Copyright 2020 
Tidewater Woodworking GuildSite by President:Fran Foster, Vice President: Greg Guertin, Treasurer:Chris Zuchristian, Secretary:  Don Newsome

TWWWG Heading imageman glitter
February 2020
Enjoying romantic walks through the hardware store!
Web Links At the Meeting Last Meeting Notes Tip of the Month Editors Notes
Product Reviews

What's In The Newsletter?

  • Presidents Report & Program Info
  • The Woodworking Show - Chantilly, VA
  • Board Meeting Minutes
  • Understand Miter Saw & Table Saw Angles
  • Band Saw Clinic Tune Up
  • Community Service - Cutting Out Pine Wood Derby Cars

From the President ...

Thanks to everyone that attended the January guild meeting.  As in the past, our January meeting program deals with safety in the shop.  A short video from the Wood Whisperer was used to begin the program and followed by a question and answer activity that kept the members wondering who would be called on next to provide a response.  Great class participation! 

Eight new members joined the guild last month.  They are: Will Morales, Lou Stortini, Dan Ball, Keith James, Steve Hunley, Kevin Allen, John Davis and Michael Jurnigan.  Please make them feel welcomed and part of the group by introducing yourself to them.  I am also asking that you wear your name tag so everyone can associate a name with a face.

We had an outstanding response for the guild raffle.  There were many items donated by members which resulted in over $60 coming in for guild activities.  Thank you to everyone that contributed.  We want to keep this going, so if you are in a spring cleaning mode and have something that is no longer needed in your shop, please consider donating it for the February raffle.

There were many items on display for the show and tell.  It really showcased the talent and creativity of the members.  This activity frequently results in others wanting to find out more about the items if they decide to make them.  Be sure to bring in anything you have created to the next meeting so we can continue to provide exciting ideas to the members.

Our February meeting program will be on the bandsaw.  Ed Bunker will be presenter and you do not want to miss this one!  He is the resident bandsaw expert and even if you think you know everything about the bandsaw, you will learn something new. 

That’s all for now.  I hope that you will be able to attend our next meeting which is on February 24.

Keep it With the Grain


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The Woodworking Shows - Chantilly, VA

The Woodworking Show will be held at the Dulles Convention Center from February 28th through March 1, 2020.  Please note that in 2020 February is a leap year month.

This 3 day events is worth attending.  There are various seminars, both free and paid plus about 50 exhibitors with various products to sell and demonstrate.  There are 11 different instructors providing talks on various topics over a 3 day period. 

Cost of the 3 day event is $12 if you sign up online, $14 if you pay in person.  It’s about a three and a half hour jaunt up there so why not call on one of your guild friends and car pool.  The seminars are definitely worth the time it takes to drive up.  My favorite instructor is Jim Heavy of Wood Magazine and I have already scheduled two of his seminars into my schedule.  If you really want to get wrapped up in the show there is a Holiday Inn Express hotel within walking distance of the convention and rooms on the weekend will run you about $100.

Show Hours

Friday - 12:00 PM - 6:00 PM

Saturday - 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Sunday - 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM

For more information click on the link


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Board Meeting Minutes


The board meeting at the Woodcraft store, February 5, 2020.  Retired president Jim Francis was outside of the picture.

 When: February 5, 2020, 5:00 PM



Woodcraft Store

5802 E. Virginia Beach Blvd

Suite 152

Norfolk, Va 23502


Board Members:

Fran Foster - President

Jim Francis - Past President

Greg Guertin - Vice President

Don Newsome - Secretary

Chris Zuchristian - Treasurer


Other Attendees:

Andy Steinberg

Gary Stephens - Newsletter and Web Master - Past Vice President

Ed Bunker - Past Membership Chair


Meeting Minutes:



1 - Items not covered during January’s board meeting are included in the agenda topics below (shown with an *)

2 - Unresolved items from January’s board meeting (Survey, Raffle, and Guild Publicity) were discussed and resolved during this board meeting


Fran opened the meeting by providing attendees with a copy of the meeting agenda.

