MIWG Newsletter – August 26, 2018

NEWSLETTER – August 25, 2018

Greetings to you all!

The summer is “up in smoke”, the rain begins and we can breathe easier again. It is time to turn our attentions to our workshops, and to update calendars for MIWG’s Fall events. It is also time for me to get out a late summertime communication to you!

First of all, here’s a review a few events that occurred over the summertime.

  • June’s Presentation

Tyler Green from Felder presented us with a wonderful array of Felder’s latest toys – many beyond my financial advisor’s spending tolerance levels, but I particularly liked the hand-held CNC machine.

  • The beginner’s turning workshop on June 23
Tom Hedekar prepares to instruct a turning class






Tom helps new member Tyson Meldrum








This event was a tremendous success with a full house of 12 participants. Tom Hedekar, assisted by John Noble, conducted the excellent workshop and most of us managed to complete at least one of the two assignments, which were a honey dipper, and a bowl.

  • Filming MIWG

On the Canada Day July long weekend, I received a rather suspicious email from a lady who said that she and her film production company had seen the MIWG.ca website and were impressed by what we were doing. “Would it be possible to have our film crew show up on Wednesday or Thursday to film some of your members and their activities?”

A call to Toronto confirmed that the email was legitimate, and arrangements were made for a film crew to arrive at Peter Hentze’s Frost Road property in Cassidy on Thursday – 3 days away. A few members then hastily agreed to bring some artifacts that that they had made to the property and to assist in the production as directed by this film crew. On the Thursday, about 4 carloads of filming crew showed up and set up to film the sawmill in action as well as to script a scene of work “happening” in the wood storage barn. It was explained that the film was being produced under contract to PetroCanada in order “to show what is happening in Canada this year”.

Filming a staged activity in the wood storage barn
Filming Steve in the immaculate workshop










After filming was completed at the property, the crew joined some members at the Fox and Hounds Pub for lunch in Ladysmith and then proceeded to Saltair to film Steve Neil at work in his very photogenic shop! (BTW…Steve was also featured in a recent issue of Canadian Woodworking Magazine!) From there, apparently, the crew rushed to Parksville to film a lady kick-boxer!

One of the financial perks for this event was that the film crew paid $50 to each member who was filmed, and after a suggestion that they also include a donation to the support of our High School woodworking programs they threw in an extra $50. (This added another $200 or so to our High School distribution funds as the filmed participants donated their individual payments to MIWG.) The bad news…? MIWG did not make the cut, but the kick-boxing lady did! (Stompin’ Tom should have sung another verse!) Many thanks to Jon Weiman and the many film crew members for the great experience! (https://www.livebytheleaf.ca/. Parts of this commercial are currently showing on television.)

  1. Wood Recovery Meeting

In August, our new Wood Recovery Chairperson, Dave Workman, held a meeting to discuss how to proceed with wood recovery processes in a logical and sound manner. Joining the committee for Wood Recovery was Glen Smith, Peter Hentze, Colin Knecht, and ad hoc member – Tony Dobson. (Ed Tremblay was unable to attend.) We now have access to Peter’s very strong trailer (dumping) and will need crew for handling the wood at various times in the Recovery process.

Ed Tremblay and Dave Workman sticker and stack London Plane tree

And now, it is time to look at our upcoming Fall activities.

1. Nanaimo Arts Council Plan

In June, Rob Oldale volunteered to search out a place for MIWG to hold a members’ products show similar to the very successful one held by VIWG at Cedar Hill in the Spring. He was able to secure a positive response from Dan Appell at Nanaimo Arts Council for the space at 78 Wharf Street in Nanaimo for November 5 to November 27. Our only cost for this will be a shared cost of printing promotional materials. The show can gain us tremendous community exposure and support for our purpose of promoting woodworking in the community. The plan will include member works, and possible quilts from members of Nanaimo Quilters’ Guild, and Jonanco, as well as contributions from High School students.

2. Fall Garage and Wood Sale and Membership Barbecue.

We are currently planning a combined event day at Frost Road on Saturday, September 22. The events will include a morning Garage Sale open to the public, as well as a wood sale to members only. (Non-members can purchase memberships on-site for the $25 initiation plus the pro-rated annual fee of $25.) Sales will close in the early afternoon, and then members can enjoy time together at our annual barbecue.

