The Ottawa Woodworkers Association holds monthly meetings from September to June on the first Tuesday of each month.  We meet in the basement hall of Bethany Baptist Church at the West end of Centrepointe Drive where it meets Baseline (again), street address: 380 Centrepointe Drive.  Meetings begin at 7 PM and usually go until 9 PM.  Check the News page about a week before -- on the last Tuesday of the month -- to see what's in store for you at the upcoming meeting.  Non-members may attend two meetings as guests before deciding whether to join the club.

Summaries or slideshows of past meetings through to February 2013 are on the rest of this page, recent meetings first. Scroll down to see them.

Slideshow of OWA Meeting, April 7, 2015
Thanks to Wayne Richardson for the photos.

Slideshow of OWA Meeting, January 6, 2015
Thanks to Wayne Richardson for the photos.

Slideshow of OWA Meeting, December 2, 2014
Thank you to Wayne Richardson for the photos.

Slideshow of OWA Meeting, November 4, 2014
We thank Wayne Richardson for the photograhs.

Slideshow of OWA Meeting, October 7, 2014
Photography generously provided by Wayne Richardson.

Slideshow of OWA Meeting, September 2, 2014
Photo credits: Wayne Richardson.

OWA Meeting, Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014

11-Jun-14: Slideshow of the June Meeting.
Photos graciously donated by Wayne Richardson.

Gentle Reminders

I was gently reminded this week that I haven't provided the summary for the June meeting, and that has spurred me into action.
I am now gently reminding you that the OWA has lost its meeting site after only 5 months.  So, if you can suggest a site that can host up to 100 people on a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday night on a monthly basis, in a central location, with adequate parking, the club would love to hear from you.
Even with this meeting being the last of the 2013/2014 season, we still had 4 guests out for the meeting.  Maybe it was the free food.  Or the publicized tool sale/swap.

Summer Barbeque

This year's summer barbeque will be held on Sunday July 27 at Karen's work shop on Woodkilton Road. If not for the food or the camaraderie, plan on coming for the shop tour.
Danny Proulx Award The Danny Proulx Memorial Award was created to honor his memory and to recognize outstanding contributions toward the advancement of the association.
Past winners are:
  • 2005-2006  Bob Demers
  • 2006-2007  Chris vanderZwan
  • 2007-2008  Paul Mahood
  • 2008-2009  Marty Schlosser
  • 2009-2010  Jacques Jodoin
  • 2010-2011  Brian Greene
  • 2011-2012  Gary Devries
  • 2012-2013  Karen McBride
This is a very impressive list and indicates why the OWA has been able to develop and grow in its short history.  Winners of this award can be identified at club meetings as their name tags have gold edging.
Get to know these people, they're friendly, inspiring, and helpful.
This year is special as two names get added to the list.
  • 2013-2014  Vic Tesolin
  • 2013-2014  Jack Schwass

Show and Tell

Jocelyn Plourde entertained with his tip for making tapers by using a jointer instead of a table saw.  He also personally endorsed the Lee Valley Japanese mortiser bits.
Charles Anderson displayed a unique display rack for vintage whiskey bottles.  He made use of an old beam found in his garage and made a very effective and attractive display rack.  Charles sure does think outside the box.  In fact, he showed his version of a pin box inspired box holder for uniquely shaped bottles.


Executive positions were up for election in the last meeting of the year.  Since the current executive was reelected en masse without any competition I interpret that as wholehearted endorsement.

PresidentMick Shea
Vice-President/Program CoordinatorKen Dixon
TreasurerBrian Greene
SecretaryPaul Mahood
Public RelationsWayne Richardson
Non elected DirectorGary Devries
Non elected DirectorGeorge Fouriezos

Woodworks 2014

Vic reminded us that the club is hosting Woodworks 2014 at the Perth campus of Algonquin College on September 26-28.  Registrations are limited so if you want to insure your participation you should go to the web site and register.

Great Canadian Rust Junkie Fest (GCRJF)

Karen announced a vintage machinery day in Richmond, Ontario on Sunday, July 5.  You can find out more about it by visiting the Vintage Power Tools sub forum on the Canadian Woodworking web site forum.  There are links too on our own news page, our Opportunities page, and the OWA Facebook page.

Book Review

Karen reviewed the book The Golden Spruce by Jack Vaillant.  About an environmentalist who cut down an iconic tree in protest of clear cutting lumber practices, Karen found it very informative in its description of the lumber industry.  After reading it myself, I can also say it has a lot of scientific data related to trees and their growth.  The mystery of what happened to Grant Hedwin the environmentalist may be the weakest part of the book.

Next Meeting

The location, date and time of the next meeting are up in the air until the club can find a suitable spot.  Give it some thought and submit your suggestions.  Please.

A big thank you to Wayne Richardson for his photographs and to Terry McClean for his write up.  Make that "for his write-ups", as Terry is retiring his role of proceedings recorder.  If you would like to take on the role, please let your desire be known to the executive (  What better time to follow your dream than right now?

OWA Meeting, Tuesday, May 6th, 2014

He doesn't have a leg to stand on.

And of course, that's why long time OWA member Jack Schwass wasn't at this months meeting.  Jack has had a hip replacement and is still in recovery.  As much as he would have loved to join us, his mobility ruled that out.  He expects to resurface at the end of year June meeting.  However, in his state of health don't expect him to run for anything, like an executive position.

The club recognized the 100th paid up club member, Donna Sauve.  Donna will receive a free membership for 2014-2015.  This month's meeting also welcomed three guests and 4 new members, so the membership continues to grow.

The next meeting in June will be last meeting for the 2013-2014 year.  Elections will be held for executive positions at that meeting. If you're interested in getting more involved please contact the OWA executive.  A replacement will be needed next year to write the monthly meeting summaries for email distribution and for web site updates.

Information on the OWA summer barbeque will be announced at the June meeting.

Woodworks 2014

The OWA is organizing a woodworking conference on September 26-28 to be held at Perth campus of Algonquin College.  Tickets sales are limited to 200.  Fifty tickets have been sold already.  Admission for OWA members will be $225 and for the public $275.

