Eastern Massachussetts Guild of Woodworkers

Upcoming Guild Events

October 19, 2024 9:00 AM • Woodcraft Walpole
November 09, 2024 9:00 AM • Woodcraft, Walpole MA
December 14, 2024 9:00 AM • Lowell Makes, Lowell MA

Guild Project - Make a Shaving Horse

Have you ever wanted to build yourself a shave (or shaving) horse?  Rob Carver is looking for members interested in coming together to make one. We would convene just a few times, select a basic design, discuss construction issues, and then go off on our own independently to fabricate the parts and ultimately assemble the horses. At the end of the project, we can saddle up and hold our own rodeo. The entire project can be made from construction lumber and cutoffs that you probably have in your shop. Depending on interests and preferences of the participants, we can begin this summer or in the fall.

Please email Rob at  robert.carver@comcast.net with expressions of interest and questions.

Upcoming Non-Guild Events

No upcoming events

EMGW Board of Directors 2024-2025

On June 8, 2024, the following members were unanimously elected to the EMGW Board of Directors for the Program Year 2024 - 2025.

President: Rob Carver

Vice-President: Andrew Davis

Treasurer: John George

Secretary: Tom Shirley

Woodworking Tip for June 2024 Carving Gouge Sharpening Jig

President's End of Term Message - Looking Back and Forward

As my term as president of the EMGW ends, I wanted to report back to the membership about how the Guild has developed and improved over the past two years.  As I thought about it, it became more and more clear that the Guild is all about the people in it. So here is a list of Guild accomplishments and some of the people responsible:

First, we have had a tremendous growth in membership. For a number of years, our rolls were in the 80 to 100 range. As I write this on May 20th, we now have 128 active members. Geographically, we are also widening our reach with several members from Rhode Island and a group on the Cape. Although word of mouth helps, our presence on the internet is likely our main drawing force. If you Google “Woodworking Club MA”, we are the first search result. Thanks to our great web team of Vincent Valvo, Jim Russell and Tom Shirley our website and social media has steadily gotten better with more features, links and information.  

Second, again thanks to the tremendous work of Vincent, our monthly meeting reminder emails have been totally transformed into a full multi-featured newsletter. Please send him news and Featured Piece articles!

Third, at the urging of Jim Tartaglia, Vincent, Wyatt Mills, and Rob Carver (who became chairperson), we have developed the Newcomer Committee which reaches out to all new members and tries to make the process of joining a new group easier. The committee now also has Steve Hoffmann, Dick Belanger and Andrew Davis. An outgrowth of that has been our lunch get togethers after our regular Saturday meetings where long-timers and newbies can talk and answer questions.

Fourth, another new group started a few months ago – the Traditional Woodworking Interest Group (TWIG) after Wyatt Mills raised the idea and had a tremendous positive response.  TWIG meets the first Tuesday of the month on Zoom.

Fifth, another sub-group has just started after an inquiry from someone traveling to the area. The Cape Woodworkers have had an initial meeting last month at Jim Viera’s house and are planning again for the end of June.

Sixth, Andrew Davis, editor of our Getting Started in Woodworking and author of the monthly Bevel Cut column had started the Tip of the Month feature on the website. This is a new endeavor so please send your ideas to Andrew.

Seventh, the Program Committee under Jim Tartaglia and then Rob Carver has provided a wide ranging set of Saturday morning meetings, utilizing both nationally known experts and Guild members. They and the rest of the committee, Howard Barnstone, John LeJeune, Neal Carey, Mike Roughan, Andrew Davis, Chris Haeni and Marc Holland have been hard at work for the 2024-2025 season. The committee also established great relations with two new meeting venue sites – Needham Furniture Makers and the Lowell Makes makerspace.

Sixth, we have expanded our connections with woodworking vendors – obtaining special discounts from Reader Hardwoods in Taunton and Barney and Carey Lumber in Avon. We also had donations – Mike Bossin’s idea - to the annual auction (helping auctioneer Jim Tartaglia and assistant Scott Brown) from the Woodcrafts in Woburn and Walpole, Reader Hardwoods, Barney and Carey and Lee Valley.

Seventh, last year we had two member-led group projects, Shaker stools by Steve Hoffmann and wavy cutting boards by Jeff Clunie. Their efforts were most appreciated by all those who participated, both for the woodworking and the social interactions. Looking back, for me the Guild project of making toys a number of years ago was where I truly became involved.

Eighth, under the guidance of Jim Russell, the video team (Mike Roughan, Marc Holland and Chris Haeni) is now a coherent group with new equipment and a standardized protocol for recording and “Zooming” meetings.

Ninth, the Furniture Interest Group (FIG) has continued to meet both virtually and in-person (at different members houses – thanks to you all!) the third Monday of the month under the continued guidance of past president Tim Holiner.

