Another of the top-notch, first-time presenters at the 2014 edition of Woodworking in America (WIA) in Winston-Salem, N.C. in September is Will Neptune. While I have yet to meet Will in person, I’ve been told by many woodworkers that he is a star among stars. Will won the SAPFM Cartouche award in 2013. He and W. Patrick Edwards (also presenting at WIA 2014) are the award winners for the past two years. (You really should register for the conference, and I’d do it quickly because early-bird registration – save $50 – runs through midnight July 11th, 2014.)
At North Bennett Street School, Will, as a 15-year instructor, was known to answer any and all questions from students, even if that meant staying late into the night. As a furniture maker, he finds ways to solve woodworking problems regardless of the size and scope – that’s part of what keeps him interested in building custom furniture. He’s been known to say that if you pick up a hand tool, you’re losing money. But he’s also a master carver, and equally capable using both power and hand tools.
Will shares shop space with Freddy Roman, who provided a bit of insight into Will Neptune in an article in the April 2014 Popular Woodworking Magazine (issue #210). When asked about working in the shop with Will, Freddy said, “I grew significantly as a craftsman because of it …” That’s a true compliment.
Will’s classes at WIA encompass a world of woodworking knowledge. If you’re in attendance you can sit in on two session. Table Saw Joinery: (Friday 9/12 @ 11:00AM) (Saturday 9/13 @ 11:00AM) Will discusses a variety of techniques, including stack lamination, bricking, coopering and bent lamination. As he demonstrates these techniques, he teaches you a variety of clever (and safe) methods for execution.
Curved Work in Furniture Making: (Friday 9/12 @ 4:00) To improve as a woodworker, we need to include curved elements into our work. Starting with the basics and moving on to more unusual situations, Will breaks down potential problems into a series of manageable steps. Demonstrations include mockups of typical furniture construction details to teach you methods that you can rely on in your own work to allow you to build furniture of greater complexity.
In looking at my schedule, I have the opportunity to sit in on both of Will’s presentations. See you there.