All About Us
San Diego Fine Woodworkers Association (SDFWA) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, organized in 1982, to unite people who share a common interest and enthusiasm for working with wood. If you are interested in making things from wood, SDFWA is the place for you. We currently have over 1000 members: men and women, amateurs, hobbyists and professionals, all sharing their ideas, techniques, expertise, and love of woodworking.
Our interests cover all facets of woodworking including:
- Furniture Construction
- Machine & Hand-tool Joinery
- Musical Instruments
- Model Building
- Tools & Techniques
Objectives of the Association are education, promotion, and public appreciation of the principles and practices of fine woodworking.
We have a fully equipped woodshop available to SDFWA members. It includes a full collection of woodworking machines including a CNC router and a laser engraving machine. We also offer a wide variety of classes from Introduction to Woodworking through specialized woodworking techniques. Plus there are special interest groups - Carving, Digital Machining, and Women Who Woodwork that meet regularly at the shop. The facility is centrally located - near I-805 and Miramar Rd. Check the Member Shop section of this website for shop membership details, safety training, the class calendar, a detailed equipment list, 360 deg photo tours, and much, much more.
SDFWA sponsors many activities throughout the year including the following:
Each year SDFWA brings a nationally renowned woodworker to San Diego to conduct a weekend seminar. Our members receive substantial savings on these seminars that cover a wide variety of woodworking techniques. Some past seminars have featured:
- Andy Rae on Cabinet Construction
- Gary Rogowski on Craftsman Furniture
- Bob Flexner on Finishing
- Frank Klausz on Furniture Construction
- Sandor Nagyszalanczy on Making Shop Jigs and accessories
- Paul Schurch on Veneer, Marquetry and Furniture Design
Shop Tours and Bus Trips
These events are open to SDFWA members. Our members can, if they wish, open their own shops to share unique features of shop design, tools, and equipment or interesting layouts, techniques, and skills. We also schedule visits to commercial woodworking enterprises, cabinet shops, and even musical instrument makers. We have also scheduled bus trips to places like the Getty Museum, the home of furniture maker Sam Maloof, the Craftsman-era Green & Green Gamble House in Pasadena and other sites of interest to members.
Design in Wood Exhibition
SDFWA presents the Design in Wood Exhibition each year in association with the San Diego County Fair at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. This juried exhibition of fine woodworking has gained national and international recognition as the premiere woodworking show in the nation. The Design in Wood exhibit displays over 300 entries 25 different competitive categories and recognizes excellence in woodworking with awards totaling over $20,000. In addition, during the Fair, SDFWA members demonstrate traditional woodworking techniques by using traditional hand tools to produce 50 solid oak children's chairs in a 19th century cabinet shop setting. Through the years, SDFWA has donated over 1,700 of these children's chairs to local charity organizations. Other woodworking demonstrate include carving, turning, model making, chair caning, instrument building, and scroll sawing.
Videotape/DVD and Library Programs
SDFWA maintains a video loan library for our members which consists of an extensive collection of instructional videos on a wide variety of woodworking projects, techniques, and skills. Additionally, SDFWA has donated books and funds (matched by the City) to the City of San Diego Library System to purchase a wonderful collection which covers every aspect of working with wood. The library has over two thousand woodworking and furniture titles for the use of our members as well as the general public.
Toy Making and Cutout Programs
Toy making workshops bring members together to produce wooden toys in members' shops and at Palomar College. This is a great way for new members to get involved. Each year we donate over 3000 toys to various charitable organizations serving needy kids. Members also produce and distribute thousands of scroll saw cutouts each year to Children's Hospital for young patients to decorate and take home.
SDFWA supports a variety of woodworking education programs in public schools by awarding scholarships to promising high school and college student woodworkers in San Diego County who enter their work in the student exhibit at the San Diego County Fair.
SDFWA members enjoy substantial discounts from more than 20 local suppliers of lumber, tools, woodworking supplies and other services. These fine sponsors support and donate to many SDFWA programs throughout the year.
Meetings and Newsletters
Our meetings are generally held on the last Wednesday of odd-numbered months, with an extra meeting in April. Meetings are held at the Our Mother of Confidence Catholic Church Fellowship Hall - 3131 Governor Dr. at the corner of Regents Rd. We start promptly at 7:00 pm. Every meeting features a presentation which highlights some aspect of woodworking such as: Building a Secretary, Tuning a Table Saw, Timber Framing, Finishing Techniques, Making Tambour Doors, Using Your Router, Dust Collection Systems, and Vacuum Veneering. Go to the Next Meeting page to check on the date, the subject of the presentation, and the tool raffle items - and find a location map..
SDFWA publishes a newsletter before each General Meeting which includes announcements of upcoming events - like the next Shop Tour or Old Tool Swap Meet, the next meeting's program, the list of tool raffle items for that meeting, and a listing of woodworking items members want to dispose of, swap, or obtain. The newsletter also includes a listing of current sponsors, videos in the SDFWA video loan library, and other news items of general interest to woodworkers. Current and past newsletters are also available in our on-line newsletter archive.
Come Join Us
San Diego Fine Woodworkers Association has something for every woodworker. If you are interested in woodworking - SDFWA is the place for you.