Diablo Woodworkers

2014 Community Projects

Project Overview: The Diablo Woodworkers have been asked to build projects for different community organizations. Present projects are: Veterans learning woodworking (ongoing), weaving looms, a sign for the Concord Historical Society, and raised planter beds for the Community Youth Center in Concord.

Weaving Looms: Five new looms have been ordered. Students have asked for three larger looms 22” x 27.5” and 3 smaller ones, similar to a prototype that Harold Mantle made for his wife. So far, five of the standard size looms have been purchased along with stands for $80 each.

Concord Historical Society Resource CenterSign for Concord Historical Society:Gordon Fry was a team of one to get new signs made for the Concord Historical Society. They wanted a sign that would match the existing and former signs at their new location. Gordon obtained redwood (2” x 10” x 8’), made decorating edging and took the boards to a sign shop where he got a good price for the Historical Society. He then painted the letters. The boards are complete and have been delivered to the customer. The attached photo shows one of the signs.

Raised Planter Beds for the Concord Community Youth Center: The Concord Community Youth Center provides after-school supervision and tutoring along with activities for youth in Concord. One of their employees contacted us about designing and building raised planter beds for the youths to plant vegetables. The food will be used for snacks at the Center. They have dirt and plants already. Dolan’s will donate wood. Once we know the size of the boards, we will get design the boxes and get a team to build them. Wayne Shipman has volunteered to lead this project.

Community Project and Leaders:

Project Leader: David Lipscomb

Disabled Vets in class
The disabled veteran in class with Diablo Woodworkers, 5/3/2013.

February 2014 Veteran's Projects - Update

With what began as a boot strapped dual sawhorse effort in 2011 has now turned into an ongoing class in the Open Shop Projects for the disabled veterans associated with Martinez VA Hospital. And the small beginning of building a few Shaker Boxes (with hand tools of course) has evolved to constructing some of the most challenging projects we build. So here's what the vets have started doing in this winter's course:

