Presidents Message

Fellow Members

At our official Annual Meeting last month the current Board was unanimously re-elected to for another year. I would like to take a moment to say thank you to all the board for the work they put in during the last year for BAWA.

Vice President Jay Perrine is the key organizer of our annual Rebuilding Together activates and also runs the meetings on the months that I am away.

Secretary John Blackmore produces the main report in our newsletter every month as well as being very active in some of our charitable activities.

Our Treasurer is Mark Rand who spends the first part of the year chasing after unpaid membership fees then spends the rest of the year trying to make sure we do not spend all of the money.

Newsletter Editor Steve Rosenblum puts together our newsletter every month making sure that all of the contributions arrive on time to get the letter published by the end of the month.

Program Director Per Madsen organizes our regular meetings, books the rooms and looks after the very important task of finding interesting and varied speakers to be our monthly Featured Speaker.

Membership Director Fred Reicher leads our new member recruitment efforts and makes sure they are welcomed into the association.

I would also like to thank the various committee chairpersons who run our other activities including Stan who looks after our monthly raffle and door prizes, Harold and Frank Taylor who organize our Toy Workshops, Ed who is organizing our 1st ever BAWA Show and all the other members who make contributions to the running of the association throughout the year.


Way back about 25 years ago when I was first living in the US I bought one of the big Craftsman toolboxes from Sears. Something I had always wanted but we did not have in the UK. I carefully arranged my tools etc in the draws. One draw I reserved for boxes of new screws, which I did not have many in those days. In another I fitted a large plastic tray with many sections in which I placed my collection old, "pre-used", screws. Over the years my draw reserved for boxes of new screws has become totally full. When I am working on a small job I still always check my "pre-used" selection first, but over the years the success of finding the screw that I need has reduced to almost zero. For the last few years I have found no more than 1 or 2 suitable screws per year in my "pre-used" selection. The draw is still fairly full but it has been picked dry of all useful sizes. It could be much better utilized if it was used for other things. But what do I do with my old screws? It seems such a waste just to throw them away. I have considered taking them to a recycle center but it would cost me more in gas.

In a similar vein I also have a plastic tub filled with several pounds of old, rusty, slightly bent, nails. These were from a house rebuilding project I worked on in England decades ago. At the time I had an old, retired, friend who helped me. On days when I was not there he would go through all of the old lumber extracting the nails then beating with a hammer on a brick to "straighten" them, thus recycling them for future use. Now 30 years later, having never used any nails from this tub, I am looking for a good home for them. Somewhere they can have a useful second life - but where?

I am sure I am not the only person with this problem. There is a need for a Goodwill type organization for old nails and screws.


Several new things have been added to the website recently including a new piece in the Gallery and a new Tech Talk paper. To make it easier to find what is new I have added a "What is new" button to the Home page that will direct you to any recent additions.

Happy Holidays to you all.

Frank R Ramsay


Last Meeting

Frank Ramsay called the meeting to order promptly at 7:10 PM. It was a busy night with everyone getting their boxes ready for the box contest and putting out their jigs and fixtures.

Mark Rand started the meeting by giving the treasurer's report. The budget was accepted and Frank proceeded to the election of the club's officers. The slate of officers proposed by the board was elected unanimously by acclamation. The officers for 2011 are:

President: Frank Ramsay

Vice President Jay Perrine

Treasurer Mark Rand

Secretary John Blackmore

Membership Fred Reicher

Program Per Madsen

Newsletter Steve Rosenblum


Don Calvello who just finished a Maloof style rocking chair

Michael Jesse who recently returned to the Bay Area from Oregon

Rod Schermer


Frank reminded everyone that the SketchUp class is being held in Foster City this Saturday. The cost is only $20 per person.

The First Annual BAWA Woodworking Show is being held on December 10, 11 and 12 at the new Woodcraft Store in San Carlos. There will be a reception Friday evening open to everyone. The show will be open on Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 am to 6:00 PM. As of this date we have 28 exhibitors signed up to show 58 pieces of woodwork. Tell your friends and pass out the postcards. This show is shaping up to be a very popular event. Show posters and postcards were available for members to distribute to friends and other interested parties. Sign up sheets were distributed for workers to participate in helping at the reception and working the show. Ed Marinaro can be contacted if you would like to help.

Harold Patterson described the Toy Workshop that was held two weeks ago at Jamie Buxton's shop in San Carlos. The participants made cricket parts, trucks, and sports cars. Toys are distributed to the Janet Pomeroy Center, the Ellen Crittenden Center and Holy Names Homes. Frank Taylor has demonstrated that he is a master wheel builder-elegant and, yes, round too. A video was made and will be posted to YouTube. The next workshop will be held on December 4, again at Jamie's shop.

Per Madsen announced that the December BAWA meeting will be held one week early, on Thursday, December 9. It will be the Pot Luck Dessert and Christmas Ornament Contest meeting.

On Saturday, February 26, 2011 BAWA will be holding a special seminar featuring Yeung Chan, his joinery, his hand tools, and his fixtures. There will be a nominal fee for attendees.

Mark Rand said the name-tag box is back. Members should find their tag in the box. If it is not there new ones will be made for people who sign up. Dues for 2011 will be due January 1.

Jay Perrine said that he is beginning to prepare for BAWA's participation in Rebuilding Together Peninsula on April 30, 2011.

The raffle master, Stan Booker has 10 pieces of aromatic red cedar for the next raffle. Get your tickets, 6 for $5.

