Newsletter March 2020

Presidents Message

Fellow woodworkers

I keep looking on the web at the intricate, beautiful, wooden models made by the "compagnons" in France.

They are made as part of the apprenticeship of young craftsmen who move around the country staying at different places for 6 months at a time to learn their trade. Fascinating that such a training system should still exist in the modern day and age.

I found an article in Arlas Obscura that talks about the system.

Very interesting and well worth a read.

Enjoy your woodwork
(Contact at:


Last Meeting

The meeting was called to order by President Frank Ramsay at 6:05 PM.


Pierce, who works only with hand tools.

Del, who is a hobbyist.

Curtis, who is an instructor at ACL.

Paul who is attending his second meeting.

Upcoming Meetings announced by Paul Krenitsky:

March 15th: Theo Padouvas will talk about Japanese woodworking. He will demonstrate joinery techniques.

April 17th: Ken Napier will talk about antique reproduction furniture.

May 17th: Speaker still tbd

Weekend 29th to 31st: BAWA Bay Area Fine Woodworking Show, Mike Tracy will chair the event. Volunteers are needed. Contact Mike Tracy to help. Postcards and posters are being made for advertising.



John Blackmore announced that dues are payable now and are $48 per year.

John also brought some Trader Joe's Magic cloths for silent auction. They are excellent as tack cloths.

Raffle: Bruce Powell announced the continuing raffle of three pieces of black walnut gifted by the Kirks. Tickets are $1 each, 6 for $5.


Featured Topic: Paul Krenitsky: Workshop on Card Scrapers.

Paul Krenitsky introduced the workshop on card scrapers.

As well as demonstrating how to use a scraper Paul showed his Veritas scraper kit which includes both a sharpening and a burnishing jig. Plus he showed the Veritas scraper holder, a metal and plastic fixture that grips the scraper and can put a bend in it. This reduces the stress on hands and thumbs.

DVD that is available on Hand Scrapers

A card scraper is a sheet of hard steel which is smooth and square and then has a raised burr on its edge.

Several members demonstrated their preferred techniques for raising a clean burr.

Chris Pribe showed a very precise method based on ideas from Chris Schwartz. He uses waterstones to create a smooth square edge and to smooth the faces. He uses a scrap of plywood to hold the sheet square while smoothing the edge. He uses a ruler to space the sides off the stone so only the part of the face near the edge needs to be smoothed. He then runs the burnisher a few times on the flat side to create a bur. He then clamps the scraper in a vise and gives the edge a few strokes with the burnisher held at a small angle.

Burt Rosenzweig showed a simple method using medium and fine whetstones to smooth the edge and faces. He drills a hole at a 2-degree angle in a wood block to hold his burnishing pin and just lays his scraper flat on the block against the pin to roll his burr.

Per Madsen uses a special purpose chuck he purchased from Woodsmith that holds a metal file as well as a burnishing pin.

Jon Blackmore uses a Lapsharp to do the initial squaring and smoothing. He cuts a thin kerf with a bandsaw in a block of maple and clamps the scraper in it while doing the preparation steps.

Yeung Chan showed a wooden scraper plane he made which will not only smooth difficult grain without tear out, but will also improve the flatness of the surface. The blade is dragged at a 5 degree angle. He explained that hand scrapers must be used with caution as they can create grooves in a flat surface if over used.

Stan Booker mentioned that Carl Johnson had given a talk on card scrapers at BAWA in 1990.



Show and Tell

After a 30-minute break for scraping practice we had show and tell.


Dennis Yamamoto described a project to replace a house door. The panels were Honduran Mahogany with Redwood stiles. He used the leftover wood to make a cabinet with coopered doors. The coopering was hard to do because of the difficult wood grain. The dovetailed drawers were all concave. He was also asked to do a small table for Deer Hollow Farm which he made out of Sapele with tapered legs. He then described a large dining table, 7 feet long by 30 inches wide, with curved stretchers and a curved top. Joinery was mortise and tenon.

Bruce Powell brought in the completed footboard from the Elm queen size bed he has been fabricating.
3 inch long dowels reinforce the mortise and tenon joints between the legs and the panel.

Yeung showed an example of his Chinese table leg base joint which consists of 3 pieces splined together at 120-degree angles.


Member's Workshops

Paul Krenitsky then presented a slide show of members' workbenches.
This is the first in a series where members talk about photograps from their workshops

The benches belong to: Paul Norton, Ken Napior, Jon Kaplan, Bill Henzel, Burt Rosensweig,
Bruce Powell,Dennis Yamamoto. Chris Pribe. Jamie Buxton, Frank Ramsay, John Wilson.

Unfortuatley I do not have the correct identites for them
so will update the names as soon as possable.



Jon Kaplan


Dennis Yamamoto

Frank Ramsay






The meeting adjourned at 8:50

Steve Rosenblum, secretary