Things You Didn’t Know When you Joined

You came into the shop and saw all the craft goodies.  Then you saw the Show and Tell projects and were amazed with our members’ skills.  Or, you ran through the pages of the web site and were impressed.  So you signed up.  So much is obvious, especially after you started getting the Guild’s announcements.  But there may have been some things you didn’t know when you handed in your check.

  • Each member receives a Membership Card when they join or renew their membership in the Guild.  The card is good for a discount (usually 10%) when presented at many of our sponsoring businesses.  (Some members join just to get the card.)  To obtain your card you must actually visit the membership counter in the shop lobby on Mercier Street.
  • Communications: Our most comprehensive source of information about the Guild and Guild activities is the Guild website.  While other forms of communication are used, they are not as detailed and often point you back to the website for complete information.  The site attempts to be comprehensive and in several respects, such as the MEMBERS ONLY page, it serves as the Guild’s archives.  (This document is not a substitute for the website which you should peruse thoroughly.)

Within a month of your joining, three things will happen:  

First your name will be added to the Guild’s Comprehensive Membership Roster (normally shortly after the first of the month).  The roster is located on the MEMBERS ONLY page of the website accessed only by password provided in an email you will receive from the Membership Director once you have joined.

Secondly, your name will be added to the Guild’s Email Notification Program (usually within 24 hours).  As such you will begin to receive emails regarding upcoming classes, programs, events, projects, and our weekly “Classified Ads”.  You can read about the Classified Ads in the CONTACT US section of the website, but basically it is a uniform way of making you aware of the many offers from people getting rid of their tools and/or wood, and of those people who are requesting assistance with woodworking problems of their own.  Most of these people are non-woodworkers.  At times, there are offers of employment.

Emailed announcements are the fastest way to get into a myriad of classes that fill up very quickly.  These announcements go out at 7:00 p.m. the first Tuesday after they are made available.  A quick response time may be essential if you want to get into a class.

If you do not wish to receive these emails, there is an “Unsubscribe” link at the bottom of each one.  However, be aware that once you unsubscribe it is very difficult to resubscribe if you determine that you erred in leaving.

Thirdly, Your name and email address will be entered in the SignUp Genius program (also usually within 24 hours) that the Guild utilizes to control admission to Guild Classes and other activities.  This program allows the Guild to keep non-members from signing up for classes and taking up positions that are available only to Guild members.

Social Media: The Guild also has both a Facebook group account and a Twitter account.  You can access the Facebook account at  This account is basically a place where members post material about wood and woodworking.  In many respects is an online community of people interested in wood.  You can follow us on Twitter at @KCWG.  The Twitter account is devoted to giving you short, quick notes about things happening at/sponsored by the Guild.  It does not strive to be a constant stream of data, but rather an occasional note of actual happenings.

Calendars: The Guild maintains two calendars.  The current and next month’s Open Shop Schedules have link buttons on the home page of the website.  Open Shop hours are in Green.  Guild meetings and classes times are also noted on the schedules.  For different items, there is no concurrent Open Shop time.  For others, there is concurrent Open Shop.  Please take note carefully.  There is also a traditional Google Calendar, with a link button on the website home page.  This calendar strives to be a comprehensive calendar of all Guild and Woodturner activities.

  • There is no cleaning service at the shop. Cleanliness is a cooperative venture.  You are uncomfortable with the state of the rest room?  We can show you where the cleaning supplies are.  There are 365 days of the year.  There are about 700 members.  If you take a turn once every two years, it should work out.
  • Passed your Safety test?  Got your Green Tag in hand? Got your safety glasses, apron and tools at the ready?  Don’t forget the Shop Rules.  On the off-chance you have questions about shop etiquette, Shop Rules have been posted in the bench room, the shop and the lobby.  Need a reminder about the safety guidelines?  These are posted in the shop on the wall with the sleds for the table saws.
  • The Guild sells things besides shirts. Protective eyeglasses and face masks are available, as well as hats, aprons, sanding blocks, and even briefcases.  For those wishing to resaw green wood, there are blades available for $30.00 each.  (Running green wood on the Guild’s blade is a BIG NO-NO.)

    A David Kraatz Sanding Block

  • Guild dues are low in order to promote the craft of woodworking. One of the ways we keep the membership rates low is that members frequently donate consumables. Apparently a fair amount of glue comes in from this member or that. If you use some equipment, e.g., the 37” sander, a donation is encouraged to help pay for the expensive sanding loops it uses.  You might find other ways to help out.

  • You will see the different Special Interest Groups (SIGs) on the calendars and occasionally in emails.  The SIGs are informal groups of people interested in those topics.  With the exception of the Woodcarvers, the SIGs are not formalized except that they usually have a specific leader/coordinator/person in charge.  There is no membership requirement with the sole exception that they are for those with Guild membership.  They are on the calendar.  Members come and share about those topics.  Current groups are built around the CNC Computer, Hand Tools, Power Tools, Scroll Saws, and Woodcarving.
  • In addition to the big equipment, there is also a Kreg pocket screw jig and a Leigh dovetail jig available in the shop. Beyond that, there are innumerable other jigs around the shop to facilitate exacting work.  (Keith Doel).
  • The Guild Library (run by volunteers) is a treasure trove of plans and directions, as well as tool reviews and tips of all sorts. (Keith Doel)
  • Pets – Sorry, pets are not Guild members, and so, they are not permitted in the shop.
  • There is a First Aid Kit hanging on the wall over the table saw sleds in the shop.

