Eastern Massachussetts Guild of Woodworkers

Upcoming Guild Events

Guild Project - Make a Shaving Horse

Have you ever wanted to build yourself a shave (or shaving) horse?  Rob Carver is looking for members interested in coming together to make one. We would convene just a few times, select a basic design, discuss construction issues, and then go off on our own independently to fabricate the parts and ultimately assemble the horses. At the end of the project, we can saddle up and hold our own rodeo. The entire project can be made from construction lumber and cutoffs that you probably have in your shop. Depending on interests and preferences of the participants, we can begin this summer or in the fall.

Please email Rob at  robert.carver@comcast.net with expressions of interest and questions.

Upcoming Non-Guild Events

No upcoming events

Woodworking Tip for June 2024 Carving Gouge Sharpening Jig

President's End of Term Message - Looking Back and Forward

As my term as president of the EMGW ends, I wanted to report back to the membership about how the Guild has developed and improved over the past two years.  As I thought about it, it became more and more clear that the Guild is all about the people in it. So here is a list of Guild accomplishments and some of the people responsible:

First, we have had a tremendous growth in membership. For a number of years, our rolls were in the 80 to 100 range. As I write this on May 20th, we now have 128 active members. Geographically, we are also widening our reach with several members from Rhode Island and a group on the Cape. Although word of mouth helps, our presence on the internet is likely our main drawing force. If you Google “Woodworking Club MA”, we are the first search result. Thanks to our great web team of Vincent Valvo, Jim Russell and Tom Shirley our website and social media has steadily gotten better with more features, links and information.  

Second, again thanks to the tremendous work of Vincent, our monthly meeting reminder emails have been totally transformed into a full multi-featured newsletter. Please send him news and Featured Piece articles!

Third, at the urging of Jim Tartaglia, Vincent, Wyatt Mills, and Rob Carver (who became chairperson), we have developed the Newcomer Committee which reaches out to all new members and tries to make the process of joining a new group easier. The committee now also has Steve Hoffmann, Dick Belanger and Andrew Davis. An outgrowth of that has been our lunch get togethers after our regular Saturday meetings where long-timers and newbies can talk and answer questions.

Fourth, another new group started a few months ago – the Traditional Woodworking Interest Group (TWIG) after Wyatt Mills raised the idea and had a tremendous positive response.  TWIG meets the first Tuesday of the month on Zoom.

Fifth, another sub-group has just started after an inquiry from someone traveling to the area. The Cape Woodworkers have had an initial meeting last month at Jim Viera’s house and are planning again for the end of June.

Sixth, Andrew Davis, editor of our Getting Started in Woodworking and author of the monthly Bevel Cut column had started the Tip of the Month feature on the website. This is a new endeavor so please send your ideas to Andrew.

Seventh, the Program Committee under Jim Tartaglia and then Rob Carver has provided a wide ranging set of Saturday morning meetings, utilizing both nationally known experts and Guild members. They and the rest of the committee, Howard Barnstone, John LeJeune, Neal Carey, Mike Roughan, Andrew Davis, Chris Haeni and Marc Holland have been hard at work for the 2024-2025 season. The committee also established great relations with two new meeting venue sites – Needham Furniture Makers and the Lowell Makes makerspace.

Sixth, we have expanded our connections with woodworking vendors – obtaining special discounts from Reader Hardwoods in Taunton and Barney and Carey Lumber in Avon. We also had donations – Mike Bossin’s idea - to the annual auction (helping auctioneer Jim Tartaglia and assistant Scott Brown) from the Woodcrafts in Woburn and Walpole, Reader Hardwoods, Barney and Carey and Lee Valley.

Seventh, last year we had two member-led group projects, Shaker stools by Steve Hoffmann and wavy cutting boards by Jeff Clunie. Their efforts were most appreciated by all those who participated, both for the woodworking and the social interactions. Looking back, for me the Guild project of making toys a number of years ago was where I truly became involved.

Eighth, under the guidance of Jim Russell, the video team (Mike Roughan, Marc Holland and Chris Haeni) is now a coherent group with new equipment and a standardized protocol for recording and “Zooming” meetings.

Ninth, the Furniture Interest Group (FIG) has continued to meet both virtually and in-person (at different members houses – thanks to you all!) the third Monday of the month under the continued guidance of past president Tim Holiner.

Tenth, after many years “in the red”, the Coffee Committee (Len Nyren and Don Fye) finally turned a profit at the April meeting.

