Midnight Woodworking

Woodworking

Woodworking in America weekend 2014

Adam and I took a little field trip this weekend. We hopped in the car and made the six-hour drive down to Winston-Salem North Carolina for the Woodworking in America conference put on by Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Now entering North Carolina

Now entering North Carolina

At the conference, they had a huge variety of classes run by people from the magazine and other woodworking specialists from around the country. They also had a huge market place full of vendors as well as some local woodworking groups.

Laminating a veneer bracelet

Laminating a veneer bracelet

We spent a lot of time at the North Carolina Woodworker booth. They had several projects for anyone interested. Adam loved these guys (and girls). the first project he tried was wooden bracelet, made from five pieces of veneer. He laminated them together, and they clamped it to a form. They set that one aside for someone else to use and grabbed a dry one. They clamped it onto the bed of a CNC router and carved Adam’s initials and a smiley face onto it.

Carving Adam's initials

Carving Adam’s initials

Adam sanded it down, then applied some mineral oil for finish.

Sanding and oiling

Sanding and oiling

Trimming the arm band

Trimming the arm band

He cut the ends even, then cut the arm band in half. He got to Keep the half with his initials. The half with a smiley face goes to a child at the Duke University children’s hospital. It was a really cool little project for kids. We also saw adults stepping in line to make them as well.

Half for Adam, the other half for a sick child

Half for Adam, the other half for a sick child

The next project, that they had for Adam, was building his own light saber.

Learning to turn

Learning to turn

They showed him how to use a couple of Easy Wood turning tools and let him turn his own handle, on the lathe.

Adam's first light saber handle

Adam’s first light saber handle

The finishing touches

The finishing touches

After a little finish sanding, they added a small flash light to the bottom of the handle and a translucent tube to the top. It was the coolest toy, Adam loved it.

Darth Adam...

Darth Adam…

Next we wandered over to Mary May‘s booth. She is a fantastic wood carver and she has online classes that Adam has been watching to try to learn carving. She chatted with him for a while and showed him some leaf carving techniques.

Stopping to chat with Mary May about carving

Stopping to chat with Mary May about carving

We took in some carving classes with Chuck Bender and watched Roy Underhill make a Roubo Book stand.

Class with Roy Underhill

Class with Roy Underhill

Then is was back to the market place where Adam started shopping…

Time to start shopping

Time to start shopping

We ran into Matt Vanderlist from Matt’s Basement Workshop, and he tried to “acquire” Adam’s light saber. Adam told him (politely) to go make his own…

Matt Vanderlist "borrowed" Adam's light saber...

Matt Vanderlist “borrowed” Adam’s light saber…

Adam also did a bit of product testing. It is nice to be able to try-before-you-buy. Most of this stuff is not sold local and you can’t get a feel for things when you buy them online.

Field testing new equipment

Field testing new equipment

Back to the lathe

Back to the lathe

Adam couldn’t stay away from the lathe though and went back to make a light saber for his brother Ian.

Adam needed a light saber for his brother...

Adam needed a light saber for his brother…

While doing more shopping, Adam was captivated by the Veritas miniature hand planes.

Captivated by mini tools from Veritas

Captivated by mini tools from Veritas

Testing a Lie Neilson hand plane

Testing a Lie Neilson hand plane

The guys from Lie Nielsen, in the next booth, tried to entice him away with slightly larger versions.

Overkill!

Overkill!

Next we ran into Sean Wisniewski from The Corner Workshop. He borrowed one of Adam’s light sabers to test it out.

Sparring with Sean Wisniewski

Sparring with Sean Wisniewski

We got to meet Ron Hock of Hock Tools. Ron makes high quality plane irons. He also sells knife and wooden block plane kits. Adam started haggling with him over the price of a bubinga block plane kit. We were there for two days, he had time to wear Ron down…

Adam's new best friend, Ron Hock

Adam’s new best friend, Ron Hock

Fencing lessons form Tom Iovino

Fencing lessons form Tom Iovino

While we were walking around, we ran into Adam’s buddy Tom Iovino from Tom’s Workbench. He stopped to give Adam a fencing lesson and chatted about what projects he was working on. Adam won a contest on Tom’s blog, a year or two back, and they have stayed in touch ever since. Tom is also one of the creators of the Modern Woodworker’s Association. They are an online community dedicated to keeping the craft alive. They love young people like Adam getting into woodworking. A bunch of the guys from the MWA got together for dinner that evening at Bib’s Downtown. They had some excellent BBQ.

