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If you read Don Williams’ blog, you already know that he lost a fight with a wheelbarrow. Unfortunately, Don broke his hip last week, and while the doctors have given him every indication of a full recovery, he won’t be 100-percent healed by Woodworking in America (it is, after all, just more than a month away).

Don will, I’m glad to say, still be joining us at the conference to give the keynote address Saturday morning on the Studley Tool Chest. But he won’t be able to teach his scheduled classes on Roubo Parquetry – there’s simply too much twisting about involved to demonstrate the proper techniques for cutting and assembly.

Freddy Roman was Don’s immediate choice to take over those classes; thankfully, Freddy has graciously agreed to drop what he had scheduled, prepare the work he’ll need to teach the class as described, and make the trip from Massachusetts to Missouri to step in. So, we’ll be updating the conference site shortly to reflect that change.

Federal dresser

Roman built this Federal dressing chest. The original is on the cover of the book “Antique American Federal Furniture by John and Thomas Seymour.”

For those of you who don’t know Freddy and his work, well, the best thing to do is show you (look left). So I encourage you to click through to his site at and take a look. Stunning stuff. While you’re there, you can also read about him and his work in an April 2014 article by Christopher Schwarz, and read Freddy’s article on ellipses.

But in short, Freddy apprenticed under Phil Lowe at the Furniture Institute of Massachusetts (Phil will also be at the conference!), and since starting his own shop in 2007, has specialized in furniture conservation and museum-quality reproductions (some of which are, in fact, in museums).

So while it’s certainly a shame that Don is injured, I’m glad we’re able to welcome Freddy to Woodworking in America 2015. I look forward to seeing them, the many other top-notch woodworking instructors, and many of you in Kansas City, Mo., in just a handful of weeks.

— Megan Fitzpatrick

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