Chris Schwarz's Blog

Survey: Activities at Woodworking in America

This October, Woodworking in America will be held in our backyard here in Cincinnati from Oct. 1-3. Registration will open in early May, and we’ll start telling you all about the instructors and 80 sessions as soon as we get all the contracts signed.

But there is one aspect of planning this conference that I could use your help with. For this conference, we’re planning some extra evening events. And I’d like some advice from you about which ones you think are most interesting. Read these short descriptions then click on the ones you like the best using the polling widget below.

Thanks in advance for your help.

‘Toolmakers’ Dinner’ at the Popular Woodworking Magazine shop
When: The Thursday evening before Woodworking in America
Where: Our offices and workshop in suburban Cincinnati
Details: A lot of toolmakers will be unveiling new products at this conference, so we thought it would be a fun evening to invite all the toolmakers to a dinner at our headquarters plus as many attendees as we could fit. We’d provide dinner that would give you a taste of local food (LaRosa’s pizza, Skyline chili, Graeter’s ice cream), plus a few local malted beverages for you to try. You’d get to tour the shop, see the newest tools before everyone else and get to chat up the toolmakers.

‘The Feast of Andre Roubo’ with Roy Underhill and Don Williams

When: Saturday evening
Where: A restaurant near the conference
Details: Don Williams and a team of scholars are in the middle of an historic task: translating A.J. Roubo’s 18th-century masterwork “L’Art du Menuisier.” Williams will present , for the first time in public , some of the very cool things he’s learned about early workshop practice during this project. (And if you saw Williams at the conference last year, you know he’s an amazing speaker.) Also, Roy Underhill , who reads Roubo in the original French , will share some of the fascinating details he has unearthed about the man.

‘Covington Pub Crawl’ with the Popular Woodworking Magazine Editors
When: Friday evening (after the keynote dinner)
Where: Covington’s Main Strasse
Details: Find out just how well Megan Fitzpatrick holds her liquor (here’s a tip: she’s tipsy when she starts using big words in a Southern accent). Our editors lead you on a trip down Covington’s Main Strasse, a nicely restored 19th-century street just a couple block from the conference. Chat woodworking as you sample beers from some of our favorite German beer gardens and the Cock & Bull English pub (which has the best fish and chips in town). There’s no formal program , just a casual evening with a bunch of fellow woodworkers.

‘Make this Tool, Please’ , Lunch with Manufacturers
When: Saturday at noon
Where: a room at the conference center
Details: One of the biggest frustrations many woodworkers have is that many tools they want are not made anymore. Who makes a decent folding rule anymore? At this special lunch, you can bring your wish list of tools, which we’ll present to many of the leading hand-tool manufacturers around today. They’ll let you know why they tool isn’t being made (maybe they don’t think there is a market, or materials are too expensive, or they never thought of it). And perhaps , just perhaps , you’ll inspire them to make the tool of your dreams.

‘Woodworking Night at Molly Malone’s’
When: Saturday evening
Where: Molly Malone’s Irish pub, a block from the conference
Details: We take over a floor of Molly Malone’s, an Irish pub and restaurant that’s a short walk from the conference. In addition to hanging out with the editors, toolmakers and other attendees, we’ll arrange for some traditional woodworking music , yes, you guessed it , musical saws.

‘White Water Shaker Village’ a Personalized Tour
When: Sunday morning
Where: White Water Shaker Village (bus transportation provided)
During the last year, Popular Woodworking Magazine has become involved with the restoration efforts at the White Water Shaker Village, a beautiful group of original buildings still in their original setting. The village isn’t open to the public, but we have arranged to get you special access to the village with guides who are restoring the village’s Meeting House. Get a close look at Shaker craftsmanship , from the toolmarks to the cut nails. See some of the original furniture pieces in the collection, and get a privileged look at this amazingly untouched gem.

- Christopher Schwarz

17 thoughts on “Survey: Activities at Woodworking in America

  1. Sean

    Looking forward to the conference and the extra curriculars. Would like to get going on finding a hotel nearby, but "Greater Cincinnati" is a pretty big place!

  2. Gordon Conrad

    Chris/et al,
    Since I don’t drink except for a occassional glass of wine with dinner, the Pub Crawl is out. Not to be a spoil sport, but have you run any of these events by your corporate counsel (lawyer). What is the risk and liability of a company sponsered event where alcohol is served whether the company or individual buys?? Would hate to see you spending time in dispositions and court instead of make saw dust and shavings.
    Regards,
    Gordon

  3. R.J.Whelan

    Can’t attend, but just wanted to say how much I enjoyed seeing the (probably) most famous hand tool user in the US using the cool little video camera.

  4. Richard Dawson

    Murphy,
    And malt does more than Milton can
    To justify God’s ways to man.
    Ale, man, ale’s the stuff to drink
    For fellows whom it hurts to think:
    Look into the pewter pot
    To see the world as the world’s not.

    (Terence, This Is Stupid Stuff — A.E. Housman)

    Makes perfect sense to me.

    Richard

  5. Dai Yates

    Since I won’t be able to make this event either, but have to make do with blogs, video clips etc. to enjoy it, can you PLEASE try to improve the sound quality of the video clips?
    I particularily remember that Roy Underhill’s talk about the axe was almost unintelligble due to the background noise.
    I know there are problems recording in a large noisy hall but I’m hoping there can be some improvement.

    Thanks; best wishes with the show.

  6. Murphy

    I for one am appalled at all the events revolving around the consumption of *malted beverages*.

    -Murphy

    "Tweren’t for the drink, the Irish would rule the world"

  7. Blaine

    I’d be up for a pub crawl that includes an evening with Megan. I’ve found her to be a great personality and perhaps we can all hear about her predecesor (or is her ancestor?), Elinour Rumming. ;-)

    Of course, the toolmaker’s dinner would be excellent, too.

  8. Jon Spelbring

    My two favorites would be the pub crawl, and the Feast of Roubo. Of course, I’m always up for an Irish pub – musical saws, not so much.

  9. Don Peregoy

    Sounds great , Who needs sleep. One thing though will be able to get two Saturday nights. You are leaving me with a hard chooses.

    I am happy to see that we will be getting a list of sessions early. I’m not much good at making swift decisions any more.

  10. Doug Martin

    Just a quick note that the Reds are in town the weekend of the event also. Great American Ballpark is just short walk across the Roebling Bridge from the convention center. A group outing to a ball game – one that, at least at times, could resemble major league baseball – might be of interest to some attendees.

  11. Jeremy

    Is "Poplar Woodworking" some sort of Freudian slip?

    Sounds like just the type of publication someone like me, who likes really cheap, easy to work wood, would read.

    "Poplar Woodworking – all poplar, all the time." Or maybe, "Poplar Woodworking – one man’s secondary wood is another man’s primary."

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