Presidents Message

Fellow Members

Request for pictures 1: We are in the process of redesigning and updating the look of our website. It is the main mechanism through which people can find out about BAWA and contact us. The new look will have more color and more pictures! The age old saying "A picture is worth a thousand words" remains as true today as it ever was, and with the Internet maybe even more so. When people are flashing through websites at a great rate there needs to be something that will make them stop and look further. I would like to incorporate many pictures of our activities. My request is for pictures of your projects, your workshops, your jigs/fixtures, anything related to your woodworking activities that we can put in galleries on our website to quickly convey to anyone flashing by in cyberspace who we are and why they should consider looking closer at BAWA.

Request for pictures 2: One of the most popular items at our monthly meetings is Show-and-Tell. These sessions are where we learn a lot about woodworking; how to do things right; and, yes occasionally, how not to do things. Until now members have had to bring their projects to the meeting for Show-and-Tell, which I still strongly encourage. However some projects, new staircases, kitchen cabinets, garden sheds, workshops etc are very interesting but just not practical to bring to a Show-and-Tell. We have invested in a new digital projector (an Epson EX51) One of the benefits is that members can bring pictures of their projects to the meeting on a USB memory stick, no need for a computer, and show them at the meeting. I hope that this results in us seeing much more of your work.

Another thing the Board is considering is if to try and mount a show of members work somewhere in the Bay area. This is a big undertaking and we are just starting to discuss the possibilities. We know that several other woodworking and turning groups in Northern California have such shows. If you have any thoughts or suggestions on this I would like to hear from you. Please send me an email on this or on any other ideas you have that you think will be of benefit to our membership.

Frank R Ramsay


Last Meeting

President Frank Ramsay chaired the meeting


Jay announced that Mannie Hernandez has contributed books to the Club. Thanks to Mannie, the club is $41 richer.

Mike Cooper, our new Librarian, stated that all holdings are now listed on the website. They can be borrowed by sending e-mail or calling Mike.

Per described the upcoming program events. The list is given elsewhere in this newsletter.

Harold announced that he has received a thank you letter from the Janet Pomeroy Center, which is the San Francisco Handicapped Center. The club had built a railing and a pergola, which are doing well, and a gate, which is in need of repair. Harold asked for a volunteer to go to the center and evaluate the gate situation. The Christmas Toy workshops are on hold until a new state requirement that the toys be tested for lead is clarified. Right now it is expected to apply even to unfinished wooden toys.

Jay said that Palcare gave us an award certificate for the projects we completed for them last year as a part of Rebuilding Together. The new project for them is scheduled for April 24 so please keep that date open. The project details will be clarified in the near future.

Frank requested member input on some possible new club activities. One was the participation of the club in the Woodworking Show, possibly in concert with other groups. He would like a member to volunteer to spearhead this activity. Second, he asked for suggestions as to what sorts of training members would like to have. This past year we had a class on handmade dovetails and the care and use of handplanes. Third, he asked for a volunteer to help organize a lecture on woodworking for schools in order to encourage student interest in woodworking. The club would offer a fee to the lecturer, which would be partly or fully paid by asking non-students to pay a fee to attend. Students would all attend at no cost. Frank asked for suggestions of a speaker preferably from the Bay Area to cut the cost of bringing the speaker here. Send Frank your suggestions at

Show and Tell

Harold demonstrated a shooting board that he designed with a ramped table for the workpiece to rest on. This allows the plane to have a well-controlled shearing cut on the workpiece. He suggests using a #5 plane so that it has enough inertia to carry the stroke through the wood. The plane should be dedicated to shooting so that the blade can be relied on to be sharp and square.

Steve described an exhibition he attended in Berlin, Germany dealing with woodworkers in Seiffen in the Erzgebirge in southern Germany. These workers do turning primarily and originally began using water driven lathes. They developed a method of semi mass production of toys where they turn the profile using special chisels. The individual toys are then cut from the cylindrical boule in the axial direction. They made primarily animal shapes this way and sold many sets of "Noah's Ark" toy chests into the U.S. market. They still provide daily demonstrations of their craft using one of the original water driven lathes. All of their present production is done on modern woodworking lathes.

Ralph Northrup showed some tongue and groove rosewood floor boards that can be had of varied length pieces in a bundle. In addition, he had an elaborate glue gun for sale for $10.


Paul Sedan is attending the meeting as a guest.

The meeting ended with members swimming back to their vehicles and going home in the rain.


Featured Speaker

Joshua Salesin

Developed equipment and techniques for vacuum kiln drying gave the presentation

The technique involves placing the wet wood in a container in which a vacuum of 27 inches of mercury is drawn and heat is applied to the wood to reach a temperature of 120 deg F.

This allows the wood to dry very quickly (a few days compared to years using air drying at room temperature) with many fewer defects than with atmospheric pressure kiln drying (less staining, less cracking). Joshua described how to build a simple vacuum kiln using plastic pipe for the chamber with Corian or Plexiglas for the endcaps and a used vacuum pump from eBay. A light bulb in the chamber can be the heat source and one requires a moisture meter to check that status of the drying process. Joshua has written a book describing the details of the vacuum drying process entitled Vacuum Kiln Drying for Woodworkers which he is offering for $20 plus 8.5 % CA sales tax and shipping. You can order on line at to those interested in pursuing this drying method. The web site also has an order form you can fill out or write to J. Salesin PO Box 701 Santa Cruz 95601.

Steve Rosenblum