Memorial Day coverage

Guild President Dale Neff sent out a news release to the local media about the urn project we are doing in cooperation with the folks over at the Tampa Woodworkers Club, and it got some coverage. It was appropriate on Memorial Day, and we hope that this will help further our efforts.  Here’s a quick summary:

A collection of completed urns

The Huffington Post

WTSP-TV Channel 10

The Boston Herald

Congratulations to our members and those from across the Bay in Tampa for their hard work, and thank you for what you do.


Get your May edition of Offcuts!

Yes, the May 2013 edition of Offcuts is out and ready for reading. Take a gander at this month’s offerings to see more about:

The May 2013 edition of Offcuts

  • Our 2 x 4 contest – the one with the June meeting deadline – is fast approaching!  Get your entry ready soon.
  • How members Jay Marino and Bill Murphy are going to demystify the lock miter bit at our next meeting.
  • Why special interest groups are a good thing, and how you can become part of one.
  • How thinking you can earn a fortune by woodworking may be a little bit pie in the sky for most of us.

We look forward to seeing you at this Saturday’s picnic!


Woodworking Safety Day

Today is Woodworking Safety Day. Each year, online woodworking dynamo Marc Spagnuolo of the Wood Whisperer site holds this event to remind woodworkers around the country – and the world – about the importance of shop safety.

Woodworking Safety Day 2013

Oh, boy, here we go again. The same tired talk our shop teachers used to give us back in high school or the mantra Norm Abram used to recite before he got to the good stuff on the New Yankee Workshop.

Yeah, that may be the case. But, it’s critical that we don’t lose sight of the importance of shop safety – even if it is for only one day a year. We have no problem thinking about tools, projects and techniques the rest of the year, so consider this a small investment in making your experience a more pleasant one.

Safe woodworking is a mustWhile this could easily become an event where the latest and greatest safety gadgets and gee-gaws are hawked, the most important safety device you bring to the shop is already between your ears. Take the time out to think before you cut.  Is the work properly secured? Are my hands going to get too close to the blade?  Did I put the safety gear back on the tool just in case something happens?

Just a few seconds of preparation can save days, weeks or even months of recovery later. Remember, woodworking is a great, enjoyable pastime… it shouldn’t be practice for your local paramedic.

Check out Marc’s site to see the safety entries that have been written today. No doubt you will find a nugget of safety information that may make the difference in y our shop.

Get yer April Offcuts here!

That’s right, folks, step right up to read the April 2013 edition of Offcuts. What’s new in it, well, check this out:

  • April 2013 OffcutsAn important safety message from president Dale Neff
  • Learn about the guild member survey
  • Find out about the upcoming guild build-along
  • What programs are on the way for upcoming months?

Be sure to check out the cool stuff going on at the guild, and be sure to swing by tomorrow’s meeting!  We’ll see you there.


Prepare for the picnic

Its spring in Florida, which typically means bright, dry skies, warm temperatures and the last gasp of a breeze before we enter the oppressive summer heat. It’s also the perfect time to get outdoors and enjoy the company of other woodworkers.

A shot from the picnicThat’s exactly what we are looking forward to at the St. Petersburg Woodcrafters Guild picnic at noon on Saturday, May 18. We are meeting at shelter seven at Lake Seminole Park starting at 11 a.m.  for a great chance to relax, eat some awesome food and swap some tall woodworking tales!

The guild will provide hot dogs and condiments for everyone to enjoy. We are also asking for members (and visitors, if they are so inclined) to bring a dish to share. This is the perfect opportunity to show off your skill in the kitchen as well as the shop!

Last year’s event had a great carving competition while we were kicking back and having some fun in the sun, and there are plans for more exciting events this year.
A water view in Lake Seminole Park
Lake Seminole Park is a 250 acre county facility easily accessible to  bustling Seminole, Largo, Pinellas Park and St. Petersburg. The shelter we have reserved has a beautiful view of Lake Seminole, and is yards away form convenience facilities, parking and so much more.

Why a 2 x 4 contest?

In the last edition of Offcuts, it was announced that the guild is hosting a 2 x 4 building contest.  And, I’m sure that for many of you, this might make you want to yawn. After all, aren’t all 2 x 4 building contests just a bunch of nonsense?

Not so fast. The fun about these building contests is that everyone starts on a level playing field. Sure, some woodworkers can get their hands on gorgeous fiddleback maple or other exotic wood. But, how much does that cost?  At many hardwood suppliers, beautiful timbers like these fetch a premium price, and certainly make the finished project look like a million dollars.

Snakewood is very expensive

Snakewood is very expensive

But, the ubiquitous construction grade 2 x 4 can be had for a song (well, maybe about three dollars at the local home improvement center), and provides roughly the same amount of wood for each of the contestants.

What will set each of these projects apart is the creativity, skill and imagination of the builder. What can you do with the raw material?  Turn. Scroll. Carve. Join. Slice. Dice. Julienne. Whatever you can think of, you can build.

Yes. This table from a 2 x 4

Yes. This table from a 2 x 4

And, if you are stuck for ideas, go online and take a peek at what others have done. While you many not want to build a reproduction of what someone else has done, you certainly can get inspiration from the works of others.

Who knows?  One day, someone might search for your work online and be inspired by it!

Get yer new Offcuts!

That’s right, folks. Be sure to read the March 2013 edition of Offcuts, the official newsletter of the St. Petersburg Woodcrafters Guild newsletter.

March 2013 OffcutsIn this edition, we’re doing it!  Yes, a 2 x 4 contest. But, not just any 2 x 4 contest… we will also accept projects built with 4 x 2s!

You can also read about:

  • The amazing show and tell at our February meeting
  • The slate of programs we are offering through July
  • Our new build-along project
  • And so much more!

Be sure to check it out, and remember our next guild meeting is this coming at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 26.  See you there!