For more information, check out the web site:

Show and Tell

Mick Shea showed off a portable travel bench that he built out of a Lee Valley bench top.  He was able to make two smaller benches out of the original LV bench top.  With the dog holes already in the bench top and with the inclusion of Benchcrafted Moxon hardware, Mick has a very impressive, functional, and portable workbench.  It's a real show piece.

Paul Mahood showed a jewelry box that he made for his granddaughter.  It was inspired by a Canadian Woodworking Magazine article.  Paul was able to make all of the drawer fronts from a single piece of spalted maple.  The pattern of the spalted wood flowed naturally from drawer to drawer.  However, Paul reported that the spalting had progressed to the point where the wood was getting spongy and he had to resort to flooding the wood with CA glue to stabilize it.

In Mark Allen's debut Show and Tell he talked about a tool he had made based on Roubo's reprinted and translated book To Make as Perfectly as Possible, available from Lost Art Press.  The tool was called a polissoir and was used to apply beeswax as a finish.  Mark told how he bought a whisk from Home Hardware and recycled the fibers from it to make the polissoir.  He bound the fibers together with twisted wire but speculated that cable ties might be equally effective.  Mark's wire wrapped brush looked pretty neat.  He passed around lots of examples of different woods that he had tried applying the wax finish with this tool.  Welcome Mark!

Lastly, Karen McBride showed pictures of her new sharpening table.  Having received a piece of corian from Brian Greene to function as the table top, she was looking for lots of storage under the top.  Her solution was to scour the used furniture sites on the web for sheet music cabinets.  She found one on and adapted it to her needs.  As usual, Karen finds interesting and attractive ways of equipping her shop.

A Look Back

In the fourth session of Karen's talks on the history of design, she concentrated on German-Austrian furniture maker Michael Thonet 1796-1871).  His chairs featured lots of bent and curved elements.  They are now known as cafe or bistro chairs.  The style is still in vogue today proving that good design has a long life.  Karen had two examples of these types of chairs although not attributable to Thonet.  One of them led a tough life in the Duke of Somerset lounge.

Feature Presentation

Chris Purney gave a well received introduction to using Sketchup to help design woodworking projects. It generated a lot of comments and questions from the membership so this might be software (free) that is worth the 20 to 40 hours of estimated investment needed to get proficient at it. Chris covered a lot of ground in his presentation, and with the rest of us sitting there desktopless, there are bound to be lots of forgotten details. It's a happy coincidence that our own Matthias Wandel, the very same M.W. at the helm of, made four short Sketchup videos designed to accelerate proficiency for woodworkers. If clicking the link does not get you to the video, here is the text to enter into the address field of your browser:

Next Meeting

The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, June3.  There will be tool swap fair as part of the June meeting.

Thank you to Terry McClean for the text and Wayne Richardson for the photography.

OWA Meeting, Tuesday, April 1st, 2014


Lots of changes so far in 2014.  Our new location is working well.  Winter is finally showing signs of being over.  This month's meeting changes the scale of woodworking from last month by going from timber framing last month to guitar making this month.  And Karen took a break from her interesting monthly presentations on furniture design.  Congratulations to Karen on the recent feature article on her work by The Ottawa Citizen.

Interest in the club continues to grow as evidenced by two new members and five guests at the April meeting.

President Mick Shea (right) and Andrew Strome
Peter Morrins

Woodworking in Africa

Peter Morrins, a structural engineer from Kingston, gave a talk on his involvement with a training school in Africa, in the Kilimanjaro District.  In 2001, a trades school was set up to specialize in the trades of tailoring, agriculture and carpentry.  Peter and his wife have been involved in the carpentry sector.  All student tuitions are funded by fund raising activities by the school.  About 30% of the students suffer from some form of disability.  As can be expected, any support for the school would be greatly appreciated. Peter serves as our Canadian contact to the school, and can be contacted by email:
Volunteers will be needed for future work projects.  It is expected that the school would like to get in to some kind of wood turning project.  A shipping container is being filled with donated tools for the school.  So, if you have tools that you no longer need, Peter would love to hear from you: chisels, saws, planes, levels, measuring tools, bits, braces, etc.  There is also a need for volunteers to work for the project in Canada.

Tip it right and you could fill seven glasses at a time.
Charles Anderson

Show and Tell

Charles Anderson showed a wenge Wine Rack (Version 2) that he made for his own use.  He also spoke of one of his inspiring books, "Designing Furniture from Concept to Shop Drawing" by Seth Stem.  This book concentrates on proportions, scales and progressions. It documents classic shapes and proportions that are pleasant and acceptable to the human eye.  As Charles said, it's not enough to make it and make it well but it has to look good too.  Charles makes use of a Lee Valley Log Journal to keep track of his ideas and designs.  Having seen a lot of Charles' work over the years he must have a few of these journals filled up already.

Sharon Onno culls articles from past issues.
Sharon Onno showed how she saved some space around her house.  She took her burgeoning collection of magazines, band sawed them apart and selectively extracted the interesting articles.  She went from 10' of magazines to a 5" file folder box.  If it had been me, I would have kept the other 9 1/2' in case I missed something.  But it worked for Sharon.
Ken Dixon outlines the rules of the Viking game Kubb.
Fling rods at the men until you knock down the king.
Ken Dixon showed a Kubb set along with a tidy recycled storage box.  He likened Kubb to a Viking chess game and so the storage box made from an old piece of Ikea furniture was very appropriate.

Andrew Strome with heat-bending tool for guitar sides.
Evan Blackburn accompanies with Andrew's guitar.
A peek inside.

Feature Presentation

With three guitars completed and two in progress, Andrew Strome gave us an introduction to guitar building.  Last month's presenter on timber framing, Evan Blackburn, provided a musical background to Andrew's talk by playing softly on one of Andrew's guitars.

Although stringed instruments have been around for a long time, the classical guitar as we know it today has only been in existence for about 150 years.  Very much like boat building in its flowing shapes and curves, it relies heavily on hand work, and achieves great strength while maintaining lightness.  According to Andrew, there are a number of Canadian luthiers.

