The Hand Tool Events put on by Lie-Nielsen Toolworks are a great place to pick up new skills, learn about hand tools and test drive a wide variety of serious ductile and bronze beauties.
I’ve attended a good number of these events and have met some great people and learned quite a few things myself. I got to watch Michel Auriou make a hand-stitched rasp. I saw how Steve Latta makes stringing. I test drove Konrad Sauer’s infill planes. And I lost a sawing contest with John Economaki of Bridge City Tools.
What I quite like about these free weekend events is that they are not just about hawking merchandise. There’s no guy trying to sell you a magic broom or hustle you to buy some $4 router bits. The events are low-key , it’s more like attending the opening of an art show than buying a used car.
This year, Lie-Nielsen has expanded the show schedule, including an event at our offices at Popular Woodworking in May. We’ll also be exhibiting and demonstrating at the Chicago show. The Lie-Nielsen folks are still lining up the demonstrators for each show, so check in with the company’s web site for details from time to time.
This weekend, the first event of the season will be at Fine Woodworking magazine in western Connecticut. If you go, be sure to stop by Mike Pekovich’s bench and check out his demonstration on dovetail joinery , he’s got some really interesting things to say about stance that I think you’ll find interesting. Also, Matt Kenney, also from Fine Woodworking, will demonstrate shooting boards and miter jacks. Bob Van Dyke, director of the Connecticut Valley School of Woodworking, will demonstrate saws and chisels. Chris Becksvoort will demonstrate at the Hand Planing Interactive Station. And John Economaki, the founder of Bridge City Toolworks, will have a display of tools to try.
Here’s the schedule for the rest of 2008 and 2009. We hope to see you this spring.
Newtown, Conn., Oct. 3-4, Taunton Press
Lancaster, Pa., Oct. 24-25, Thadeus Stevens College
Sturbridge, Mass., Dec. 5-6, Sturbridge Host Hotel
Austin, Texas, Jan. 9-10, TBD
Costa Mesa, Calif., Jan. 23-24, Orange Coast College
Oakland, Calif., Feb. 13-14, The Crucible (Date may change)
Calgary, Canada, March 6-7, TBD
Vancouver, Canada, March 27-28, TBD
Toronto, Canada, April 17-18, TBD
Chicago, May 1-2, Jeff Miller Handcrafted Furniture
Cincinnati, May 16-17, Popular Woodworking magazine