Sunday, March 18, 2012

Tool Event

Last weekend I had the opportunity to help at the Lie-Nielsen Tool Event, in Calgary, Alberta. It was hosted by The Black Forest Wood Co.

It was a fantastic venue, the staff was very friendly and helpful. We were given a tour of the facility, the highlight for me was the guitar making studio. I consider instrument making one of the highest forms of woodworking, and the lutherie produced here is pretty incredible. The lumber selection is a woodworkers candy store, exotics and burls are everywhere, and I spent nearly ten minutes just looking in the veneer drawers. My only regret is not bringing my XL suitcase.

I got to work with Jeremy Tomlinson, the Lie-Nielsen Canadian show lead.

I've worked with Jeremy a few times now, and I'm always astounded with the breadth of his knowledge of all things hand tool related. He's a lot of fun to talk to and has plenty of solid advise.

The guest demonstrator was Duncan Robertson of Quiet Woodworking. I hadn't seen him since the Calgary show last year, and it was good to catch up with him.

He brought his bench with him again, and after using his tall joinery bench I'm reminded that I want one. It's a wonderful thing to be able to saw standing comfortably upright, both for my back and my eyes. His tall bench was a new one this year, outfitted with a wood screw vise cut by Lake Erie Toolworks. I now understand the dedicated following wood screws have, they have a feeling all their own, and stock would go from loose to tight in less than 1/8 of a rotation. I wish I had taken photos of it.

He also brought his drool-inducing tool chest.

Of all the shows I've been to, this was one of the best. The crowd was fun and lively, and buzzed with an energy that was fun to be around. I met several very interesting people and had a lot of great conversation. After the attendees left for home I was left tired and happy, and as I wiped down tools I was rewarded with the setting sun shining directly though the windows. Its light playing with the cherry and iron was a fitting end to a great weekend.

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I'm a woodworker on the Canadian prairie.