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Triangle Woodworkers Assiciation

Last week I spent a few days in the Raleigh-Durham area with the Triangle Woodworkers Association. Friday night the club gathered for its monthly meeting where I did a presentation on secret compartments (for more secrets, read my article from 2009) as well as talked about period furniture details.

I’ve done a number of these over the last few years at various woodworking clubs throughout the region. The part I like best about doing these presentations is meeting such great people. Some might say it’s the soft drinks and cookies but, for me, the people are the best. Without exception every club/guild/association I’ve been to has been chock-full of people who are willing to listen and share their woodworking experiences. The Triangle Woodworkers Association fits right into that mold.

Delaware Valley box

If you’re in the Raleigh-Durham area they are definitely the club to check out if you want to learn more about woodworking in the company of some of the nicest woodworkers around.

Saturday morning a handful of us gathered at a member’s shop for a two day class on making a simple Delaware Valley box. The woodworkers in attendance were varied in skill level but the project proved a challenge even to the most experienced.

First hand cut dovetailsFor some, it was their first experience with hand-cut dovetails and for others it was their first time cutting mitered dovetails (for more on dovetailing check this out). We used both hand and power tools to make the boxes. Some wanted more of a hand-tool experience so they made the ovolo mouldings for the box using moulding planes. For me the best part of the entire weekend was watching people with a common interest share a really exciting experience. I watched as those who struggled with some of the steps were helped by those who got it. This dynamic shifted amongst the woodworkers present, each helping another when and where they could.

It’s that willingness to help as well as learn from one another that is the common thread Woodworking friends build a dovetailed boxamongst woodworkers. It’s the sharing of experiences, techniques, tips and tricks that has motivated me to shift from purely making furniture to participating in the greater woodworking community. The people are what makes attending, presenting and getting involved in woodworking clubs, online forums and blogs (as well as events like Woodworking In America) such tremendous experiences. Anyone can sit in his or her basement or garage workshop and figure out how to build something. When you invite a few woodworking friends to join in, it becomes fun.

— Chuck Bender



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Showing 7 comments
  • rheberline

    Does anyone know of any Woodworking Clubs in the Central Valley in California?

  • rheberline

    I live in the Central Valley in Ca. Does anyone know of any Woodworking Clubs in the area?

  • lrmc

    The Delaware Valley box you mentioned in your article looks like a great project. Could you recommend any resources that would describes the details of how to make such a box? I searched online but couldn’t find anything. Being from the Delaware Valley, it would be a fitting project to make! Thanks.

  • Chuck Bender


    Once I’m there full time, I’ll be happy to drop in for a meeting though you’ll have to go a long way to beat Carolina BBQ. And I’d have to stop by Columbus and pick up the turkey hat…


    Seems to me my very first week on the job there was a red headed face that popped into my cube asking if I’d be willing to do some sort of demo for a Cincinnati based woodworkers club in September I think…I may have dreamed it however. 🙂

  • gumpbelly

    We`ll get you better eats if you drive up to NW Dayton to a WOW event, Western Ohio Woodworkers. PM that old fartola SteveN on Woodnet if you are interested, Rob has a session he`s in charge of bringing in speakers, I`d surrender my spot if you wanted it. Lord knows the crowd would approve. Just bring the darn Turkey hat.

    In all it is great that you are coming over to the talking/writing side from just making furniture (not like that is all you were actually doing). Between your DVD`s, and seeing you live at events like WIA it`s obvious you have the gift of being able to teach. Plenty of great woodworkers out there, only a handful can relay that easily to others, “the gift”. I can say I`m glad to have you here.

  • keithm

    Cincinnati Woodworking Club. Stop by, Chuck, when you get relocated.

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