Category Archives: General

General generic stuff.

MIWG Business Cards

We now have some MIWG business cards!!

Tony Dobson has 500 of them. If you want some to hand out to friends or potential MIWG members or anyone else, please talk to Tony at the next meeting and he can give you some cards.

The cards look like this:

MIWG Business Card Version 1.0


MIWG Meeting on Wed Mar 9, 2016

Reminder to All

Mid-Island Woodworkers’ Guild General Meeting:

Wednesday, March 9, 2016 – 7:00 pm
Meeting Room A – Nanaimo District Secondary School 355 Wakesiah Avenue
Nanaimo, BC

Hello all!

This notice is just a reminder of our upcoming General Meeting on Wednesday. (Details above). Harlan Richards, Vice-President – Programs, has arranged for a presentation from Egan Custom Guitars. (As a guitar-player and, hopefully future builder, I am very interested in this presentation!) Also, member Bernie Waatainen will introduce a friend who will have a few words to say about a Parksville turners’ group. (I am not sure of the exact name of the group.)

We are hoping to implement several features at this meeting and carry them forward to all future meetings:

  1. a draw for woodworking items (tools, materials, literature, DVDs etc.);
  2. a “show and tell” time where members can display and talk about their favourite projects;

So…if you can, please bring an item this week for donation to the draw that has some decent value (beyond the value of draw-tickets of 1 for $3 or 2 for $5). This might be a piece of wood that you have as leftover from a project (e.g. 2 board-feet of purple-heart), or a tool that is usable but that you have replaced with an upgraded version, or DVDs or books that will have value for someone else! If you know of businesses that would be willing to donate items to our cause, I would be very interested in talking to them. Once we have some funds available, we will also be able to purchase value items for the draws.

Also, we would love to have your pieces of work on display for others to look at and discuss with you. We will have a break time that will allow you to show your piece and discuss it.

For future meetings, please consider doing a presentation. If you are willing to give one, (up to an hour of time) please let Harlan Richards, (or any Executive member) know.

MIWG needs a Shop Tour Chairperson, as well as a Librarian (to gather, store and make available literature, videos, etc.) In this past November, four of our current members volunteered their shops to be on the tour for VIWG. About a dozen participants were able to visit and discuss the shop layouts, functions, productions and so on with these members. We would gladly do it again if there is interest. How about your shop?? Would you be willing to showcase it to the rest of us?

I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible on Wednesday evening. Bring a friend or two – or dozen!

Best wishes! Tony

Some Turnings by Bernie Waatainen

Here are some pictures of a vase, lamp and urn that one of our MIWG members, Bernie Waatainen turned on his lathe.
These pieces are all segmented turnings.
The body of the lamp is 7” in diameter and 11” tall, made up of 214 pieces of various tropical hardwoods finished with Liberon wax.
The vase is made of holly, rocky mountain juniper and walnut, 6” diameter and 8” tall finished with Shellawax.
The urn is 8” diameter, 11” tall, 344 pieces of various tropical hardwoods finished with Shellawax.
IMG_2284 IMG_2379 IMG_2381

Man Cave Musings

It is very gratifying to finally have an organization underway – Mid-Island Woodworkers’ Guild – which can represent woodworkers of all skills and crafts in the mid-Vancouver Island region! I must admit that the process to get here had very personal and selfish motivations.

After I retired from teaching in a classroom, teaching educational technology, and later…teaching on the water as a sailing instructor, I decided it was time to learn – a new hobby. I had always yearned to know more about woodworking. This probably came, partly from a much-admired uncle who had a successful woodworking business in the Okanagan, and partly from a very limited woodworking course when I was in Grade 7 in the military camp at Griesbach – in Edmonton. (We were bussed into a local high school for one afternoon a week.)

So, about 4 years ago, I began to accumulate tools for some small projects that I had in mind, but as my interest grew, so did my investments – in more, and better tools. With increasing purchases, I had an increasing awareness of personal dangers, I definitely needed mentoring, coaching and/or access to woodworking instruction. Internet searches provided almost the only instruction that I could find in the mid-Island region. Fine woodworking courses were only offered from Camosun College in Victoria, and from North Island College in Comox. Nanaimo had (and still has) NO fine woodworking courses – either through our local Vancouver Island University and its trade programs, nor through adult education in the Community Recreation programs.

Fortunately for me, I was able to meet and gain some insights from the woodworking instructor at a local High School – John Noble. He, and a retired colleague Ieuan Williamson, have helped me over some hurdles of safety and usage, and thus I am still able to type this letter and play my guitar with all ten fingers. (My father and my woodworking uncle had both lost fingers to machines. When I was very little, I am sure that I thought that it was normal for a man to have only 7 fingers.) This has been a goal from the beginning – to be a 10 fingered woodworker.

Still, I longed to get to know others locally who practise and love woodworking and who would be willing to provide mentorship on occasion, and to share their experiences. Also, I love seeing the craftsmanship involved in a wide range of woodworking products. Luckily, my wife has encouraged my hobby, and introduced me to a model of an organization that could provide the fellowship that I was looking for.  She belongs to the Nanaimo Quilters’ Guild – a very successful group of quilters with several hundred members who are highly productive, highly social, and very socially responsible in their generosity to charitable activities. I began to dream of belonging to a woodworkers’ guild parallel to that organization.

In the Spring of 2015, with a brand new 500 square foot woodworking shop (another story), and almost a full collection (never happen!) of tools, I decided to contact the Vancouver Island Woodworkers’ Guild to explore the concept of a local chapter of that organization. The Executive welcomed me and was very positive in its support of what I was proposing. I joined! As a member of VIWG, I kept in contact with Rick Lloyd, and Wayne Holmes, Brian McLaurin, Steve Neil and others, and over a number of months of musings, we finally agreed that the best model might be a separate entity for the mid-Island region. In September, I began the process of registering and incorporating a new society – the Mid-Island Woodworkers’ Guild. As I worked my way through the processes, I spoke with other interested folks, who spoke with others, and so on. With a couple of posters in strategic places, an ad on Craigslist and word of mouth, the numbers of interested folks grew. As of the date of the first meeting on January 27, 2016, there were 49 people on my growing interest email list – with more unofficially following the process.

So…here we are! Mid-Island Woodworkers’ Guild exists! We are ONE!

See you soon!