Eleventh, 29 Guild members now can proudly wear their EMGW denim work shirts and seven also have logo hats. We also have hats as gifts for our paid meeting presenters. Graphic designer Linda Smith is currently working on improving our embroidery design. (As always, I’m always collecting names of those who want Guild gear, but it becomes pricey unless I have a large order).

Twelfth, the Executive Board (Me, V.P. Rob Carver, Treasurer John George, Secretary Tom Shirley) and the Web Co-administrators, Jim Russell and Vincent Valvo, have been working in the background. We have reorganized the Guild’s document and photo storage system, centralized a lot of procedures and have created written job descriptions to assist new officers and committee chairs. We now have privacy and cookie policies for the website. Our treasurer has been regularly updating the membership on our financial status. Lastly, the Board has purchased Officers and Directors and General Liability insurance policies so that we are more in line with similar groups across the country.        

I’ve named a number of people but also want to separately thank Jim Russell who is stepping down after many years as our Web Administrator and also as our video supervisor and editor. Vincent Valvo and Tom Shirley as co-admins will share on-line communications such as website, newsletter, and social media as well as supporting the Executive Board in their pursuits.

I also want to thank V.P. Rob Carver who greatly expanded his contribution to the Guild by heading the Program Committee and Newcomer Committee this past year, neither of which are in the official VP job description. He has also kept us thinking with his monthly Measure Twice, Cut Once essays

I joined the Guild in 2014 as a new woodworker not knowing anyone. Somehow, I progressed from Coffee Committee to Program Committee, to Chair of that group, to VP and now President. Along the way I’ve made a number of good friends and met lots of great people. I’ve named just a few above.

As I step down from my official position (though not going anywhere), I urge you all to volunteer to share your knowledge and enthusiasm for woodworking with the group.  The Guild is the people who share in the mission of contribution, improvement, and volunteerism.

If I don’t see you at the June meeting, have a wood filled summer!

Ken Zoller

End of Year Meeting - Social Gathering, Business News, Elections, Show & Tell, and Complimentary Lunch

The End of Year gathering that will be hosted by Ken and Trish at their house in Sharon on June 8th.  All guild members and their family are invited for the gathering.  Pre-registration, which is required for planning purposes, is open until June 5th.  The process for pre-registration is found separately at Pre-Registration Process for End of Year Meeting below.  The agenda for the meeting is as follows:

  • Guild news
  • Elections: 2024-2025 Board of Directors

Nominations closed on April 25th for candidates for the four positions of the 2024-2025 EMGW Board of Directors.  Following EMGW bylaws, Jeff Clunie, Chair of the EMGW Nominating Committee, recorded nominations and reports that all four offices have uncontested nominees. Here is the outcome of the nomination period:

  • Candidate for President: Rob Carver (Current V-P; Author of Measure Twice, Cut Once articles; Chair of the Program Committee; Chair of the Newcomer Committee; Featured Piece of the Month contributor.)
  • Candidate for Vice-President: Andrew Davis (Author of Bevel Cut articles; Development Director of both Getting Started in Woodworking: A Guide for the Novice and the new Tip of the Month column; Featured Piece of the Month contributor.)
  • Candidate for Treasurer: John George (Incumbent; Mentor; Featured Piece of the Month contributor.)
  • Candidate for Secretary: Tom Shirley (Incumbent; Social Media Manager; Featured Piece of the Month contributor.)
All members are eligible to vote.  Elections will be held on June 8th at the June EMGW End of Year Meeting, which is the only avenue for casting your vote.
  • Show and Tell: Demonstrations of member workmanship.  Optionally bring a piece or two of something you made.  We would like to see a good number of items on display and hear something about it's construction.
  • Complimentary lunch

After this meeting, the guild will go on summer break except for FIG and TWIG meetings (check the Upcoming Guild Events list above) and preparations for the 2024-2025 season.  The website will be updated as needed, including results and pictures from the June meeting.  The next newsletter will resume in September.

Pre-Registration Process for End of Year Gathering. (Vincent Valvo)  In order to plan for activities and lunch, pre-registration is required and lasts from May 1st to June 5th.  Simply, navigate to the Upcoming Guild Event gadget on the website HOME page and click the Annual Guild Social Meeting: News, Election, Show & Tell, Lunch event for June 10th.  It's easier if you first log in.

Instructions are presented upon entering the event description.  The first step is to click the Register button.  Further steps request your attendance, the number of guests, if any, are accompanying you, and if you are bringing an item(s) for Show and Tell. Continue to follow instructions and click the Confirm button once entering the data.  Your confirmation will be promptly emailed to you.

If you need to cancel an existing registration, return to the same upcoming guild event, click the Already registered link and follow the cancellation instructions.  If you need to change the registration information you entered, first cancel your registration and then create a new registration.

