Woodworkers are among the most visual people I know. Ask a woodworker a question and the first thing they do is grab a pencil and paper to begin drawing. I’ve learned that we wood folk can pick up only so much information through the written word , photos help to add to the information transferred to our brains , but there is no better way to learn woodworking than to watch someone demonstrate a technique. You see how their body is positioned, how their feet are set and watch how everything moves as the technique is performed.
On Friday and Saturday, June 4th and 5th, the Lie-Nielsen Hand Tool Event comes to Cincinnati, specifically to the office and shop of Popular Woodworking Magazine. This is the perfect event to find the hand tool (or tools) you need to enhance your woodworking. In addition to the tools, the folk on the other side of the counter know all there is to know about their products, so it’s easy to gain an understanding of how to set up and sharpen any tool you select. And what could be better than watching a demonstration that puts some of those tools to work to create furniture?
Again this year, we’re delighted that some of the folk from SAPFM (Society of Period Furniture Makers) are coming in to demonstrate woodworking techniques. This year, Mark Arnold, the editor of the Journal of American Period Furniture , and future contributor to our magazine , discusses how to join legs to the column of a tilt-top table. Mark’s work on period furniture is incredible, so I doubt there will be dowels or biscuits involved. And who could pass up an opportunity to watch George Walker demonstrate the use of traditional joinery planes, such as a moving fillister or tongue-and-groove planes? I’ll also bet you can drag George into a conversation about furniture design.
If you’re into carving, you’ll want to stop by on Saturday. Townsend tea tables have many different leg designs. You find tea tables with slipper feet, ball-and-claw feet and some tables with highly decorated knee areas. At the event, Brooke Smith demonstrates how to carve a cabriole leg from the Townsend shops in Newport, R.I. Whatever the technique, that’s a session I want to sit in on. Also, Dan Reahard is going to carve on a crest rail for a Chippendale dining chair. Understanding the nuances of carving plays a big part in your accuracy, repeatability and ease as you carve. This is the time to see how to properly hold a carving chisel and how much pressure is applied as you work. It’s also a great time to learn exactly what sharp is, and if your chisels are tuned up to work as they should.
And if you’re a Windsor chair builder (or hope to build a Windsor chair some day), you won’t want to miss the techniques shown by Jim Crammond and Bob Compton , there should be a few shavings tossed around as they demonstrate different techniques in chair building.
Stop in and spend some time at the show. You’ll have the chance to pick up a new tool, talk with the toolmakers directly and learn a new techniques. To me, attending is a no-brainer.
- Visit the Society of American Period Furniture Makers (SAPFM) website to become a member and gain the benefits of membership.
- Build a Newport Slipper Foot Tea Table from the June 2008 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine (issue 169).
- Get additional information about the Lie-Nielsen Show and about the toolmakers in attendance.
Here are some supplies and tools we find essential in our everyday work around the shop. We may receive a commission from sales referred by our links; however, we have carefully selected these products for their usefulness and quality.