Member Shop Committee Chairman Updates
January 27, 2018 Update
Welcome to the 2018 version of our SDFWA Member Shop! We’re not getting older, we’re getting better!
Our Member Shop Committee has big plans for 2018. We’re determined to do everything we can to make the Shop better, help you enjoy it more, and bring in additional Members.
Before we get into 2018, let me give you a quick review of 2017. We opened the Shop June 19th with approximately 150 Members. We closed the year with 232 Members. One of the goals we had in opening the Shop was to turn around the several year decline in SDFWA Membership. Year-end Membership in SDFWA recorded the biggest increase in 10 years! And thanks to your support, our financial plan is right on track.
You’ll probably notice some additional activity over the next 2-3 weeks as we make some physical improvements to the Shop. Dick Huntington and his “Table Team” are going to build out the Storage Area, including providing shelving for Members to store their “glue-ups” and other projects on a short-term basis. We will also begin a project to set up a clearly defined and separate “Digital Tools” area. This will include venting the laser. Additionally, it will allow for a separate area for the lathes.
The major issue for 2018, however, will be our ability to continue to grow the Team that keeps our Shop running and growing. We currently have over 50 volunteers from Committee Members to Shift Supervisors, Instructors to various Specialists. All of these people share a dedication to making our Shop work and enjoy the satisfaction of being a part of what we’re all building together.
But if we are to continue to grow and improve, we need more help. And I hope you’ll consider getting involved by taking on a task or responsibility that fits with your schedule and interests. In fact I’d like to challenge you to make 2018 the year you get involved in the operation of the Shop!
Specifically, we have an urgent need for the following positions:
-Shop Secretary: This individual will be responsible for a variety of administrative tasks including organizing and filing the mounting volume of paperwork the Shop produces, taking minutes at Committee Meetings and setting up appropriate administrative policies and procedures to meet our Members needs. Most of the work can be done from home and will probably require just 2-4 hours per week. Skills required are basic computer skills and a willingness to help us organize our paperwork!
-Social Media Director: We are seeing an exciting level of interest in our Shop by younger people. It’s also clear that younger people expect groups they’re a part of to have a social media presence. We don’t. But we can. We just need someone (young or at least young at heart) to make it happen. If you have an understanding of social media, we need you to help us get started! You have a blank slate and can do it to whatever degree you have time to help us. Won’t you help?! You don’t need to be an experienced woodworker, just a bit of a “techie”!
-Assistant IT Director: Brian Kranson does a wonderful job of running our IT systems (Punchpass, phone system, camera system, computers, etc.) But he also works for living and needs some help. He’s a great guy to work with and learn from. If you have these skills, you could make a huge difference in just 2-3 hours a week.
Teacher/Teacher’s Assistant: We have a constant need for people to teach classes or help as teacher’s assistants. If you have always wanted to teach, have a particular expertise you’d like to share or just want to be part of the “Class” environment, our Educational Director, John Rieger wants to hear from you.
Project Team Member: We still have a large number of things that need building! We have a couple of great “Team Leaders” to help organize the effort, but they need some help. Can you offer just a few hours of your time to help us finish building out the Shop?
Publicity Director: We’ve got a great Shop! Now it’s time to let San Diego know about it! If you enjoy the process of public relations and sharing good news with people, this job’s for you. You’ll have control over what you do, when you do it and how you want to approach the responsibility. But you’ll be playing a really important role in helping us continue to grow.
Come on! Jump in! We need you and you’ll find that you’ll get far more out of this than you’ll put in. Call or email me and let’s find a position that matches your skills and interests. And if you’re new to the organization, don’t be shy! We want you involved. You don’t need to be an expert woodworker…just willing to help.
Finally, I want to make sure you’re all aware of the exciting list of Class offerings that John Rieger and his team are producing. Introduction to Scroll Sawing, Shaker Box Construction, Spindle Turning, Pen Turning and Bench Plane Restoration are all now on the calendar. Check the web site for more detailed information or talk to John Wednesday night at the General Meeting. He has also secured the services of Paul Dersham to teach a series of Wood Finishing Classes during the month of April. If there are other class offerings you’d like to see, be sure and let him know.
I would like to conclude this update with a hearty pat on the back to everyone involved in the Shop operation. I am very excited about the steady increase in usage we’re seeing and I am so appreciative of the attitude of respect and friendship that everyone is bringing to the Shop. If you haven’t been in lately, come in and see what I mean. We’re really having fun!
Thanks for reading! Have a great 2018!!
December 23, 2017 Update
As 2017 draws to a close, I wanted to share one more update with you.
But first I want to take this opportunity to thank you sincerely for the support you’ve given the Member Shop. Together we have accomplished what many believed impossible. Just one year ago we had just received approval to pursue our new plan. Today we have a fully functioning Shop serving the needs of well over 200 Members. And I believe that the best is yet to come!
As excited as I am about the Shop, the most significant part of this past year was learning just how many truly great people we have in this Association. The generosity, the selflessness, the professionalism and the dedication of so many has been the most fulfilling part of this last year for me. I can’t thank you enough for the time, the support and the encouragement that you have provided me and all Members of our Shop Committee. There is no doubt that our Association will someday look back at 2017 and see it as a “watershed’ year for SDFWA.
I know most of you are focusing on family and the Holidays, but here’s just a few quick items of interest you may want to be aware of.