3. November Annual General Meeting

At the AGM in November a number of positions on the Executive will need to be filled including those of President and Treasurer, currently held by Tony Dobson and Steve Neil. (Their three year terms are completed.)

That, in a very large nutshell, is the latest news. I wish you all an enjoyable time for the balance of your summer! Use your safety gear, and avoid accidents in your woodworking!

I hope to see you at the September meeting at 6:30 p.m. on September 12 at Meeting Room A – 355 Wakesiah Avenue in Nanaimo. Bring your family members and friends! We welcome visitors!


MIWG Newsletter – June 10, 2018

Greetings fellow woodworkers!

June is finally here, and after our beautiful May weather, I am sure that some (perhaps few) of you are welcoming the cool, wetter weather of early June to get back into your shops after putting down your garden shears and lawn mowers!

Our April Garage Sale was a great success! The results added to our funds which we were able to turn into a rather large wood donation to the 6 School District High Schools. We distributed over 1300 board feet of maple and alder over 2 days! Hopefully, this contribution will be provide significant wood supplies to students in Nanaimo.

 Second installment of SD68 High School wood

Meanwhile, a London Plane tree (Platanus x acerifolia) was donated to MIWG by member Thorne Underwood. Peter Hentze and Dave Workman have sawn this wood into a couple of different thicknesses (4/4, and 8/4) and a few members worked last weekend to move these very heavy wet planks into the new kiln that Peter has created out of one of his containers. (Thanks to all for their labour contributions!)


Dave and Peter with London Plane tree wood.

(London Plane tree is a relative of sycamore, and can be found in the wood-database link on our links page – http://miwg.ca/links.) Soon, a donated cedar log will be cut into boards (sizes to be determined by request) and this wood can be air-dried or kiln-dried depending on space.

Our meeting in June (next Wednesday, June 13, at 6:30 – http://miwg.ca/meetings) will feature Tyler Green discussing some of the available tools at Felder, and a presentation from the woodworking teachers of School District 68 which will outline some of the benefits of the wood that has been donated to the high schools.

Vancouver Island Woodworkers’ Guild will be holding its Annual General Meeting on Tuesday, June 12 at Lee Valley in Langford (6:30 p.m. with pizza available) The agenda includes an auction of wood and tools.

We finally have our second proposed mini-course planned! We have room for 6 to 12 attendees for a beginner lathe workshop which will be instructed by Tom Hedekar, and hosted by John Noble. This will be a 3 to 4 hour workshop from 9:00 to lunchtime on Saturday, June 23. The cost will be $30 per person, and open to members only initially. (This may be opened to the public if there is not enough internal interest.) Placements in this workshop will be filled upon payment of the course fee. (Cash, or cheques, or e-Transfer.)

I look forward to seeing many of you this coming Wednesday at 6:30 when we will also hear from our newly appointed “Wood Recovery Chairperson” – Dave Workman. Dave has agreed to fill this position for the remainder of this year. Many thanks to him.

Regards, and best wishes for continued safe and rewarding woodworking!


MIWG Newsletter – May 6, 2018

Hello fellow woodworkers!

The Mid-Island Woodworkers’ Guild Garage Sale last weekend encountered the wettest, coolest weather that we had experienced for a couple of weeks! We sure know how to pick the days! Not to worry…it didn’t slow the business!

Many members showed up to assist, to sell their stuff, and to join in the fun, while sipping coffee and eating home-made bran muffins. A back-yard cherry tree, donated by member, Ben Hall, had been cut into 1.5” slabs (about 3 foot lengths) and was available for sale from the back of my pickup truck. When we finally called it a day after about 4 hours of chilly weather and diminishing visitations, we had managed to sell most of the cherry slabs (still some left though) and many of the available tools and products provided by members and/or donations. Proceeds from the sale (almost $350 to MIWG) will become part of our donations to local high school woodworking programs.

Our meeting next Wednesday, May 9, (see http://miwg.ca/meetings for details) will a feature marquetry presentation by Paul Miller. He is renowned and has presented in the past to Vancouver Island Woodworkers’ Guild. I am looking forward to hearing his presentation. Please plan on being there! As always, we invite you to bring your family and friends, and to encourage young folks to join in! One of our goals is to promote woodworking in the mid-Island area, and the best way to do that is to reach out to the younger members of the craft.

