MIWG Newsletter – March 9, 2020

Hi again, fellow woodworkers!

As Daylight Savings Time takes over, and springtime warmth begins to appear more frequently, I am guessing that we are all looking forward to opening the doors of our shops and moving some of the winter dust out! I certainly am! And…as I visited my shop yesterday, my “squirrel” spirit pointed me towards an unfinished slab that I was flattening, and then immediately turned my attention to a Senegal parrot that I am carving, but that article was quickly forgotten when I remembered to re-roof a bird-house that also needed cleaning. C’est la guerre! (The birdhouse actually got finished – after I cleaned out last year’s dirty bedding.)

Activities in Mid-Island Woodworkers’ Guild continue to increase and demands grow for more hands-on-deck as we improve our wood storage area at Frost Fields, pick-up donated logs from various sites, mill those logs, and begin the processes for turning the provided facilities of Frost Fields into usable Guild areas for meetings. 

Wood drying decks almost ready

This completion of the meeting room/office will include wiring, insulation, and cabinetry for dishes and cutlery as we turn one room of the Frost Fields barn into a meeting-room with rudimentary kitchen facilities for coffee and supplies. We will be relocating our library from Felder Equipment on Mostar Road to this same office area.

Just outside the meeting-room, a patio area has been designated with flooring and benches already installed. Plans for a nearby outdoor toilet are proceeding, and our next wood sale on March 21 will feature a demonstration of CNC routing by Tyler Green from Felder Equipment. The project he will be completing is to be a MIWG sign that will go on the wall above the patio.

The wood supply that we have been receiving has come from several sources, but one private source should be mentioned. The cherry logs came from a homeowner in the Hammond Bay area and were located behind his home on a beautifully manicured property. The instructions were to remove the logs without damaging the lawns or concrete stonework. Unfortunately, the logs had to be maneuvered across the bottom end of the property, up a shallow hill, and across the higher front end of the property to be able to load them into the trailer on the driveway. With Peter Hentze’s trailer equipment, winch and expertise, and the assistance of our trucker, Rick Rotar and several other Guild members, as well as a visitor from Alberta, we were able to finally load these onto the trailer without damaging any landscaping. 

Dave and Peter can handle 2 logs at a time

Last Saturday, more members showed up at Frost Fields to mill these logs, and to move them into the kiln for rapid drying. The boards should be available for use in about 6 to 8 weeks.

Pricing of boards and priority of purchasing has become a concern as we get more and more beautiful wood, and the number of interested buyers grows. Our Wood Recovery Chairperson, Ed Tremblay is working on a plan that may incorporate some of the features used by Vancouver Island Woodworkers’ Guild such as priority purchase draw tickets for those who assist in the collection, milling and storage of wood.

Plans are to continue to offer demonstrations, and planning for offering woodworking “courses” at Frost Fields are in discussions.

Our membership continues to grow with 82 members now on the books but this number includes a few who have not renewed their membership fees yet for 2020. We encourage all current members to keep their membership current so as to have access to our wood supply, to support our High School programs, and to avoid having to pay an initiation fee again at some point in the future.)

We hope to see most/many of you this coming Wednesday night as our featured presentation will be Phil Makin who is a long-time member of Vancouver Island Woodworkers’ Guild, as he presents his pictures and ideas on chair-making.

Best wishes, and continue with your safe woodworking! 


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