Presidents Message

Fellow Members

Another exciting year is now finished so we should ask ourselves what we learned in 2009.

I think in BAWA, no matter at what level of woodworker we are, we had opportunities to increase our knowledge of woodworking.

We had visited the Kaiser facility in Berkeley were we saw how a modern cabinet manufacturing operation works, we also visited the Wood Technology department of Laney College in Oakland to see how they were training the next generation of cabinet makers - all CNC based with not a hand tool in sight. We had a visit from Whitethorn Construction, based up on the Lost Coast region north of Mendocino, who gave us a presentation on the work they do with native California hardwoods. We then had a demonstration of milling this type of "recovered" lumber at California Urban Lumber in Martinez. During our regular meetings we covered many topics including a presentation on the theory and practice of making 3D puzzles, how better to optimize your workshop space plus classes on using and understanding hand planes. We had 2 formal training courses; one on using Google SketchUp for 3D design work and another on hand cut dovetails. So I hope you agree that the year's activities covered a very wide range of woodworking related topics.

Looking forward I think our meetings in 2010 will also provide many rich opportunities for learning.

One change for 2010 will be access to our library. We have many books and DVDs that are available to members to loan at only $3/month. Previously our librarian had to cart this bulky library to each meeting. With our new arrangements you can now check out the titles on our website and book them on line. (See the instructions in the front of this month's newsletter) So hopefully this will help support your learning through the next year.

I look forward to seeing you at this year's meetings. Hearing about your woodworking projects, your favorite tools, the jigs and fixtures you have developed for special projects and all of the other creative things you are doing with your woodwork.

Wishing you all a Very Happy New Year and hope you have great success with all of your projects in 2010

Frank R Ramsay


Last Meeting

December is the month of the annual dessert and hors d'oeuvres feast. Expecting an array of enticements, members began arriving much earlier than usual. The tables were fairly groaning with delicacies of many kinds. From shrimp and meatballs to cakes and cookies of various and sundry kinds. As usual, the tables were so loaded that the experienced BAWA'ers had brought house jacks to prop the tables up. Fred Reicher once again set the dessert bar at an almost unobtainable height with his chocolate covered butter cookies. John Blackmore was not willing to concede this year and brought in some homemade Hello Dolly, or sometimes called Magic bars. At the end of the night, Fred won, his bars were gone and John had to take his home to his son who was obviously elated. It again appears that Per Madsen's Cook Book for Woodworkers had been heavily used. For excerpts see Fine Woodworking & Cooking magazine from April 1915.

BAWA Security using whips pushed everyone away from the food tables so that the meeting could start around 7pm.

The BAWA Annual Special Meeting was called to order by Vice President Jay Perrine. The election of officers was the order of business. Ballots were handed out with a slate of officers who volunteered to run. There was room to substitute another name for each of the positions. The unanimous choice of the membership was of the slate of officers as follows:

President: Frank Ramsay

Newsletter Editor: Steve Rosenblum

Vice President: Jay Perrine

Program Director: Per Madsen

Secretary: John Blackmore

Membership Director: Fred Reicher

Treasurer: Mark Rand

Stan Booker volunteered again to be our Rafflemeister as well as help the Membership and Program Directors.

Mike Cooper volunteered to take on the library.

Harold Patterson for the Toy Workshop (if that continues, see the item in the newsletter).

The Board will also ask members to volunteer for other non-elected positions such as Refreshments Coordinator, Shows Coordinator, Education Chair, Mentor Program, Silent Auction Coordinator, and Rebuilding Together and Outreach Projects.


BAWA is giving away all of its VHS tapes in the club library since this format has fallen out of use. There were treasures for the eager few: the Felder 6-31, router basics and other woodworking esoterica.

Per Madsen reviewed the schedule of upcoming meetings:

Jan: Vacuum kiln drying with Josh Salesin

Feb: My experience at the College of the Redwoods by Claude Godcharles

Mar: Router Demonstration, Mike Cooper

Apr: Windsor Chair Making with John McCormack

Stan Booker talked briefly about his efforts to support vocational training programs, principally woodworking, in East Africa. Cash and old tool donations can be made to the Asante Networks. Contact Stan for details as to how to donate at 510-522-7879 510-522-7879 or

Frank Taylor donated a wagon full of old hand saws.