Shop Director Pete Sterling has announced that Dallas Keck has accepted the position of Assistant Shop Director. We have been anxious to fill this important position but wanted to wait until we knew we had the right person. Those of you that know Dallas probably know what a special individual he is. He is already involved in several different facets of Shop Operation which should make him a quick study for his new role. This appointment also strengthens our management team and helps insure continuity of Shop Operation well into the future. Please join me in congratulating both Pete and Dallas on this important development.
The Shop will be closed on Christmas Day and on New Years Day.
Thanks to all of you who bid on the beautiful wood slabs Mike McElhiney so generously donated to the Shop. The Silent Auction that Pete ran at the Shop generated over $1200 in revenue that will go directly back into Shop operations. We are looking forward to seeing at least the photos of what projects come out of these exciting acquisitions!
While we are talking about donations, I also want to recognize the generosity of Sam Takahashi. You may recall that in a recent update, I asked if anyone had a vacuum press they might be willing to donate to the Shop. Sam stepped up and offered to cover whatever the cost of a new vacuum system will be! Our Educational Director John Rieger is working with one of our soon-to-be instructors, who will lead classes in marquetry at the Shop, to select a system that will best meet our needs. Thank you again, Sam!
We had our first “incident” with our Saw Stop Table Saw. A Member accidentally extended the aluminum cross-cut fence too far out, into the path of the blade. As he pushed it forward, the cartridge tripped and instantly shut down the saw. I can hear some of you snickering at this point. But I must tell you that I have come close to making this mistake myself. I think it’s because many of us have never used a table saw where the metal portion of the crosscut bar would reach the blade. The important thing is that no one was hurt and that we now know that our Saw Stop shut down feature seems to work as advertised. Let’s all learn from this “teachable” moment. It only takes a few seconds, before we hit the power switch, to stand back and make one more check to insure we have a solid plan!
We have a new “Beginning Scroll Saw” class coming up. Ideally we could use a couple more scroll saws, if not as a donation, then as a loan for that class. If you can help, please let us know.
Doug Glessner and Marlo Olson got us started this past week on organizing our Storage Area. They built a storage rack above the area all for long term storage which has cleared the way for the extensive shelving we intend to add, some of which will be dedicated to Member Short Term Storage. These two guys continue to find ways to help us make the Shop better! Nice going, gents!
Thanks also to Ron Prater. Pete put out a request for someone to take over the Wednesday afternoon slot as a Shift Supervisor. Ron not only stepped up but did so quickly and willingly. It’s this type of volunteerism that will continue to make our Shop great! Please don’t forget to thank your Shift Supervisor for the critical role that they play in keeping our Shop open and operating smoothly!
Another thing we’re working on is an effort to make better use of our Facebook Page. Yes, we have our own FacebookPage:
We want to both promote the Shop as well as our Members and the items they are producing. So please stop by occasionally and check it out. Also, send us photos of what you’re doing! Other members want to see!
In closing, I want to wish you all a Merry Christmas and wonderful, healthy 2018! Thanks again for making 2017 the very special year it has been!
November 17, 2017 Update
The Holidays are suddenly "here". And I want to get this brief update out before we all get swept up in the rush of activities headed our way.
I'm pleased to report that all the news is good! You may recall that when we opened in June, we had approximately 150 Members. As of today, we stand at 222! And the Membership of the SDFWA is experiencing it's first upturn in nearly 10 years. Just as we hoped would happen, we're seeing an influx of new Members, and younger and more diverse Members as well.
The main reason I'm sending this is to alert you to some important events you may or may not be aware of.
The Shop will be closed on Thanksgiving. I'll be giving special thanks that day for all the support you have provided that has turned this idea into an exciting reality!
On December 2nd and 3rd, John Rieger will be offering a new type of event....not a class....but a "Workshop". To be precise, it's a "Holiday Gift Making" workshop. It's geared towards beginning and intermediate woodworkers, but it's also intended to be an opportunity for Members to get together, build something useful and work side by side with other woodworkers all at the same time. He's offering the opportunity for you to build up to four simple but attractive and useful wooden items from a menu of 8 or 10. You choose which ones you want to build, we'll provide the materials, plan and guidance. You make them! The reason for the two day schedule is to allow overnight "drying time" for those items that need it. The price is just $20 which is what we expect the cost of materials to be. There's also a rumor that elves, Christmas cookies, hot chocolate and miscellaneous goodies will be on hand to make this a casual and enjoyable event. You do need to be a Shop Member and have completed your Safety Training to participate. If you do need either the Safety Orientation or HOST, there are sessions scheduled between now and then. Please join us! It should be fun!
I would also point out that there are openings in some of the Laser Classes in both November and December. I don't expect those to last long. So if you want to learn how to operate this great new addition to our Shop, don't wait to sign up.
We do have a request. We are now ready to build out the shelving and other storage components in the storage area in the Shop. We are planning to build two 8' sections of shelving, 2' deep and 8' high. Our plan is to build these out of 2 x 4's and plywood. However, it occurs to me that someone may have (or have access to) existing shelving....wood or steel. If you do, and you'l be willing to donate it, please let us know right away.
Finally, as I write this, Jim Strawn is at the Shop, on his day off, repairing one of our Band Saws. Most of you know how dedicated and responsive he is in keeping our equipment running. It's one of those things that you don't notice only because he does it so well. So the next time you see him, please let him know how much you appreciate what he does for us all!