1.   Thank you

2.   Program discussion

3.   Website input and recommendations

4.   Raffle - Designate a person to handle

5.   Photographer - Designate a person to handle

6.   Brochure

7.   * Shirts

8.   * Community projects

9.   Facebook page

10.               * Amazon smiles donation

11.               * Dues (Half/Full)

12.               * Christmas Toys

13.               Guild Publicity

14.               * New ways to thank Woodcraft

15.               Other


Thank You:

After welcoming remarks, Fran kicked off discussions regarding future guild programs.


Program Discussion:

There was much discussion regarding vendor presentations because the February Guild meeting is rapidly approaching and is supposed to showcase a product presentation by a vendor (Festool). Fran had always been of the opinion that if a vendor presents to the membership, these presentations should not include a sales pitch. Prior to this board meeting, there were several e-mails about the subject and Fran wanted to clear up any confusion that may exist. He mentioned that he had discussions with Ed Sontag (owner of Woodcraft) and there is no confusion regarding vendor presentation requirements. Ed agrees with him that vendors should not do sales pitches during presentations. Fran also mentioned that Ed told him that he now has a new Festool sales rep but he hasn’t met him yet. This fact could push the Festool presentation beyond February.


Don mentioned that if a vendor presents to the guild membership, there should be a clear set of guidelines in order to eliminate any confusion. The vendor should agree to those guidelines.


Andy remarked that he was not in favor of having vendors do presentations. He said the guild should focus on programs that help members, especially new members, learn skills. He stated, for example, no one knows bandsaw skills better than Ed Bunker. We should leverage that. Andy also stated that he could also present. There are other members in the guild that also have skills experience that could be presented.


Andy went on to explain that we’ve tried vendor presentations before. These were not a good fit for the guild because they were not focused on skills but focused on things that were not valuable to the guild membership. He went on to say that if the guild does decide to have vendors present, that those presentations should be an addendum to what we are already presenting and it should relate to our presentations.


Fran asked Greg “who is the new Festool rep?”. Greg said that he has not met him yet and does not know his name.


Ed mentioned that in the past, a high percentage of vendors backed out at the last minute.


Greg said that if a vendor fails to show up, he is prepared to step in and do a presentation on the types of glue used in woodworking.


Fran stated that he wants program presentations to be locked in (3 months in advance) so that the membership understands what programs are planned to be presented for future meetings.


Fran asked Andy if he could provide some thoughts to him about vendor presentation guidelines in the next two weeks.


Andy mentioned that in the past, the guild has used “skills” workstations set up to showcase different skills. The guild should consider this for future guild meetings.


Fran showed the feedback cards he created for the January meeting in order to gain feedback on program ideas from the membership.


Andy said that we used to receive survey feedback from the membership during yearly membership sign up.


Ed said that we used the surveys to compile the top things members were interested in seeing.


Chris mentioned that the survey form has been updated and is now available on the website.


Ed said to please update his contact info on the form because his referenced address is wrong.


Jim said that it should probably be the address of the Woodcraft store.


Jim mentioned that we should brainstorm presentation ideas. These are some of the ideas that the Board came up with:


-   Joinery: Set up workstations showing at least 40 of the 70 some types of joints used in woodworking.

-   Bandsaw: Provide education on the different types of bandsaw blades. Explain how they’re used in different woodworking applications. Bandsaw demonstrations are much easier to use for presentations for a number of reasons: less noise, ease of setup, camera friendly, etc.

-   YouTube presentations, where appropriate, to augment any presentation. Much like was done during the safety presentation during the January meeting.


Fran will consider the results of the brainstorming session as he considers how to engage the membership on their ideas.


NOTE: The following is an e-mail sent to the Board by Fran Foster the day after the board meeting:


Thanks for all of the discussion at Board meeting last night.  After hearing thoughts about programs, I have decided to hold off on any vendors giving a presentation until we have the guidelines established.  As a result, I had to decide what we could have as a program for this month.  Since Ed had suggested the bandsaw, I reached out to him and he was willing to give the presentation.  I have already sent Greg an email about my decision not to have Festool this month.  The fact that there is a new sales rep that calls on Woodcraft, it would be an unknown if a presentation could even be given.”





