The Guild of Oregon Woodworkers
September 23, 2013 § 4 Comments
Last month Andy Margeson had an entry on his blog about the new space currently being leased by the Guild of Oregon Woodworkers (Guild). Though the shop has been open for member use since September 1st, this past weekend they hosted an open house that served as a more official unveiling of the shop. Andy titled his post “Jaw-dropping” in reference to the large machinery in the shop. I attended the open house, and yes, it is impressive.
A little background – the Guild has been around for about 30 years in one form or another. As enrollment has grown in the last several years, so have their mission and goals. In the last few years the Guild has greatly increased the number of classes they teach or sponsor. This became ever more challenging without a permanent facility to host classes, monthly meetings, and other events. In the past several months the Guild started to explore opportunities to lease some dedicated shop space to facilitate a growing agenda. As luck would have it, right around the time they started a more intense search, a Craigslist ad appeared offering the lease of a professional woodworking shop in southwest Portland. The owner of the shop needed to take leave from his production shop to focus on work at the Portland Japanese Garden. (I’m not sure of the details of the work at the Japanese Gardens, but it sounds like they will be constructing some new or replacement buildings at the site, and the structures will be built using traditional Japanese timber frame construction).
The Guild answered the Craigslist ad and it turned out to be just what they wanted, and more. The large, production-scale machinery was included with the lease, including several Casadei machines. Pictures are below. There is also a bench room with several large workbenches and even some hand tools for common use. Next weekend I’ll be taking the mandatory safety class, and shortly after that I’ll sign up for some shop time. As much as I enjoy my (mostly) quiet work with hand tools in my basement shop, there are times when some large power tools can save a lot of time and effort. Hopefully the Guild is able to hang on to this space for a good while, giving local woodworkers access to world-class machinery as well as a nice place for the Guild to hold classes and events.
On a final, unrelated note, on the way home we stopped in at Grand Marketplace, a new antique mall in southeast Portland. I always love to see old tools re-purposed as art. For most, an old hand brace is simply an obsolete relic of the past. And so you get what is in the picture below. For 225 bones you can take home that authentic piece of woodworking history. Hey, if the artist can get that, more power to them. And that last picture, well, that’s just the coolest damn tub and shower I have ever seen.