Monthly Archives: December 2018

MIWG Newsletter – December 23, 2018

Season’s greetings…and should I be so bold…Merry Christmas to my fellow woodworkers!

In the category of “Last Minute Things to Do”, I suddenly remembered that many members at the last meeting had requested the “plan” that I use for creating reindeer and a sleigh. (The reindeer plan is probably well-known. I received it from the shop teacher at NDSS. The sleigh is my own.) So…here it is!

On the bandsaw – using a 1/8″ blade, I cut out the thin (face on) side first, and then when the 2 side slabs fall off, I tape them back onto the block using clear book-binding tape. Then I go back to the band-saw and cut out the side profiles. When that is finished, a “square” reindeer falls out. I then use a series of cutting bits for a rotary tool to round off the features. If a leg or an antler falls off in the process…you know what to do with glue. Otherwise, give it away as “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Lame Deer”! (You can make the figures bigger or smaller by using the enlarging and shrinking options for copying on your printer.)

Many thanks to Steve Neil for his very thorough presentation on hand-cutting dovetails at the December meeting. I’ll look forward to seeing the plan he created for cutting pins and tails accurately. Also, the Executive is grateful for the very strong membership response to adding names to our volunteer lists for Wood Recovery, and Programs.

Have fun with your last minute workshop gifts, and enjoy your Christmas! I’ll look forward to seeing many of you at the January meeting on January 9, 2019 when Warren Bailey will show us how he repairs old (and valuable) violins!

Best wishes!


MIWG Newsletter – December 11, 2018

Greetings fellow woodworkers!

With Christmas just two weeks away, it is pretty certain that many of you are feverishly working away in your workshops. (BTW…none of the North Pole crew have subscribed to this Newsletter!) Please don’t be in a hurry! Be careful. Injuries tend to occur when you are distracted, or in a rush.

Meanwhile, our Mid-Island Woodworkers’ Guild has been extremely active! During most of November we participated in a Woodwork Showcase, and partnered with the Nanaimo Quilters’ Guild to provide a beautiful display of local talent. Dan Appell from the Nanaimo Arts Council did a wonderful job of arranging the display and being on hand daily for the show. Many thanks to the Guild members who took their turns hosting the show, to Wendy Wagner who prepared treats for both Open Houses at the beginning and the end of the show, and especially to Rob Oldale for a terrific job of organizing our first show. Everyone who attended, agreed that the show display was beautiful. 

More Woodwork Showcase displays

Our Annual General Meeting in November provided us with the new Executive for the coming year. Tony Dobson, Steve Neil and Bob Armstrong have finished the maximum three year terms allowable, and our new Executive has Dave Workman as President, Bill Beese as Secretary, Thorne Underwood as Treasurer, Paul McCuish as Vice-President – Membership, Glen Smith as Vice-President – Programs, Ed Tremblay as Wood Recovery Chair, and Peter Clement as Librarian. (Tony Dobson will continue as “Past President” and replace Bob Armstrong, who was the elected “Member-at-Large”.)

The Wood Recovery Program has really taken off, and many members have volunteered their time to build the Wood Recovery Storage Shed along the back wall of the Frost Fields’ barn. Meanwhile many logs have been donated, and Peter Hentze has been very busy cutting varieties of sized boards for drying – assisted by more willing Guild members. With beech logs from Thorne Underwood, two spruce logs and 6 Douglas fir logs from Tony Dobson (only 3 trees actually logged, so he is still within his City required limit), and City of Nanaimo-donated maple, a large cedar, and a huge historical Arbutus (germinated in 1800, according to the ring count) we now have a very substantial supply of wood. A wood sale will probably be conducted in January. As a further bonus, Peter installed a drying kiln at Frost Fields, and was able to kiln-dry the London Plane tree, donated by Thorne Underwood to 12% moisture content in about 4 weeks! In addition, the Guild purchased a trailer load of previously air-dried wood which will be available to members or for donation to the High Schools.

Our upcoming presenters at our next two General Meetings are Steve Neil, who will be demonstrating hand-cut dovetails this Wednesday, December 12 – with the assistance of a very handy jig that he has created, and at our January 9 meeting, Warren Bailey from Saanich will be showing us the fine art of repairing old and very valuable violins.

As usual we welcome visitors to our General Meetings, and hope that your interest is heightened enough to actually join us. Just a reminder to members that the annual fee for next year is now due (a measly $50!) and for anyone considering joining with us, you will need to add an initiation fee (once only) of $25.

We hope to see many of you, your family members and friends tomorrow (this Wednesday) at Nanaimo District Secondary School – Meeting Room A at 6:30 pm. (Map is on the web site at If you can’t make it, well then… I wish you a very Merry Christmas and a very happy holiday season, and I will look forward to seeing you in January.

Tony Dobson, Past President

Half a herd