Fran is looking at other woodworking groups’ website to get ideas on possible changes to ours.


Gary mentioned that there is not much that could be done to change the look and feel of the website.


Don said that some websites have a professional look and feel; however, they require many hours of maintenance per month. He asked Gary to provide the board with the number of hours he spends on our website in order to keep the information up-to-date. Gary mentioned about 12 hours. Don said we should consider keeping our website simple.


Andy said that in the past, he would approach members about giving a review/feedback about things they purchased during meeting nights. This information was inserted into the monthly newsletter. This is an idea we should reconsider.




Andy has agreed to handle the monthly raffle.


Photographer - Designate a person to handle:


Don - a designated photographer would be useful for capturing show and tell presentations, community service events, shop visits, or any other special occasions. These could be displayed on the website, in the Newsletter, etc.


Gary mentioned that putting photos on the website is a challenge. The photo files must be manipulated before they can be inserted in the right place on the website. JPEG files are preferable. A lot of photos on the web, particularly Amazon, are not usable. Gary said he must downsize the PIXEL content to allow for easy upload and then place the image files in a TWWWG folder labeled images. From the JOOMLA web program, each image is uploaded. From there you go to the article you were working on, place the curser where you want the image to go and then load the image. Finally you size and position the image.


Andy said that everyone can be a photographer based on the fact that there are cameras on everyone’s phone.


Fran said he will ask for volunteers at the February meeting.




Fran said he and his wife are trying to create a tri-fold brochure and was looking for feedback on the kinds of information it should contain.


Gary said he would get examples from other guilds.


Ed said he has guild history that can be included in the brochure.




Fran asked Jim how the Shirt order worked and if we still had a relationship with the vendor.


Jim mentioned that the last shirt order was three years ago. He said he can put an order together for the next meeting if members are interested.


Fran said he would like Jim to do that.


Jim also mentioned that we could also get sponsored “T” shirts where the sponsors name would also be displayed. The name of the company is Lake Erie Tools. There is a minimum order requirement.


Community Projects:


Things that were discussed:

-   Pinewood derby - need volunteers

-   Lending libraries - There were issues with building requirements. No drawings

-   Connect with a wish - need more info

-   Sleep in heavenly peace - need more info

-   Toys for Tots - Stringent requirements prevent us from participating


Fran wants to keep looking for community project ideas.


FaceBook Page:


There were discussion about whether or not we should even have a FaceBook page. It was decided that we should. There needs to be someone responsible for maintaining the Guild’s FaceBook page.


Amazon Smiles:


There is the potential for the Guild to gain funds from the Amazon Smiles participation.


Jim, mentioned that he thought that the organization had to be a 501C to participate.


Don said he would ask the turners if they participate and if they do, find out how this works for them and how we can get started.


Dues (half/full year):


Currently dues are set for perspective members to pay the full yearly amount if joining the guild between the months of Jan-June. If joining the guild after June (July-Dec), the dues are half price. There is no monthly proration of dues. The question was asked “Should we prorate dues on a monthly bases?”. The Board decided to keep membership dues as is (no change).


Christmas Toys:


This topic needs to be revisited at a future board meeting.


Guild Publicity:


Andy mentioned that he found out about the Guild through the newspaper.


Fran showed the Board a recent newspaper article that showcased a female woodworker and also mentioned that the writer of the article was a past student of his. Fran said he plans to reach out to him in an effort to see if he would be interested in doing follow-on articles. This would be good publicity for the Guild.


New ways to Thank Woodcraft:


Woodcraft has been very good to our Guild by providing space and equipment for our meetings. Typically we give the owner a modest gift card to show our appreciation which is presented to the owner during our yearly Christmas dinner.


Fran said he had a discussion with Ed Sontag about this subject. Ed said he is comfortable with how things are.


Andy said we could treat him to a B&B get away near where he lives which is Richmond, VA. This was done in the past for the previous owner and was well received.