Harold Patterson described the Toy Workshop efforts this year. There were fewer and may be none next year because of stringent Federal legislation requiring extensive testing of wooden toys; great for the big toy companies, but bad for the craftsman and small businesses, and yet another barrier to entry. Let's hear it for our thoughtful elected representative and all the trial lawyers. A PLEA-Our Toy Making program has helped disadvantaged children for years. We do not use a finish of any kind on our wooden toys. So, why are we and others punished? EMAIL YOUR CONGRESS PERSON AND ASK THEM TO EXCLUDE WOODEN TOYS THAT HAVE NO FINISH ON THEM. Contact your congress person using the following web site

Christmas Ornament Contest

The contest was rigged this year, even more so than in years past. Mark Rand who runs the contest accepted only one entry, his own. Guess it's no surprise who won. Actually, hidden in Ed Marinaro's tray were two napkin rings made out of scraps of wood. They qualified as ornaments. Mark immediately withdrew his bought made by Indians in Iceland ornament. Ed was the clear winner.

Show and Tell

Ed Marinaro made a Cherry serving tray and several turned and patterned napkin rings. The tray was made with 3/16" stock and joined with mini biscuits using the Porter Cable biscuit joiner. It was finished with 10 coats of spray lacquer, composed of 1/3 tung oil, 1/3 mineral spirits and 1/3 varnish.

Arnie Champagne showed the wall mirror he made with scrap vertical grain Douglas Fir. It is 6 feet tall and about 18" wide. He left the wood in the sun light to color it. He described the mirror as an exercise in offset, lap joints and mortise and tenon joinery. He has made several of the mirrors for his friends.

Per Madsen brought in his newly finished drop leaf table made of Red Oak and strips of exotic hardwoods from scrap given to him by John Blackmore. The table legs and leg aprons are splayed out at 3 ½ degrees from vertical. He used dowels and Conformat fasteners to do the joinery. The table is finished with Watco Danish oil and wax. He used his wide belt sander to flatten the tabletop.

Tom made a Walnut and Butternut bench for the school auction where his daughter attends. It sold for $1400. Nice going Tom. The bench legs incorporated the schools logo, showing figures representing the parent-teacher-child relationship. He hand carved the figures after first rough cutting them on a scroll saw. The bench itself is composed of two pieces of hand planed Walnut, slightly concave in shape and beveled around the edges. Legs are attached to the spreader with mortise and tenon joinery, the bench top attached with pocket hole screws.

John Blackmore finished his massive dining room table but could not find any volunteer to help carry it to the meeting. He passed around a photograph instead. The top is composed of two 18" slabs of vertical grain Maple separated by a 6" center board of Birds Eye Maple framed by two narrow strips of Bubinga. The table measures 2" x 43" x 96". The base is solid Bubinga.

John McCormack brought in two pieces, a Windsor style chair he made several years ago and a newly designed Windsor style three-legged stool. John will be conducting an 80 hour class in Windsor chair building starting in January and running every other weekend through May. The class will be held at Woodcraft in San Carlos and is limited to 6 students. Sign up early. Look for the Woodcraft mailing for particulars.

The meeting concluded and members once again rushed to the tables of desserts for one final engorgement. Pepto Bismol was handed out at the door as members struggled back to their vehicles.


Jim Bishop from Alameda introduced himself. He was so overwhelmed with all the food that he became a member. We did have to tell a little fib that this type of food spread was common at every meeting.

John Blackmore. Comedy provided by the Mark and John Team


This 'n That






Members ONLY-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

Note to prospective buyers:
Please take note the date of the ad. Do not call the seller if you're reading an ad that is months out of date. Instead, look for more recent newsletters to see if the item is still offered

Shop Space Available in a furniture/cabinet-making co-op. There are table saws, planers, joiners, an edge bander and a spray booth with 24-hour access to all. Each tenant has his own space. The rent is $790 a month. We are located on Egbert Street off of old Bayshore. Please contact John Clark at 415-467-0638