moved to North Carolina where he joined the local group, Triangle Woodworkers (www.trianglewoodworkers.com).  His new group has an extensive toy making project and I hope to contact them to get some tips on how to expand ours.  In perusing their web site I noticed a number of similarities, as well as. some differences to our group.  Their dues are similar to ours, they have a mentor program provide videos of past meetings, and offer occasional workshops for members.  One feature we don’t have is a section called “Just for Laughs” that features cartoons related to woodworking and woodworkers.  Check it out if you visit their site.

Save veneer for April.

Here we are deep into summer, but as we approach the end of July, I know you are all wondering “What does the coming year for the Guild involve”. Well, behind the scenes, folks have been hard at work putting together the events for the coming year. 

Bevel Cut

Box Joints

Two opinions are postulated by author Andrew Davis:

1. Box joints are the savvy woodworker's alternative to dovetails.

2. Box joints are the lazy woodworker's alternative to dovetails.

Perhaps you have additional opinions.  Where do you stand?  For a good start for discussion read about it here.

Perpetual Novice

Shopping for Wood, Part 1

Last month the Perpetual Novice wrote about taking poor measurements despite knowing how vital exact measurements are.  A consequence of having wrong measurements and other avoidable problems often creates another problem - not enough wood.  Find out how to think about the amount of wood to purchase when starting a project here in the March issue of the Perpetual Novice.

Funiture Interest Group Meetings

Meetings of the Guild's Furniture Interest Group (FIG) are held every third Monday of the month.  All members are welcome.  Members meet at a different member's house every month where they attend to discuss all things furniture building, including designs, jigs, wood species, joinery, tools, etc.  Members have a chance to seek advice from a varied, friendly, and experienced assembly of woodworkers or add to this body of collective knowledge.  Keep an eye on FIG meetings for time and place in the Upcoming Guild Events at the top of the page. 

Mentoring in the EMGW

Mentoring in the Guild takes many forms.  Everything from a brief conversation or email on a particular technique to a full-blown cooperative effort to build an entire piece.  Most mentoring occurs informally among members.  However, the Mentor Program provides an easy way, especially for new members, to get involved in mentoring.  Members listed on the Mentor Program page of this website have expressed a willingness to help other members in a variety of ways.

To read more about the Mentor Program, click here or navigate to About Us then Mentor Program.  To see the list of Mentor members with their interests and contact information, click here or navigate to Members then Mentors.

Steve McKenna at 2017 Philadelphia Furniture Show. The 2018 Show is April 13 - 15.

Steve McKenna, professional woodworker and member of the Guild, provided some insight into his observations at the Philadelphia Furniture Show last year.  Although he was limited to spending time at his booth (pictured above), he is able to share the following:
  • A lot of woodworkers from all over the country were there, a lot of questions and discussions.  George Nakashima's daughter was there.
  • The Wharton Esherick Museum people were there and sat with me in the booth for a few hours. 
  •  A woodworker's school from Vermont showed up and occupied my time for hours. 
  • I talked at great length with a guy named Dave Moneypenny (davidleemoneypenny/crashed-furniture) who makes furniture from crashed vehicles.  Clearly, these pieces are heavy.
  • There were also two woodworkers I'd met before at the Northampton Paradise City show - Peter Handler (handlerstudio.com) and Dave Talley (dharmadesignfurniture.com).  Dave M., Peter, and Dave T. do great work.  It was entertaining for me.

The next Philadelphia Furniture show is scheduled for April 13-15, 2018.  For more interest click philadelphiafurnitureshow.org.

For more information about Steve's work click www.stevemckennawoodworking.com

Toy Making Project

Back in the fall of 2017 the Guild decided to sponsor another toy making project for local children this holiday season.  As a result, several Guild members volunteered their time and expertise to build articulated pull toys and puzzles.  The successful project was completed a few weeks ago.  Toys were delivered to Woodcraft in Walpole before the grand give away.

The project began back in September under the direction of member Steve Hoffman, who tirelessly and without any stone unturned, organized and led the following volunteers Brian Chandley, Don Michael, Jeff Clunie, Jim Russell, Ken Zoller, Richard Silva, Tim Harrigan, and Vincent Valvo on this productive, enjoyable, and rewarding project.  All volunteers assembled and worked in Steve's workshop on a weekly basis.

For a slide show of pictures during various stages of toy production click here.  Happy Holidays to all, young and experienced!

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