Tenth, after many years “in the red”, the Coffee Committee (Len Nyren and Don Fye) finally turned a profit at the April meeting.

Eleventh, 29 Guild members now can proudly wear their EMGW denim work shirts and seven also have logo hats. We also have hats as gifts for our paid meeting presenters. Graphic designer Linda Smith is currently working on improving our embroidery design. (As always, I’m always collecting names of those who want Guild gear, but it becomes pricey unless I have a large order).

Twelfth, the Executive Board (Me, V.P. Rob Carver, Treasurer John George, Secretary Tom Shirley) and the Web Co-administrators, Jim Russell and Vincent Valvo, have been working in the background. We have reorganized the Guild’s document and photo storage system, centralized a lot of procedures and have created written job descriptions to assist new officers and committee chairs. We now have privacy and cookie policies for the website. Our treasurer has been regularly updating the membership on our financial status. Lastly, the Board has purchased Officers and Directors and General Liability insurance policies so that we are more in line with similar groups across the country.        

I’ve named a number of people but also want to separately thank Jim Russell who is stepping down after many years as our Web Administrator and also as our video supervisor and editor. Vincent Valvo and Tom Shirley as co-admins will share on-line communications such as website, newsletter, and social media as well as supporting the Executive Board in their pursuits.

I also want to thank V.P. Rob Carver who greatly expanded his contribution to the Guild by heading the Program Committee and Newcomer Committee this past year, neither of which are in the official VP job description. He has also kept us thinking with his monthly Measure Twice, Cut Once essays

I joined the Guild in 2014 as a new woodworker not knowing anyone. Somehow, I progressed from Coffee Committee to Program Committee, to Chair of that group, to VP and now President. Along the way I’ve made a number of good friends and met lots of great people. I’ve named just a few above.

As I step down from my official position (though not going anywhere), I urge you all to volunteer to share your knowledge and enthusiasm for woodworking with the group.  The Guild is the people who share in the mission of contribution, improvement, and volunteerism.

If I don’t see you at the June meeting, have a wood filled summer!

Ken Zoller

A Picture of Each Monthly Meeting during 2023-2024


Credits Vincent Valvo

Show and Tell at the End of Year Party

June 2024

Credits Vincent Valvo and Tom Shirley

Bevel Cut

All Bevel Cut articles have been archived to the Resources section.  Navigate from the Home Page to Resources > Bevel Cut Articles for the full list.

Andrew will return for a new edition in the September 2024 season.

Andrew welcomes your feedback.

Measure Twice, Cut Once - Wisdom From the Shop

All Measure Twice, Cut Once articles have been archived to the Resources section.  Navigate from the Home Page to Resources > Measure Twice, Cut Once Articles for the full list.

Rob will return with a new edition in the September 2024 season.

You can reach Rob by clicking Rob Carver.

Map of Member Locations

For in-person meetings, the possibility to carpool to monthly and FIG meetings, and other group gatherings may be of use to you.  Tom Shirley has updated the Member Map as of February, 2024 that displays members' locations on a Google map.  This is private information, so to access the map ou must be logged in.  To interact with the map, simply click the map above.  You can also click Member Map from the Member Map dropdown list.  Once there you can pan, zoom in and out, and click a pin to see the member's name and location.

Featured Piece of the Month

All Featured Piece of the Month articles have been archived to the Resources section.  Navigate from the Home Page to Resources > Featured Piece of the Month Articles for the full list.

In the meantime, please consider submitting an article to be published once we return to the start of the Program Year 2024-2025.  Remember this column is not necessarily dedicated to furniture pieces.  Tools, jigs, processes, and other woodworking related themes are also relevant.

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.

Andrew Hunter's Portfolio From His Guild Presentation

February 2024

Due to a strong request to know more about Andrew Hunter's work, Marc Holland has provided pictures of Andrew's furniture, work space, and other related pictures as seen below.  Scroll to the right or left for more pages. You can also click a picture for an enlarged view and then move to the next or previous picture.

In addition there were requests for a list of Andrew's presentation handouts click Japanese Tool Resources and Books and Japanese Tool Dealers and More Tool Resources for PDFs that can be downloaded or printed.

Starting out in Woodworking? EMGW Members Compiled a Guidebook for You

Considering getting into woodworking?  A team of members of EMGW has written a guidebook targeted for new woodworkers and a refresher for other woodworkers.

The guidebook is complimentary.  It can be viewed and downloaded for your reading pleasure.  We hope that reading the guidebook will engender interest in woodworking and membership in our guild.  Click here for a priceless copy.

Considerable work has already gone into renewing older and securing new discounts from various sources.  To review the list on the website you must first login then click Members and then Special Membership Discounts.

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