He showed several of the specialized luthier tools that he has made himself, and they are works of art themselves in my eyes, some of the purchased tools like purfling cutter and deep throat calipers.  He talked of the different woods used in guitar making and their characteristics.  Different structural techniques were discussed in building the back of the guitar, and attaching the crown to the neck.

The presentation was topped off with a heart warming story of the presentation of one of his guitars to his father who has been playing guitar for over 50 years.

Next Meeting

The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday May 6.  Remember to bring separate indoor footwear.

Our thanks to Terry McClean for the meeting summary and to Wayne Richardson for the illustrations.

OWA Meeting, Tuesday, March 4, 2014

New Venue

The transition to the new meeting place has gone very well.  In spite of some heavy snowfall, about 50 members managed to find their way to this month's meeting.  That includes 4 new members and 4 guests.

Finishing Symposium

President Mick Shea announced that the Kingston Woodworking Association is hosting a two day finishing symposium.  It's nice to see the growth in the Kingston club so that they are able to put on such an event.

More information has been posted on the OWA website

Show and Tell

"Bazz", our very own carver, opened his show and tell with a warm and heartfelt thank you to George Fouriezos for his continuing work on the club web site.  It is being updated on a regular basis with woodworking information making it a much more relevant site.  Bazz pointed out that he is blogging on the club's web site about a work table that he has under way.  This blogging facility has been established on the club web site by George.  Check it out.

Bazz also reported on an old antique book press that he bought on trip down east. He had an amusing tale about its purchase, and showed "before" and beautiful restored "after" pictures. He plans on using it for veneering projects. His progress through the restoration can be seen in March's Group Blog.

Frank Berinstein showed an apple bowl that he turned for Karen in thanks for the apple wood sections that she gave to him. It's a beautiful piece and shows off the generous nature of a couple of our club members.
A new club member, whose name I unfortunately didn't catch, passed around a sample of his woodworking projects.  He's new to the game and has been making interesting outlines of countries, states and provinces with "found" wood (out of shipping palettes if I remember correctly).  He passed around his latest project which was based on Italy.  A very interesting wall hanging.

Looking Back

In Looking Back III, Karen departed a bit from previous presentations to talk about the time line of furniture design as opposed to talking about individual designers.  Starting back at 3000 BC in Egypt she moved through different time periods and different parts of the world.  It's impressive to see the long history of woodworking.  The Klismos chair design that she showed from Greece from 2000 BC is still in vogue today.  From there it was a race through time to Medieval, Renaissance, Jacobean, Colonial, Rococo, Revival, Art Nouveau, Bauhaus, Art Deco, Cubism, etc.  It's worthwhile googling any of these style periods and see the different but interesting features of each.

Feature Presentation

Timber Framing was our feature presentation by Evan Blackburn.  Evan showed his enthusiasm for timber framing in an amusing but interesting slide show.  He covered all the bases from his introduction to timber framing, to its history, to the basic building blocks, and with several beautiful examples and showed us another form of woodworking dedicated to shelter and beauty.  He is also living proof that you don't have to be built like Paul Bunyon to do this.  Unlike a lot of other woodworking activities this form leans a lot on team work as manpower is necessary for a lot of the assembly process.  But on this scale of woodworking you have to have your wits about you, think heavy timbers, hoists, chain mortisers, etc.

Next Meeting

No kidding!  The next meeting is on Tuesday April 1.  Don't forget alternative footwear if the weather is at all inclement.

Written by Terry McClean and illustrated by Wayne Richardson.

OWA Meeting, Tuesday, February 4, 2014

New Venue
About 75 people attended.

If high attendance confirms acceptance of the new venue, then there was overwhelming endorsement.  There were about 75 people in attendance, basically, a full house.  There were 10 guests, 2 new members and couple of old west end members who resurfaced.  Let's hope we haven't lost any of our eastern based membership.
The new hall was as promised, with improved sight lines, better sound, good storage, and easier chair set-up.  If the attendance is maintained we'll have to request a bigger hall as this hall was at its maximum capacity for our first meeting.
Terry announces fundraiser for Tony Walsh 

Tony Walsh

Terry McClean gave an update on the fire at blacksmith Tony Walsh.  Tony will be rebuilding his shop in the summer and volunteers for work crews will be appreciated in the summer.
A fund raising pancake breakfast is scheduled in Watson's Corners Sunday, February 9.  The club executive declared that the club's 50/50 proceeds for this meeting would be donated to Tony.  The winner of the 50/50, Vic Tesolin, generously donated his share of the winnings to Tony also.  Along with a donation from Karen McBride, Terry will deliver the funds to Tony at the pancake breakfast on behalf of the club.

Show and Tell

Club members who will be participating in the Show and Tell portion of the monthly meetings should let Ken Dixon know in advance so that meeting's agenda can be better managed.  There may be time limits on presentations to keep things moving along.  Fortunately there are lots of people who do Show and Tell and it's a vital part of the monthly meetings.
This month had presentations from Wayne Richardson, Sharon Onno and Charles Anderson.
Wayne showed a shooting board that he had bought at Woodworking in America but wasn't that happy with.  Inspired by Mark Hennebury last month, Wayne got hands-on and made modifications to his new purchase to get the performance he wanted and expected.  He was very happy with the results.
Sharon Onno's Library Cabinet
Sharon showed some slides of a library cabinet she made on commission.  The wood was milled at their bush lot in New Brunswick.  The bookshelves and desk looked lovely and included hidden, secret compartments.  Making the unit was a challenge in itself but it was installed in a house built in 1840 and so there were issues of plumb and level to be addressed as part of the installation process.
Charles Anderson's Shop Stool

Charles showed a beautiful shop stool that he made for himself as part of a new year initiative on the Canadian Woodworking online forum.  It folded up neatly, had a built in foot rest, and had an interesting seat based on an old iron tractor seat that he has.  That's a good way to start the new year, Charles!

Looking Back

Looking Back with Karen McBride
Karen continued with her discussion of influential furniture designers.  This month the subject was Charles Rennie MacIntosh.  Born in Scotland in 1868 he followed interests in architecture, fabrics, and furniture.  His high back chairs became classics, and his early emphasis on all white, sparse interiors were ahead of their time.  He also developed an interesting font that is still used today in modern settings. Like many other artists though, his success came after his death, and he died without knowing any real financial rewards in 1928.
Although new to me, many club members were familiar with Mackintosh's work and participated in some discussion on his work.
Very interesting Karen.  I'm looking to forward to next month.

