Somerset, NJ 24-26 February 2012

Woodworking has changed through the decades, some changes for the better and some not. What has not changed is the desire to work with wood. People love making things whether what they make turns out or not whether it’s good or bad. For some of us this innate desire never goes away. We don’t know why and we can’t often explain the whys and the wherefores, but wood, work, tools (not machines but real tools) and other related equipment must somehow connect for us.





Demonstrations revolve around products old and new and time is of course precious so one thing i would do first is find the schedule as you go in or look online before you travel and set your own program. Roland Johnson will be there from Taunton’s Fine Woodworking where is one of the magazine’s editors.







The main ingredient at The Woodworking Shows has as far back as I can remember striven to pull all of these essential elements together. I remember my first show down in San Antonio, Texas, somewhere around 1995, where I too was setting up to demonstrate for the show there. The eve of the show there was the usual hyper-activity on every front, making ready for the events to all come together. Chop saws and table saws need tweaking and the bandsaws too. Wooden reindeers don’t get cut in a micro-second if the blades are dull and the guides out of alignment. Bins filled with sanding discs and aluminium (aluminum US) clamps, biscuits (no gravy) and dowels by the zillion and every kind of glue you could ever want for line the shelves alongside router bits and drill-drivers and more. The pressure is on to be ready and woe betide anyone who doesn’t have the goods set up and ready to go.

For me as an educator the show is a little different. My goal is to connect with people like you so that I can talk about and show things about working with wood you may never have seen before. I drag my old and faithful tools half way around the world just to cut a dovetail or inlay some walnut into the edge of some pine or poplar. My moulding planes stick a little as they acclimate to the season and the weather. I talk about children and grandchildren making things with their hands and show how you can connect with them through wood and tools and work. You listen to me for an hour and suddenly, just sitting there, you see your own sons and daughters in the woodshop with you cutting dovetails and making wooden spoons and spatulas. You feel inspired and walk away with an idea. ten, fifteen, twenty years later they are working with your grandchildren taking the exact same steps and you look over their shoulders and marvel at the wonder of the human family.


See you in New Jersey or in Virginia. I hope!

Somerset, NJ 24-26 February 2012

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