I have visited a lot of woodworking clubs in North America since 1996, and I thought I had seen it all until I stepped into the Kansas City Woodworkers Guild’s enormous facility today.
Perched on top of a cave (Kansas City is full of caves), the club has more than 10,000 square feet of space for demonstrations, plus a bench room and a machine room (not to mention storage galore). The machine room is outfitted with equipment that most home woodworkers don’t have – a wide belt sander, CNC, SawStop cabinet saws etc. And the club is just about to bring on-line a 30” surface planer.
The bench room is filled with all manner of traditional benches and scrollsaws. A back room is dedicated to turning.
And the price to use all this equipment for club members? Just $75 a year.
If I lived in Kansas City I not only join, but I’d pare back my machinery collection, too.
All this is possible because of the active fundraising and activities of the members. They have a yearly auction, plus club members make plaques and other projects for businesses to help raise money for the club.
I’m in Kansas City this weekend to teach a two-day class in making a Dutch Tool Chest with 11 or 12 members. On Saturday night (Jan. 18), I’ll be giving a free talk on campaign furniture (I know, big surprise). The public is invited to attend – all you have to do in exchange is take a tour of the shop. Go to the club’s home page for details.
And if you are in my class tomorrow morning, be away of the bandage policy instituted by club President Rob Young. If you hurt yourself in some wussy way, you get a pink “Hello Kitty” bandage. If you do something epic, you earn a Spider Man bandage.
Please don’t be “epic” for my sake. I hope we don’t even need the pink bandages.
— Christopher Schwarz