Thursday, November 26, 2009

Visit to Washington DC Guild of Woodworkers

While in Washington DC recently, I was privileged to be able to visit the November meeting of the Washington Woodworkers Guild. Like the Fine Woodworking Association of Western Australia, where I am a member, the Washington group at the meeting was made up primarily of older blokes and just a few women. There were about 35 people present, and it was an honour to also be offered a 15 minute slot to speak about Woodworking in Western Australia.
I gave the Guild a few samples of WA native timbers I had brought with me especially for the occasion. The meeting also included some business, the sharing of tips and ideas for jigs, some input by a member with suggestions about safety in the home workshop, and the primary speaker - a sales representative from Felder who was speaking about the European style combination machines they have brought into the US market. This session generated some very interesting discussion amongst the meeting about riving knives, safety guards, the pros and cons of combination machines, and sliding tables on table saws. The Australian OH&S standards are very close to the European standards, whereas the USA does a bunch of stuff very differently, so it was fascinating to be there for the discussion. I have been reading a number of US woodworking magazines since the 1980s, so it was a delight to be there and to start to understand woodworking in this country.
Special thanks to President Stu & to John Machey and the members for welcoming me to the meeting. I am particularly thankful to Bill Walmsley for kindly giving a ride all the way home across the city!

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