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.


  1. Hi Darnell,

    It's always a fun weekend when the Lie-Nielsen Hand Tool Event rolls into town. This year, Konrad Sauer attended the Vancovuer event, making it the best I've attended :)


  2. I'm envious, Chris, I've never met Konrad, or had the chance to try his beautiful infills. I forgot to ask Jeremy, did you get your hotdog?

    1. I must have spent at least 4 hours at Konrad's bench. You'll have to make sure you meed Konrad sometime. He said he'd likely be attending the Woodworking In America conference in Covington, Kentucky this year. If you can attend, I know you'd enjoy it and learn a lot just from talking to the vendors in the marketplace.

      And no, I did not get my hotdog :)


  3. I found your blog via the Lee Valley newsletter that will be published at the end of the month. In previewing my article in that newsletter, I saw your blog URL. Thanks for posting all those pictures. I have always wanted one of everything Lie-Nielsen produces. So far, it is still a dream.

    Ellis Hein

    1. I hear that dream loud and clear, Ellis. I'd like to have that collection, myself.

      While at the show I met Charles Mak. He also has an article appearing in the same newsletter, and coincidentally is a friend of Chris'. Small woodworking world we live in, eh?

  4. Never seen this stuff.
    Looks great :P


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I'm a woodworker on the Canadian prairie.