That's it! I wish you and all of your Family a wonderful Thanksgiving!
November 5, 2017
It's been a while since my last update and I have much to share!
One of the most significant pieces of news is that we finally have a Laser Engraver....and it's a beauty!
You may be aware that we've spent a great deal of effort to find the best combination of size, capability and price. It was a long and, at times, perplexing process. But in the end, I'm very pleased with the decision we made. It's a used machine, but we've replaced the tube with a brand new 100 watt tube and also the controller. The bed will handle stock 3' x 4'...a big plus! Additionally, it has a "z" axis that allows use to put items up to 18" deep into the unit. There is also a rotary attachment that will allow you to etch of engrave curve items such and bottles or bowls. The precision and speed of our new machine is, in my opinion, incredible!
Last evening, John Rieger, Pete Sterling and I had the opportunity to go through the Laser Training Class that Travis Good has created. It's a three hour class that takes someone like myself (no laser experience) and has you producing lasered objects two to three hours later. I can't tell you how excited I was with the experience and the potential that this machine and Travis' program have for our Shop. To make up for the delay in procuring the machine, Travis and his team are accelerating the roll out of the the Introduction to Laser Class that could begin as soon as late next week. The Class will be one session, three hours in length and be $50. If you have a desire to be included, let me know and we'll put you on the list, first come, first served. I really think you'll be quite impressed.
We had another good month, financially, during October. Once again, we took in substantially more than we spent. One reason was that we now have a viable "Special Projects" program up and running. You may recall that our business plan calls for multiple revenue streams including income from projects built by our Members and sold to the public. Doug Glessner has stepped forward and volunteered to take on this challenge. Our first project came from a couple that needed a new bed frame and cabinet for their RV. Doug met with them, bid the job and led the team of Marlo Olson and Dallas Keck in building it out, finishing it and installing it in the RV. The clients were ecstatic over the result and the project netted $2,000 for theShop! Very nice, guys! Please give each of these guys a big pat on the back for a job really well done!! If you'd like to be a part of projects like this, please let Doug Glessner know (firstname.lastname@example.org).
I can't say enough about the job our Shift Supervisors are doing. Pete challenged them all to choose a shift and "take ownership" of it. Well, they've done just that. As you have likely experienced, if you have used the Shop to any degree, these individuals knock themselves out to make sure the facility is clean, that you have what you need and that they are there if you need a hand. It's important to remember that they are volunteering their time and effort every week. They deserve our constant appreciation and support.
Those same Shift Supervisors are also feeding back lots of information on what you like and don't like as well as the "fine tuning" adjustments we need to make to the operation of the Shop. Better access to hand tools and supplies was one of their top issues. Pete and I have been working on this and are making good progress. But admittedly it's a big job. With help from Jim Strawn, we've begun to clean out the excess equipment in the Storage area. This will allow us to build in permanent shelving which will give us a better place to offer you short term storage of your projects. We've also designated a large red tool chest to be available along the West wall (next to the belt sanders). In this chest you'll find all the basics (hammers, mallets, screwdrivers, pliers, wrenches) as well as some "nice to haves" like specialized drawing and measuring devices. I hope to have all the drawers clearly labeled soon to help you quickly and easily access what you need. More needs to be done, so if you like organizing, sorting and arranging, please let me know. We can use your help.
Another issue the Shift Supervisors brought up is the issue of not knowing exactly when Members are coming in to the Shop. If you've signed up for a slot, say 9 to 1, and you're not coming in right at 9 or shortly thereafter, please call the Shop and let the Shift Supervisor know. You're welcome to come in at any time, but it's helpful to them to know that you are coming and didn't simply forget to cancel. Again, it's important to extend every courtesy we can to this Team. They are the heart and soul of our Shop! Also, there seems to be some confusion about the option of spreading your 3 hour slot across two "shifts". That's totally okay with us. Again, just communicate what you want to do with the Shift Supervisor.
This Saturday is Veterans Day. I suspect most of you would agree that the recognition of our Military Service men and women is extremely important. In that light, we thought it would be a good idea to start a tradition of doing something special on Veterans Day. So we'd like to offer free Shop use to any Shop Member that's a past or current member of the US Armed Forces. (No slot charge). Keep in mind that each slot only accomodates six people. So if you would like to work in the Shopon Saturday, I would suggest you book early. If you're a Veteran but don't have any need to use the Shop, please stop by anyway. We'll have the coffee on and donuts on hand! And all "war stories" are welcome! To all of our Veterans, "Thanks Again" for your service.
Finally, I want to extend a special welcome to the many new Shop Members that have joined the Shop, the SDFWA or both, over the last couple of months. We are very pleased to have you with us. And we are particularly excited to see more young people and women joining our ranks. You have joined a great group of people who are all pulling together to make our Shop something really special. And to those of you that aren't new, I hope you'll make an extra effort to make our new Members feel welcome....both at the Shop and at the General Meeting on November 29th. It's always a bit intimidating when you join a new group and don't know everyone. Let's cut through that barrier with an especially warm welcome!
As always, we welcome your feedback. We've had a number of good suggestions and are implementing them as fast as we can. Keep 'em coming!
Member Shop Chairman
October 7, 2017
Once again, there’s plenty going on at the Shop! Here’s a quick update.
