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December 2020 Newsletter

Hi [subscriber:firstname | default:subscriber],

Next Meeting

The next VIWG meeting will be December 8th. The meeting will be online via Zoom as we have done for the past few meetings. Here's the link!

Neil Bosdet Victoria is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: VIWG December General Meeting
Time: Dec 8, 2020 07:00 PM Vancouver
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 853 6708 2058

NOTICE: Our scheduled presentation below with Robert Van Norman has to be postponed until the spring due to a scheduling conflict. We will fill our meeting with our Fall Challenge Toys for Santa's Anonymous, a shop tour and possibly a safety topic.

Our presenter will be Robert Van Norman, Resident Craftsman and Teacher with the Inside Passage Woodworking School. Read more about the school.

Mentored by James Krenov, Robert is the founder and resident craftsman and teacher at the school. After providing the afternoon lecture he can found at his workbench. When not at the school, he can be found walking in the woods, or in his workshop, home to Jim's original workbench, hand tools and machines, where he continues to enjoy the richness of our chosen material and the many subtitles of the craft.

Robert completed a traditional apprenticeship under master cabinetmaker Erich Janisch, further refining his skills at the College of the Redwoods, now the Krenov School, then under the direction of James Krenov. In 1991 he founded a small woodworkers cooperative where he began to make commissioned and speculative pieces of his own design. Robert’s work has been exhibited throughout North America, Europe and Japan. He has taught and lectured internationally.

What is Happening in the Guild

The Fall Challenge has finished with projects (toys) being donated to CFAX Santa's Anonymous. Thirteen Guild members participated creating 37 toys. The toys were collected and delivered to Santa's Anonymous by Rick Lloyd. As you can see by the numbers several members built and donated more than one toy. Randy Dalquist put together 10 cars and a doll bed! The staff at Santa's Anonymous were absolutely amazed and overwhelmed by the VIWG donations. Of particular interest were the small wooded cars that make fantastic stocking stuffers. What an excellent activity for the Guild to contribute to the community and advertise woodworking! See all of the contributions here.
The VIWG Facebook Group continues to be active and growing with over 30 members. If you haven't already joined the action, click here for instructions. This is becoming a very interactive way for Guild members to exchange ideas and show completed projects.
Wendy Ratcliff contacted Dale Brotherton to ask about Japanese Tool contacts. Here is the info he sent:
The tool sellers I mentioned are both in the San Francisco area. The first is at http://hidatool.com/. This is the only merchant left with a storefront. They have the most stock. Then there is https://suzukitool.com/, online or phone only. Sayuri, the owner provides very conscientious personal service. Limited stock, but will get anything if you can wait. Dealers in Japan:
Hopefully Dale will be joining us again in the near future for another interesting presentation. Dale Brotherton TAKUMI COMPANY(206) 622-2804 Office(206) 890-4837 Cell dale@japanesecarpentry.com .

Mick Harvey and the milling crew were busy restocking the wood supplies in the Wood Recovery Program.
Big thanks to all the hardy souls who braved the cold, and even a tiny mist of rain Saturday morning. We got a lot done, despite the 8 inch spike in the huge Garry oak.
Garry Oak 397 bdf
Red Oak 360 bdf
Elm 254 bdf
London plane 111 bdf
Cedar of Lebanon 360 bdf

