Website Changes

This blog is used by the Web Administrator to list updates to the website. This blog is summarized on the front page to make it easy for the members it locate new material without having to go  through the entire site. 

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  • May 31, 2024 1:06 PM | Vincent Valvo (Administrator)

    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.

  • May 31, 2024 1:03 PM | Vincent Valvo (Administrator)

    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.

  • May 31, 2024 12:56 PM | Vincent Valvo (Administrator)

    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.

  • May 30, 2024 5:47 PM | Vincent Valvo (Administrator)

    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

  • May 30, 2024 9:43 AM | Vincent Valvo (Administrator)

    Posted the June 2024 Tip of the Month - Carving Gouge Sharpening Jig by Ken Zoller.

  • May 30, 2024 9:42 AM | Vincent Valvo (Administrator)

    To display the tip, click the image.

  • May 30, 2024 9:41 AM | Vincent Valvo (Administrator)

    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 with expressions of interest and questions.

  • May 19, 2024 10:00 PM | Vincent Valvo (Administrator)

    Presentation was by Matt Wajda, who demonstrated the making of rule and finger joints.

  • April 29, 2024 5:35 PM | Vincent Valvo (Administrator)

    Thinking in Three Dimensions

    by Rob Carver

    Beware.  Brought to you as a public service, the word statistics or its variants appear in this article.  Many of you are comfortable with that.  Some are not.  But the challenge of overcoming discomfort when improvements are needed is at the heart of Rob's message in his article.

    Rob is just fine with statistics.  It's something else he is working on in a more relatable world - woodworking.  Read Thinking in Three Dimensions.  Besides, you don't need to know anything about statistics.

    You can reach Rob by clicking Rob Carver.

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