You may have seen or heard that Monday morning, Allie Wagner, TV personality on KUSI’s Morning Show did three live segments from our Shop. She did a wonderful job of helping Pete, Travis Good and I extoll the virtues of our new Shop. We had calls and walk-ins all day, so we’re very pleased with the fine work James Lagrone did in setting this up! Hopefully we’ll be able to attract some of the other stations as well. If you’d like to see the interviews, here’s the link…https://youtu.be/ugRsFImmeSQ
The minute KUSI left, Doug Glessner and Marlo Olson began to disconnect the Saw Stop from the dust collection system to allow it to be moved so that we could slide “Big Blue”, our larger CNC from it’s berth and out the door to it’s new owner. Brian Kranson’s excellent work in finding a buyer for this piece netted us $8,000 and freed up the space we need for a new laser engraver. Atta Boy, Brian!!
Meanwhile, Travis Good began training our new CNC instructors so that you’ll soon have access to training for our new Shapeoko CNC. More details to come.
Monday night, Jerry Beaudry began another SketchUp Class and this morning (Saturday) Bob Bostick began another sold-out Introduction to Woodworking Class. I can’t say enough about John Rieger’s work in developing these Class offerings. The SketchUp Class is a great example of us being able to offer all of our Members the opportunity to strengthen their skills. The Introduction to Woodworking is the gateway through which we can help produce new woodworkers and new Members. And the revenue from both help us finance the cost of operating the Shop. It’s called “Win-win-win”!
Another important development is that we have a new Financial Director for the Shop. Bruce Nelson has done an incredible job setting up our financial accounting and reporting system. Unfortunately, he seems to think that his retirement is for actually using the Shop rather than accounting for it. So he has been asking us to replace him for some time. Fortunately, Mike Osborne has stepped up and agreed to fill some very large shoes that Bruce leaves behind. We really appreciate that, Mike!
Speaking of finances, you might be wondering how we’re doing. I’m pleased to report that we’re doing quite well. September was a very good month with over $10,000 in revenue and approximately $3,700 in net income after all expenses were paid. The revenue surge was due to the large number of new Memberships sold (Open House) and another great month of Class activity. We still have work to do. It’s critical to our long term stability to sign up another 100 members. But it’s good to have a “cushion” to work with while we’re doing that.
I’d like to return to the subject of training to highlight two upcoming classes. Two of our Members are developing their plans to share their considerable expertise with those of you who have an interest. Dave Henry is not only familiar to most of us, but an established authority on the subject of “Bird Mouth” joinery. He has a three session class coming up the first week in November that I think is going to be really special. The other offering I’m really excited about is Jig Making/Box Making by Jim Franz. You may not know Jim, but you’ve probably seen his boxes beneath the many ribbons bestowed upon him at Design in Wood over the years. He was one of the first people I approached about teaching a class when we began the planning for our Shop. As it turns out, one of Jim’s principles is that before you can build boxes, you must build the necessary jigs. And wait until you see these jigs! (and the boxes). The details for both are on the web site under the Training tab. Both are very small classes, so don’t wait to sign up.
We need your help in a couple of areas. First, we’d like to offer a class on inlay but need a vacuum press. If you have one you’re willing to donate, we’d love to hear from you. And, we still need a few more mini-lathes to properly equip ourselves for a turning class. The other thing we need is a Secretary. This is not a position we originally planned on. However, like many parts of the Shop operation, it’s a larger task than we anticipated. What we’re looking for is someone with basic administrative skills to help us organize our paperwork, take notes at our meetings, arrange and send out periodic mailings, update lists, order supplies, etc. Most of the work could be done from home. If you think this is something you’d be willing to take on, I would appreciate the opportunity to discuss it with you. Please email or call me!! Thanks!
In closing, I just want to remind everyone that this is YOUR Shop. We want you involved. If you want to help out but don’t know how to go about it, just let me know. We’ve got a ton of projects and I’m certain we can find one that matches your skills and interests. And if you have ideas or suggestions for making the Shop better, don’t keep them to yourself.
Thanks for listening…I look forward to seeing you in the Shop!
September 17, 2017
As you may have already heard, our Open House was a booming success! We had over 250 people including approximately 40 Association Members that turned out for the Shop Tour just before the Open House began. Special thanks to Avis Durgan and the team of helpers she put together to clean the Shop from top to bottom. Bekker's Catering, owned by Oscar Worm, long time Association Member and now Shop Member, donated and served approximately 200 lunches. Thank you, Oscar!
The feedback from everyone was extremely positive and 17 people bought memberships on the spot. Additionally, several of our key Directors had the opportunity to educate our guests on upcoming classes, the CNC machine, Special Interest Groups and more. I couldn't be more pleased with the event and thank again all of you that contributed your time and support. What a great Team effort!
Wednesday night, Pete conducted another Shift Supervisor meeting to continue to strengthen communications and equipment knowledge among our management staff. The primary emphasis was on the proper and safe use of equipment. Pete, Jim and I are becoming increasingly concerned about the number of problems we are seeing in this area. So we have asked the Shift Supervisors to take a more vigilant and assertive role in making sure that all Members are using equipment properly. So if you sense a change, understand that it comes from us... not because we're trying to be heavy handed, but because we're concerned for everyone's safety. Let me give you some examples of what I'm referring to.