Feature Presentation
Bruce Ecroyd's Marquetry

Bruce Ecroyd, one of the original OWA members talked about his passion, Marquetry.  "painting with wood". He took us on an interesting historical review of Marquetry through the ages.  It has been used as stand alone pieces of art, but has also been used as embellishment on furniture and architectural pieces.  Some of the slides he showed us were astounding.  But then, when he showed us the tools, the processes, the precision and the patience, we all developed a healthy respect for the art form.


Thanks to Terry McClean for the write-up and to Wayne Richardson for the photos. Wayne's arms were too short to supply a selfie for his own Show-and-Tell.

OWA Meeting, Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Happy New Year

Traffic problems on the Queensway made for a lot of late arrivals from the west end.

President Mick Shea tells us about the new meeting site.

Administration: New Venue

A new, more central, venue has been found for the regular monthly club meetings.  This new venue met the club requirements of central location, proximity to the Queensway and the Ottawa River Parkway, available parking, good sight lines, and storage.  The new location is the Woodroffe United Church located at 207 Woodroffe Avenue. This is on the east side of Woodroffe Avenue, between the Carlingwood Mall and Richmond Avenue.  In order to procure this site, it was necessary to alter the club meeting nights.  From now on, starting on February 4, monthly OWA meetings will be held on the first Tuesday of each month.  Be warned that wet or snowy boots cannot be worn in the hall and so in inclement weather you may wish to bring a footwear change.

Secretary Paul Mahood reports on Membership and Web Site

Administration: Membership

Last year ended with a paid up membership of 85.  To date this year, we have a paid up membership of 75.  Your membership dues are vital to the club in funding our activities.  If you haven't paid yet, please make the effort to do so.
The club does send out emails from time to time to the general membership.  If you have not been receiving emails from the club, you should contact Paul Mahood and update your email address.  You can contact Paul via the club's email account:

Administration: Club Web Site

George Fouriezos has been doing an excellent job in updating the club web site, keeping it current and interesting.  He has recently re-established our resource links so if you need something check it out:
[It was Paul who compiled and formatted the very thorough resource list.  GF]

Jack will be running another Sharpening SIG

Sharpening SIG

Jack Schwass reminded us to sign up for another sharpening Special Interest Group (SIG).

Treasurer Brian Greene updates us about Woodworks '14

Woodworks 2014

Brian Greene announced that Garrett Hack has been confirmed as a presenter for Woodworks 2014 being held on September 27 and 28 at the Perth Campus of Algonquin College.  This is in addition to an already stellar cast of Chris Schwarz, Konrad Sauer, Tom Figden and Mark Harrell.
Karen McBride on E-J Ruhlmann

Design Nook

In place of the usual book review, Karen McBride will use that time over the next few months to make brief presentations on various influential furniture designers.  Last night's subject was Emile-Jacques Ruhlmann, driving force of the Arts Deco movement (Arts Decoratif).  Primarily a designer and not a cabinet maker he made better cabinet makers by his strict requirements, high standards and even higher prices.

Feature Presentation

We were lucky to have our guest speaker from November, Mark Hennebury, return to continue his presentation.  Having emphasised the importance of precision, self-education by doing, and relative measurement in his November presentation, Mark treated us to a slide show of some of the impressive works he has made over the decades.  He also ran short videos showing a powerful mortiser that cuts in about 2 seconds and monster non-spinning planers; Jacques was ready to give up nine of his routers for a shot at that planer.  Mark also brought some of his joints, tools, marking jigs, and measure-free marking methods that exploit proportion and relation.  We gathered for a closer look.
Mark drew a Standing-On-Stools-Only crowd for good reason.  Inspired by Eastern philosophy and joinery, Mark worked to perfect intricate joints, joints that remind us of interlocking fingers, as when you get on knees and pray that your biscuits don't show when you trim your boards.  These were hermaphroditic joints, with tenons and mortises on both pieces, that interlock after penetrating a solid, through mortised, cross piece.  The joints are optimized to face long-grain against long-grain, made so tight they hold with just pinning.

Mark's Dovetail Marking Jig

Here's an over-head view of Mark's jig and method for marking dovetails and their corresponding pins.  It has to be seen to be fully appreciated; you won't believe it possible just by reading this: There is no measurement other than marking half-way or thirds, quarters, etc., along the guide ramp.  The marking is done by sliding the workpiece up against stops then flipping and marking several times.  The pins are marked against the same stops for the end pieces, only now held at right angles to the ramp instead of along side it.  If you enjoy making boxes, you will have to build one of these.
There was something to learn in Mark's presentation for everyone.  He showed us power machines we'd never seen before, demonstrated unsurpassed skill at hand joinery, and presented shop built jigs and measure referencing that few of us had thought of; in short, he offered something for any one of us to grow into (or to save up for, like that $25K planer).
Mark has a website. Visit soon, visit often:

Don't forget: next time we will be meeting at Woodroffe United Church, 207 Woodroffe on Tuesday February 4th.  Bring your comfy slippers.

Thanks to Terry McClean for the meeting summary and George Fouriezos for the photos.

OWA Meeting, Wednesday, December 11 , 2013

Members took their seats early, evidently in eager anticipation of the start of the meeting.

No wonder.  The Christmas meeting featured a table full of treats and coffee for the break.
Ken Dixon had one administrative message for the group, namely the search for new meeting quarters.  Whereas meeting in a workshop is comfortable, we don't actually make use of the shop's tools.  Something centrally located like a church basement or auditorium would serve our needs just as well.  In a survey of members he conducted before the move to Loius Riel, Terry McClean found that our membership comes from all over, from distant points in all directions from Ottawa.  So, something centrally located with free parking would suit us well.  The membership is asked to make recommendations if they know of available meeting spaces.  While the ideal location would be free, the club does have modest resources for rental costs.

With even less formality than that of a regular meeting, Ken Dixon launched the meeting with the Christmas Competition, the entry rule being "a way to hold a board off the floor".  Ken's Greene & Greene inspired table incorporated a top naturally decorated by worm holes.