All nicely labelled and organized thanks to Jeff, so no reason not to pick out the wood you want. We will try to schedule another session later in the winter. There is still a lot of wood to saw up.
Meanwhile Phil Makin was also busy selling wood to students from the Fine Furniture Program at Camosun on a brisk Sunday morning, November 15th. These students are granted member status and when they graduate, their first year of membership is funded by our regular members. Thanks to all of you for making this benefit possible. Several Guild members purchased wood in the afternoon. We sold 600 board feet of lumber and slabs the majority of which went to students. A successful day with $1,500 in sales at our masked socially distanced sale. Big thanks from me to Frank Letchford for his assistance with the sale. All payments were made by e-transfer and Dany wrapped it up within a day, thanks Dany! We have no people currently on the future interest list and no date set for a future sale. If you are interested in wood (almost all will need some curing before use) before the end of 2020, fire an email to Phil by December 5th at pmakin@shaw.ca, he will try to get you what you are looking for. Very unusual for the Guild, some nice dry donated yellow Cedar 12" X 4" X 7feet (two pieces). There are also some wide board 1" cedar. Congratulations to Phil on the publication of his first blog "What's in Store" that gives members some interesting insights into the wood available for sale and their characteristics. Stay tuned for more from Phil in the near future.

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 (www.miwg.ca/events). Getting to the location of the wood sales can be a bit tricky the first time so check the directions here.

Buy and Sell

There is a feature on the website menu "Buy and Sell" that allows members to see a list of items that are for sale or that are wanted. A listing can also be posted on the website. Click here for more details.

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!

A Christmas Story

This is an excerpt from Rocky, the "Final" Chapter. (read entire story)
Many of you will be aware of the “Rocky Horse Story” that I posted 2 years ago. This follow-up is the epilog to that tale.
I have struggled with how to sell a medium-sized rocking horse that has a real value of approximately $4300 - a price that was confirmed on a UK site advertising a similar horse.
Tony and Rocky
Finally, about a week ago in early November, I received a text message from a very dear friend of mine whose wife had recently died. Two years ago when I completed Rocky, both David Shepherdson, and his partner, Brenda were extremely complimentary about the completed work and the peculiar events that had resulted in my undertaking to become a carver of such a large first project. They were also very supportive of my efforts to find a sale for Rocky and offered suggestions for a number of potential approaches that might solve my dilemma. In that recent communication, my friend, David, said that he felt strongly that it was time that I should resolve the disposal of Rocky. To that end, he laid out his suggestion:
  • my responsibility would be a requirement to donate Rocky to any
    charitable organization that could make use of Rocky.
    Having done that…
  • David would donate $4000 to the Nanaimo Hospital Foundation (Patricia Davies was the wife of Douglas Davies, the originator of the Rocky project)
An email to Michelle Solloway at Vancouver Island Exhibition resulted in a very quick and enthusiastic response to let me know that the question would be put to the Directors at a meeting the very next day. Two days later I received a positive
agreement to accept Rocky. I contacted my very generous friend, David,
and within minutes, a donation of $4000 had been made to Nanaimo
Hospital Foundation in memory of Patricia Davies.
Thus, the tale of Rocky concludes happily! Nanaimo Hospital Foundation
has a most generous donation, Douglas Davies’ final wishes have been
honoured, I have learned how to carve and accomplished a piece of art of
which I am very proud, and Rocky has found a most appropriate home
where he will hopefully entertain many children for years!
Many thanks to all who have made this possible, and especially to David,
my wife Sandy, and those folks mentioned here.

Tony Dobson (an edited version)

Christmas Presents

I’m keeping busy always some sawdust or shavings on the floor or into my sanding station. The past month I made a cribbage board as a Christmas gift for my so-in-law and then two toddler sized toys for the VIWG December Challenge. See attached. The cribbage board is VIWG 3/8” arbutus from about seven years ago plus some salvaged black walnut in 1/8” pieces and the base is 5/8” dogwood. Lots of drilling; I used a Lee Valley paper pattern sized to 87% and made a 1/8” lexan template for the holes with two alignment pins to ensure perfect alignment, almost 400 1/8” holes. The board is held together with two ¾” rare earth magnets in the base and corresponding washers in the top; the finish is satin oil/wax.
The toddler toys are my design and are ¾” local walnut with shop turned 1 ¾” spalted maple wheels glued to 3/8” dowel axles with an oil/wax food safe finish.