  • Do you use good hearing protection in the shop? (You should.)  Does the unit you wear have a radio or access to your music files?  Our safety rules preclude listening to those things while working – because they can distract you from whirling blades.
  • Portable Dust Collector

    The shop is not geared physically for a comprehensive dust collection system, which accounts for the variety of dust collectors on the floor.  Even with the dust collectors turned on (don’t forget to turn them on – and off), dust escapes into the air and onto the floor.  This accounts for the expectation that members are to clean up their work area when they finish for the day, and early enough so that the foreman can close on time.  It’s a matter of courtesy and responsibility.  (There’s a rule that says you need to check on the dust collection bags before you start your project and empty the bag in the dumpster if necessary.  Shop Foremen are there for safety first and help second, but not to do janitorial work.)

  • Green tag safety rules apply to the power tools, but also to the hand tools. However, if you are not safety certified, and you have the occasional piece to be cut or planed, you might ask a Shop Forman to run it off for you.
  • The dues don’t fully support the Guild, and class fees are only expected to cover the costs of the class, not to supplement the bank account. The Guild needs the funding it gets from other sources, including special projects and even from the occasional donation.  Your participation with special projects not only provides skill development and professional and social networking, but also makes it possible to open the shop’s doors the next day.
  • Guild Members who volunteer their services to work on the Guild’s various fund-raising projects qualify for Guild Shares.  For every hour of instruction or project work, they get 2 Guild Shares worth $1 each.  Guild Shares can be redeemed to pay for classes, annual dues, or Guild products/apparel.

The coordinator or director of any given project or class being instructed is responsible to document and report your earned Guild Shares.  That person passes the information to the Membership Director who updates the database. 

There is a report called “MEMBER INFO FOR TRAINING” that is updated monthly that hangs on the wall above the membership desk in the office.  It contains the number of Guild Shares for each member.

See the full Guild policy on the MEMBERS ONLY page.

  • If you watch the videos under the HOME tab on the web site, you will find that the congeniality of the membership is frequently mentioned as one of the major attractions of the Guild. It might seem that this may be something basically inherent in the “Old Guard,” but all of us should keep in mind that such things as courtesy, pleasantness, helpfulness, looking out for each other’s safety, are things expected of all of us.  When you’re in the shop you aren’t living in a vacuum, even though there are a lot of vacuums in the shop.
  • The Guild expects a donation of at least $40 per hour of equipment use when work is done for nonmembers, e.g., joining a couple of boards. That’s because the Guild’s shop is not intended for commercial projects.  If you do sell the projects that you make at the Guild, you are expected to compensate the Guild or volunteer your time.
  • Guild leaders do not “own” the Guild. The Guild is a total volunteer operation.  Some of the leadership bring organizational skills over from their work careers, but not all.  Some are just woodworkers who have made themselves available to help out.  You may have joined to take advantage of the Guild’s benefits, but the Guild can’t even exist unless individual members (you?) step forward to participate in the more mundane or esoteric aspects associated with keeping the Guild afloat.  We beat this dead horse periodically throughout the year, but not for nothing.  Sharing the responsibility for the Guild’s operation is a part of being a member.  (That’s probably something you didn’t know when you signed up, was it?)
  • There’s another way to put it. When you volunteer to assist with a charitable project for the community or a fund-raising project for the Guild, when you clean up your area (and maybe a little more), when you stand for election, when you offer another member a hand, you, in some important way, put your own stamp on the group.  In a very meaningful way the Guild becomes yours, you take Guild ownership.  That’s the real meaning of being a Guild member.

More from our Members

  • Going to the Guild on an Open Shop weekend yields several viewpoints, and I always leave with more skills than I had before. A big one was using biscuit joints in large table top glue ups, not for strength but for alignment. I love advice on projects when I’m stuck or don’t know how to set up a cut.
  • The skill builder clinics are also great – I’ve learned how to sharpen a card scraper, how to align a plane for best results, how to cut tenon cheeks on the band saw, and how to resaw thin veneers. Always something new to learn! All you have to do is participate. (Ryan McNair)
  • The most important thing about the Kansas City Woodworking Guild in my opinion is the people.  I have made many real friends who not are only willing to assist me when I need it, but have become important in my life.  There is such a wealth of free knowledge available for the taking from the foremen and others. If you don’t avail yourself, you’re cheating yourself.  Ask, and you’ll get valuable information. (Jim Stuart)
  • Those members with the orange badges are shop foremen.  There has to be at least one present for an open shop period.  Shop foremen don’t pretend to know all the answers, but they can direct you to someone who will know.  Foremen are not supposed to work on our own projects while having open shop, so when it is not our shop, and we are trying to get something done, that is why.  Most generally, we’ll help you anyway.  (Jim Stuart)