Eating Ribs at Bib's

Eating Ribs at Bib’s

Adam tried to win this awesome tool box

Adam tried to win this awesome tool box

Day two, Adam was sporting his new Hock Tools T-shirt that Ron gave him. We put our names in for a drawing to win this beautiful tool box. A bunch of the tool makers, donated one or two of their fine tools to go into this hand crafted tool box. The box was made in memory of Fred West, himself a tool-maker, who passed away this year. An elderly gentleman won the tool box and accepted it with tears in his eyes.

Adam sat in on a recording of the Modern Woodworker's Assoc. podcast

Adam sat in on a recording of the Modern Woodworker’s Assoc. podcast

Adam got to sit in on a Modern Woodworkers Assoc. podcast with his buddy Tom.

Field testing a block plane kit at Hock Tools

Field testing a block plane kit at Hock Tools

Then we made our way back to Ron and Linda Hock’s booth and Adam finally convinced Ron to give him a good discount on the block plane that he wanted. I will put up a post soon with us building and testing the block plane.  Adam wandered across the aisle to try out some of Scott Meek’s wooden hand planes. Adam also managed to get a beautiful Purple heart mallet, for carving, from Shenandoah Tool Works  at 50% off. I really need to take him tool shopping more often! People look at me and add 10%…

Testing hand-made planes by Scott Meek

Testing hand-made planes by Scott Meek

Back at the North Carolina woodworker table

Back at the North Carolina woodworker table

We wandered back to our friends  at the North Carolina Woodworker table and Adam made a pair of wooden pliers from a single piece of wood, with careful instruction and two very sharp knives. I really want to thank those guys and girls for all the effort they put into the show. They made it really fun for the kids.

A pair of pliers from a single piece of wood

A pair of pliers from a single piece of wood

Testing more Lie Neilson hand tools

Testing more Lie Neilson hand tools

Just before we packed up and headed home, The guys at Lie Neilson let Adam play with a bunch of their tools.

The Lie Neilson guys just kept feeding him tools to play with

The Lie Neilson guys just kept feeding him tools to play with

He had a blast with them, but in the end, wound up back at Veritas playing with their mini block plane, his favorite of all the tools he got to use..

Adam's favorite was still the Veritas mini block plane

Adam’s favorite was still the Veritas mini block plane

The guys at Lie Neilson did give him a plane, unfortunately it was a wooden one that flies…

Adam's total haul

Adam’s total haul

I think my wife is going to make me take Adam, if I go again next year. We spent two days taking classes and shopping, and I only bought two tools for less than $50. Last year, I went by myself and spent several hundred. Adam blew all of his money, of course, but he had been saving it for the show.

We had a great time this year, seeing our friends, learning, and buying tools. What more could you want?

10 comments on “Woodworking in America weekend 2014

  1. Dyami
    September 14, 2014

    Lawrence,
    Looks like you and Adam had a blast. I can’t wait to listen. Hopefully he was able to get on air on the MWA recording.

    • Lwroten
      September 14, 2014

      Yeah, he got on for a few questions. He isn’t real talkative when he is put on the spot. We missed you this year. Tom needed his wingman. He had to take a nap just so he could stay out late…

  2. Michael Mathews
    September 16, 2014

    Lawrence, I was running the wooden wristband session. Adam was truly a joy to work with. Keep up the good work with guiding him and introducing him to new ideas in woodworking. It’s nice to see this kind of interest from a young one. Michael

  3. Lwroten
    September 16, 2014

    Thanks Mike, We really appreciated all the effort you guys put into the show. Adam loved all of your projects.

  4. Berta Moreton
    September 16, 2014

    I was on the scroll saw. I really enjoy teaching the children. Your son was awsome!
    Berta

  5. Hank Merkle
    September 16, 2014

    Lawrence,
    Thank you for taking the time and effort to come to WIA and continue to introduce our “Next generation” to the craft. We at NCWW can do all the outreach we want, but without parents like you who bring their children into this environment we don’t have anyone to reach out to!
    Adam seemed truly engaged and his hand-eye coordination will only get better.
    I wish you were closer to participate in another big show in Hickory N.C. in October.

    Hank
    P.S. LOVE your blog too!

  6. Lwroten
    September 16, 2014

    I am sure Adam would love to come, but I don’t think my rear end can take another 12 hours of driving in one weekend… Thanks for volunteering your time and talents.

  7. Scott Meek
    October 13, 2014

    I must have been out of my booth when you and Adam stopped by! I’m really bummed I didn’t get to meet you guys.

  8. Lwroten
    October 14, 2014

    Sorry Scott, we tried to stay out of the way and let you deal with customers. Adam liked your planes, but they were a bit out of his price range. Maybe next year though.

  9. Pingback: Make your own light saber | Midnight Woodworking

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This entry was posted on September 14, 2014 by in Misc... and tagged .

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