Andy agreed to look into this thank you option.




Gary asked “what happened to vendor discount offers that use to appear in the monthly newsletter”?


Andy mentioned that we use to have several and there’s no reason why we can take advantage of this.


Andy has agreed to look into this through the companies he normally does business with.


The Feb 2020 TWWWG Board Meeting was adjourned at 6:45 PM.


Don Newsome, Secretary


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Understand Miter Saw & Table Saw Angles

I do volunteer work for an organization called Faith Works Collation almost every Saturday morning.  We do repair work on houses and trailers for the poor, elderly and those that need our assistance.  Repairs include drywall repair, termite repair, door-window repair, plumbing, handicap ramps and much more.  A couple of weeks ago the group was working on replacing the steps coming out of a trailer and making it handicap compliant for a wheel chair.  As the group was progressing and getting ready for the railing system they started having problems with cutting the correct angles on the wood.  After three aborted failures they said “call Gary, he’s the cabinet maker, let him fix the problem”.  After a quick look at the problem I had a good idea of what was going on between the design team on the deck and the master miter saw operator cutting the boards.  The design team needed a 30 degree angle cut on a board but the confusion came when the person operating the miter saw set the angle of the cut to 30 on the miter saw.  I don’t know who it was that started marking the angle cuts on miter saws and miter gage and labeling them from 0 to 45 but I find it very confusing for a lot of users because they really don’t understand what the reference is for the miter saw markings.  I got the design team and the miter saw cutter together and explained what the angle markings on the chop saw really mean.  When you look at the miter saw markings you have to think that 0 degrees really means 90 degrees!  When the operator of the chop saw was cutting the lumber he set it to cut at the 30 mark which he assumed meant a 30 degree cut.  What he was actually cutting was a 60 degree cut on the piece of lumber.  After drawing them a revised angle marking gage they saw the problem and finally finished their deck.

It would be nice if manufacturers of miter saws and miter gages would label the marking like the drawing below.  It would make things much easier for the woodworker using their products.


 The same holds true for the table saw miter gage.  Most all of them are laid out the same way as the miter saw.  I have two miter gages, an old Craftsman unit and an Incra gage.  The Craftsman unit is laid out in the traditional manner but the Incra miter gage is very different.  It uses the traditional scale on the bottom but the reversed scale on the top row so that you do not have to do the math conversion in your head.

The final angle to be concerned with are the marks for setting the bevel angle on the blade.  The marks go from 0 to 45 degrees with 0 representing a 90 degree cut as referenced from the flat surface of the table saw.  If you want to cut a 22.5 degree cut, say for making a flag case, you crank on the handle that moves the blade tilt until you hit the 22.5 mark but where is the 22.5 degree angle referenced from?  Not the surface of the table saw but the rip fence.  If you think it is the surface of the table saw then you are really looking at a 67.5 angle.

There are two great videos on YouTube discussing cutting correct angles on the miter saw and making a simple jig to cut the angles as they are display on the miter saw gage.  I have inserted links to these video for your reference.  Happy learning!

How To Use & Understand Your Miter Saw Cut Angles


Advance Miter Saw Techniques

 Gary Stephens

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Band Saw Clinic Tune Up by Ed Bunker - Part 1


Part One

Springtime is just around the corner … March 21st to be exact … and that is only a month away!  So it is about that time to check out the ole band saw and possibly give it at least a “minor” tune-up.  Of course after you read this article, you may want to do a major tune-up and get that band saw performing like it was new again.  Actually, it is not that hard to tune up a band saw and it can really save on frustration when that special project calls for the accuracy of a “fine-tuned” machine. 

It doesn’t make much difference what brand of band saw you are tuning up … it is the logical progression of the process.  First you have to do an inspection of a few of the significant components.  Belts, Bearings, Tires, Tensioning Spring(s) and the blade itself all must be in good condition before making any adjustments.