Henry Russell showed us two pieces.  The first was a trophy shelf.  Here seen from the wall's vantage, the Shaker pins, from which one hangs ribbons, are ordinary hidden by the shelf's face.  Trophies will be placed on top.

Henry's second piece was a highly decorated box with inlay on the arched top and five -- yes, five -- dovetails per corner.

Here Pat Griffith shows us how an Immelmann gets you high and on the enemy's six.

Gary Devries's Arts & Crafts style hall table inspires us that, with the right combination of instruction, experience, skill, and tools, one can build works like this in 15 hours.

Here Jack Schwass explains why he was making a step stool. He said it was for his wife. Its unassembled parts were in the bag. Vic was quick to clarify the woodworker's distinction between unfinished and not finished.

Mike Bowler shows us the Mint's plans for the new $5. Making Christmas rounds this year are his coaster sets. A circle jig and his new bandsaw were partly responsible for the perfect disks he made.

Following "holds a board off the floor" too literally, George Fouriezos showed a Moxon vise work-alike made from bits readily found in the shop, saving him a trip away from the house. Karen McBride suggested it be dubbed the Agoraphobe's Moxon, with apologies, no doubt, to Chris Schwarz, author of The Anarchist's Tool Chest.

The break followed. Members rushed the treat table. (Who made these hammers? If you are or can rat out the baker, please email with the info. The baker of the gingerbread hammers deserves credit.)

After the break the winners of the 50-50 were drawn. In addition to the cash prize, Land's End contributed some 100 year-old yellow birch salvaged from a lake bed. Bazz was the lucky winner of the wood.

The feature presentation was delivered by Vic Tesolin, apparently pleased with his title: The Slow Road to Woodworking.
Vic's talk focused on the recent changes he has made to his shop.  With the selling of his table saw and power jointer, Vic has further embraced his love of hand tools.  He spoke about the reasons for the change which included space, noise, and dust.  But he also spoke about his affinity for hand tools and the joy they bring him. This switch hasn't been without problems and he had to learn more techniques to fill in the gaps created by the missing machines.  He talked specifically about joinery, veneering, speed and accuracy, explaining how he deals with them.  He also reinforced the fact that he is not a production woodworker so didn't feel that he needed production techniques to woodwork.  However, Vic emphasized that he will not likely get rid of his bandsaw and the thickness planer because they are just too valuable in his shop.  He summarized by saying that he's looking forward to learning more about hand tools and the techniques centered around them, the whole time enjoying the new quiet in his shop.

Back to the top.

OWA Meeting, Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Good news. Bad news.
The good news is that our executive is coming up with interesting and informative content for our meetings.  So, a big thank you to them for that.  Our membership continues to grow with 4 guests and one new member attending the November meeting.  The facility at Louis Riel is now being stretched to its limits.  Last night, as usual, there were quite a few people who stood for the whole meeting.  Thankfully, there was more use of the microphone by speakers last night.
Now the bad news:  For the second time this season, the meeting ran over the 9:00 PM end time.  Last month's meeting ran over by 15 minutes and we had to ask Glen Briggs to come back to this month's meeting to give his presentation on moving his work shop.  This month's meeting was forced to an end at 9:30 as Mark Hennebury was warming up to his topic.  Like Glen last month, Mark graciously agreed to come back for a future meeting and continue his presentation.  Keep in mind that the original agenda for the
meeting called for Denis Chenard to do a session on identifying wood species, and that was way too much for one evening's meeting.


President Mick Shea launches meeting.
The administrative part of the meeting began promptly at 7:00 with calls for membership renewals and a reminder for the Xmas meeting in December.  Treasurer, Brian Greene, announced the club's pro-rated membership costs for new members who join in the following months:
Sept-Dec        100%
Jan-Feb            80%
Mar-Apr           60%
May-Jun           40%

Wood Carving
Don't forget the Outaouais Woodcarvers show is being held this weekend at Macies Best Western Hotel on Carling Avenue, opposite the Westgate Shopping Center.  The show runs 1:00-5:00 on Saturday and 10:00-4:00 on Sunday.

Potential Participants of Woodworks14
Woodworks 2014
Vic announced plans for "Woodworks 2014" scheduled for the September 27/28 weekend. It will be held at the Algonquin College site in Perth, Ontario.  Tentative speakers are Chris Schwarz, Tom Fidgen, Konrad Sauer, and Mark Harrell of Bad Axe Tool Works.  Ticket sales will be limited to 200 and club members will have first shot at buying tickets expected to be member-priced at $200 for the two day event.

Old 696
For those of us wanting to volunteer for something and interested in Ottawa history, there is a request for woodworkers to participate in the rebuilding of one of Ottawa's last street cars.  Streetcars disappeared from Ottawa in 1959. Old "696" was sold to Montreal where it ran until 1989.  It was purchased in 2000 and returned to Ottawa for restoration.  The goal is to have the project completed in time for centennial celebrations in 2017.  Volunteers are needed on Wednesdays from 6:00-9:00.  A lot of the mechanicals have been done and it's now time for the wood parts to be addressed.  There will be a follow up presentation in the new year to give us more background.  If you are interested contact Ken Dixon.

The December meeting, as usual, will be very informal.  Please bring some small treats. The results of the Christmas contest will also be on display.  This contest requires supporting a piece of wood horizontally off the floor; no restrictions on quantity of wood or species.

Jack Schwass announced a sharpening SIG (Special Interest Group) for the flat blade sharpening (for plane blades, chisels and spoke shaves).  He's willing to have groups of 2-3 in his workshop for weekday afternoon sessions and/or on a weekend afternoon.  That should cover the retirees and the wannabees in the club.
Call Jack at 613 828-4004 or by email at

Glen Briggs's Kitchen Cabinet
Show and Tell
Four exhibitors participated in show and tell this month.
Glen Briggs showed a kitchen cabinet consisting of a walnut frame, soft maple curved doors and hidden hardware. It's a very attractive piece and Glen had some interesting background on the wood both on its acquisition and its movement between shops.

Terry McClean's one-handed, snap release, pipe-clamp storage.

