Diablo Woodworkers


2017 Community Projects

Project Overview: The Diablo Woodworkers have been reaching out to non-profit organizations for woodworking opportunities. In addition, we get calls from others who have heard of our work. Please use the Index of Community Projects below.

Pleasant Hill Library Treasure Chest

April 2017: The Pleasant Hill Library asked our member Dave Wittenbrock if we'd make a treasure chest for them to take books to first and second grade classes to loan out books. They developed a pirate theme and points to allow the students to get books. Dave took this on as a team of one.

The chest is built of ash with leather hinges and rope handles. All are aged to give authenticity to the pirate theme.

Pleasant Hill Library Treasure Chest   Pleasant Hill Library Treasure Chest   Pleasant Hill Library Treasure Chest

Click on images to enlarge

Emerson Elementary School picnic tables

June 2017: In March and April 2017, members of Diablo Woodworkers designed the picnic tables; the redwood lumber was donated by Bill Ridings of Urban Lumber; a team cut the lumber to size at Duke's shop; helpers, team members, and 4th grade students assembled them in their school cafeteria. Check the link below for the Fine Woodworking article about the project. See link: http://www.finewoodworking.com/2017/06/07/execution-4th-grade-woodworking-project.

Emerson Elementary video: https://youtu.be/fuxCqhWyKHc

May 2017:We brought a prototype table and two benches to Emerson Elementary School at our construction day, April 20. The students made two tables and four benches from cut wood that had been made in March.

One of our new members, Mark Olesko, is a photographer who shared his talents with us. He took videos of the event and made a 10-minute video which will soon be available on the Diablo Woodworkers website. The enjoyment is clear to see on the faces of the kids and the adults.

Some of the photos taken at the Grass Valley Elementary School picnic table assembly event are shown below.

April 2017: A team of 12 met at Emerson Elementary School to help fourth graders build the picnic tables from sets built in March. One of our new members photographed and took video of the entire event while 11 of us paired up to help teams of four build two tables and four benches. Two third graders joined up to complete the 24 students needed to complete the project. The students, teachers and adult helpers all had a great time.

Project Photos

Emerson School Project   Emerson School Project

Emerson School Project   Emerson School Project

March 2017: Another Oakland elementary school has contacted Tim Killen to build picnic tables for assembly by the students.

Tim Killen is the project leader, and has come up with a design for the tables, shown in the attachment.

Once again, Bill Ridings of Urban Lumber has generously offered to supply the redwood for two tables for the school, and a prototype for Bill.

Tim is looking for a small group to cut the wood and assemble the first table next week at Duke Herrero's shop. He is also looking for members to help the students assemble the tables at the school in early April.

Please contact Tim Killen if you want to help with the Emerson school project. The cutting session will fill up quickly.

Emerson Elementary School Picnic Table Plans PDF document

Plans page 1   Plans page 2   Plans page 3

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Completed Table and benches
Completed table and benches. Click on image


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2016 December Raffle Maloof Rocking ChairMaloof Style Rocking Chair for Xmas Raffle

The 2017 Xmas Raffle Project is a Maloof Rocking Chair (click on image to enlarge). The rocking chair will be raffled at the December Club Meeting.

Wood collection photos below. There was a English Walnut tree, a Black Walnut tree and another English Walnut tree.























