Category Archives: General

General generic stuff.

Newsletter – January 7, 2018

Greetings and Happy New Year to Mid-Island Woodworkers, families and friends!

We are off to our third year of shared woodworking experiences under the direction of our new Executive:

  1. President: Tony Dobson
  2. Vice-President – Membership: Ed Tremblay
  3. Vice-President – Programs and Events: Dave Workman
  4. Treasurer: Steve Neil
  5. Secretary: Bill Beese
  6. Member-at-Large: Bob Armstrong
  7. Librarian: Peter Clement

We are certainly looking forward to a year of fellowship, learning and fun, and we will start things off at our next General Meeting on Wednesday, January 10, at 6:30 pm in Meeting Room A at 355 Wakesiah Avenue (Nanaimo District Secondary School) with a presentation by Bill Beese on wood properties and identification. (Bill has also agreed to give a presentation on the carving process for a decoy at some future presentation.)

Also in January, we will be having our second instructional workshop on Saturday, January 20 from 9:00 am to 12 noon in Building 165, Room 104 at Vancouver Island University. This session on First Aid, geared towards a woodworking shop, will be conducted by Eric Brand from the Royal Canadian Search And Rescue. This workshop will have a fee of $20 per person and you must be a member of Mid-Island Woodworkers’ Guild in order to participate. (Since this is true for all of our instructional activities, please convince your woodworking – or wannabe woodworker –  friends that it would just make great sense to join us officially and be a part of our wonderful group and to learn with us, or from the more experienced of our members.)

With regrets for an oversight in not taking pictures at our wonderful December meeting whereby quite a number of members showed some amazing pieces of work, I am attaching a few pictures that were sent to me by Tom Hedekar of his curling “stone(s)” (as well as a couple of other items from his lathe), and the mini-workbench that Bob Armstrong showed and which will be the subject of an project-based workshop – probably on the last weekend of January, or perhaps the first weekend in February.

Also in December, the “shop tour” of the shops of Gord Sjoquist, Thorne Underwood, Glen Smith and Tony Dobson was well-attended with about 10 members who managed to squeeze in an excellent lunch at the Lantzville Pub before completing the tour. Gord’s shop is a model of well-equipped, and pre-build design of dust control and heating systems; Thorne’ shop is a model of compactness and economy of space; Glen’s massive space allocation has had its working area reduced to manageable size by creating stacks for an amazing amount of wood storage; Tony’s shop has a decent floor size (double car garage) of about 500 sq. ft. into which he has located a full complement of standard power and hand tools while locating his dust collection system outside in a sound-proofed storage shed.

As mentioned at the December meeting by Bob Armstrong, MIWG will hold a competition to be judged in February based on your ability to create an original piece of work from “no more than 3 board feet”. This time, pictures will be taken! I hope that you have begun your planning for this “objet d’art” (or function!)

And finally, please let us know ( if you are not a member and would like to join in order to participate in our instructional programs and the general fellowship of our group. Meanwhile, we welcome all visitors and family members to our meetings.

Best wishes to all for 2018!

Keep those tools sharp!


p.s. Membership fees are now due for 2018. If you haven’t already done so, please plan on paying at our next meeting on Wednesday, January 10, and also handing in your updated Registration Information and Waiver. (Download and print from See you there!

Bob Armstrong’s Mini-Workbench

Tom Hedekar’s Turnings  

Tony Dobson’s unfinished Rocking Horse (from Douglas Davies)

oneTree 2017 Show – Call for Artists

Robert Bateman Centre and Live Edge Design launch call for artists for oneTree 2017

May 12, 2016, Victoria, BC – The Robert Bateman Centre and Duncan, BC-based Live Edge Design have launched a call for artists’ proposals for oneTree 2017, the second in a series of exhibits. The series celebrates the life and value of a single tree by inviting participating artists to create as much beauty from its wood as possible.

For over a hundred years this Black Walnut, Juglans nigra, stood sentry from Dalmahoy, its home on St Charles Street in Victoria’s Rockland neighborhood. Taking root in the Craigdarroch Castle-era, its majestic limbs began to crumble in 2015 and needed to come down to keep the surrounding homes and people safe.

“oneTree 2015 was a huge success,” enthused Peter Ord, managing director of Victoria’s Robert Bateman Centre, “The exhibit had such diversity with over 42 professional artists participating. It touched a lot of people to know that the tree was used in its entirety, and we saw many new people come through our doors to enjoy it.” John Lore, owner of Duncan’s Live Edge Design is also very excited about the upcoming show. “This is a fantastic experience of Art as cooperative, rather than competitive. What’s different about it this time around is that, in addition to wood artists, we are inviting artists of different media. We will consider all submissions that clearly show how the tree and its history inspire the finished piece.”

The exhibit is scheduled to open at the Bateman Centre from mid-November 2017 until January 2018. If you are a turner or an artisan that requires wet wood (with no cracks) and you have your application submitted by June 15, 2016, you will be eligible for early selection in order that you may pick up your wood before it has become too dry. The deadline for submission for all other artisans will be July 15, 2016. There will be some wet wood available for later submissions, but it may have cracks. Kiln-dried wood will be available for artisans in the spring of 2017.

Interested individuals are encouraged to make a formal submission.  The Expression of Interest and oneTree photos are located on or

About the Robert Bateman Centre
Opened in May 2013 in the historic Steamship Terminal along Victoria’s Inner Harbour, the Robert Bateman Centre is a public art museum showcasing more than 100 works by Robert Bateman, spanning his seven decades as one of Canada’s premier artists. The exhibit invites guests to explore their relationship with the environment and pay homage to the magic of nature. For more information, visit

About Live Edge Design
Live Edge Design creates custom furniture from locally salvaged trees. The trees tell the designers and craftsmen their stories. The ensuing collaboration of materials, craftspeople, and customers culminates in the finest of functional art. Honouring the tree enriches those it touches on its journey. From sourcing the trees to drying, design, production, and finishing, it all happens at their workshop in Duncan, BC. See for yourself or visit online at

Peter Ord, The Robert Bateman Centre: 250-940-3626 or

Christine Fagan, Live Edge Design: 250-748-0763 or

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