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July 2020 Newsletter

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Next Meeting

The next VIWG meeting will be September 8th. The meeting will be held at Lee Valley Tools or online via Zoom as we have done for the past few meetings. We will update you next month. Our last meeting however was the Annual General Meeting and our new Executive Committee was introduced (click here).


June 14th, seven logs were milled for a total of 717 bd ft.
June 17th, six logs were milled for a total of 622 bd ft.
June 27th, five logs were milled for a total of 534 bd ft.
Thanks to all of those who volunteered to help out fortunately the weather cooperated for the most part!

Wood Recovery Program

A big thanks goes out to Michael Harvey and his milling team for organizing three milling sessions lately and our wood storage shed is bulging at the seams. There is some more Garry Oak as well as some new and interesting woods such as red oak, catalpa, maple, and ailanthus. The Garry Oak came from the Gorge Vale Golf Course and the other logs were donated to us by Dan Sharpe from Davey Tree Service.
We have started to get the shed organized by tagging the ends of each piece with the date milled, board feet and species. This will help people pick out the wood they want without having to pull entire stacks of wood apart and it will also help with One-on-One sales that Phil Makin has been doing since less people are needed than when we do a full-on sale.
There is more work to do in organizing the shed and I will put a call out to VIWG members in the near future, looking for volunteers to help moving and tagging boards.

Wood Recovery Sale for Students

After the June 7 sale to VIWG/MIWG members we decided to have a sale for the students in this year's Camosun Fine Furniture Program.
Sandra Carr, Head Instructor, set up the appointments and we sold great material to five students. One student attended both sales. She is building a Queen sized bed and needed more project ready Garry Oak.
We also took the opportunity to confirm with them the method of obtaining a Guild membership. They simply register themselves on our web based system as a student graduate and receive one year membership.
These students had an unusual year to say the least. It is hoped that this little gesture for them shows that the Guild welcomes these folks. They are all now skilled woodworkers, young and energetic!
Stay tuned for an early fall sale. With the recent milling work, we have a shed full of great wood.

Guild Membership Cards

Now that we’re not having our in-person meetings, membership cards are being distributed the old fashioned way…Canada Post. These cards allow members to take advantage of the discounts offered by our sponsors, details can be found on our website ( Many cards have been sent out for those who have renewed their membership recently but if you’re in need of an update, please notify Blair Matheson at

Mid-Island Woodworkers (MIWG) Wood Sale

The Mid-Island Woodworkers Guild conduct wood sales on a regular basis and VIWG Members are welcome to participate. Check the MIWG website for dates and times ( Getting to the location of the wood sales can be a bit tricky the first time so check the directions here.

Do You Have Some Workshop Items You No Longer Use?

If you have tools or jigs that are taking up valuable space in your workshop and
  • you are no longer using them
  • they are in good condition
Then bring them along to the Guild meeting and give them to Randy so they can be part of the evening raffle.

We Want to Hear from You

The following articles have been provided by you to share with other VIWG Members. Thanks to all of you for your input!

Puzzle Boxes/Router Table

So, at this year’s AGM Bruce Thomson presented photos of his puzzle boxes. I liked them and since I struggle with boxes I thought these looked like good challenges.
Bruce sent me the plans, from Woodsmith (in case retribution required) and I finally finished some chores and found a quiet time to look them over.
Everything looked like fun until the third or fourth sentence and I looked at some of the diagrams and realized I needed a router table.
I have a router. I have three different machines that spin like crazy and scare the begeezums out of me and I have learned to use and respect them, but I still approach their use with a slight sense of trepidation! And since a router firmly placed in a table is safer than one torquing in my hands I had to dig up some plans from my time at the Studio Woodworking program at the Okanagan College in Kelowna.
Finished the table yesterday and now I just have to go buy a bit. Puzzle boxes will be attempted with VIWG arbutus.
Eric Scott

The Gunwales

Modest but reasonably difficult wood jobs lately, plus a garden that needs a lot of watering and weeding. And chasing rabbits out of. And some softball practices, with minimal social distancing. But they do have bars of soap at the drinking fountain.
A fellow wanted new gunwales on his 16' canoe. Westwind carries what they call Canoe Ash, clear, over one inch thick and 18 ft long. $10/bf.! I had to work it with my circular saw and belt sander outdoors. Not easy since I could barely lift the plank but it eventually worked and the fellow seemed happy.
Now a tricky project to make a tripod for a fellow who found me through the Wood Guild site. It will be Garry Oak nearly four ft high with a thick flat top to which will be clamped a large very heavy ornate solid brass device that is really a glorified cork screw. He admits most wines have screw tops now but this is an heirloom conversation piece that, assuming I do a decent job, will have pride of place in his dining room.
Michael Harvey

A Mantle Box

It happens sometimes when I am paging through a woodworking magazine that a project will catch my eye. This was the case with this project but what caught my eye was the title “mantle box”. As it turns out, this was not only a mantle box but also a “shelf box”. What makes this box unique is that there is no lid but a pair of doors so the box can sit on a mantle or in a bookcase on a shelf and still be useful!
This mantle box is made out of black walnut and maple with brass hardware.
Bruce Thomson