Milling the black walnut wood for this project

Black Walnut 24" diameter, 13 feet long
Black Walnut 24" diameter, 13 feet long

Alaskan Chainsaw Milling
Alaskan Chainsaw Milling
Alaskan Chainsaw Milling
Alaskan Chainsaw Milling
Bill Tarleton and Lumber After Milling
Bill Tarleton and Lumber After Milling
English Walnut Trunk
English Walnut Trunk - 24" diameter - 8 feet long
Cutting the Trunk to Length
Cutting the Trunk to Length
Alaskan Mini-Mill First Cut for Quartersawn Lumber
Alaskan Mini-Mill First Cut for Quartersawn Lumber
Trunk is quartered and loaded to be finish cut in Lafayette
Trunk is quartered and loaded to be finish cut in Lafayette
Black Walnut 36-48 inch diameter, 7feet long
Black Walnut 36-48" diameter, 7feet long
First Cut with Alaskan Mini-Mill
First Cut with Alaskan Mini-Mill
Ross Dileo Examining First Cut Ross Dileo and Jeff Traeger Examining First Cut First Cut with Alaskan Mini-Mill
Ross Dileo and Jeff Traeger Examining First Cut. Bill Quarter Sawing in Lafayette.
Bill cutting chunks from the root
Bill cutting chunks from the root
Bill cutting chunks from the root
Ross cutting root chunks
Big walnut tree Root chunked for turning bowls
Big walnut tree Root chunked for turning bowls
Walnut lumber from a 100 year old tree in Lodi
Walnut lumber from a 100 year old tree in Lodi, CA
Ross holding a board that his donated
Ross holding a board that his donated
Helper Andy Dileo with a half cut log
Helper Andy Dileo with a half cut log

Scholarship – Laney College Woodworking Program
The Diablo Woodworkers Club has accumulated funds from members’ tool donations which are then sold, and from the annual Craft Fair. In an effort to encourage young men and women to continue woodworking, we are pleased to announce that we have started a scholarship program at the Woodworking Technology program at Laney College in Oakland. The scholarship is best described in the words of David Lipscomb, who worked with Laney on establishing the scholarship:

  • The scholarship will be named "The Diablo Woodworkers Bill Tarleton Scholarship" in honor of the founder of Diablo Woodworkers.
  • The primary objective of the Laney Wood Technology program is to help students obtain a career in woodworking.
  • Laney College would be responsible for choosing a student for a semester scholarship.  This will (in almost all cases) be a student who is in their first semester and has shown both a financial need, and the determination and aptitude to move to the next level of work.
  • Laney College will have the Diablo Woodworker application completed, and make a recommendation for who is to receive a scholarship.
  • The proposed amount of the scholarship is $500 per semester for a total of $1,000 (2 semesters).  
  • The second scholarship will be offered to the same student if they have demonstrated excellence in woodworking skills and business acumen (e.g. communications, team building, etc.)
  • The selected student will make a presentation on their project(s) to the Diablo Woodworkers at one of their regular monthly meetings.  Department Chair and instructors are welcome to attend.

Diablo Woodworkers plan to continue the scholarship in future years for additional students.  We will report progress in the Community Projects section of the newsletter.

Shelter, Inc. This homeless center has given us a list of potential projects, including a redwood table and chairs, chairs for the smoking area, at least one planter box. Next on their list is a lobby makeover in the Antioch shelter. They need to determine a style before we can scope the project.

Contra Costa County Bicycle Safety September News - Contra Costa County runs a free bicycle safety program for all ages. They have portable equipment which they take all over the county to set up a course with bicycle lanes, cars and buildings, anywhere in the county. One of the attached photos shows part of the setup.

The cars and buildings are in a sad state of disrepair and need to be replaced. Some of the buildings that will be replaced are shown in the attached photos. The existing buildings are built out of plastic, and are very expensive to buy. The County has asked if we could remake the buildings and cars out of wood, probably 1/4" plywood. We have space restrictions because all of the equipment including bicycles and helmets, fits into a 48" x 96" trailer.

The existing buildings have trouble standing up in the stiff Richmond winds, so the new design will need to take up wind resistance or allowance in the new design.

I'm looking for a few good folks to brainstorm ideas, and come up with a design, and build the buildings. Please contact Peggy Gipps, if you want to help out in this community project.

OCTOBER NEWS for Bicycle Safety buildings: We are looking for folks to help build our bicycle safety village, starting in January 2018. If you're interested, please e-mail Peggy Gipps PGippsy@gmail.com and let me know which days work best for you: mornings or afternoons, Mondays, Thursdays or Fridays. I'll find a day / time that works best for everyone. Monday mornings and Thursdays, the shop class will be available. For other times or days, we'll have to use a member's shop.

Bicycle Safety 001
Bicycle Safety 001

Bicycle Safety 002
Bicycle Safety 002

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Bicycle Safety 003

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Bicycle Safety 004

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Bicycle Safety 005

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Bicycle Safety 006

Bicycle Safety 007
Bicycle Safety 007

Bicycle Safety 008
Bicycle Safety 008

Bicycle Safety 009
Bicycle Safety 009



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