Noah Bailey & Jason Deitch - Maloof Lowback Chairs out of silver maple

Bobby Hopkins - a refined and upgraded Shaker Table out of Modesto ash

Again, the majority of work will be with hand tools, and that includes a copious amount of shaping for the Maloof chairs. It should be a fun class for both students and teachers. And thanks for all those who willingly help out here - Ron Kersey, Harold Mantle, Dan Salter, Tim Killen.

~~~ David Lipscomb

5/3/2013. This afternoon we had an Independent Projects Open Shop in which our two vets - Jason Deitch and Noah Bailey - started work on their Shaker Tables. Both were very enthusiastic, and quickly adapted to the shop atmosphere, some noise and all. When we talked about safety and said we do not want any untoward events to occur on our watch, they quickly (and with some humor) responded they had had enough of those in their lives - so no more is their mantra.

We started the session with planing of the four table legs, getting them prepared for mortising. We used the instructor's work bench so only one vet was planing at a time; the other was practicing doing hand chiseling of mortises on a practice piece of oak. Great support was provided by Ron Kersey - he provided a very complete package of S/U drawings with detailed dimensions; Harold Mantle who worked on both the hand mortising and the planing; Dan Salter - got a good head start on making the knobs for the drawers.

Also to be thanked (which I'll do) is MDAE who has made this possible in a pretty magnanimous way: - Disabled Vets have to pay $0 for their classes - that's right $0. - They eased the registration process so all they have to do now is show up.

It's been a rather long and arduous road, but we're finally moving down it, and based on the first session with the vets, I think it's going to be a great trip.

6/3/2013 photos follow:

Harold Mantle's Demonstration
Harold Mantle's Demonstration
Dry Fitting Table
Dry Fitting Table

Fit Dovetail
Fit Dovetail

Glueing and Clamping  Disabled Vets in class
Gluing and Clamping (L)           David Lipscomb and Veteran Ron Amis (R)

Project Leader: Harold Mantle

2/19/2014 - Harold made six trophies for the Save Mt. Diablo Committee. The trophies have a 6” x 8” base of Claro Walnut with embedded glass pieces from the replacement glass that was used to restore the beacon atop Mt. Diablo. Brass plates will be attached before presentation.

Save Mt. Diablo Trophies
Save Mt. Diablo Trophies, 2/19/2014.
Save Mt. Diablo Trophies
Save Mt. Diablo Trophies, 11/19/2014.

Click on the small images below to see formal Thank You Note received by the Save Mt. Diablo Committee

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Weaving Loom

Project Leader: Ron Kersey

June 2014 - The weaving looms are now in construction with the leadership of Ron Kersey. The weaving teacher, Pat Johnson, will take delivery of 5 looms in September and 5 more in December. Ron is building the looms and Harold Mantle is building the heddles for the looms.

Ron Kersey working on weaving loomMay 2014 - The club has agreed to make table looms for the weaving classes. John Summers had been building them but his health does not allow it right now. Ron Kersey has made a SketchUp design for the looms and the heddle bars. The looms are made of maple. There are also loom holders which can be made from any 1x wood. We're looking for a few members to help build 10 looms for the fall classes. Contact project leader shown above if you want to help build looms.

Ron Kersey working on weaving loom.

Ron Kersey (R) getting a demonstration on the weaving loom
Sept 2014 - Ron Kersey (R) watching a demonstration on the weaving loom.

Project Leader: Tim Killen

Project Overview: The Diablo Woodworkers have been asked to build several projects for different community organizations. Present projects are: Veterans learning woodworking (ongoing), weaving looms, bench for MDAE office area, potting bench for the Garden at Liberty High School, and fence for Pleasant Hill Middle School (where Diablo Woodworkers meet and the home of our classrooms). If you’re interested in working on any of the projects, get in touch with the contact person named in the project description. Only projects with changes from the last report will be described.

MDAE Office Bench June 2014 - The bench for Adult Ed students is in construction. Tim Killen, David Lipscomb and Joe Abel were seen working on the bench in a Monday work session.

May 2014 - The school administra-tion has asked us to make a bus-stop type bench for students waiting for rides outside the MDAE office. We have a SketchUp model, and now have wood available to make the bench. Contact the project leader shown above if you want to help.
Joe Abel working on the MDAE Office Bench
Joe Abel working on bench.

MDAE Office Bench CompletedJuly 2014 - Bench for MDAE office area: The bench for Adult Ed students is complete. The MDAE staff asked for a bench for students awaiting rides, to be placed in front of the office. Using redwood that Bill Ridings of Urban Lumber provided and mahogany plugs, a team from Diablo Woodworkers built the bench using SketchUp plans Tim Killen made from a photo he took of a bench in front of the Governor’s mansion in Williamsburg, VA 10 years ago. If you want to know how to convert photos to shop drawings (for this bench), visit YouTube website Or read Tim's description in his blog entry to FineWoodworking.com at website


Project Leader: Peggy Gipps

June 2014 - The project to build a picnic table and / or a bench for the special needs students at Liberty High School has morphed into a 4' x 8' potting bench. It is possible to be done as an Eagle Scout project. We've contacted a couple of Eagle Scout advisors to see if any scouts want to take on the project. An Eagle Scout project would have a larger scope than just building the bench. This project is on hold until a Scout picks it up or we take over.

May 2014 - A garden exists at Liberty High School in Brentwood for special needs students. The coordinators would love a picnic table and/or bench (similar to the bench we're building for the MDAE office) in their garden. A mother and her 12-year old son volunteer for this group, and the 12-year old would like to participate in some way. This project has not been fully scoped yet, as far as what size table or bench would fit in the garden. Contact the project leader shown above if you want to help.


Project Leader: Peggy Gipps

June 2014 - Three club members visited Pinole Senior Village, an assisted living facility, in May with small items they'd made. The group of 10 seniors (men and women) enjoyed the demonstration. We left behind a toolbox kit for assembly. The activities coordinator of the village asked us to make up more kits and come back to help the residents build them. We will visit them on June 23 and report on our visit. We have no other activities planned after that, but may visit a couple of times a year. We'll ask for volunteers from the club when that happens.

May 2014 - Three members of Diablo Woodworkers visited the Pinole Senior Village residents on May 19. They brought small items with them and had a show-and-tell for the residents. They also talked about the classes and our meetings offered at MDAE. They left behind a toolbox "kit", which Gordon Fry had made for the Craft Fair. One of the residents is a former Diablo Woodworker member, who made the Senior Village aware of our existence. He and the others were thrilled by our visit, asked lots of questions, and according to their activities coordinator, talked about nothing else that evening and the following day. They asked us for kits for a Father's Day activity, which we will supply them.

As an afterward, Peggy found a design for a similar toolbox in the June This Old House magazine. The magazine mentioned that Home Depot sells a similar kit for $20. Bob Barnett found out that we can get 12 for $95 from them online. So we'll be spending the $95 of the club's money rather than making up the kits.

Pinole Seniors Community Project    Pinole Seniors Community Project


Project Leader: Gordon Fry

The Middle School has put in a garden and wants a simple fence around it. After discussion with the teacher in charge of the project, Gordon Fry made plans for the fence. The scope of the work is out of the range of Diablo Woodworkers. Gordon recommended that the design be given to the school or district administration for a licensed contractor to install. If they end up having parents build the fence, we can help. This project is now on hold.