New Sharpening System

As for the shop, I purchased a sharpening system and am in the process of sharpening my jointer and planer blades. now comes the time to put them back. I have devised a magnetic holder to keep the blades in place and at the same setting for each of the three blades. I hope it will work. that is supposed to happen today.
other news, I sold my Porsche so that took up a few days getting it ready, getting paperwork done and getting paid. all done now.
Rick Lloyd

The Console Table Commission

I’ve been having some fun in my shop lately. After getting some dry Garry Oak lately from the VIWG woodshed, I started on a console table that my daughter wanted me to make for her. Here is a photo of what she wants:
The “medallion” in the center is where I was stuck for a while, trying to decide on how I would cut and shape the rounded pieces and also, how to attach them together. I decided to make a jig to cut the double curves using the circle jig on my router. Here’s a pic of the set-up with a practice piece inserted:
The router circle jig had to work from two pivot points to make the two curves like so: So, I made four double curves and they looked like this:
The assembly method I used was dowels and here’s how it looks when put together:
Jeff Cutler

Homes for the Birds

It’s not fine woodworking but a fun way to use scrap pieces of cedar. These are ‘faux’ bird houses that bring a bit of colour to the back yard after the flowers die off.
Blair Matheson

Recently from Nanaimo

I'm a recent transplant from Nanaimo to the greater Victoria area - Sidney infact. For the past approx. 13 years in Nanaimo I ran a modest 800 sq foot shop producing upscale home furnishings and giftware. At times I had an apprentice working with me but mostly I worked alone. The majority of my creative works were sold from coastal resorts such as the Wickaninnish Inn in Tofino, during this long association with these resorts I was fortunate to have my works find new homes from New York city to Tasmania. I took a hiatus from gallery work pending this move. A small sample of my work can be viewed on my web landing page - if you're so inclined. Since moving to Sidney in Apr. I have been endeavoring to get my shop, which is now 400 sq ft - up and running. The move along with other demands have slowed my process of getting set up. I had to invest in new equipment as the purchaser of our Nanaimo property did a side deal buying a lot of my old equipment. I'm looking forward to getting back to work, being a part of this group, and hopefully having meetings resume sooner rather than later. I'm always interested in hearing from other people who create artistic works in all mediums.
Robert Waddell

Seeking Some Advice

I am in the process of making a large end grain maple cutting board. I have glued and planed the boards approximately 2.75 in thick, 24 in wide and 30 in long. The next step is to crosscut the material and glue the boards with the end grain up. I was planning on using my Festool track saw. I should have checked the maximum depth of cut on my saw before hand, turns out my saw can’t cut completely thru the material in one pass. I suppose I could make the cuts on one side, flip the material over and cut through but It’s not ideal.
I am looking for some advice on how to proceed. Should I proceed with the method described above using my tracksaw? Should I make a sled for my table saw and go that route? Is there somewhere I can take the material to and have it cut?
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Bill Marshall

A Traditional Workbench

There’s always something going on in my shop but my most recently completed project has been a tradItional style workbench.
Over the past few years my interest in hand tools and traditional woodworking has grown substantially. Although I’ve collected a decent array of basic hand tools I still didn’t have a solid workbench to use them on. I really enjoy working with salvaged and reclaimed materials so when I found a pile of Douglas fir timber that was being disposed of on a construction site, I quickly bundled it up and began planning my workbench build. After some research I settled on the French style bench found in Chris Schwarz’s book “Workbenches”.
Although I did use powered equipment to joint and plane the stock, I tried to do as much of the remaining work by hand using traditional methods and tools. This includes cutting the tenons, chopping the mortises, and flattening the top. I used M&T joints throughout, strengthen with draw bore pins that I made from an old oak pallet I found. These tasks provided me with hours of entertainment and a fair bit of exercise!
I’m very pleased with the bench now that it is complete. The final dimensions are 100”L x 27”D x “38H. The top and legs are 5” thick and the stretchers are 2-1/2” thick. It weighs a couple hundred pounds and is solid as a rock. I’m currently working on adding a leg vise and sliding dead man as well as drilling holes for my holdfasts and planing stops.
Jason Levesque

A Closet Organizer

Well so far I’ve been trying my hand at building a closet organizer for my daughter. Tricky part has been that I am renting my space so it can not be a permanent fixture. I will share pictures as things progress.
I will share pictures as things progress. I was doing some dry fitting for the drawers. First time making boxes alone so it’s been a steep learning curve.
Shawn Oliver

From Router Table to Pencil Boxes

So the router table is built and before I could start in the puzzle boxes I recalled that I had a FWW 21 Small Projects lying around. I had promised my wife, not that she really cared, that it would be good skill tuning if I started at page one and built my way through to page end.
Project One, pencil boxes, also required the same but as the puzzle boxes, and since the cuts weren’t as critical I chose to build a couple of those instead.
One in VT cherry, the other in BC yellow cedar. Lacquer and wax for one and finishing up a Tung oil finish this weekend on the other. Splines are sapele.
Had to buy a 1/8 inch router bit and a 1/8 inch chisel. Any article that incites a tool purchase is a good article.
Happy 4th out there!
Eric Scott

Neil Bosdet
President, VIWG