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Forum topic by ajcollins posted 497 days ago 680 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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ajcollins

2 posts in 497 days


497 days ago

I am thinking about joining my local state woodworking guild. Any thoughts, comments, or experiences about joining a local guild would be much appreciated.

-- Andrew, New Hampshire


10 replies so far

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1390 posts in 963 days


#1 posted 497 days ago

From the couple I’ve looked at, it seems that they’re usually run by a coterie of old farts who started the club, which convenes monthly to hear the current guru demonstrate how to cut dovetails or sharpen a plane blade. And the club will have an annual project to make bird houses for the local nature center. A waste of time, IMO.

-- Clint Searl.............We deserve what we tolerate

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Peteyb

104 posts in 1157 days


#2 posted 496 days ago

I would have to say the opposite of Clint. It is worth the while. I pay $50 for a year to join and get monthly meetings, and other sessions that you may have to pay extra for. But the biggest reason that I joined is they have their own shop. The shop is open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday so you can get a lot of work done and is really nice when you don’t have that equipment to use at your own shop.

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Lumber2Sawdust

136 posts in 1467 days


#3 posted 496 days ago

I think you are both right :)

I joined a local club a little over a year ago. I have been to less than half of the monthly meetings – summer time is especially hard.

Through the club, a local pro woodworker put on a class for building a Maloof-style chair. It wasn’t cheap, but I took the class. I learned a ton, had fun, met some new friends, and built a great chair in the process.

The club does the “building birdhouse” type of stuff. It goes for a good cause, and if you like making sawdust, it is a good excuse to do so. Our club also builds kitchen cabinets for a local charity that has shelter houses for abused women. Volunteers work with a local cabinet business (who is also a club member) so you get to build a kitchen under the guidance of a pro and you are contributing to a great cause. I hope to be able to participate in that project this year. Something like that is easily worth the price of membership, just for what you learn from it.

Our club also gets discounts at Woodcraft, hardwood suppliers, etc. For my $30 membership, it is worth it for the savings I get and what I learn even though I’m not a regular participant in the meetings.

View huff's profile

huff

2786 posts in 1887 days


#4 posted 495 days ago

Andrew,

It really depends on the club or Guild, the members,(especially the ones that run it) and what you’re expecting from it. I’ve joined a number of clubs over the years and have had some really great experiences, but also had a few like Clint mentioned.

They are definitely worth checking out. You can usually go to the first meeting free before deciding whether to join or not and that should pretty much tell you what the club is all about. If all they talk about is fund raisers or donating crafts or you have a “know it all” that runs the meeting, it may not be what you’re looking for.

I joined a woodturners club one time and it was amazing how much they helped me. Everyone shared ideas, everyone helped and nobody acted like they were better then the others. They always had great demonstrations, you could ask a millions questions or just sit, watch and listen.

I moved to Delaware this past year and I’m getting ready to go to my first woodworkers club meeting this week. I’m looking forward to it and hope it will be one of the good ones.

Good luck with yours! Hope you enjoy

-- John @ http://www.thehuffordfurnituregroup.com

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tenontim

2131 posts in 2346 days


#5 posted 495 days ago

I belonged to a guild when I lived in Maine. One of the best benefits was the 10% discount members got from one of the New Hampshire Lumber yards. I think it was in Kingston.
Our guild also was able to get large booths at most of the home and furnishing shows in the area at a reduced cost.
We did teach basic and advanced woodworking classes (Hand tools) but most of the members had been in the craft a long time.
There were members from all aspects of the woodworking trades, so it was interesting to get together with them each month to drink some coffee and chew the fat.

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schnauzerdude

1 post in 495 days


#6 posted 495 days ago

I just joined the local chapter of Reno Woodchucks and I am very pleased with it. I used to work at a local woodworking store here and the owner kept putting the wood chucks down so I waited a year after my first meeting of the club, I find it very useful and yes there are some of the elder members who kinda run it, but I have learned so much in just two months and met so many new woody friends lol. go for it with an open mind , you might just have the best time !!!

-- jerry in reno

View robdem's profile

robdem

311 posts in 1208 days


#7 posted 495 days ago

AJ I belong to a club on Long Island have over 200 members . Glad I joined last year have made a bunch of friends members are all willing to help each other with any problems. If I was you go to meeting see if you like what you here .

View RogerInColorado's profile

RogerInColorado

286 posts in 556 days


#8 posted 495 days ago

I did a search on woodworking guilds a few months ago. In the process I looked at the newsletter for the Guild of New Hampshire woodworkers. It is a truly impressive document, the latest runs 25 pages. I encourage everyone to take a look at it. Based only on the newsletter, this is definitely not just a bunch of old farts sitting around learning how to cut dovetails. The field trip this month is a visit to the North Bennett Street School in Boston. If I lived anywhere in New Hampshire, I’d join just for that tour. I’m sure there are some struggling ones out there, but I’m equally sure that what you get out of it depends on what you put into it. I just joined the one in Colorado. It’s a 60 mile each way drive for me to attend meetings, but I can assure you that I have yet to say that the meeting wasn’t worth the drive.

View ajcollins's profile

ajcollins

2 posts in 497 days


#9 posted 494 days ago

Roger, I have read the newsletter and that is one of the main reasons why i was thinking of joining. The guild seems to have many opportunities.
Thanks everyone for the input I appreciate the constructive criticism.

-- Andrew, New Hampshire

View SamuraiSaw's profile

SamuraiSaw

439 posts in 566 days


#10 posted 494 days ago

”From the couple I’ve looked at, it seems that they’re usually run by a coterie of old farts who started the club, which convenes monthly to hear the current guru demonstrate how to cut dovetails or sharpen a plane blade. And the club will have an annual project to make bird houses for the local nature center. A waste of time, IMO.”

Clint, given you pontifications I’d say you’re talking about yourself.

I think they are great, and it is one of those situations where you get back what you put in. I’m a member of one and I enjoy the fact there is every skill level imaginable in the group, and every kind of style.

And I like the annual project builds. It’s called being a part of your community, not a cantankerous pain in the a$$.

Just my humble opinion…............

-- Artisan Woodworks of Texas.... www.awwtx.com

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