Vice Presidents Message

We have reached another historic juncture in the Club and that is THIRTY years of existence. And BAWA has certainly morphed during that time. One aspect is that no founding members are still active, which is the nature of woodworking clubs. As I mentioned in our 25th Anniversary bash when Sam Maloof was our guest speaker there was a confluence of events in history to make woodworking clubs possible. In our case part of our morphing is the emergence of our new Annual BAWA Show. I got my Woodcraft flyer in the mail and it was a strange (positive) feeling to SEE our club name in print on their flyer announcing the dates of the Woodworking Show.

The timing is great....we have our Second Annual BAWA Show just before the holidays (we can even add Halloween if we want) start and just as we are getting things inside for the rainy season. What a great time in woodworking history to be working on a piece for the show. Prices are pretty good, if not steady for materials. Sales abound on tooling and seems like more used equipment available then ever before due to people moving and downsizing. Ideas can now be had from magazines on this topic. I was reminded of the fertile quantity of magazines on woodworking around us when I took a class from Michael Fortune who said when he finished college there was no magazine on woodworking and barely any textbooks on the subject. We now have not only multiple magazines (and usually some free copies of recent editions at our meetings) but the World Wide Web is a huge help as we can search by tool, by brand, by generic type of furniture and find thousands of photos. If you want action with the tools, there are now YouTube videos on all kinds of woodworking techniques, not all of which are safe but at least you can find something that previously took a visit to another woodworkers shop to find out.

Then there are other CA Woodworking Shows. Frank Ramsay and I were both able to attend WoodFair 2011 in Arcata put on by the Humboldt Woodworking Society. Then the huge show in the San Diego County Fair that is an enormous juried show put on by the world's largest club the San Diego Woodworkers. Sonoma Woodworkers had their 23rd Annual Show in Santa Rosa and still running is a Show assembled by the Santa Cruz Woodworkers (who are all professional woodworkers). Now it is OUR turn to provide the Bay Area with a chance to see some of our work. Ed Marinaro has done a terrific job organizing the Show and we are fortunate that Woodcraft moved into the larger facility with enough space to hold our work. The work by the Show Committee is part of how BAWA, the Club, has changed over time because there is no 'manual' on how woodworking clubs function or on how to find space and whether to jury a woodworking exhibit. And one final comment on the morphing that has occurred over 30 years - computers. You are probably reading this from our website which was not possible thirty years ago...but I do think that personal computers have played a role for most of the 30 years - I mean who would have typed up a newsletter or minutes - but it was cool to use a word processor to write up a newsletter. It is a great time in our history, in power and hand tool evolution and a great time to get back to that piece you are working on for the BAWA Show. See you on the 21st for the grand opening and bring your spouse, significant other, and a friend or two.

Jay Perrine
Vice President

Just a reminder: if you have not yet submitted an entry for this year's 2nd Annual BAWA Show at Woodcraft on 21st - 23rd October it is not too late to do so. You can find further information and the on-line entry form at: 2011ShowInfo


Last Meeting

Jay Perrine, BAWA's Vice-president, called the meeting to order at 7:00pm. The first order of business was to ask for announcements.


Because the 2nd Annual Woodworking Show is to be held on October 21-23, 2011, BAWA will not hold its regular monthly meeting in October. Instead, all members are asked to attending the opening reception for the Woodworking Show on Friday, Oct 21 beginning at 6:00pm.

Asked to describe the Woodworking Show, Ed Marinaro said that two members have agreed to act as judges. John McCormack will judge design and Mike Bray will assess craftsmanship. Contributors are asked to deliver their works of wood beginning Thursday afternoon, but no later than Friday morning. Display set up will be performed early in the day, followed by the judging in the afternoon. Each participant may show up to two large pieces for $20 and each subsequent piece is an additional $5. Small pieces, posters and 2 x 4 pieces can be submitted without charge. In addition to the judging, the attendees from the public will be asked to vote for the Peoples' Choice Award. There will be three special exhibit areas: 2 x 4 Contest entries, Box Contest entries, and examples of toys made for charitable giving in the Toy Workshops.

Tear down will be performed Sunday beginning at 3pm. Exhibited works may be picked up Sunday afternoon, but no later than Monday morning.

Stan Booker is back from his African travels and so the door prize event has returned. The new raffle is for 3 pieces of 8 foot long, wide 3/4in maple.

Claude Godcharles described some of the free veneer that is available to club members. If you would like to browse through it at Woodcraft in San Carlos, please contact Claude.

Harold Patterson will be holding another Toy Workshop on Saturday, September 17 at the new workshop of Bill Henzel in San Jose. Volunteers are encouraged to sign up.

Per Madsen presented information on the upcoming monthly meeting agendas. The October meeting is being held at the Woodworking Show reception on October 21, as previously described. The November meeting is BAWA's Annual Meeting, meaning we will hold club election for officers. In addition, this meeting will feature the Box Contest and the annual Jigs & Fixtures event. The December meeting, to be held on the 2nd Thursday, December 8, will be the Pot Luck Hors d' Oeuvres event. Per is beginning to plan for next year, so he is asking the members to submit their ideas for topics, speakers and tours.