Also, I received a note from Steve Neil which is very interesting! He and his finewoodworking crafts have been featured in a video produced for Canadian Woodworking Magazine (and in earlier editions of the magazine. Please have a look!


Best wishes to all of you and I hope that you are able to resolve the issues around…should I work in my yard…or should I go into my shop! Have a great time either way!


MIWG Newsletter – Even MORE Garage Sale Items

Greetings one final time before tomorrow morning’s garage sale at 3388 Tunnah Road between 10:00 and 4:00. I hope to see many of you here as well as family and friends. As an added incentive, I have a pick-up load of 1 1/2″ cherry slabs – most about 3 feet long. They are quite beautiful. They are for sale at about $7 each, (most at less than $2.50 a board foot), but I will GIVE a cherry slab to each new member that signs up tomorrow. We will have all of the paper work available to make you a full member so that you can participate in many of our exciting activities – including a tentative barbecue and garage sale towards the end of June.

In any case, proceeds from the sale of the wood, and a percentage of all garage sale items will be going towards the support of our High School woodworking programs, so please come out and support us by BUYING!

Many thanks, click on the link below to see the final pics (there will be much more available) and I hope to see you here – despite the downgrade in the wonderful warm weather that we have been having!

Best wishes!


Roundup time for rocking cattle!
A-Ranging the Ride – Roundup for Rocking Cattle!

Page4, 5 MIWG Garage Sale Pics

MIWG Newsletter – More Garage Sale Items

Hi All,

In case you are following the Mid-Island Woodworkers’ Guild Garage Sale news with any interest, here is the latest posting showing items available in this Saturday, April 28 garage sale. Please click on the link below to see the items. There may be more pictures in the next day or so. Please click on “Subscribe” if you wish to receive email notifications when they are posted (or to receive any new information about our Guild and our activities.)

Best wishes!


More MIWG Garage Sale Pics

MIWG Newsletter – April 24, 2018

Hi Woodies!

I am very sorry that some of you were not able to attend to hear Michael Moore at our last meeting and see the beautiful creations that he is making out of both wood and metal! The man is truly a gifted artist, and I am really looking forward to another shop tour that includes his workspace in Duncan! Thank-you Michael!

Our Mid-Island Woodworkers’ Guild Garage Sale will be held at 3388 Tunnah Road, Nanaimo, on Saturday, April 28 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Please tell your family, friends and neighbours about it. The sale is for everyone, but members only can sell items. There are lots of items for sale, including tools, parts, wood, and possibly even some members’ crafts. We look forward to seeing many of you there. Meanwhile, this first posting contains pictures of some items, and more will follow with new postings in the next few days. Please “Subscribe” to this blog post if you would like to be kept informed about new items or the Mid-Island Woodworkers’ Guild activities in general!

Meanwhile, click on the link below to see pics of items for sale. More postings may follow before Saturday.

Best wishes to all!


Garage Sale Details and Pictures

MIWG Newsletter – April 9, 2018

Greetings fellow Woodworkers and friends!

April showers have extended our times in our workshops as ski hills are slowing down activities, fishing isn’t active, sailing is chilly and dreary, and yard work can wait for warmer, sunnier days. Its all good!

At our March meeting, the husband and wife team of Karen Trickett and Cam Russell did a wonderful presentation (according to my sources, since I was, regretfully, unable to attend). They showed slides of their current projects including the refinishing of wooden panelling on an older vehicle. They also passed around samples of different finishings that they use. These two folks are truly amazing and talented woodworkers! If anyone took pictures at this presentation, I would be happy to post some soon.

Our April meeting this coming Wednesday, April 11, will also feature a Duncan-area woodworker – Michael Moore. Last year, a Mid-Island Woodworkers’ Guild shop tour included both Cam and Karen’s workshop, as well as Michael’s. Michael is a self-taught wood AND metal worker with one of the most incredibly finished metalwork shops where he creates fabulous metal work and integrates it with equally beautiful and amazing woodworking. You won’t want to miss this presentation! As always, MIWG welcomes guests and family members for free. Please join us and bring your “besties”.