Someone ran stock across the jointer that was so thin that the "heel" of the push stick was planed down to almost nothing. (The jointer is intended for flattening stock, not making thin stock thinner.) We've had a serious nick taken out of one of the planer blades indicating someone ran stock through there that likely contained a nail or screw. I've personally watched two different Members pull blades off the band saws by "backing out" of a cut with the blade running. Another major problem continues to be Members running glued up pieces (with glue "run-out" still in place) through the belt sanders. Please understand, any such run-out must be scraped off before putting the piece in either the sander or the planer. The Shift Supervisors had a chance to see what happens when you don't. Jim showed them the belt on the one sander that was a solid slick of gum where the sanding grit used to be. Moving forward, we will use the video tapes to go back and identify who is responsible for equipment abuse.
Again, please do your part by observing good safety practices and letting someone know if you see others failing to do so. Please don't put our Shift Supervisors in the difficult position of having to get after you about this. Do ask Shift Supervisors is you have any questions about the proper use of equipment.
We continue to be excited about the Classes John Rieger and his team are putting together. We are going to offer both Introduction to Woodworking 1 and SketchUp again in October. Two of "our own", Dave Henry and Jim Franz are offering to share their expertise. Dave will be doing a class on Birdsmouth Joinery. Jim Franz, one of our very best box makers will be doing a class on Box Making preceeded by a class on making the jigs necessary to make his boxes. Additional information on all of these are available on the web site. Next week, four Members who have volunteered to learn, then teach CNC operation will begin their four week training. We hope to offer CNC training to the Membership as early as November. And don't miss Jim Strawn's Mentor Class on Toy Making coming up September 30th.
You should also know that the Shop has received several hundred dollars in donations in memory of Dick Rosenberg. Before his death, he let his family know that in lieu of flowers at his funeral, he wanted the money donated instead to the Member Shop. Our sincere appreciation and condolence goes out to the entire Rosenberg Family.
Finally, another call for help. Ted Thompson has generously agreed to take on the responsibility of getting our Powermatic Lathe running in good order and to develop a certification process for those Members wishing to use it. The lathe itself works fine, but we need some tools and attachments. If you have "lathe parts" you would be willing to donate, please contact Ted directly at email@example.com. We need everything from tools to a grinder for sharpening. While we're talking about lathes, you should know that Member Paul Sasaki has donated a very nice mini-lathe that we're anxious to have. When he went to get it ready for pick-up, he noted that the belt was no longer serviceable. Those of you that know Paul can guess what happened next....he ordered a new belt at his expense so that it would be working properly when it arrived at the Shop. Thanks again, Paul!
Another note...the new Mortising Machine now has bits. So feel free to get in there and make some square holes!!
The Shop is clean, full of great tools and just waiting for you to use it! Hope to see you soon!
September 4, 2017
Fellow Shop Members,
Activity has reached fever pitch as we prepare for our Grand Opening/Open House event on Saturday, September 9th from 11am-1pm. Much remains to be done to insure that we put our best foot forward. If you would like to help, please contact Avis Durgan, firstname.lastname@example.org. She will be happy to match your skills with something on the “to do” list. We also need help during the event itself.
If you have not yet been down to the Shop, please don’t miss this opportunity. It should be a great day and members Olga and Oscar Worm, proprietors of Bekker’s Catering have generously offered to host a BBQ lunch!
One of the things you will notice when you visit the Shop is the tremendous job our “Table Team” (Dick Huntington, Dan McNaughton and Pat Duffy) has done in building out the various tables surrounding our key pieces of equipment. Please thank them when you see them!
The long awaited “Founders Group” plaque should also make its debut that day. Mike McElhiney and Tony Tait have been ignoring the hot weather to make sure the project is completed on time. I can’t wait to see what they’ve come up with.
As most of you know, we lost one of our favorite Members this month. Charlie Bierman was not only the heart of our Toy Program but a truly special individual. He had asked us to display some of his toys at the Shop and, thanks to Avis Durgan and Bryan Blackshear, those toys now greet all Shop visitors just as they enter. I’m sure Charlie would be pleased with what they’ve done. Condolences also go out to the Dick Rosenburg family. Dick passed away this last week. As his health deteriorated, he donated his entire shop to us. When you use the SawStop table saw, it will be one of the many tools we enjoy courtesy of Dick Rosenburg.
John Rieger, our Educational Director, has been working overtime to further develop our list of Class offerings. He has some very special things coming up and will be announcing many of them at the Open House. We’re also delighted to share that Jerry Beaudry has agreed to teach another session of his SketchUp class. You may recall that the first one filled up quickly. I took it myself and found it to be very valuable. It’s a tremendous program and, of course, Jerry does a great job.
Special thanks to Wright Rodman, Alan Lewis and Dana Chapin who answered the call for needed equipment that I put out in the last update. These guys came through big time and saved us nearly $1,000 that we would have had to spend to buy the items new. Gentlemen, your generosity is much appreciated!
One of the “unsung heroes” of our Shop is Jim Strawn. He has been laboring tirelessly to get all of our equipment up and running, and running well. Pete and I stood in the tool room recently, looking out at all of our equipment and realized that not one item was down due to maintenance. Jim really deserves our thanks and our support. If you are tempted to “adjust” a piece of equipment, please don’t! He is spending a great deal of his time correcting well-intentioned but uninformed attempts by some members to “fix” things. If you feel something needs attention, please communicate that to the Shift Supervisor and they’ll make sure Jim takes a look at it.