Not all band saws have drive belts between the motor and the driving wheel.  However for those that do, worn out belts that are hard, dry-rotted, missing sections of rubber, or showing the inner cords dangling and racing around when in operation do not characterize the “fine-tuned” machine the manufacturer intended.  If I have just described your drive belt, invest in a new replacement belt while it is still in one piece.  It is much easier to estimate the replacement belt size if the old belt still resembles some of its original characteristics.

Bearings … there are several of these in every band saw.  Today’s bearings are sealed and permanently lubricated and usually maintenance free.  But this doesn’t mean that they will not fail.  Bad bearings are characterized by excessive noise and a sloppy movement when rotated, especially at normal operation speeds.  If the band saw blade is expected to track correctly the bearings supporting the wheels around which the blade is mounted must be in good condition.  So if your band saw is literally screaming or making unusual grinding or clunking sounds and it is not your hand or some varmint in the spokes of the wheels, it is most likely time for a set of new bearings! 

Yes, that reminds me, a lot of the inspection process is conducted with the doors open or covers removed exposing the rotating parts and the blade.  This requires some common sense and if you intend to put your fingers, hands, and or face into the inner workings of your band saw, there are several safety considerations that should be considered.  The least of which is to remove the energy source from the prime mover.  Unplug the band saw!  This way it cannot start up even if you fall against the start’m up switch. Unplugging the saw will not protect you from injury.  I’ve been around long enough now to know that if humans really try, they can always find a way to sustain an injury. However, by unplugging the band saw, you should be able to control the bleeding until you can seek professional help … for both the injury as well as the band saw tune up if necessary.

OK, back to bearings!  There are a couple of thrust bearings that are positioned behind the saw blade.  One is located above the table and the other below.  You inspect these bearings first by sight.  You look for the results of an over heated condition.  A bluish color on the outer race of the bearing is usually complimented by physical damage to the bearing’s edge nearest the back of the blade.  Be careful if you intend to put your fingers on this bearing. If the saw was just in use, the bearing’s outer race could be very hot.  Additionally, there could be friction cut lines that have caused a sharp burr to protrude from the edge.  Bearings in this condition will require replacement.  The overheated condition has, at a minimum, destroyed the lubrication qualities in the bearing.  You may also find the bearing seized in position.  The bearing replacement process is not that difficult however there are some considerations and precautions that must be followed to ensure reliable results.

Moving on to the tires.  The tires are normally located in a recess at the perimeter of the wheels.  The condition of the tires is critical in the performance of the band saw as well as the life of the blade.  Inspect these tires for cracks, missing pieces, and the presents of a crown in the center of the tire.  If your band saw tires are more than a few years old and you are unable or have forgotten to detention your blade when not in use, there is a high probability that you are in need of new tires.  Today’s band saw tires are designed with a crown that peeks in the center of the tire.  This crown is designed so when the blade is properly positioned and tensioned on the tire, the blade is self-tracking. Poor tire condition causes premature blade failure and can take the "set" out of the teeth. 

Tensioning Spring(s) and blades are the easy ones.  Just make sure they are not broken and not full of wood chips and saw dust that may preclude their operation. 

 Now if the blade is dull or cracks developing at the gullet, you should consider a replacement.  You should also consider long sleeves and leather gloves when opening coiled blades from their packaging.  If you have a propensity for objects to strike you in and about the face, then a face shield is also strongly recommended.  There is nothing predictable about a three-quarter inch band saw blade coming out of that blister packaging!  Yes, it usually hurts and usually leaves marks … wear the face shield! 

OK, that’s the inspection part.  Stay tuned for the tune up and a few tips that can make you proud of your band saw again.

I will see you at the February’s Monday night meeting of the guild to give you insight to the band saw.


Ed Bunker

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Community Service - Cutting Out Pine Wood Derby Cars


On February 8th the Tidewater Woodworkers Guild, with the assistance of Woodcraft store and Ed Sontag, helped about a dozen scouts, both boys and girls, cut out pine wood derby cars for their big race.  This is a great family event for the scouts.

Those names that I have as of press time from the guild that helped with the project included Larry LaRue, Greg Guertin, Ed Bunker and Fran Foster.  Pictures of the event are shown below.





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