Also on Wednesday’s agenda will be the displays of our latest “contest/project” – the Gottshall Blocks! Since I missed the March meeting, I am really curious as to what this project is, and am looking forward to seeing the results. If you haven’t finished yours…get to it! You only have 3 days left!

As a nod to our “family” organization in Victoria – the Vancouver Island Woodworkers’ Guild – I strongly recommend that you make every effort to make a trip to Victoria to see the products of the VIWG membership at the “Visions in Wood – 2018” craft display at the Arts Centre at Cedar Hill – 3220 Cedar Hill Road before it ends on April 29. (8:00 am to 8:00 pm). Four of our own MIWG members are also members of VIWG, and Brian McLaurin and Steve Neil both have contributed items to this display. We’ll look forward to a report on this Show.

And…I hope that you had a chance to visit the Pacific Brant Carving and Art Show in Parksville this weekend. This has become an International event! When he returns from a holiday, I hope that our Secretary, Bill Beese, (who is also an Executive member of the local Carving Club, an accomplished carver, and one of the organizers of this event) will give us an overview of this Pacific Brant Carving activity and also his participation in the Bird Carving Championships in Maryland, US.

Other important news and events:

Our “Member-at-Large” and organizer/instructor for the “Mini-Bench Build” – Bob Armstrong – has recently been ill and has not recovered sufficiently in order to manage the “Mini-Bench Build” session. Therefore, that session has been put on hold for the time being. Also, since I was away and unable to adequately “publicize” the planned Garage Sale for this coming Saturday, it, too, has been postponed – until Saturday April 28.

So…Next up – Our General Meeting on Wednesday at 6:30 at NDSS, Meeting Room A and…

April 28 – Garage Sale (Prepare or finish your sales items with pricing notes and pictures! I will be providing a form for participating as a seller in this garage sale very soon.)

Best wishes to all, and see you on Wednesday!


MIWG Newsletter – March 6, 2018

Hello  Woodworkers and friends!

We are now heading into our third year of operations since incorporation, and we are pleased with the enthusiasm and participation of woodworkers in the mid-Vancouver Island area. Interest continues to grow, and the success of our February “3 Board Feet” competition is a great example of this. (See previous newsletter.)

The City of Nanaimo recently contacted us to gauge our interest in several trees that may need to be removed for developments, or safety. We opted to accept the maple and an arbutus, should the removals go ahead. We are currently looking at transporting options to get the logs eventually moved out to the Frost Road property for milling.

Also, John Noble, the woodworking teacher at Nanaimo District Secondary School asked a couple of us to assist in judging a student Regional Competition sponsored by Skills Canada. So, Steve Neil and I had a very interesting day as 6 students from mid-Island schools were handed blueprints for a tool box, and 1” pine boards about 100” by 5.5”. They had to study the plans, create a cut-list plan for themselves, mill the wood, and then create the toolbox which included a dove-tailed drawer. We were impressed with the skill levels of these students from various schools from Cowichan Valley Secondary to North Nanaimo.

Instructor and 2 MIWG Judges
Judge assisting student
Sample Toolbox – built as a guide
A Competitor working on Project

Recent communications received through info@miwg.ca have announced wood for sale, as well as an occasional tool. Because there are other websites dedicated to sale of new and used items, I do not include these requests on our site. However, members may always post items for sale, or items of interest at any time. Please do so at http://miwg.ca/blog. Pierre Blanchard did point me to a website of interest that I will pass on. It is quite an amazing site for wood shaping! http://oilswoodstone.com/. I also received a suggested link from the mother of a boy scout who had found our site. She suggested that we add a link to our site, but instead, I will mention the link where I have already spent some time learning about sharpening theory. Here is the site that her son passed on to me: https://www.homeadvisor.com/r/home-woodworking-tools-projects/.  Check them out!

Next on the MIWG agenda will be the General Meeting on Wednesday, March 14 at 6:30 at NDSS Meeting Room A. (See http://miwg.ca/meetings for details.) Our presenters at the meeting are Cam Russell, the retired Dean of Fine Woodworking at Camosun College, and Karen Trickett, Cam’s extremely talented woodworking wife. The two have a beautiful studio just out of Maple Bay where they both create gorgeous woodworking products. (www.coventrywoodworks.ca/). Don’t miss this presentation!