Rule and Finger Joints 

Matt Wajda

May 2024

Credits Vincent Valvo

EMGW Auction

April 2024

Credits Vincent Valvo

Bevel Cut

What’s a Product Life Cycle Anyway Redux

by Andrew Davis

Andrew revives his December 2017 Bevel Cut and adds some updates.  The article presents the irony of the age of motorized woodworking tools, for example, table saws that continue to be marketed after years of of being released for purchase. At the left is a picture of a Powermatic 66 that was first sold in 1966 until 2008.

Compare that with furniture styles, automobiles, computers, telephones, other electronics, .  There's nothing close to Moore's Law for woodworking tools.  Read What’s a Product Life Cycle Anyway Redux for more on the subject.

Andrew welcomes your feedback.

Measure Twice, Cut Once - Wisdom From the Shop

Laminate for Stability

by Rob Carver

Laminate for Stability

by Rob Carver

Who would use lamination to explain averaging and diversification?  Before we go there, first understand that Rob’s article suggests a laminated board can be more stable and flatter with equal thickness across the board when compared to a solid hardwood board.  While solid hardwood will move (expand, contract, cup, or twist), a laminated board will not. This would recommend using a laminated board when a shop-made fence is needed for a router table, drill press, band saw, table saw, or the like.

Consider the process for making a lamination board of a specific thickness.   Several layers of a desired equal thickness are glued together.  The likely scenario, however, is that some layers will be slightly over and some lightly under the desired thickness.  While the individual thicknesses of those layers are likely not to be exactly the desired thickness, their average will approximate the desired thickness because the overs and unders will generally offset each other.  In this case, averaging is an operation that removes noise.

But Rob goes further in typical MTCO fashion.  Rob presents some natural world phenomena using this same concept of benefiting from averaging, such as, stock investments (stock diversification) and  weather forecasts (averaging several models).  And I can add another – generating a more accurate (stable) election poll by averaging several like models.

Laminate for Stability is a clever, thoughtful essay revealing a true MTCO dictum shared in woodworking and the greater natural world.

You can reach Rob by clicking Rob Carver.

Map of Member Locations

For in-person meetings, the possibility to carpool to monthly and FIG meetings, and other group gatherings may be of use to you.  Tom Shirley has updated the Member Map as of February, 2024 that displays members' locations on a Google map.  This is private information, so to access the map ou must be logged in.  To interact with the map, simply click the map above.  You can also click Member Map from the Member Map dropdown list.  Once there you can pan, zoom in and out, and click a pin to see the member's name and location.

Featured Piece of the Month

Bathroom Corner Cupboard

by Pat Kinney

Pat Kinney is a relatively new member.  His introduction to the guild was interrupted by the pandemic so he received a somewhat fractured start.  After having taken a recent course at North Bennet St. School he embarked on a project to make the bathroom corner cupboard for a half bathroom.  The style suits his colonial home nicely. 

Pat was fortunate to have a more experienced woodworker for assistance and direction.  Still, there are many features in this piece that demonstrate Pat has arrived.  Pat had to work with angled cuts, unusual glue-ups, bookmatching resawn panels, working with handplanes, fitting the door for a nice 1/16 inch reveal, and so on.  Welcome to the guild, Pat.  Thanks for contributing Bathroom Corner Cupboard.

Further information can be requested from Pat Kinney.

Remember this column is not necessarily dedicated to furniture pieces.  Tools, jigs, processes, and other woodworking related themes are also relevant.

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.

Andrew Hunter's Portfolio From His Guild Presentation

February 2024

Due to a strong request to know more about Andrew Hunter's work, Marc Holland has provided pictures of Andrew's furniture, work space, and other related pictures as seen below.  Scroll to the right or left for more pages. You can also click a picture for an enlarged view and then move to the next or previous picture.

In addition there were requests for a list of Andrew's presentation handouts click Japanese Tool Resources and Books and Japanese Tool Dealers and More Tool Resources for PDFs that can be downloaded or printed.

Starting out in Woodworking? EMGW Members Compiled a Guidebook for You

Considering getting into woodworking?  A team of members of EMGW has written a guidebook targeted for new woodworkers and a refresher for other woodworkers.

The guidebook is complimentary.  It can be viewed and downloaded for your reading pleasure.  We hope that reading the guidebook will engender interest in woodworking and membership in our guild.  Click here for a priceless copy.

Considerable work has already gone into renewing older and securing new discounts from various sources.  To review the list on the website you must first login then click Members and then Special Membership Discounts.

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