Again, the continued success of our Shop operation will depend upon everyone doing their part. We need 2-3 more volunteers to help with various things at the Open House, including directing visitors to the correct parking area, greeting Customers at Rockler and sending them our way, etc. We also need one or two people to stain and finish the beautiful tables our Table Team has built. John Rieger, our Education Director needs an assistant or two to share the tremendous load he’s carrying. If you always wanted to teach woodworking, write lesson plans, do some basic marketing to help publicize the classes, etc, please contact me or John.
And finally, it’s time to fire up our Special Projects Team! As you may recall, our business plan calls for some of our revenue coming from Special projects. This is where we accept commissions for special woodworking projects, bring a group of Members to build them and use the revenue to fund Shop activities. If you would like to be part of this effort and learn more about it, please let me hear from you.
In closing, I want to say a special “Thank You” to our Shift Supervisors who truly make the Shop run! Pete has asked that Shift Supervisors take on a specific shift each week and “make it their own”. Our Shift Supervisors have responded very enthusiastically and all shifts are being manned consistently. In turn, they will receive free Shop time as an incentive to help keep the Shop running smoothly. The next time you’re in the Shop, please take a moment to let the Shift Supervisor know how much you appreciate their giving up their time to open the Shop for you.
I hope to see you all on Saturday!
Member Shop Chairman
July 24, 2017
Good Evening, Fellow Shop Members,
I'd like to take a moment to update you on at least a few of the many positive things going on at the Shop.
First, the new Dust Collection System is finally in place. Some final adjustments are being made and the DC Team is still adding to the soundproofing around the unit itself to further reduce the decibel level in the Tool Room. The good news is that very little of the noise is noticeable in the Classroom. This will allow us to continue to offer classes without cutting into other Members use of the Tool Room. It appears that the investment we made in that "tall wall" is paying off. We are now finally able to permanently place the equipment where it needs to be and say "goodbye" to the scissors lift which, while necessary, has really been "crowding our style"!
The Mortising machine is due to be installed tomorrow and the wide belt thickness sander which has been back ordered is now set to arrive on July 30th. Our "Table Team", headed up by Dick Huntington is very busy. They've added outfeed tables to both table saws and a base to our new CNC machine. Brian Kranston and Ted Thompson are building a series of clamp racks and a whole flock of Members, summoned by our new Special Projects Manager, Avis Durgan, have added a second vise to each of the benches in the Classroom.
Anticipating that we'll finally be able to present a "finished" Shop, our Grand Opening Celebration has been scheduled for September 9th. You will, of course, receive more information on that event as it draws nearer.
You may recall that while the Shop has been available to Members since June 19th, that we made the decision not to "charge slots" until all of the commotion of the Dust Collection installation was behind us. This seemed to be the right thing to do. But please be aware that as of August 1st, you will need to formally "sign in" when using the Shop and slot use will be tracked from that day forward. Should you have any questions or concerns about your slots and their accounting, don't hesitate to ask. We intend to go out of our way to be fair and accommodating with all Members.
Also, and this is important, be aware that if you do not make a reservation to use the Shop, at least the day before you wish to use it, and if no one else reserves a spot, the Shift Supervisor will not report for that Slot. So you may arrive and not be able to access the Shop. While this may be a minor inconvenience for some, it seems more acceptable than expecting a Shift Supervisor to sit alone in the Shop for four hours.
Our Classroom has been a busy place. We've completed our first formal series of classes...SketchUp...taught by Jerry Beaudry and enjoyed by a group of 18 of us. Thanks to Jerry's generosity in teaching the class pro bono, we also raised over $1,000 to support the operation of the Shop. Jerry, once again, Thank You!
Our next major training program is "Introduction to Woodworking, Part 1" taught by our own Bob Bostick. This class is extremely important to us for two reasons. First, it will help us attract and support a new group of woodworkers (and SDFWA Members). Second, it should produce a significant level of financial support for the Shop. The program runs the four Saturdays in August, beginning August 5th. It will run from 8am until Noon each week. And it is extremely affordable at just $195, tools and materials included! If you are new to woodworking or would just like to "learn the right way" to do the basics, this class if for you. But let me also ask your help in passing the word to your friends, neighbors and fellow employees. Let's all get behind Bob and give him a full roster of students! More detailed information is available on the web site.
Additionally, Bob Stevenson will be holding a Mentor Class (Mortise and Tenon) at the Shop on July 29th. And Jim Strawn has committed to starting his long awaited "Toy Building" Class on September 23rd. Contact these gentlemen directly for more information.
Another exciting development has to do with our CNC program. Travis Good and Justin Goodrich have been working diligently to get this equipment up and running. The determination was made that most members would have difficulty learning the complexity of the large CNC affectionately known as "Big Blue". Consequently, the recommendation was made to add a second, smaller but more "user friendly" CNC to allow Members to learn CNC operation quickly and easily. Travis also was kind enough to donate the second CNC machine. Travis, "Thank you, again!". Sunday, Justin and Travis conducted a Beta test of their training program using two marginal subjects....Pete and me. They quickly decided they needed better "raw material". So a second training program test will be run later this week or next. The machine is up and running I can tell you that it's very exciting indeed to watch it create. We hope to announce CNC classes in the very near future.
