Woodworking in America: What’s New for 2011

With the Early Bird deadline fast approaching to register for Woodworking in America, here’s a look at just some of what’s new for 2011  – in case you’ve been before, and haven’t registered yet because you thought it might be a repeat of the same stuff you saw last year. Or in 2009. Or in 2008. Heck no! We have some new presenters, new classes and more for Woodworking in America 2011 (Sept. 30-Oct. 2 in Greater Cincinnati).

I’m very much looking forward to meeting David Charlesworth, whom we’ve lured over from Devon, England, for his first appearance at Woodworking in America. He’s written for our magazine a number of times and I’m a fan of his books and videos, so it will be a treat to get to hear him speak. David will be teaching two sessions: Precision Planing and Sharpening on both Friday and Saturday (and while I know how to both plane and sharpen, I’m betting David still has plenty to teach me).

Chuck Bender is splitting his time between the Marketplace and the classroom this year – he’ll be teaching Dovetails Three Ways, Furniture: The Good, the Bad & the Ugly, Secret Drawers and Hidden Compartments. And if you’ve seen his work in the magazine, you know how good he is (take a look at this video for visual proof).

Charles Brock’s rocking chairs, which are similar to Sam Maloof’s iconic rockers, are amazing, and Charles is sharing his expertise (in his first appearance at WIA) in the Maloof Leg-to-Seat Joint, Saddling a Seat, The Sculpted Rocker: A Study in Form and Function, and demonstrating how to Sculpt by Hand and by Power. (I don’t know that I have room for a rocking chair, but if can learn how to make THE rocking chair, well, I might have to simply make room.)

Jay van Arsdale is coming from California to his first WIA to teach traditional Japanese woodworking with sessions on Unlocking Japanese Planes, Chisels & Saws, Japanese Joinery 101 and Shoji Basics. Jay does simply amazing work – some of which you can see on his site.

And we have a lot of instructors at earlier WIA conferences back to teach all-new sessions (and a few favorites from conferences past): Roy Underhill, Peter Follansbee, Brian Boggs, Ron Herman, Christopher Schwarz, Robin Lee, Thomas Lie-Nielsen, Jeff Headley and Steve Hamilton, Bob Lang, Glen Huey and Adam Cherubini. (And joining the ranks will be Steve Shanesy, Me and Ajax Alexandre from our staff.)

Last year, we introduced power tools into the WIA mix, and this year, we’re branching out a bit more with some additional power-tool centric sessions. Why? Because most of us are hybrid woodworkers who feel there’s room in the shop for both. But don’t worry – there’s plenty of new hand tool sessions to keep even the most neader of thals happy.

I don’t want to belabor this post with all that’s new, but I urge you to check it out on the Woodworking in America site – and to register before the Early Bird deadline of August 14 – after which it will cost more (and that’s money better spent on tools, no?).

— Megan Fitzpatrick

• Earlier this year, Christopher Schwarz wrote about the sessions he’s looking forward to attending. You can read that post by clicking here.