Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Guess Whose Shop was Featured in a Fine Woodworking YouTube Video

Yup, Ben Strano of Fine Woodworking made the trip up to Carleton Place to visit non-other than our own Vic Tesolin's shop. The visit was videographed and published on YouTube on November 14th. Here's a link to the video if you'd like to see it.

Monday, 13 November 2017

Four Points -- No, Five! -- about December's Meeting on Tuesday the Fifth:

There are four things to say about December's meeting: No, five!

Christmas Social

First is that December's meeting is our Christmas Social.  Of course, by Christmas we mean a time of year, not a particular sect.  Every faith through to null-faith is welcome.  By calling it a Social, we are taking the pressure off our Program Director Rob to stage a formal show.  Instead, there will be lots of milling about and a hodgepodge of informal, spontaneous Shows-and-Tell.

Dovetail Challenge

The second thing to know is Rob couldn't keep from organizing something, so he proposes our first-ever Dovetail Challenge.  Inspired by Three-Minute Dovetail Challenges on YouTube, Rob wants anyone who is interested, experienced or novice, to take the challenge at the meeting.  Tailers will be timed, and prizes will be awarded to the nicest and to the fastest joints.  It's a BYOT -- meaning Bring Your Own Tools -- Challenge.  The boards were generously supplied by Wood Source who were quoted as saying "Sure, no problem."  Now if you'd like a little inspiration before practising, take a look at the video shown at the November meeting, and view the video cited, but not shown, at the meeting.

Show-and-Tell Theme

Number three is that December's Christmas Social, like every meeting, will have a Show-and-Tell, and like some meetings, a theme.  December's theme is the gifts you're making for this time of year.  Now maybe yours are not yet finished by the 5th of December.  No problem, bring them in nevertheless.  And if you have something off-theme, bring it in too.  For those who do not enjoy public speaking, no problem, you can just leave the items on a table for us to see.

Public Invitation

The fourth thing to know is that the public is invited to the Christmas Social  Here, take a look at this post card, of which physical copies have been spread around town.

Now we know the card says to bring it in, but you don't have to.  Just show up, we'll be happy to see you.

Tool Swap

And late-breaking Number Five: The December meeting is a perfect occasion -- think: more tables than chairs -- for us to hold a tool swap, so bring in tools you'd like to sell and a tool box full of cash. Roger will have a special set of tools being sold on behalf of one of our members who can no longer use his shop. Roger is bringing several Veritas planes for sale at about half their listed price. He will also have photos of available power tools. So, let's make it a "thing" and bring in tools you'd like to sell or even give away.

Saturday, 21 October 2017

Ken Dixon's Synopsis of the November Meeting: Tuesday, 07-Nov-17

Workbenches, the name of the game for the 50 people who attended the November meeting.

For the main presentation, Rob, with the help of slides, gave a lot of great information about work benches, from their history, to all the different work holding devices, both old and new, and different accessories to be used on your shop bench. He also had his newly completed Split Top Roubo bench set up and discussed its design and advantages.

After Rob's presentation, Gary, using Rob's bench and Roger's Moxon vise, gave a demonstration on how, over the past 40 yrs, he has hand-cut through-dovetails.
After the break Jocelyn inaugurated a new feature of meetings with his Screw-up-and-Tell item. An attempt to make some pulls for drawers did not turn out as well as he had hoped. Lesson? Measure all the hole-spacings when upgrading pulls, not just the first one.
It was great to see so many people bring their Show-and-Tell items. It began with Roger and his Moxon vise, then his wonderful Kumiko latticework, small and large.

Standing behind his teaser leg vise, Dean had a slide show of the making of his split top Roubo bench.

Brian showed his Miter Jack with a bit of an explanation on how it works.

Rolf was next with his first two attempts at some veneer work. They look great, Rolf.

James sent the bench theme back a couple of millennia with his newly completed Roman bench.

George played a video of himself giving an explanation and demonstration of his adaptation of a Moxon vise. See it here:

Matt showed off his new mallet, a beautifully executed first project. Bravo Matt! ==>

And apologies to Denis for not having a photo: he permanently affixes small blocks to his hold fasts to prevent marring workpieces when they're held at the bench.