Finally, I need to ask your assistance in an important matter. As you know, we've started the operation of our Shop with an ambitious but practical schedule designed to best serve our Members. We have recruited and trained a number of Shift Supervisors to help us keep the doors open, the Shop operating safely and to assist you with your questions and needs. Shift Supervisors are free to sign up for whatever shifts they wish. While we have a handful of truly dedicated and committed Shift Supervisors working one or more Shifts a week, we still have shifts going unfilled. When that happens, either Pete or I have to step in. As you might imagine, that is not only getting to be a heavy load but, more importantly, it takes us away from doing the things we need to do to make the Shop better and to grow our Membership.
In order to avoid having to curtail the hours of Shop operation, we need to have several more Members volunteer to be a Shift Supervisor. And we need all Shift Supervisors to pull at least one or two shifts per month. While this is a really important job, it's not a difficult one. And it's a great opportunity to get to know your new Shop better as well as your fellow Members. The next Shift Supervisor Training Session is Wednesday, August 2nd from 6 - 8 pm. We'll teach you everything you need to know and answer all your questions. You'll be free to work whatever and however many or few shifts you wish. But by working as little as one shift a month, you'll be doing your part to keep us open and successful. Please do your part. We need you! Sign up on the web site or by calling Pete or me.
If you haven't been to the Shop recently (or at all), stop in and say "hello". The coffee is on, the Library is growing there are lots of great woodworking tools waiting to see you.
As always, we look forward to your input and questions.
June 25, 2017
Good Morning, Fellow Shop Members!
There continues to be a great deal happening at our new Shop. So I wanted to take this opportunity to bring you up to date.
The Shop opened this past Monday as scheduled and there's been a lot of activity.
Phil Goetsch and Tom Veatch led an army of volunteers (Marlo Olson, Mike Osborn, Dallas Keck and more)in an effort to install our new Central Dust Collection System. Before they got too far along, they realized that Oneida had shipped the wrong size stand for the collector itself. The new stand has been shipped but won't arrive until July 3rd. So the installation process is on hold until July 5th. That necessitates keeping the lift in the Shop which does create a bit of havoc with machine placement. Please understand that once the system is in place, all machines will have a logical and permanent location. Until that time, please work with us. We will probably need to restrict access to the Shop during the installation, likely July 5-6.
Most of the equipment has arrived. We have a new Powermatic variable speed drill press that's a real beauty! Don Spangler donated a brand new 8" (helical head) Jointer that is an absolute joy to use. And the new 20" planer, all 900 lbs of it, has landed! The only major pieces of equipment not yet in are the 25/50 Thickness Sander and the Laser Engraver.
Congratulations to the 41 Members that are now "Safety Certified" and thanks again for Mike Howell and his band of "Certifiers" (Dana Chapin, Jeff Bruder, John Rieger, Travis Good and Justin Goodrich) for all of the time they've dedicated to this effort. The next scheduled Safety Orientation is Wednesday night. If you're anxious to work in the Shop, you'll want to sign up for that. We will schedule more HOST slots as required. However, most of today's slots went unused. So future scheduling will depend on demand.
Jerry Beaudrys SketchUp Class begins Thursday night (June 29th) and runs for four consecutive Thursday evenings (6 - 8 pm). I signed up today and there are just a few slots left. SketchUp will be one of the methods of design that will be compatible with both our CNC and Laser Engraver. So you don't want to miss this opportunity. Just $60 for four sessions. Sign up now on the web site...."Member Shop - Training - SketchUp".
We do need some help on a number of fronts. If you would like to take on a "building project", we need a table built to permanently house the sliding Chop Saw. We also need clamp racks and tool racks built as well as a Suggestion Box. Another thing we need is someone to help Certify Members on the Powermatic lathe. If you're an experienced turner, please let us know! Finally, we still need a few more Shift Supervisors if we are to maintain the operating schedule we have established. This requires just four hours of your time and we will provide you with all the training you need. You don't need to work every week. Whatever you're able to do will help. If you'd like more information, email the Shop Director, Pete Sterling (email@example.com).
We do ask that you "reserve" a slot when you want to use the Shop. We are finding that there are shifts that no one uses and it's pointless to tie up a Shift Supervisor for four hours if no one is coming. Letting us know in advance that you want to use the Shop will help us schedule more efficiently. (And don't forget to bring your Safety Glasses!).
The Wood Carvers group held their second meeting in the Schilbe Classroom on Tuesday. Anyone interested in carving is welcome to join the group. They meet the first and third Tuesday of each month.
Thanks again for your patience as we work through a series of minor start-up issues. But feel free to stop in any time and have a look around. The coffee machine is now up and running!
June 14, 2017
I wanted to bring you up to date on several items.
First, it was a very good day for the Shop yesterday, as the City of San Diego finally granted us final approval on our permitted build-out of the space. That nightmare, hopefully, is now behind us!
Second, we continue to shoot for an "opening" date of this coming Monday, June 19th. There is still a lot of minor issues that need to be addressed. Again, if you can help us either Thursday morning or Saturday morning, it would really help. Our core of volunteers has been exceptional, but frankly, they're getting tired and we could use some reinforcements.