Stay tuned for further details on the garage sale planned for April. Please begin to take gather your items for sale, along with some pics. And…a reminder of the April 21/22 mini-workbench-building seminar. Please bring a $120 deposit ($100 for the course and $20 for the hardware) to one of the two upcoming General Meetings with the balance payable on the day of the seminar/workshop. The project will be built in my workshop – depending on numbers, of course.

Best wishes to all, and continue to work your wood safely!


MIWG Newsletter – February 18, 2018

Greetings to all fellow woodworkers! (For those of you who read the earlier post – I apologize for the error in attributing the First Place finisher in our contest. It has now been corrected.)

As I look out a our first decent snow-fall of this year, it seems like I have a bit of time to add some notes to a newsletter – until driveway shovelling is recommended, and I must give up the thought of playing in my workshop/mancave!

Our last meeting on February 14 had a few wonderful surprises for us!

First of all, our presenter, John Noble, the woodworking teacher at Nanaimo District Secondary School gave us a slide show of works that his students have produced in recent times – from beginning Grade 8 to senior levels. The creativity and beauty of the students’ work was awe-inspiring and reinforced our commitment to our support for the art of woodworking in the mid-Island area.

After the presentation, we voted for the entries in our contest to create a project out of 3 board feet or less of milled wood. The results were impressive to say the least!

Terry Robinson’s entry

Terry Robinson’s entry   – sign for son’s new property

Tony Dobson’s entry

Tony Dobson’s router-carved serving box

Charles Beaulieu’s entry

Charles Beaulieu’s bar stool

Sara Frisch’s entry

Sara Frisch’s rather unique foot stool

Ed Tremblay’s entry

Ed Tremblay’s clock on stand

Dave Workman’s entry

Dave Workman’s chisel cabinet

Bruce Markstrom’s entry

Bruce Markstrom’s flower and candle holder

Bernie Waatainen’s entry

Bernie Waatainen’s segmented bowl turning

Bill Beese’s entry

Bill Beese’s carved moebius strip

Pierre Blanchard’s entry

First Place: Pierre Blanchard’s box and lid

AND…the three winners are:

Third Place: Bill Beese

Third Place: Bill Beese – carved Moebius strip

Second Place: Bernie Waatainen

Second Place: Bernie Waatainen – segmented turning

FIRST PLACE: Brian Rigby

First Place: Brian Rigby’s box and lid

On another issue, a recent email from a member who also is a member of Makerspace mentioned cherry pieces for sale from a tree removal in a local yard. If you are interested, please contact me.

Also of note: Mid-Island Woodworkers’ Guild is offering its first skills-based course to be held this coming Saturday, February 24 from 9:00 a.m. to noon. This course is on tune-ups and hand-sharpening of bench planes as well as hand-chisels and scrapers. The equipment needed is very low cost and easily available for the most part. In order to be insured against injury, you must be a member of MIWG (easily done, and very cheap!) and have paid a $30 entry fee. Please contact info@miwg.ca by Thursday if you would like to participate. (If participation is too low, this course may have to be postponed.)

Required equipment for Tool Sharpening workshop:

1. Plate of tempered glass, or plexiglass, or granite, or marble: approximately 30 cm x 30 cm or slightly larger (check flatness with a carpenter’s square) and at least 1/4” thick. (Brian McLaurin suggests mounting glass on a piece of arborite/particle board or plywood);

2. Wet/dry sandpaper (emery paper) or 3M sharpening sheets representing grits from 120 to about 1200; (Above 1200, if you have water stones or fine oilstones, bring them.)

3. Small water-spray bottle, and/or light honing oil;

4. A small piece of anti-skid drawer-liner rubber (to sit under the glass);

5. If you have one – a honing guide (store-bought, or home-made – see internet);

6. At least one bench plane needing work (including a new one out of a box), and a couple of bench chisels;

7. If you have it (not necessary!)…a diamond plate or stone for flattening blade backs and water stones;

8. Paper towel and a cotton cloth or two;

9. Shop apron or something to protect your clothing;

10. Safety goggles, ear-plugs and if possible – steel-toed boots.

Best wishes to all, and work safely in your shops!…Tony