Be sure to see our separate post about December's meeting. In addition to being a social get-together, December's meeting invites the public to attend, and will feature a three minute (or longer) dovetail challenge. Details are in the post a little higher up.

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Tuesday October 3 Meeting Summary

Programme Director Rob Suarez opened the session with announcements, among them that photos of the meetings taken by President James Ferris will be uploaded onto Instagram under the banner of ottawa_woodworkers_association.  If you've "Shown-And-Told" be sure to sign a waiver for permission to upload your photo.

Following last month's presentation by Emil of Clarence Creek Wood Select, the October meeting featured Jim Hendry.  Jim gave a very interesting and informative talk about the Eastern Ontario Model Forest (EOMF), an organization that certifies properly managed woodlands and their products.  With the help of slides he informed us not only about the EOMF but the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council).  To find out more about the EOMF visit the web site  Thanks Jim for all the great information.
There was lots of visiting during the break as well as Gary selling 50/50 tickets and people paying their yearly dues.

Jack Schwass will be giving another sharpening seminar at his place.  If you are interested in finding out what sharp really is contact Jack by email at:

After the break came Show and Tell.  Rolf showed off a chair, or, more precisely, the cardboard mock-up of what will become his chair over the next few months.  He has promised to keep us all up to date on his progress.
John was next with his cutting boards.  It was the opinion of everyone in the room that they are far too nice to be used as cutting boards.
Charles brought in his Ash bench with the top joined to the legs using large finger joints.
Dean also brought in his mock-up of his version of a Maloof chair. His mock-up rather than cardboard was made from various scraps of wood. He to will keep us in the know of his progress.
Mark had a couple of Beer totes to show. One not so well designed as it didn't fit bottles very well and cans not at all. The second one works much better.
He also made a dust pan to help in the clean up of all the dust he is making in his shop now that he has a Rikon jointer-planer.  Or was that for the bottle caps?
George had his latest LED reading lamp to show us.  Powered by rechargeable batteries and turning it on/off by touching the hinge at the back it truly is something that enlightened us all. George has an eight-part series on You Tube on the lamp's construction including detailed background on the electronics and bent-wood lamination.  The link to his channel is in the sidebar.
Finally to wrap up the evening Ken showed the storage box he made to keep his diamond sharping stones and jig safe, in one place and dust free.
Safe woodworking and we will see you November 7th.
Ken Dixon

Friday, 8 September 2017

Tuesday, September 12, 2017 Meeting Summary:  Season Launch

The first meeting of the 2017/18 season kicked off with about 40 people in attendance.
Rob started things off with some house keeping which included a reminder that dues are due.  Dues have not changed from the last few years so please break into the piggy bank and bring in your money at the next meeting, or go to the OWA web site to pay on-line.  Rob also issued a call for members to bring in things for Show & Tell.  Finished or not we just want to see what you have been working on. 

Rob wants to know what you the members would like to see presented at upcoming meetings.  As a program coordinator he is always looking for ideas.  Let him know by email at and he will see what he can do to make it happen.

After the announcements, Rob handed the floor over to Emil who has taken over Clarence Creek Wood Select.  Emil gave a very informative and entertaining slide show presentation, not only about the products and services they offer, but also his history in woodworking and how he came to take over the business.
After a short break with some visiting and 50/50 ticket sales, four people presented their Show and Tell items.  Rob Burch showed three serving trays he has made.
Ken Dixon showed a wall hanging zig zag wine rack.
Gary DeVries had some slides of a desk he made with some turned corner columns which he did in an very interesting way. He glued four workpieces using two layers of newspaper in the joints, turned the block of four as one column, then split the column along the newspaper to get four pieces, each with a quarter-turned face backed by two square faces.
Denis Chenard showed a turned mallet to replace one that someone had re-homed.
Have a safe month in the shop and we will see you at the next meeting on October 3rd.
Ken Dixon