Reminder. Thursday 17 November our regular meeting will be proceeded by the short Annual Meeting. This main purpose of this meeting is the election of the Directors of the Assocaaiton for the next year. The Director positions are listed below. If anyone would like to put their names forward for election to any of these positions please inform our Secretary John Blackmore

President: Present incumbent: Frank R. Ramsay
Vice-President: Present incumbent: Jay Perrine
Secretary: Present incumbent: John Blackmore
Treasurer: Present incumbent: Mark Rand
Newsletter Editor: Present incumbent: Steve Rosenblum
Program Director: Present incumbent: Per Madsen
Membership Director: Present incumbent: Fred Reicher


Featured Speaker

John Lavine

Chinese and Japanese Joinery

Mike Bray made the introduction of John Lavine to the membership. Mike met John in the early days of BAWA when both were members together. Mike later became the chief illustrator at Woodwork Magazine when John Lavine was its editor.

John has long been fascinated by wood joinery from Japan and China. He began his presentation with a PowerPoint slide presentation he first prepared for the Vancouver, B.C. Wood Conference on Pacific Rim woodworking.

Evidence of joining wood in this area goes back to at least 1500 BC. The Golden Temple in Japan, originally built in 780 AD, was restored using all authentic joinery and hand tools in 1980. Joinery was accomplished without nails, bolts or adhesives. Posts were built up, interlocked with half lap joints, pinning and crowned with elaborate brackets to support cross beams and rafters. Long beams were spliced together with stub tenons and interlocking keys to join the segments without twisting. Joints like the half lapped gooseneck were designed by assessing proportions, not making fine measurements. The starting point for joinery was always the center. The predominant woods in Japan were cypress and cedar, and probably constructed while still green. It is interesting to note that the Hammerhead joint, similar in style to the gooseneck, was used extensively in England in the 18th Century. It is not clear if this joint was developed independently or traveled from the East.

Not surprisingly, the same large construct post and beam joinery techniques found their way into furniture construction in China and Japan during the same early time period. Complicated miters were developed to hide end grain, usually based on a frame and panel construction. Examples included the triple lap joint, the box-mitered half lap, specifically designed to show the end grain at each corner of a box on all sides. Fish glue was probably used to cement some joinery. BAWA's own John Seybold featured just such a box at last year's Box Contest although it did not smell as if he had used fish glue.

Boxes and drawers were constructed with wooden nails, since dovetail joints were a European innovation. Curved chair rails and arms were, and still are made with end joints and inserted wooden keys. BAWA's Yeung Chan is well known for his work and innovation in Chinese joinery. His Chinese chair uses many of these joints and because it is made without glue, has been deconstructed and reconstructed many times.

Chairs were not an invention from either China or Japan, but probably arrived from India via the folding campaign chair. Later, the chair became a symbol of status, power and wealth, reserved for emperors and warlords. With the emergence of a wealthy merchant class, the chair became even more widespread in use. Construction techniques in China and Japan, however, were different; influenced heavily by the type of wood available. Softwoods were prevalent in Japan, but China had access to the hardwoods from the rainforests in Southeast Asia. And furniture evolved up from the ground. However, the chair never gained much acceptance in Japan although it had been introduced several times. Complicated joinery in softwood was simply not strong enough to construct chairs. In China on the other hand, it flourished. Japanese furniture tended to feature the tansu, Chinese furniture focused on the table and chair.

A good contemporary example is George Nakashima, the famous Japan born American woodworker, who borrowed extensively from the post and beam construction techniques of China and Japan. In one example, he simply inverted the post and beam for the base of his pedestal table.

We thank John for this superb presentation. It inspires us to attempt this type of joinery for our own work, especially since we have members who can help to guide us: Yeung Chan of course, but also John Seybold and Frank Ramsay who are working to develop their own expertise.

John Lavine has a very extensive bibliography that you can see at:


Show and Tell

Steve Rosenblum recently visited the Vancouver BC Museum of Anthropology where he became fascinated with the woodworking of the Potlatches People, or First Nation People of Canada. These original American people worked with yellow cedar, really a cypress, to create boxes, totems, canoes, and masks. The boxes were created by making a long board, then at regular intervals, making a series of kerf cuts or dados across the grain, then folding the board to make a square. The end seam was joined with a sewn stitch or pegs and sometimes sealed with pitch. Such boxes became storage containers and cooking pots.

Tom Gaston brought in a cherry bench he made for the guest room in his house. It is to be used as a settee or as a luggage rack for guests. Constructed with mortise and tenon joinery, it is finished with an amber shellac and wax. The challenge in this piece was to achieve the same interior radius of curvature in the back corners where the top rails intersect as he had put on the rails themselves. With each new piece, Tom attempts a new woodworking challenge. He succeeded beautifully with this one.


John Blackmore