Third, we completed our first round of Safety Certification last night. We are running our Committee Members through it first. I'm pleased with the process we have in place which is built upon the very successful program they use in the Portland Shop. For those of you that are very anxious to begin using the Shop, you'll be able to complete Safety Certification as early as this coming Sunday, June 18th. I will be back to you no later than Friday with the details on how to sign up. Remember, you'll need to complete this process before you can use the power tools in the Shop.
As always, feel free to call or email with your questions.
See you soon!!
June 7, 2017
I wanted to bring you up to date on the opening of the new Member Shop.
We continue to struggle with the City of San Diego which continues to make up the rules as we go along. When we called for final inspection, they said we needed a Fire Inspection first. We pointed out that we had a Fire Inspection last week. No, that was for Fire Sprinklers....we also need one for Fire Alarms. Never mind there is no Fire Alarm, why couldn't they have done both in one trip? So now we have to go back to City Hall, fill out an affidavit that we have no alarm, pay a fee to have that truth verified and wait again! Your City government in action!
Anyway, we've decided to move ahead while their little games play out. So Saturday is "Moving Day"!
We will be moving all the stored equipment from the storage area in to the Shop, setting it up and getting everything ready for our formal opening date of Monday, June 19th. If you would like to help, please email me.
Next week, we will be conducting training for Shift Managers and HOST Coaches. HOST is Hands On Safety Training which all of us will need to complete before using the Shop. Once we are ready to schedule those sessions, I'll be back to you with further details on how you can complete this process.
Last evening, we hosted our first "event". Chuck Meacham held the first meeting of the Carving Group he is starting up. Everyone agreed it went well and will be just the first of many.
John Rieger is just about ready to post our first training classes on the web site, so be watching for that.
We still have a need for volunteers to do a variety of miscellaneous tasks including assembling and installing things, cleaning, door and window casings, building a Suggestion Box, etc, etc. If you want to get involved, please email me.
Stayed tuned! More to come soon!
May 26, 2017
Good Morning, Fellow Shop Members!
I have a number of important items to share with you. Please take the time to read this through carefully.
First, I'm pleased to report enormous progress in the build-out of the Shop. The painting, thanks to Dick Ugoretz, Terry Blackledge, Marc Gehr, Bill Doane, Brian Blackshear and Mike McElhiney is virtually done. What a difference that has made! Justin Goodrich has been hard at it building cabinets with the Melamine donated by Frost Hardwoods. (The next time you visit Frost, please thank them!). He has begun to move them in to the Shop and Pete is in the process of negotiating for some counter tops for them.
Our structural contractor is done. The electrician is virtually finished and the HVAC contractor began work yesterday. He expects to be done Tuesday. If all goes just right, we could call for final inspection on Wednesday of next week. Keep your fingers crossed!
Speaking of Wednesday of next week (May 31st) we are presenting "the program" at the General Meeting that night. I hope you will all make it a point to be there and to talk up Membership in the Shop with those that have not yet signed up. We have an exciting and fact filled presentation planned that hopefully will inspire everyone to get involved with our new Shop!
Assuming that we pass final inspection next week, we plan to move all the equipment that we have in storage over to the Shop on Saturday, June 3rd. We really need some help that day, especially from those of you with trucks. We will be renting a large truck with a lift gate for the heavy stuff, but need pick-ups to haul all of the smaller items. There's a ton of tools. We need all hands on deck! If you're willing to help, please email your name to Tom Veatch so that he can provide details and updates to you...as well as to let you know if the date should have to change.
As exciting as all this is, there is still a staggering amount of work that needs to be done. Let me list as many items as I can in the hope that you might be able to assist with at least one of them.
1. We are just finishing up installing the interior doors and windows. They need to be "cased". And the casing needs to be painted. You can do this whatever day and time works for you. (Contact Pete, firstname.lastname@example.org)
2. We have a couple of hundred feet of vinyl baseboard that needs to be installed/glued into place. Again, whatever day you're available is fine. (Contact Pete, email@example.com)
3. We need a number of wood signs that need to be made. If you have an interest in this type of woodworking, we could really use your help. We have a good idea of what we want...we just need someone to build it. (Contact me on this one).
4. We have a ton of old hand tools that need to be gone through, sorted and those that are keepers, reconditioned. If you like digging through old hand tools, this job is for you! (Contact Pete,
5. We could also use some help with general cleaning, organizing and general maintenance. (Contact Pete or me).
6. We are looking for a Librarian to take on the responsibility of receiving, sorting, organizing and arranging the books an videos that will be going into our new Library. (Contact me)
7. We also need a "Membership Director". This will be a permanent position on the Shop Committee and will be responsible for all of the administrative issues that need to be kept track of for all of our Members. (Contact me)
8. Once the equipment is moved in, we'll need help getting it all into pristine condition....tuning it up, cleaning it, etc. Let us know if you can help with this during the week of June 4th. (Contact Pete
9. We can still use a few more Shift Supervisors. If you can work one or more 4 hour shifts per week, please contact Pete Sterling (firstname.lastname@example.org)
10. We have door hardware that needs to be installed in 10 interior doors. Contact Pete ( email@example.com)
As soon as the equipment is in, we will begin the HOST Training (Hand On Safety Training) and, of course, once you complete that, you can begin to use the Shop!! More details on HOST will be forthcoming, including in Mike Howell's presentation Wednesday night.
Remember, this is your Shop! Please pitch in when and where you can!
Thanks for your ongoing support! We're almost there!! If you're in the neighborhood, stop in and check it out!