- Newsletter January 2024

Newsletter January 2024


President's Message

Sitting on the table throughout the meeting was our OWL
As it sits there it's microphones pick-up everything said in the meeting while it's camera on top swivels around picking up the person speaking.
It also takes a 360 degree scan of the room which can be placed as a banner on top of the Zoom screen
I hope it makes our meetings more comprehensible to those who join via Zoom.
At the last meeting it had a tendance to focus on the projector but we will place it further away next time.
If you have any suggestions how to improve our Zoom meetings please let us know.

Enjoy your woodworking



Contact at:

BAWA Hybrid Zoom Meeting January 21th. 2024

The meeting was called to order by Frank Ramsay.

Guests: David Olney and Steven Kirchner.

Program Announcements – Paul Krenitsky

Paul announced that Frank will be the speaker in February and he will discuss the alder table he made. Paul told us that we will have a name tag challenge at the March meeting, the box challenge at the June meeting, the 2x4 challenge at the September meeting and the ornament challenge at the December meeting. He would like to have a volunteer to organize the toy workshop.

Jon Kaplan told us that we now have an Owl Labs video conferencing device that picks up voices from around the room and has a built-in camera that tracks the voice. It is perfect for the combined Zoom/ In-person meeting. He reminded us that the $60 annual dues are due. You can pay online or send him a check.

Laura Rhodes announced that the Woodworking show at the WoodCraft store will take place from Thursday June 6 to Sunday June 9. Thursday will be setup day. Volunteers are needed for all aspects of this event and that it can't happen unless we all pitch in!

It was mentioned that the Palo Alto Adult School is having a knife and chisel class on Feb 17 and 18.

Frank announced that he has to vacate the shop he is in, and he will be selling power and hand tools, work benches and wood. He is looking for a shared space to move into.


Featured Speaker
Aaron Blohowiak
George Nakashima's Conoid Chair

Aaron has been a woodworker for 12 years

His first chair project was the Maloof rocker then his second chair project was the George Nakashima Conoid Chair
He bought George Nakashima's book The Soul of a Tree and learned about George's life.

(see end of notes for more information)

Building the chair

He used Fusion 360 to create the detailed design complete with dimensions of all the parts.

He has a CNC router and used it to cut templates for the chair parts. With the exception of the hickory chair back spindles, the chair is made from walnut.

Epoxy was used to join the parts. Aaron pointed out a number of errors he made along the way, but he ended up with a strong beautiful chair.

The chair back spindles were the notable exception - he used a block plane to round them, as they were too long and flexible to turn on the lathe


The chair is finished with Tried & True wood finish.

Pictures of the build process

CNC cut Templates

Bandsawing the uprights

With this joint, i'll route the dados that reveal the male center part of the joint

Fitting the leg to the Upright

With this joint, i'll route the dados that reveal the male center part of the joint

Sculpted Rocker

Shaping on the front of the seat

It is pressure-activated, so i used my vise to clamp it tight. I suspect that people who have problems with double-sided tape don't apply enough pressure.

With tis joint i"ll route the dados that reveal the make center part of the joint

Lessons Learned

Template overhang is dangerous and puts the work at risk

Template cutting on bandsaw works really well !

Think through how mating pieces will be sized BEFORE sculpting

George Nakashima is a genius

The Secret Genius of this Chair

Nothing's 90*, BUT

No angles that have to "add up"

No compound angles. Legs "fake it" by shaping after joinery.

No "dependencies" between pieces
-no arms or stretchers requiring precise compound angles or lengths.

The finished chair

George Nakashima 1905-1990


The chair reflects the man

The words below are from Nakashima's book The Soul of a Tree

Born in Washington state, architecture degrees from UW and MIT
Practiced architecture in Japan and later India,
where he built an Ashram and picked up some of their philosophy
Returned to USA as WWII was brewing
His family and young daughter locked up in a concentration camp in Idaho
There he learned hand tool woodworking from an older master
Released to New Hope, PA under his old architecture boss.
Settled down and started making his furniture
He was inspired by both traditional Japanese architecture
and shaker furniture and a spiritual reverence for trees


Show and Tell

Tom Gaston


Tom showed his wood turnings, his tool box and his cutting board.
The tool box had two hand-cut dovetailed drawers.

Laura Rhodes

Laura brought in the small Japanese tool box she made
with left over ash and spalted sycamore.
She made it without using any power tools.

Max Goldstein

Max showed the cherry and canary wood box he made.
It had a beveled top.

Jon Kaplan

Jon showed the large wooden bowl he repaired after it developed a large crack.
The repair included the creation of a 3D printed router template for the two bow ties installed on the bowl.
He also showed the plywood templates he made for installing knife hinges on a cabinet.

Claude Godcharles

Claude showed the picture frame he made from leftover Koa.

Minutes by Burt Rosensweig