Brian McLaurin


I know many of you have made toys for this Christmas.My son Brendan is an occupational therapist and sent me an email to make him some Astro-boards. Here is his note. "An Astronaut Board is a wooden board with a lazy susan turntable mounted to the bottom. The board is used by Occupational Therapists as a therapy to enhance the integration of the vestibular and visual system. Children lie on the board and are spun in both directions to get balanced input out to their inner ear. The boards are available for purchase online for ~$300.00 US. John was able to make 4 for about the same price and provide them to several of Brendan’s clients who would not have been able to purchase them. " I made them from 3/4 inch birch plywood 32 X 24 doubled for tops and 18 inches square for the bases. I then attached the turntables from Princess Auto to the bottoms.Through holes in the bottom we placed 4 screws to hold the top on. Brendan and I glued 1 inch foam on them then covered them with vinyl so they can be disinfected between patients.
Brendan's clients could not afford the roughly $500 each so now they can use these. Google "Spin Boards" for more info. It was a great gift for 4 families.

John McCann

An Occasional Table

Aside from the Christmas toys (which were fun) I recently completed a new occasional table for our living room. The top is made from Guild Arbutus which I stabilized with some Wenge bowties. The base is made from Black Walnut which I turned on my lathe.
2020-11-05 08.54.09
Edge- 01 copy
Details- 01 copy
Full-InSitu- 06 copy

Glenn Bartley

Two Beds

I've slowly been working away at a couple of projects, getting shop time when and where I can since I don't have my own space yet. I finally got 2 beds finished this month. One is simple, no real joiner, just pocket screws and mortised in bed brackets from Lee Valley, made from framing lumber.
It's for my friend's son and is also the first piece I've been commissioned to make since finishing the Camosun program this year. I stained it and finished it with a couple coats of wipe on poly. He is really happy with it and it'll last till he moves out of home, so mission accomplished. The second is a bed frame for myself made from Garry Oak from the guild. The frame is done and I will be making a headboard for it eventually out of Garry Oak and Walnut. I'm definitely looking forward to having my own tools and shop one day, but for now I'll pick away at projects when I get the chance.

Alia Saurini

A River Runs Through

I have been working on a live edge epoxy river table for my son. We bought an arbutus slab from the VIWG about 3 years ago. Finally, we cut the slab down the middle and faced the live edges together to make the “River”. Then came the process of flattening on a homemade jig.
After sealing the bottom with poly and caulking to keep the epoxy from running too far, we poured it over some river stones we embedded to give it a real river look. There is some blue dye and some glow-in-the-dark compound added.
After much sanding, we poured a couple final coats of clear epoxy to give this look. Note to self “Quit taking on large projects like this!”

Jeff Cutler

An Eggnog Perch!

Here’s the work in progress in my shop right now. It’s My second attempt at a welsh stick chair. This one is made from local rescued garry oak. Assembly went well yesterday and it got its first coat of milk paint today. Two coats of black milk paint and a coat of osmo to follow. Should be a good perch for swilling eggnog over the holidays.
image 1

Stephen Connolly

A Memorial

Recent shadow box for a fellow submariner and friend who ended it all on Remembrance Day.
Frame is made from aromatic cedar and base us made from an unknown piece from the back of my short stuff pile. Whole thing is finished with a coat of Howard's Feed-n-Wax wood preserver.

Andrew Ryskamp

A Stool for the Gardener

I received a request this past summer for a short stool that would be suitable for outdoor use on uneven ground. Upon searching the WEB for ‘three legged stools’ I came across ‘milking stools’. This seemed to be the perfect type of stool for the task...short, stable and rugged. Guild wood-recovery Garry Oak was chosen for its weather-resistant properties, and pigmented OSMO was applied to seal it.
It was my first experience designing legs with compound angles, and I quickly ditched SketchUp in favour of a pencil and protractor! Overall, a fun project.

Frank Letchford

Neil Bosdet

President, VIWG