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This fall, our magazine is sponsoring the first-ever weekend conference devoted to hand tools and learning to use them.

We’re calling it the Woodworking in America conference, and we’ll be bringing together the country’s best hand-tool woodworkers and manufacturers for a symposium in Berea, Ky., on Nov. 14-16.

There will be more than 40 short classes on tools and techniques during the long weekend, plus a marketplace where toolmakers can display (and sell) their wares, social events with the demonstrators and toolmakers and more.

So who is going to be there? Here’s the list of people who have agreed to teach seminars during Woodworking in America as of this date (with more to come):

Roy Underhill: Known as “St. Roy” to the legion of fans who watch “The Woodwright’s Shop” on PBS, Roy worked at Colonial Williamsburg and then launched his show about traditional hand tools.

Frank Klausz: One of the country’s consummate craftsmen, Frank is a professional New Jersey cabinetmaker who trained in Hungary and has a lifetime of experience with the full range of handwork.

Michael Dunbar:
Founder of The Windsor Institute, Michael has single handedly revived the craft of building Windsor chairs, has trained thousands of woodworkers and is a passionate student of the art and history of handcraft.

Adam Cherubini:
The author of Popular Woodworking‘s popular “Arts & Mysteries” column, Adam is a devoted 18th-century woodworker who builds period pieces using period tools.

James Blauvelt: A Connecticut cabinetmaker, joiner and carpenter, James owns Bluefield Joiners and is a student and teacher of Japanese tools and traditions.

Robin Lee: The president of Lee Valley Tools in Ottawa, Ontario, Robin has been a driving force behind the expansion of the Veritas line of premium handplanes and a caretaker of the company’s immense tool collection.

Thomas Lie-Nielsen:
The founder of Lie-Nielsen Toolworks in Warren, Me., Thomas has been making and selling premium traditional hand tools for 27 years. Thomas’s company was the trailblazer in reviving many traditional forms of tools that had been lost.

Larry Williams and Don McConnell: Two of the principals behind Clark & Williams in Eureka Springs, Ark., Larry and Don are bottomless wells of information about traditional tools and their workings. Both are accomplished woodworkers, planemakers and tool historians.

John Economaki:
The founder of Bridge City Tool Works in Portland, Ore., John has long been a pioneer in developing new (and very beautiful) forms of hand tools for woodworkers.

Konrad Sauer:
The owner of Sauer & Steiner Toolworks in Ontario, Konrad is one of the leading makers of custom infill handplanes.

Wayne Anderson: Wayne specializes in designing and building custom infill handplanes that are deeply rooted in the past but are each a completely original work of art.

Ron Hock: One of the earliest and most important players in the revival of handtools, Ron makes high-quality replacement plane irons, chipbreakers and marking knives in Ft. Bragg, Calif.

Mike Wenzloff: The founder of Wenzloff & Sons sawmakers in Forest Grove, Ore., Mike is a long-time woodworker and expert in saws and saw sharpening. His premium saw business has exploded in the last two years.

Joel Moskowitz: The founder of Tools for Working Wood and an expert on woodworking history, Joel has recently been making many traditional hand tools, as well as selling them through his catalog and web site. 

Clarence Blanchard: The publisher of “The Fine Tool Journal” and the president of Brown Auction Services, Clarence sees more old tools in a week than most of us see in a lifetime.

Kevin Drake: After studying under James Krenov at the College of the Redwoods, Kevin founded Glen-Drake Toolworks, where he combines woodworking, toolmaking and education. His innovative tools have received numerous awards; we named his Tite-Mark one of the “Best 12 Tools Ever.”  

If you are interested in attending, please visit the web site that is dedicated to this conference at WoodworkinginAmerica.com and sign up for the conference’s newsletter (the sign-up box is on the top right of the page). You’ll then be the first to be notified of when registration will open (it will be before July 1) and the pricing for this event.

Attendance will be limited to a few hundred people (we want to keep the event intimate and manageable), so be sure to register as soon as slots become available. We are expecting the conference to sell out.

There are more announcements and surprises ahead that I cannot share with you right now, so please stay tuned to the blog and the conference’s newsletter.

– Christopher Schwarz

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Showing 5 comments
  • megan

    Unfortunately for us, Kelly is teaching that week…but we hope he’ll drop in!

  • Martin

    How about getting Kelly Mehler to do something?

  • megan

    The list is not yet complete, and we’re certainly hoping to work Don Weber into the program.

  • Dan

    I’m surprised that Don Weber’s name isn’t on the list, seeing’s how last I knew he lived in Berea and his shop was a few miles away.

  • Kip from Northern Illinois.

    Chris Schwartz mentioned his drawboring pins. I was wondering how he uses them and any other details that may be shared.

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