Terry McClean had an example of his pipe clamp storage system using 1" pvc pipe segments. He found the idea on a web site for The Family Handyman magazine,

Jack Schwass's Moxon 2.0

Jack Schwass had the latest version of his Moxon vise featuring heavy duty clamping wings and wooden threaded spindles in place of the metal threaded rod and nuts of his first version.  Very easy to make and very effective.

In a surprise showing, Ken Dixon showed off a "ballot box" cube he had made for his son's school.  It featured a secret compartment for keeping the locking key safe, and bamboo skewer pins for locking in the mitered corners.

Tom Fidgen's Book

Book Review
Vic Tesolin reviewed the latest book, The Unplugged Workshop, by Tom Figden.  Tom was a guest speaker at the initial Woodworks and will be back again for Woodworks 2014.  The book features excellent photography and illustrates how much can be done by hand tools alone.

Glen Briggs Moves Shop.
Glen gave a slide show presentation on transferring his workshop from a strip mall rental site to huge double car garage workshop (that came with a free house).  It was amusing and informative.  To summarize, Pack, Move, Unpack.  If you need more details, there was a lot of drink some beer, go to Home Depot, drink more beer, more Home Depot, move stuff and then move it again, layout green tape on the floor to decide where the machines go (although Jack thought that blue tape should have been used), lots of electrical work, try to find stuff, drink some more beer, etc.  Don't know how he got his show and tell cabinet completed.

Mark Hennebury

Mark Hennebury   
Mark began a very interesting talk on his woodworking interests.  As it progressed, it became more stimulating and interesting. Unfortunately, time ran out and left us hanging. Mark has promised to come back for a future meeting to expand on his thoughts.
Mark's inspirational message was for us to try to better understand wood, to think outside the box, to have faith in ourselves, and to be more willing to try things.
For him, a good starting point is Bruce Hoadley's book Identifying Wood.  It helps understanding the fibrous nature of wood and by that learn how to work with the wood. Be wary of information provided by others, particularly on the internet.  Don't be afraid to modify your tools to suit your needs.  But be demanding of your tools and by that, let the manufacturer know where they fall short.
As he was getting into his discussion on joinery and how he achieves precision in marking out joints, it became time to wrap up the meeting, leaving us all with things to think about and to anticipate for his return visit.

The meeting adjourned at 9:30.
Thanks to Terry McClean for the summary and, except for two images lifted off the net, Vic Tesolin for the photos.
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OWA Meeting, Wednesday, October 9 , 2013

With over 50 people in attendance, including about 6 guests, the October 2013 promised to be interesting with scheduled presentations by Windsor Chair maker Dave Fleming of Cobden, and by OWA's own Glen Briggs talking about relocating his woodworking shop.

The meeting started promptly at 7:00 PM with some administrative details to be repeated here for emphasis.
The Ottawa Carving club, Outaouais Wood Carvers, will be holding their annual wood carving show on Saturday and Sunday, November 16 and 17, at the Best Western Motor Inn that is situated on Carling Avenue just opposite the Westgate Shopping Center.  This is the same show that used to be part of the now defunct annual Wood Show at Lansdowne Park.  Admission is free.  Based on previous shows their will be a lot of high quality carvings to be seen.  It's worth a visit.

Ken Dixon took the floor to explain that the December Christmas meeting is always a bit out of the ordinary.  The usual meeting procedures are dropped that night in favor of a free-for-all chat, eating lots of Xmas treats, and reviewing submissions for the annual Christmas competition.  No prizes to be awarded but a chance to show off your ingenuity.  This years competition is "Hold a board off the floor".  That's a pretty open competition so it should be very interesting to see the entries.

Ken also reported that the suggestion box is being well used by the membership and urged us to keep submitting requests.  It makes it a lot easier for the executive to plan our meetings.  There seems to be a strong interest in Special Interest Groups (SIGs) on the topics of Wood Bending, Sharpening, and Vacuum Forming.  If any of these appeal to you or you'd like to see anything else, let the club know.

The club executive can be reached by sending emails to the new OWA email address:

Terry McClean announced that he has a new set of holdfasts available for sale at $50 a pair.  These holdfasts are made by local blacksmith Tony Walsh who has provided some blacksmith training for club members a few years ago.  If you're interested you can contact Terry at

Terry also mentioned that the semi-annual Tools of the Trades show will be held in Pickering, Ontario on Sunday November 17.  This is a huge flea market event specializing in woodworking hand tools.  Anyone interested in attending and sharing gas money can contact Terry.  Admission to the show is usually $10. If you leave Ottawa at 5:00 AM you can make the opening at 10:00 AM and can usually be back in Ottawa between 5:00 and 6:00 PM.

George Fouriezos reported that OWA's group blog,, has now been up and running for a year.  So there are twelve issues available online for your interest and information.  To encourage more submissions he distributed a wallet sized business card with relevant contact information on one side and a list of bullet points that you can use as a guide to building your own submission.

George also mentioned that the club had received a big Thank You from Big Sky Ranch for its efforts in building a garden bench for the ranch founder.

Denis Chenard suggested that the November meeting focus on wood identification.  He will bring in an electron microscope and use it to examine end grain slices of different wood to identify them.  So, if you've got a piece of wood that you're not sure about bring in a sacrificial piece to the November meeting and we'll try to identify it for you.

Show and Tell followed the Administrative portion with 4 items.  Jack Schwass showed a small wooden car bought for him by his daughters when they were visiting Indonesia.  Brian Greene showed his surprise birthday gift for his wife (hope she's not reading this) made from ambrosia maple left over from his prize-winning coffee table and accented with rosewood and ebony.  He described his construction technique to facilitate installation of the edging.  Very interesting and beautiful.  Ken Dixon showed the box he made to install a small clock on the dashboard of his school bus.  Lastly, Bruce Eckroyd showed a beautiful marquetry panel that he has made as a gift.  Lucky recipient!

Karen handed out the Peoples Choice Awards to the winners from the Glengarry Wood Fair: Brian Martin, Ken Dixon and Brian Greene.

This month's 50-50 had two components, a cash prize, and also a selection of yellow birch pulled out of the Ottawa River by Log's End and donated to the club.

