Woodworking in America Makes History

Wanted PosterYou may not really think about it, but much of woodworking is history. Today we use tools from centuries back, we assemble projects using joinery that has stood the test of time and we reproduce furniture styles from as early as 1650.That’s history.

The photos to the left were not taken from my local post office. They are the faces of a few of the speakers at the 2013 Woodworking in America (WIA) held at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center just across the river from Cincinnati. (Register here.) Shown are the guys that make history come alive at WIA.

Lets begin with Don Williams (far left). Don’s history lessons are planned for Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday he presents “The Transition from Hand Tools to Power Tools.” Don discusses woodworking from early in the 19th century through the Industrial Revolution, including the fact that machines have been used way more than most of us think. On Sunday, Don turns from tools to finish as he shares the “Secrets to Period Finishing.” I’ll bet there is shellac involved – Don knows his shellac. Ross Tools(There may also be a couple of tools used in period finishes.) Both sessions should be full of history and historical facts.

Peter Ross – the guy flanked by the two bearded gentlemen – brings a couple of interesting historical topics to WIA this year. Friday (and again on Saturday afternoon) Peter shares his knowledge of woodworking tools in his session on “Historic Tools.” Having been involved with the Benjamin Seaton Tool Chest, he has studied a fair number of quality tools in his days. Then on Saturday, Peter talks everything nails as he presents “The Prosaic Nail: More Complicated (& Beautiful) Than You Know.” In this session you’ll hear about wrought nails and why Peter thinks they are better. He promises to show how wrought nails are made. If you cannot attend both sessions, flip a coin. Both of these sound great.

Follansbee CarveThe last guy is Peter Follansbee. Peter works in the 17th century at the Plimoth Plantation. He deals with history on a weekly, if not daily, basis. Friday, Peter shares how to carve in the 17th-Century style. Learn how a few gouges can produce crazy-good carvings using techniques that are simple and basic. Make sure you get a look at his book stand coming in the October issue (#206). On Saturday, Peter drops the decoration-type work and grabs his axes,  planes and other tools in his arsenal to demonstrate how lumber was prepared during the period. Then he shares his joinery techniques as he works on a chest. The class is “Build a Joyned Chest.” He builds the chest – you build your woodworking history knowledge.

For a complete list and description of classes and to see who is teaching when, go here.

Make sure you sign-up and attend Woodworking in America. Remember that the Early-bird Deadline for registering is August 2, 2013 – you save more than $51. And you can signup for a One-day Pass, but then how would you decide which of these classes to attend?

— Glen D. Huey

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