John Seybold has found a man named Bob Greer who has milled a giant Chinese Elm and is willing to sell slabs at low cost. If you are interested, contact John Seybold.

Show and Tell

No Show and Tell this month... to much else going on


Featured Speakers

Ken Horner

Essential Guide to the Steel Square

His new book is-- Essential Guide to the Steel Square: Facts, Short-Cuts, and Problem-Solving Secrets for Carpenters, Woodworkers & Builders Ken has written two previous woodworking books that he described to BAWA in a meeting last year: Woodworkers Essential Facts, Formulas and Shortcuts and More Essential Facts. Now he has returned to describe how one can use the steel square.

Starting in the early 1800s with the development of the first steel squares, the square became a heirloom product. It was passed down from father to son. Early squares had been made of wood, so the steel square was a real innovation. The first steel square was invented by Silas Hawes in 1819 and produced by the Eagle Square Company in South Shaftsbury, Vermont. The building still exists today, but is used for other purposes.

In 1849 Eagle Square patented the Millington Graduator square that had 1264 marks for various purposes. In 1919, Stanley Rule and Level Company acquired Eagle Square Company. By 1937, Stanley employed 100 people making 190,000 squares per year. In 2007, more than 1 million squares were produced.

The typical steel square has a narrower side 1 1/2" wide that is 24" long and called the tongue. The shorter side is 18" long and 2" wide and called the blade. Several scales appear on the square: an octagonal scale, a hundreds scale, a diagonal scale, the Essex scale for calculating board feet, a brace scale, and a rafter length scale. And here we all thought is was only used to check our table saw fences for being square with the blade.

Ken Horner had met John Kelsey, the first editor of Fine Woodworking several years ago. John had left FW and started Cambian Books. John persuaded Ken to write the first Essential Facts book and it rapidly became the top selling woodworking book. Ken wrote the sequel, but found the steel square deserved a book of its own, so he left that chapter out of More Essentials.

Ken showed us how to use the square to calculate rafter lengths for common rafters, jack rafters, valley rafters, and hip rafters. He even showed us how to calculate the conical dome on a cylinder. The key to it all is the fact that right triangles are always proportional.

It was a fascinating presentation and did indeed reveal the secrets of the steel square.

Thank you, Ken.

Jigs and Fixtures

Claude Godcharles made a jig to turn his lathe into a disc sander. He made a 16" plywood circular disc by gluing together two 3/4" pieces of plywood. To this disc he mounted sandpaper and attached it to the chuck of the lathe. He made a metal table and supported it on the tool rest.

John Seybold showed us how he modified his plane shooting board to create elaborate end grain box joints. The unique aspect of his joint is that end grain is shown on all sides of the box. To accomplish this task, he was inspired to modify a technique developed by George Nakashima. The ends of the adjoining box sides are cut to create half lap joints on the very end of each board. John also showed us the clamping cauls used in gluing up the box.

John Blackmore brought in the table saw sled he made after being inspired by the one he saw at the College of the Redwoods. Modifications were made to mount the sled to the sliding rail of John's Felder table saw. Other modifications included replaceable plastic inserts for the zero clearance saw blade slot and vertical back slot.

The Box Contest

Arnold Champagne brought in a box he had started, but not completed in time for the box contest. It is a tea box with a curved lid. He passed around a wooden hand plane made from a block of maple, with lignum vitae sole plate. He had found a tapered steel blade at a local flea market.

Ken Horner and Linda Salter showed us some of the marquetry boxes they had made. The boxes have tops tilting on opposing pins located near the ends of the boxes. They teach a course at the SawDust Shop in Sunnyvale and also hold quarterly workshops at their shop in Gilroy.

We had great participation in the contest this year and the contest master, Mark Rand, was closely supervised as he counted the ballots filled in by all BAWA members present. We had hoped to ask Jimmy Carter to come since he has proven to be an excellent election monitor, but alas we could not find him. The winners were:

Most Original Claude Godcharles

Most Puzzling Jamie Buxton

Most Intricate Dean Sinisgalli

Most Unusual Mark Rand

Most Beautiful John Seybold

Most Wacky Frank Taylor

Open Category Jerry Robinson

Open Category John Blackmore

Such a very special Open Catagory that we do not have a picture available

BEST OF SHOW Bob Nisbett

In addition to receiving a beautiful BAWA award certificate Bob also received a copy of Essential Guide to the Steel Square from Ken Horner

We adjourned late because everyone found it very difficult to vote in the box contest.

John Blackmore


This 'n That

How to Buy a Handplane at Auction by Neal White

Ever thought about acquiring a well made old plane for a song and doing a little "tuning" to get it tweaked up? First read this outstanding article by Neal describing his experiences and tips for finding that gem on eBay or at a garage sale and avoiding those clunkers that waste your valuable time that could be used for working on wood. Check out the link on our website:



Members ONLY- Classified ads must be from members or ex-members or their estates who are closing down their workshops. In addition a non-member may attend a regular meeting as a guest and announce personal items for sale that are directly related to member's woodworking. The details of the announcement may be covered in the meeting minutes in the monthly newsletter, subject to editorial review.

Do you have something to sell or trade? Let me know by the last weekend of the month and I'll put it into the next newsletter. Let me know if your item sells so I can delete the ad.

Steve Rosenblum
212 Santa Rita Ave
Palo Alto 94301

Wanted (11/10)

Use of a drum sander to finish sand a 24-1/4 x 49 x1-1/2 inch counter top, fee negotiable, call Steve Rosenblum, 650-322-9560,