I'll try to sum up what went through my brain last weekend, but there was so much, I'm sure I'll only get a fraction in.
Plus, my laptop charger is broken, so I only have as long as my battery lasts while I am waiting for my eight hour layover in Atlanta to be over.
I wasn't quite sure what to expect, as I didn't really need any new tools. The only thing I planned on bringing home was a plane blade from Ron Hock to build a small smoothing plane, as my luck on getting a #2 or #3 from eBay has been thwarted. I thought I would be able to come up with something better anyway.
What I really wanted to do here was meet and talk to fellow like minded woodworkers.
As soon as I walked up to the Festhalle barn at about 9:20 or so on Friday morning, I knew I was in the right place. There was a big line that went half way to the street already. For some reason I thought they opened the doors at nine, but it wasn't until ten when they opened the doors to the great unwashed.
The wait was OK, as the next guy to arrive after me was Bill Schenher from Billy's Little Bench. Shortly after that was a nice guy by the name of Hamilton who loves to read woodworking blogs. Chatting with these two was a nice way to pass the time.
Since I really didn't have much interest in buying new tools, I walked in and was amazed with the number of people there. I fiddled with Benchcrafted's traditional French vice (I really might have to think about upgrading someday to this, as I like it), and admired Chris Schwarz's chest with Jameel Abraham's fancy lid.
|This really looks good.|
Slav Jelesijevich was sharing a booth with a nice guy by the name of Jeremy (whose last name I didn't get). There were some gorgeous tools here. There was a guy there fondling the two Stanley #3s when I got there, and as soon as he bought one I snatched the other one. It was gorgeous and a good price, so I bought it. It turns out it is a nice and clean enough to use without much mucking with Stanley Type 10 #3C. Since Richard Maguire has been discussing the #3 I have decided I needed one to address some problems with my walnut dining table that I haven't been able to take care of with the planes I currently have in my tool chest. I now no longer have an immediate need to build a Krenov smoother. For some reason, I don't have pictures of this plane yet.
I went about three paces to Slav's portion, and there he had a gorgeous Swedish chisel that looks to be more than two inches wide. I couldn't resist and opened my wallet again.
I then went to Patrick Leach's booth and about went into a coma. I have never seen so many desirable old tools in one place before in my life. I feel like I was lucky to get out alive, with no purchases from him. Although, there were two nice sets of Swedish chisels I had my eye on. Unfortunately for me, he knew their true worth.
There are many pictures of this elsewhere on the blogosphere, so I'll spare you and only show one:
|For God's sake, who has ever seen such a huge box of mortice chisels?|
It is great being able to wander around and chat with the various vendors. One of the first I was able to watch and speak to was Mary May. She was demonstrating her carving, and mentioned she loved to work with walnut. I asked if she preferred air-dried walnut, and she said she didn't really know. A client will give her a chunk of wood with a commission and she just works with it. I think there is something to be learned here, that there is no need to be snobby with the woods you work with. If it carves well, then it is good carving wood.
|Mary May carving a chunk of walnut.|
I got to have lunch with Bengt, and spend a good deal of time with him. He comes to Germany every time Chris Schwarz teaches there. If you don't read Swedish, run his blog through the Google language translator and be patient as Google's Swedish to English isn't quite perfect.
|Bengt and St. Roy.|
|Almost an hour early, and here is the line.|
|There were a LOT of people there to see Roy.|
|I think everyone could see and hear him.|
|Peter Galbert demonstrating sharpening a drawknife.|
Another "A-ha" moment I had was watching Tim Manney demonstrate his adze technique. He clamps his board on a sawbench, braces it with his leg, and swings the adze down (just behind his leg for safety) pivoting at the elbow. The idea is to make a smooth, cross grain cut. He says the hardest part is coming out of the cut, going up the grain. If you can do it this way, you save a lot of time as you don't have to turn the board around and re-clamp just to work down-grain on the other side. I bet he could hollow a wooden serving bowl in no time flat.
|Tim Manney demonstrating adze technique.|
|Here is Jeremy with Jameel Abraham of Benchcrafted discussing the lid to the CS tool chest.|
|Don Williams speaking to our group admonishing us to keep our grubby mitts off!|
|The pictures we all took suck. Get the book.|
|Don Williams giving his spiel for about the zillionth time.|
|Even the bench was stunning.|
|The obligatory photo of me with the chest. I was glad to see one of the exhibitors photo-bombed this pic!|
|Wouldn't it be neat to have a silver-plated vice?|
|This made it easy to find my car in the parking lot.|
Congratulations to everyone regarding this event, as I'm sure it will be remembered forever.