Newsletter June 2020

President's Message

Four months into our shutdown and we still have a way to go.

This is the type of situation that comes only once every 100 years; so it will feel good to find a way to take advantage of this once in a lifetime opportunity by clearing that to-do-list that we have had for decades, those small projects we can never find time for. Now is the ideal time when you have very little outside distraction.

We all have a list of things that we wanted to get done and maybe you have finished them all by now

Confession: I had a short list of half-day project that have been on my list for a long time but have not even started on yet as I have been kept fully busy with other things that need doing – but may get to the list soon.

For those who have run short of woodworking projects, you can always work on skill learning. If we are true crafts people we should never be satisfied with our knowledge and skills. For the last two meetings Jon Kaplan has been showing us his dovetail warm-up exercises (see below) No matter what our level of experience, we can always improve our hand dovetailing skills with more practice.

If we reach the end of that road with basic dovetails we can start on lapped, blind, half-blind or double tapered variations.

Need more inspiration? Thirty minutes spent browsing through old magazines or looking at some of the tens of millions pictures on the web should give you ideas for many months.

If you start on a project and get stuck, not sure how to proceed, send me an e-mail and I will try and find someone in BAWA to help you.

Note: Some dovetail joints are not suitable for home workshop exercises:

Cast iron dovetail joints in Thomas Farnolls Pritchard's Iron Bridge
Shropshire, England
Completed in 1779, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Enjoy your woodwork
(Contact at:


June 2020 BAWA Zoom Board Meeting

President Frank Ramsay called the meeting to order at approximately 6:10PM. There were 21 people in attendance.

The Board of Directors meeting had been called to nominate and approve a new Treasurer for the BAWA after the resignation of John Blackmore who is leaving the area.

The motion to elect Jon Kaplan as BAWA Treasurer was made by Jay Perrine and seconded by Paul Krentisky. The motion was passed unanimously by the directors.

After the vote the Board of Directors meeting was closed.


June 2020 BAWA Zoom Meeting


The Foster City meeting facility will remain closed through July, so next month's meeting will be via Zoom again. What limitations will be in effect when the facility reopens is not yet known. Future in person meetings may require extra large rooms to accommodate social distancing.

Bruce Powell said he has dovetail jigs available if someone wants to borrow one.

Jon walked step by step through his process of hand cutting dovetails, highlighting 18 lessons learned along the way. Those lessons included things like the importance of practice, sharpening your tools, sawing and chiseling technique, and how to register parts together when scribing the tail shapes onto the pin board. His presentation was followed by a short discussion of the merits of cutting dovetails by hand as opposed to using a router and jig.


Burt's homemade router table

Claude's Pin Router attachment
to his router table

Router Table presentation

In the attached presentation here are pictures with notes of router tables from:
Bruce Powell (2 workshops therefore 2 router table setups), Bill Henzel, Burt Rosensweig
Claude Godcharles, Jon Kaplan and Lloyd Worthington.


Show and Tell

Jamie Buxton

Jamie showed off his attractive three legged stool made of cherry.
It uses through-tapered mortise and tenons where each leg attaches to the seat top.
The seat is a rounded triangle shape. The stool is 27 inches high - just right for the kitchen counter.
The legs are turned.

Jon Kaplan

Jon showed a photo he found of an usual chair that seats one adult and two children.
The children seat bottoms are higher than the adult seat bottom.
It was made by Hal Taylor the chair designer and builder.

Bill Henzel

Bill showed us his bent lamination mahogany chair.
Every piece on the chair was a bent lamination.
The arm laminations each have eight layers.

Tom Gaston

Tom showed off his wall hanging bedside tables.
French cleats attach the tables to the wall.
He also showed a photo of an Urn with a beautiful dolphin inlay.

Lloyd Worthington

Vacuum-bending the fronts of his serpentine front chest

Lloyd showed off his serpentine front chest. He designed it in SketchUp.
The drawer fronts are steam bent and vacuum bagged laminations.
The chest is 20 inches high and made of mahogany and maple.
Sliding dovetail joints were used to join the carcass and violin tuning pegs for drawer handles - very nice.

Minutes by Burt Rosensweig