Some (Tentative) News on Woodworking in America 2011 - Popular Woodworking Magazine

Some (Tentative) News on Woodworking in America 2011

 In Shop Blog, Woodworking Blogs, Woodworking In America

With a “save the date” ad for Woodworking in America appearing in the June issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine (and by the way, the dates are Sept. 30-Oct. 2, 2011), we’ve started getting questions about the conference – including “When will registration open?”; “Who is speaking this year?”; and “What classes will be offered?”

Honestly, we don’t yet have anything (other than the dates) set in stone. Oh – and the overarching theme this year is “The Ultimate Joinery Weekend” – we’re planning a wide range of classes on all sorts of topics related to joinery.  We’ve contacted the speakers we’re hoping to have join us, and most of them (we’re happy to say) have said yes (and we’re still waiting on a few), but we don’t yet have contracts, so what I’m about to write is tentative: Roy Underhill will be back; we’re delighted that Jay van Arsdale will be joining us for the first time, to speak about Japanese joinery and tools. Brian Boggs is making the trip from North Carolina for his second WIA. Chuck Bender is moving out of the marketplace and into the classroom. Jeff Headley and Steve Hamilton will be bringing at least one of their awesome projects that comes completely apart (and hopefully goes back together). Peter Follansbee will be, as he says, visiting “the west” for the first time. David Charlesworth is making the trip from England. And Ron Herman will be with us again. And all the editors will be teaching this year (OK – that’s not tentative; all the editors will indeed be teaching, whether they want to or not). And there are a couple more from whom we’ve not yet received a response. But that’s all I can say right now about the speakers.

And until we get the speakers contracted, we’re not ready to talk about the sessions. But rest assured there will be many of them, and many of them will be on topics new to the conference (in other words, even if you’ve been to all the previous WIA conferences – for which we thank you – there will be new sessions to attend).

We’re still debating the “extracurricular” activities, but I can say that there will be two events on Friday night and two events on Saturday night from which to choose, and those will be limited to about 150 each. There will be no banquet (I know…you’re disappointed in the lack of rubber chicken. Sorry).

The new web site will be up and running, I’m told, by the first week of June, with a complete list of speakers, sessions and marketplace vendors – including our sponsors who this year are Lie-Nielsen Toolworks, Woodcraft and Gorilla Glue. To be among the the first to know, please sign up for the conference newsletter at (in the upper right corner under “stay connected”).

And finally, if you’re wanting to get a head start on planning, you can book your hotel room now – we do have the discount codes in place, for which you have to use this link.

And that’s it – the sum total of information we’re ready to release for Woodworking in America 2011, Sept. 30-Oct. 2, 2011, at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center.

Of course, we hope you can join us!

— Megan Fitzpatrick

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Showing 15 comments
  • Chuck Bender


    I will be teaching in the classroom but I also hope to be in my booth at the marketplace a bit too. So, I’m not really moving out as sharing my time between the two best places a woodworker could want to be.

    • Megan Fitzpatrick
      Megan Fitzpatrick

      Sorry Chuck! I didn’t realize you were doing both — whenever are you going to eat?!

      • Chuck Bender

        You mean you won’t be bringing lunch to my classroom/booth? All I can say is there better not be any brown M&M’s in my dressing room.

        • Christopher Schwarz
          Christopher Schwarz

          How about this year we just bring the rabbets instead of the brown “M&Ms”?

          • Chuck Bender

            Mmmmm, hasenpfeffer…

            • mbwpodcast

              Chuck I’ll mind the booth for you while you’re off teaching. I can flatten your tool backs while you’re away.

              • Chuck Bender


                I wasn’t aware my tool backs needed flattening but okay. Or is it that you are just wanting my brown M&Ms?

  • dboys

    Megan, I have been loosely following WIA since Dec. looking forward to announcement of this years particulars. When I recently went to the Web site I saw a Sold OUT sign, and gave up on 2011. But now I see that was last year’s event. I wonder if I was the only one confused. Suggest you take down the previous web page long before the next event.

    • Megan Fitzpatrick
      Megan Fitzpatrick

      I agree — it should have been taken down long before it was. And after this year’s event, I’ll make sure that happens. And now that you know it’s not sold out, I hope you can join us!

  • lwilliams

    And the Market Place will again only be open for the first two days. Is this really what the vendors want?

    • Fred West

      I worked the booth last year with Philip Marcou and I know we would have preferred to have been open on Sunday as you all had so many classes still running. You did do this in Valley Forge are you not doing it now because of cost or some other reason? Fred

      • Megan Fitzpatrick
        Megan Fitzpatrick

        Fred and Larry,

        In Berea, when everyone started breaking down early on Sunday, it pretty much “killed” the Marketplace, so the following year, our booth sales rep talked with all the vendors, and the majority said they would prefer no half-day. It’s certainly a subject we’re willing to revisit for future conferences though.

  • Kevin

    Megan, have you considered inviting Mack Headley to teach at WIA? I’d love to have him teach a class or two (or three…) no matter whether he’s wearing 18th century clothes or contemporary attire.

  • renaissanceww

    Megan, hopefully this will be the worst of your “bugs” for WIA, but when you follow the link to the hotel reservation page it says the conference runs from Thurs the 29th through Sun the 2nd. The default for reservations is check in on Wed 9/28 and check out on Sun 10/2. Not a huge deal but I could see some reserving an extra night with nothing to do and then resulting in many idle woodworking hands getting in trouble in downtown Cincinnati.

    • Megan Fitzpatrick
      Megan Fitzpatrick

      hmmm….interesting. I’ll see what we can do to change that to Thursday night (makes more sense, I think!).

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