Eastern Massachussetts Guild of Woodworkers

Upcoming Guild Events

October 14, 2017 9:00 AM • 331 Wauwinet Rd Barre MA 01005
October 16, 2017 7:00 PM • Jim Taretgalia's home, 6 Old Colony Rd, Worcester
November 11, 2017 9:00 AM • Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School
November 20, 2017 7:00 PM • Ted Harrigan's home, 49 Greenwood Ave. , Needham
December 18, 2017 7:00 PM • TBD

Upcoming Non-Guild Events

No upcoming events

Message from the President

Welcome Back

I hope everyone had a great summer.  Even though it’s not officially over until well into September it feels to me like the end is near as Labor Day approaches.  We visited Montreal and Quebec City in August and as usual I was attracted to things made of wood.  Usually it’s traditional carving and furniture that we find in museums, and there was plenty of that.  But on this trip it was something I found in a little Zen gift shop that caught my eye.  It was a carved statue of a meditating cat.  The clerk said it was carved from lotus wood but I think she made that up as Google could find no such tree.  It was available in several sizes so I couldn’t resist and plan to carve another in a less exotic wood.

A Look Ahead

The majority of our general meetings this year will be presented by guild members.  As I have said before, these meetings are some of our best and are only available to our members.  Additionally, should you decide to try something out that was introduced at one of these meetings months, even years, later you can quiz the presenter at a FIG (furniture interest group) or before one of our regular meetings.  Topics presented by members this year include making small boxes, processing trees to lumber, using hand planes in the modern workshop, using a Rockler HVLP spray gun and more.  Watch the Upcoming Guild Events column for details.

They Don’t Make ‘em Like They Used To

That old saw is true but not in the way it was originally intended.  Today they make ‘em much, much better than they used to and, in many cases, cheaper too.  What car from years-gone-by could go for 150,000 miles with no major repairs, not leak a drop of oil and still run like a top?  What phone from yesteryear could you carry in your pocket, make calls from anywhere in the world and also use to give turn-by-turn directions, use as a flashlight, a still and video camera, reference library, and play Candy Crush on?  The same goes for woodworking equipment.  When I downsized my shop I had to trade in my 20 year old 12 inch jointer for an 8 inch model.  The new jointer has a spiral cutterhead and to my delight boards come off it with no mill marks.  In addition, there is never any tricky, time consuming knife changes.  I’ll take these new power tools any day over the old 10 ton types that required a rigger to get into the shop.  Ah, progress. 
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

Hand Tools Part II

The Guild's September meeting topic returns to using hand tools for further discussion and demonstration.  As a result, this Bevel Cut column offers the article from six months ago when Part I was presented.  For those who would like a reminder, or as an introduction to those who missed it the first time you can read about it here.  

Perpetual Novice

In the Guild’s database, one can define his/her woodworking activities by checking a category: professional, taking commissions, hobbyist, etc.  Author and Guild member Don Michael needs a new category, Perpetual Novice.  Here's his rationale.

In every enterprise, it seems necessary to go through a dues-paying phase in which you make every mistake in the book before you reach the second phase and actually start producing something.  I seem to be stuck in that first phase (and 10 years is a long time).  By workshop or from a mentor, I learn a new skill or technique and then, by the time I get around to applying it to a project, I have forgotten about half of it. Sometimes I have the right skills, but have trouble putting them into the right order.

Perhaps this conundrum can be put to good use.  Don in his column will highlight a mistake or two in a short article.  Perhaps his experience can help other novices avoid the same mistake.  At the same time, even the more experienced among us can get a good chuckle.

So, from time to time Don will fill this space with a little sage advice mixed with a little comic relief.  If his first installment is representative it will be humorous and useful.  From the Perpetual Novice, just keep in mind, “If you learn from your mistakes, you must be brilliant!” 

Here’s the first installment.

Funiture Interest Group Meetings

Meetings of the Guild's Furniture Interest Group (FIG) are held every third week 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.

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