Eastern Massachussetts Guild of Woodworkers

Volunteeer Woodworking at EMGW

If you've glanced through the slideshow above you are aware of the woodworking project to build and donate toys to the Toys for Tots Program in Massachusetts.  To learn more about it, click here to read an article published in the Community Advocate newspaper serving Hudson, Northborough, Marlborough, Southborough, Westborough, Shrewsbury, and Grafton.

Upcoming Guild Events

May 13, 2017 9:00 AM • Jack Murphy's shop, 64 Coventry Wood Road, Bolton
May 15, 2017 7:00 PM • Home of Bob McKee, 157 Loker Street, Wayland, MA
June 19, 2017 7:00 PM • Home of Mike Roughan, 6 Hayden Rowe, Hopkinton, MA

Upcoming Non-Guild Events

April 28, 2017 9:00 AM • Holiday Inn, 9 Northeastern Blvd, Nashua, NH
May 16, 2017 9:00 AM • Windgate Gallery at 150 North Street, Boston

Message from the President

Hand Planes by Jim Russell

I’ve built a lot of stuff over the years but my use of hand planes has been limited.  I’ve muddled along with a combination of scraping and sanding when a few swipes with a hand plane would have been faster and produced a better finish.  That’s one reason I am looking forward to our April meeting.  Improving my hand planing ability has been on my list of woodworking skills to upgrade for a long time.  The other reason is the presenter.  Jim Russell has presented at a number of our meetings in the past and everyone has been well thought-out and organized with relevant visuals and documentation which is posted on the web site so members can refer to it at a later time.  In addition the topics have been in areas where I have wanted to add to my woodworking skills.  If you have toyed with the idea of doing a presentation for the guild but feel intimidated by the high quality of our past presenters I am sure that Jim would be willing to share some pointers and methods for making a presentation.

Auction Recap

Although it cost me my voice our annual tool auction was a big success.  The auction is the major fund raiser for the guild and we made more than enough to fund our most expensive meeting.  Thank you to everyone who donated tools and other woodworking items as well as all who bid and took home treasures.  We hope to expand the auction next year by providing more notice, a system for submitting photos of items too large to actually bring to the auction, and a way to drop off items for members who wish to donate but cannot attend.  My voice returned shortly after the auction so I will be ready for next year.

Presenters in Need of Topics

The board has begun to plan next year’s meetings.  As in the past, we will try to get certain individuals that we know are great presenters to join us, such as Phil Lowe, Will Neptune and, more recently, Mickey Callahan. If you have any thoughts on what specific topics you would like to see from these and other presenters, please let someone on the Board know.

Here we are deep into summer, but as we approach the end of July, I know you are all wondering “What does the coming year for the Guild involve”. Well, behind the scenes, folks have been hard at work putting together the events for the coming year. 

Bevel Cut

Hand Planes in the Modern Workshop

Image result for hand plane imagesAh, the hand plane.  As Andrews Davis writes in his most recent article, the hand plane is a unique tool for many and some surprising reasons. 

Last month Guild member Gary Iadarola gave us a comprehensive presentation on hand tool sharpening.  Now that our tools are sharp a presentation on all things hand planes comes next.  This presentation will be led by another experienced Guild member, Jim Russell.

Andrew's article is an enjoyable read and it will provide a nice setup for this month's Guild meeting. You can read about it here.

Smartphone Stand at FIG Meeting

For those of you who have never attended a Furniture Interest Group (FIG) meeting, attending members discuss their woodworking interests either in the form of providing advice and experience or seeking advice on anything concerning furniture woodworking.  Located at a different member’s house on a monthly basis, the meeting is open to all members as an open forum.  For background to this article, it’s not unusual for a few members to bring designs, assemblies, or easily carried pieces for discussion.

At the January meeting the normal protocol proceeded and circled from one member to the next offering insights, advice, questions, or status on current projects big and small.  But small was as small as it gets when Tom Shirley presented a simple but clever piece pictured above.  The picture shows two flat pieces folded into each other to make a smartphone stand.  Folding it differently, one can change the display angle.  Made of tiger maple and finished with warmed BLO mixed with beeswax, the piece caught the members by surprise because cabinets, tables, chairs, tools and jigs are the discussed norm.  Tom designed, built and posted his creation to Lumberjocks.com.  He used some scrap pieces and built it with hand tools.  If you have a container of scraps and wonder what you can do with it, you might consider making something small, useful, and quick.  And it makes for a nice gift too.  Thanks go to Tom for bringing this to our attention.  For dimensions and other pictures click here.

Mentoring in the EMGW

Mentoring in the Guild takes many forms.  Everything from a brief conversation or email on a particular technique to a full-blown cooperative effort to build an entire piece.  Most mentoring occurs informally among members.  However, the Mentor Program provides an easy way, especially for new members, to get involved in mentoring.  Members listed on the Mentor Program page of this website have expressed a willingness to help other members in a variety of ways.

To read more about the Mentor Program, click here or navigate to About Us then Mentor Program.  To see the list of Mentor members with their interests and contact information, click here or navigate to Members then Mentors.

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