Our local club, Alaska Creative Woodworkers Association (ACWA) held our annual Tools & Techniques event, this weekend. By all accounts it was a smashing success. Deneb Puchalski with Lie-Nielsen Toolworks flew up to Anchorage with a couple of suitcases of tools. We also had a Fesstool representative, a Jet/Powermatic/Wilton rep, the local general finishes dealer, Hardware Specialties, as well as the Alaska Woodturning Association, and the carving, and scroll saw clubs.
The theme of our event was building a Shaker side table, the one Chris Schwarz built for Woodworking magazine a few years ago. Deneb, brought a pile of the LN Chris Schwarz Shaker Side Table DVD’s, and different club members including myself gave various demonstrations covering each operation involved in making the table. I did through dovetails by hand for the drawer construction, I hand cut a tenon on an apron to fit a mortise another member cut, as well as a 4 square demonstration by hand. Folks were very interested in the hand tool work.
We held the show at King Career Center, which is the trade school for Anchorage School District. This gave us the opportunity to spend time with the carpentry school students and expose them to some aspects of fine woodworking. One student in particular really enjoyed using my Record 043 plow plane.
Being the first time Lie Nielsen has come to Alaska to test the waters, Deneb was flying solo, and was extremely busy. That guy talked and demonstrated for 8 hours straight on Friday, with nary a break! As anyone who has seen him demonstrate, knows he is a great presenter, and teacher. He really know his tools and methods. I learned a lot from listening to him. Being the only rep there, he was a bit overwhelmed, so when I offered to help, he accepted. I spent most of the day Saturday, demonstrating Lie Nielsen tools, discussing their merits with other woodworkers, and making recommendations on purchases. What a great day, I had so much fun!!!! I wrote about eight or ten orders for tools, talked to many folks and learned quite a bit too.
One highlight of my day was showing a gentleman how to start a dovetail saw and cut to a line. We were using the LN tapered thin plate dovetail saw, which is a fabulous saw and tracks a line like a freight train. I really enjoyed using that saw. The gentleman I was helping had a bit of trouble starting the saw. I came around the bench and showed him how to do it. I gave him the saw back, and he did everything right, the saw started easily and he cut a nice line. Just as everything clicked for him, he got a huge grin on his face, which was super satisfying for me. One more guy heading further down the slippery hand tool slope.
The real highlight of the day for me was writing an order for just over $1,000.00 worth of Lie-Nielsen tools! Deneb gets all the credit for selling the tools, as the fellow spent most of two days watching and listening to him, but I sure enjoyed writing that order. I told Deneb, I had so much fun helping, that I should probably pay Lie-Nielsen!
Here are a few pictures I took early Saturday AM. I wish I had taken more photos, but I was just too busy.
Deneb, at the bench!
The Fesstool guy looks lonely!! This photo was taken at the same time as the previous two, while Deneb had a good crowd. Those Fesstool products are amazing, and the rep was swamped all day Friday.
Thanks for a great day of good woodworking and good folks. I enjoyed talking to everyone.
Hey Deneb, if your reading this don’t forget to send my plane ticket (Anchorage to Maine), and what time was I supposed to be at work on Monday morning!!!!!!!!! The helper monkey is going to need additional training! Deneb did promise to send me one of the cool new t-shirts. Thanks Deneb, you are a scholar and a gentleman!