Another very important supplemental activity, which RWS began in the first half of 1986, was the formation of “SIG’s” – special interest groups. An earlier survey of members’ interests had clearly indicated that the two most popular interests of the members were furniture and woodturning (in that order). Consequently Tom Maier offered to chair a furniture SIG and Al Vincent, a woodturning SIG. Arrangements were made by Mal Altman for these groups to meet at the Pittsford Recreation Center. The initial meetings took place a week apart in May.
Those attending the first turning SIG were: Mal Altman, John Bailey, Mark Coons, Kendra Dayger, Ted Ellstrom, Tom Gompf, Gordon Jarvis, Steve Loar, Tom Maier, Bill McCoglin, Jim Orgar, Wendell Smith, and Al Vincent. Al moderated two stimulating hours during which the participants reviewed their triumphs and tragedies. Discussion topics included chisel- making (three different exhibits), using double-sided sticky tape to mount bowls, finishing, a wobbly spindle, a jeweler’s lathe for miniatures, turning green wood, end-grain tear out, sand-blasting and scraping. The meeting was successful, and it was agreed that following the summer, the turners SIG should resume meeting.
The furniture SIG met a week after the woodturning SIG. According to Tom Maier’s recollection, the following were present at this meeting: Tom Maier, Kendra Dayger, Ed Feathers, Gordon Jarvis, Bob Marcotte, and Tanya Yudelson. The group discussed what people had made and tricks and jigs which they had used. Like the woodturners, they agreed to convene again in the fall.