Brian Greene on Perfect Mitres
A member raised the question of how one would go about closing a gap on a mitred frame or box.  It was generally understood that the first three corners will close well, but the last one inherits the accumulated error.  The solution most endorsed was to saw a new kerf right at the gap.  Repeat as needed.

Dave Fleming teaching us how to work green wood.
After the break, Dave Fleming gave an excellent overview of green woodworking. From the pleasure of going into the forest with knife and axe to gather his own materials, to the ease and fun of working with green wood, to the satisfaction of working in a quiet shop with hand tools and listening to music, and to the wide variety of projects, Dave opened the eyes of a lot of people to an alternative and yet traditional way of working wood.

Unfortunately at this point we had reached 9:00PM and had to ask Glen Briggs to come back next month and make his presentation on his work shop relocation. Graciously, he agreed to do this.

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OWA Meeting, Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The first meeting of the 2013-2014 year was held at Louis Riel High School under the guidance of the new executive led by President Mick Shea and Program Co-coordinator Ken Dixon.

Be aware that the hosting organization behind the club’s web site has changed. If you are using an established bookmark to get to the club website, the chances are that you will be redirected to a “godaddy” site. To get around this, you should delete any bookmark you have that points to the OWA site. A new bookmark can be created after the new site is accessed by keying in the following address.

At 7:05, Mick started the meeting by addressing some administration issues to the 40+ members and guests. A new membership structure consisting of members and students was unveiled. Membership fees have been increased to $50 for the year while a student membership has been set at $25. Included with the membership fees will be a one-year electronic subscription to Canadian Woodworking magazine. The new web site has a facility for online payment of membership via pay pal. Mick asked for a volunteer to run the canteen at the monthly meetings. No volunteers, no cold drinks at meetings.

Ken Dixon took over the program portion of the meeting at 7:25. He thanked Karen McBride for her past, excellent efforts, as program co-coordinator, and hoped to continue in much the same vein. The Program Co-coordinator role can be much easier with lots of input from the membership so if there’s something you would like discussed or presented at a meeting, you can either talk to one of the executive members or write a request and submit in the Suggestion Box. Three topics that you can expect to see this year are, Old Tool Refurbishing, Wood Identification, and Inlay. If there are other topics that you would like to see covered, let us know.

Show and Tell started at 7:35 with presentations by Ken Dixon, Brian Green and Charles Anderson.

Ken showed a large church pew box that he made for a client to use up the remainder of church pew material on hand from an earlier project. Ken’s box incorporated some of the original carving from the church pew ends and the curved stock that comes from church pews. It was a very attractive design.

Ken pointing out the features
Brian brought a small table similar in design to his large coffee table designed for the Woodworks show. This table rested on four tapered legs that led up to rail system that gave a floating top look to the circular top. The circular top had a wide bevel around the circumference of the lower surface. That led to some interesting discussion on how to accomplish this. On the Woodworks table, he uses spoke shaves and block planes, but on this smaller table he used a jig on his table saw.

Brian explaining his process
Charles followed up enthusiastically with his homemade jig for routing circles and holes. He had found the basic idea in an old Shop Smith magazine (don’t through out those old magazines!), scaled it up to his requirements, bought some on-sale lazy Susan trays at Lee Valley, and a router collet extension from Infinity Cutting Tools in the US, and voila. He loved the micro adjust capability and the clean edges in using this jig. Lots of people were looking at this at the break.
Charles explaining how his jig works
The book review at 7:55 followed up on Charles’ old magazine thread. Ken showed copies of an old magazine issued by Fine Wood Working from Winter 1994 through November 1997, Home Furniture. Ken described it as eye candy/inspiration with most emphasis on design and very little on fabrication.

After the break, Karen reviewed the club’s participation in this year’s Glengarry Wood Fair. This was the third year of club participation and featured a tent full display of members’ works along with live presentations by Karen (inlay), Brian Green (sharpening), and Gary Devries (hand cut dovetails). A log auction is part of this wood fair and it was pointed out that the wood was in fairly small lots and therefore not too expensive nor too cumbersome to transport. A chainsaw based saw mill that was on display at the show received rave reviews.

Wayne Richardson closed out the meeting with his presentation on Handworks 2013. This was held in May of this year in Iowa. It featured many hand tool manufacturers. It was very low key with the manufacturers there to educate and inform, no high pressure sales and in some cases no inventory to sell either. It seems the hand tool world is being served very well with the choice between vintage tools and new tools being made to high standards.

Welcome back everyone.

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OWA Meeting, Wednesday, June 12, 2013

About 40 people attended the last meeting before our summer break.  With all the things to look at and buy at the Great OWA Tool Sale, Karen started the meeting a little later than usual.

Perusing the wares brought in by the members
Her first order of business was reminding everyone about the upcoming BBQ at Gary’s place on July 21st and about the Glengarry Wood Fair, August 24th.  More info on both to come.

As this was the June meeting, it was also our annual election for the Executive.  Positions are filled by the following people: Mick Shea President, Ken Dixon Vice President/Program Coordinator, Paul Mahood Secretary, Brian Greene Treasurer, Wayne Richardson Public Relations Coordinator.  Welcome to the new executive team.

George is looking for some help on a group build for Big Sky Ranch.  Let him know if you are interested in participating or to get more info let him know. 

Jack was up next to hand out the Danny Proulx Memorial Award.  This year’s deserving recipient is Karen Mcbride.  Congratulations Karen, well deserved!

Congratulations Karen!

More visiting, looking and purchasing of tools took place during an extended break.

To cap off the evening, Karen took us on a virtual tour through video and a slide show of Thos Moser Studio/Workshop that she visited last year.  A very interesting look at behind the scenes of a legendary furniture designer/maker/retailer.

Have a safe and enjoyable summer, see you at the BBQ and back again in September.

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OWA Meeting, Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Vic started off the May meeting with a reminder that next month is the last meeting before our summer break and it is also our elections meeting.  Please feel free to throw your hat in the ring and become a member of the executive.  Send a note to the executive if you have any questions or would like to put your name on the “ballot”  As President, Vic is only able serve two terms in that role and as he will not be in town for next month’s meeting, he took this time to thank the executive for all their hard work and dedication.  Vic will not be stepping away from the OWA entirely as he will be working on the organizing committee for the upcoming Woodworks '14.  More details to follow.

