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Spoken in my best radio voice: “You can win fabulous prizes selected especially for you!” Yeah! I know. Keep the day job. But the words couldn’t be any truer.

The Woodworking in America , Hand Tools and Techniques Conference is just around the corner and one of the major portions of the conference is the Hand Tool Olympics. If you were in St. Charles, I hope you participated. I know you’ve read about the events (get more information here). And I hope you all plan to compete while in Valley Forge.

Just as in St. Charles, the top-ranked individuals in each event win a prize and the second of the two donated prizes is awarded randomly by drawing , all you need to do to be eligible to win is compete. It cannot be any easier than that.

What we won’t do this time during the banquet is cut into any primo chow time or chew up any of St. Roy’s keynote address time calling a zillion names. We’ll announce the prize awardees and they are welcome to come up and receive their prizes. (Random-drawing winners are welcome to pick up their prizes at the Olympic’s booth during the Sunday portion of the show.)

Special thanks for donations go to:
–    Lee Valley and Veritas for the low-angle jointer planes for the Shooting Sports event.
–    Mike Siemsen School of Woodworking for the rip saws (sharpened by Mark Harrell at Technoprimitives) for the One-Meter Dash and for the crosscut saws (also sharpened by Mr. Harrell) for the Crosscut Extravaganza event.
–    Mid-West Tool Collectors Association for the 10″-sweep braces for the Brace Yourself For a Hole in One event.
–    Bad Axe Tool Works for the backsaws used for Greco-Roman Tenons event.
–    Di legno Woodshop Supply for the marking knives and mallets for the Pins First or Tails First event.

Practice. Practice. Practice. The events begin this week.

Additionally, this conference has Hands-on Bench Rooms where you can spend time with the seminar presenters. Stop in to get more in-depth information, get help to improve your techniques or simply to rub elbows. And we encourage you to bring your hand tools along , there’s nothing better than to get guidance using your own tools. But if that’s just not possible, we’ll have some hand tools available for you to work with.

Thank you again Lee Valley and Veritas. The company has graciously supplied the conference with a number of hand planes of all types with which to work and supplied dovetail saws for use during the conference. And to the Robert Larson Company for supplying the bench rooms with chisels used to practice dovetailing with Roy Underhill. (Anyone know a bandage supplier I can contact?).

And thanks also to Ron Herman who is not only a presenter at the conference, but who is supplying many saw vises so you can set up and sharpen your saws while attending his bench-room session. And of course, our thanks go out to Geoffery and Suzette Noden for supplying the conference with a number of the Noden Adjust-A-Bench benches.

– Glen D. Huey

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