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Woodworking in America is just around the corner. It will be upon us in no time – that’s great news for you because now is the time to register (click here) and make travel arrangements, if necessary. For me, however, this means that I have got to get started on the outline for my classes, “Better Woodworking Through Proper Wood Prep, Precision Joinery: In a Hurry and Understanding Inlay: A Key Piece in Connoisseurship & Identification.”

You know that I’ll be in those classes with many of you, but the important question is how to choose your other classes, and in what classes should I schedule my free time.  For a complete list of classes, presenters and descriptions of those classes, click here.

RichOn Friday October 18th, I’m free from 10:30 to 1:30. Deciding on which class to sit in on during this time is difficult. Two classes caught my attention – I’m going to think about these for a while.

On one hand there is an hour with Rich Wedler, a furniture maker with 40 years experience and the inventor of Micro Fence. His session is sure to be fascinating. I’ve seen some of Rich’s work and I know he can teach me a few techniques that I can use in my shop. I’ve also used a Micro Fence setup for many years, and every time I use it I discover something else that makes this tool one of my favorites.

My second consideration is a session with Peter Follansbee on carved spoons. Follansbee SpoonIf you know me you know I’m not likely to pick up an axe and begin to mill my lumber, but spoon carving has always been one of those areas that I feel I can accomplish something without a huge time suck. Don’t get me wrong; I know it’s not a project that I’ll get through in an hour. But I also don’t think it would take a week to come away with a nice looking spoon. Another thing I like about this topic is that if Peter can teach us the basics,  it’s up to us to build off that foundation and to challenge ourselves to get better.

Decisions. Decisions.

On the 19th, my first class isn’t until 2:00 in the afternoon. The decision on which class to attend here is too easy. If you don’t sit in on a Silas Kopf class, you’re crazy. This man’s work is extreme. Even though a class titled, “Where Do Design Ideas Come From? A Marquetry (& Furniture) Odyssey” is surely not going to have Mr. Kopf banging out scads of his great marquetry work, the presentation is sure to be insightful and inspiring, and one I’ll attend.

I’m afraid that does it for me on Saturday. My classes then run back to back until dinnertime. And again, if you know me you know I don’t plan to miss dinner.

On Sunday I have a different problem. All classes run concurrently. Unless I can find someone to teach my session on inlay identification, I won’t be able to sit in on the Don Williams class, “Secrets of Period Finishing.”DonWilliams Anyone that states in mixed company that he is a “shellacaholic” has got something to teach me. If, however, I can find a way to keep the folks in my class busy either studying bandings or as they make a sand-shaded fan inlay, I will stick my head in the door to grab a small nugget of information.

You’re welcome to tag along with me, or you can make your own schedule because this is just a small section of what’s available at Woodworking in America this year. You really should register now.

— Glen D. Huey

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