Karen reminded us about the upcoming BBQ/pig roast at Gary’s place on July 21st.  Keep an eye on the OWA web site for more info.  Also along with the elections next month is a tool garage sale.  If you have any tools that you find you are not using and would like to try to sell them, bring them in!  You never know who will want you don’t.  At next month’s meeting, Karen will also do a slide show presentation on the tour she took of Thomas Moser’s shop 

The Danny Proulx Memorial Award will also be handed out next month.  Also a reminder of the December build challenge “how to keep a board up off the ground”. 

Show and tell was next with Ken bringing in a coffee table still under construction featuring old church pew wood for the top and legs.  Karen brought in a couple of examples of where she used epoxy to solve a problem where no other glue would do.

Just before the break, our guest speaker Jacques Breau gave a book review on the book that turned him on to woodworking, A Cabinetmaker's Notebook by James Krenov.

After the break it was an interesting slide show presentation from Jacques.  A furniture maker/designer who lives in Kingston, Jacques gave us a tour through his journey as a designer/maker as well as a look into his very small shop and described some of the techniques he uses to come up with and execute some of his designs.

With that the May meeting was over.

Work safe and see you next month.

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OWA Meeting, Wednesday, April 17, 2013

On a nice Spring evening about 120 people (by far our biggest turn out to date) came to the April meeting.

At just after 7:00pm everyone settled down for an evening with Chris Schwarz, but first Vic welcomed everyone and told a little about the OWA to all the visitors and new members as well as laid out the events for the evening.

Karen talked about next month's meeting which will feature Jacques Breau, a furniture maker from Kingston.  She also talked about the annual OWA BBQ this year being a pig roast at Gary's place July 21.  More info to come.

Brian was up next with the book review.  This month's book fittingly enough was The Anarchist's Tool Chest by our guest speaker Chris Schwarz.  Brian gave a glowing review not only about the book but about Chris himself.  With that Chris was next.

Chris gave a great slideshow talk about the Anarchist's Tool Chest itself.  Some history of it as well as other tool chests, how and why it is built the way it is and the theory and reasoning behind why this just might be the best tool chest design.

Chris Talking about one of his many tool chests
Between Chris's two presentations people had a close look at the 25 pieces of wooden works that some members brought in as well as the tool chest Chris had with him and generally chatted with Chris and each other.

Members checking out each others work

Chris's second presentation was a very entertaining and educational "Workbenches 101, A Participatory History".  Through a series of slides, Chris tested our observation skills and gave us a history on workbenches through the ages.

As the clock got close to 9:30 and with the last of the questions being asked, Vic and Chris drew for the two door prize draws and with that the evening came to a close.

A big thank you to all those who helped make this evening a great success and a special thank you to Ron Barter, Rosewood Studio and Chris Schwarz for a memorable evening.

Work safe and see you in May.

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OWA Meeting, Wednesday, March 20, 2013

About 65 people which included about 8 guests celebrated the first day of spring by coming out to the March meeting.

Karen kicked things off with some information about next month's meeting with special guest Christopher Schwarz.  There will be more info to come.

Next up was Show & Tell.  This time we had a sample of a haunched mortis and tenon which came from a conversation after last month's meeting.  Also a bent lamination LED lamp, a sample case/portfolio for shoji screens, three turned bowls mounted on a hot pipe bent stand and a couple of Moxon vices; one with a small work table mounted in it were brought in.

Just before the break, Brian did the book review.  This month it was on different resources regarding epoxy.  He had some material at the meeting but encouraged everyone to go to and to find out all you need to know about epoxy.  This led nicely into Karen doing a short demonstration on epoxy and a discussion on its uses.

After the break was the featured speaker of the evening, Frank Berinstein.  If there is anything you want to know about building a wooden boat of any kind or using epoxy, Frank is your guy.  He talked about epoxy and boat building and highlighted some of the steps in the boat building process.  He not only gave a great slide show presentation but also had one of his kayaks for display.  Unfortunately, as the evening was getting on, there was no time for questions for Frank but I'm sure he would be happy to answer any epoxy or boat building questions you have at a future meeting.

Have a great month and work safe.

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OWA Meeting, Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Thanks for another great write up Ken.

The main topic for February's meeting was an evening of home renovations.  Vic started off the evening welcoming a number of new faces in the 53 person crowd.  He then went on with some club business, the most important being Christopher Schwarz will be coming to spend an evening with us on April 17th.  He will be talking about the book he is currently working on called Furniture of Necessity.  It is free for OWA members and $10 for all others.  If you have any of Chris's books he would be happy to sign them for you.  This evening will also be a Show & Tell evening.  As with past Show & Tell events, feel free to bring in both finished and works in progress.  We would like to give Chris and non-members a good idea of what the OWA membership is up to in their shops.  More info. will be coming.  Also the OWA BBQ is taking a bit of a different flavour this year.  It will be held on July 21st at Gary's place where he will be roasting a pig.  More information on this will be coming as well.  The last piece of business is the next build challenge.  Let your imagination run wild with this statement: "How to hold a surface/board up off the ground".  What can you come up with?  The deadline is our annual December Christmas meeting.

Show & Tell was next.  Glen had a dovetailed box made with some salvaged wood from church pews, Frank had a couple of foils for sailboats, Charles had both a very large and a smaller shop made wooden hold downs, and Jack showed off his 1860s or so dovetailed steel bodied hand plane.

The Book review was next and Karen talked about a magazine from across the pond, Furniture and Cabinetmaking, as well as one from the U.S., Woodwork.  Both are more focused on design and the craftspeople rather than tool reviews and how-to articles.

After the break it was on to home renovations.  Wayne gave a great slide show presentation on some of the aspects of renovation an Ottawa century home.  Glen then talked about and showed some photos of an entry way mirror that he did that looks like a double hung window and the tin ceiling and molding he did in his dining room.

As the clock read 9:00, the meeting was over for another month.

Work safe, have fun, and see you next month.

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