Community Woodworking Resources
There are a multitude of resources for woodworkers – from commercial suppliers, schools and shops, to other non-profit organizations like SDFWA, plus individuals willing to share their time and knowledge – both in person or on the internet. Here is an overview of some resources for San Diego woodworkers...
Our sponsors contribute to SDFWA in many ways and deserve your patronage. A benefit of SDFWA membership is the discount our members receive when purchasing from our sponsors. Additionally, sponsors support our activities – including the raffle at our general meetings, door prizes at our fall seminar, and materials for the 19th Century Chair Shop at the Design in Wood Exhibition at the San Diego County Fair.
Materials and Supplies
Living in a desert means most of us are not able to harvest wood from a forest – we generally have to get it from a supplier. The largest hardwood dealer in San Diego is Frost Hardwood – located on Miramar Road in Mira Mesa. The Hardwoods and Hardware store (TH&H) is located in Kearny Mesa - they carry lumber products as well as tools and other woodworking supplies. Suppliers in other areas of the county include Lane Stanton Vance Lumber in San Marcos and Strata Forest Products in El Cajon. And Rockler Woodworking and Hardware - also in in Kearny Mesa - stocks hardwood. If you are looking for tropical hardwood species, make sure to visit Tropical Exotic Hardwoods of Latin America in Carlsbad. They have lumber, live-edge slabs, and turning stock. JNilson Design in Oceanside operates an urban sawmill and can also supply slabs, as well as design and furniture construction services.
Both Rockler and The Hardwoods and Hardware store carry a good selection of woodworking tools, hardware, and finishing supplies. Mission Molding has a big selection of pre-milled architectural moldings and Ridout Plastics has all kinds of plastics. Check out Craftsman Studio for high-quality hand woodworking tools, while Tool Depot and Toolmarts have lots of power tools.
A relative new facility that is hard to categorize is MakerPlace in Clairemont. A monthly membership fee gives one access to shops full of equipment for woodworking, metal working, and electronics, including CNC tools and 3D printers, plus instructions on how to use everything.
While Palomar College may seem like just another community college, it boasts one of the finest woodworking programs in the United States. Their newly refurbished facilities boast four fully equipped shops and offers more than 50 classes including basic woodworking using hand and power tools, cabinetry, luthiery, tool-making, carving, design and finishing. Check the woodworking department website for details of current offerings. Many SDFWA members have taken – or taught – classes there.
The money that SDFWA donates to the San Diego Public Library – plus their matching funds – has established a large collection of woodworking books and videos available to anyone with a public library card. Also check the collection of videos and DVDs available for borrowing by SDFWA members.
Our Fall Seminar brings a nationally known woodworker in for a 3-day seminar that is one of the best values in woodworking instruction. Rockler has demonstrations on most Saturdays. Also, be sure to check into our Mentor Programs. And don't forget Russ Filbeck for intensive instruction in traditional chair-making.
Internet resources include the Fine Woodworking website (subscription required) and the Wood Whisperer channel on YouTube – along with pages of woodworking web links.
There are other organizations in the San Diego area with a focus on specific area of woodworking, or in a related craft. Some members of SDFWA also belong to the San Diego Woodturners, the San Diego County Carvers Guild, the San Diego Seaside Scrollers, and the San Diego Maritime Museum. Nearby woodworking organizations include the North County Woodworking Club, and the Orange County Woodworkers Association, and the Southern California chapter of the Society of American Period Furniture Makers.