Saturday, September 10, 2016

Lie-Nielsen Open House 2016


My setup at Lie-Nielsen Toolworks. The bench with the banner has my tools displayed in Japanese toolboxes standing on end.

It's been a busy summer. First both my kids graduated from college (Yay, no more college bills! They'll just spend the rest of their lives paying off their school loans). Then I spent several weeks getting the house ready for my mother-in-law to move in with us, seeing as we had two empty bedrooms. Then a week of vacation for the fourth year at beautiful Varnum Pond, in Temple, ME.

Meanwhile I've been spending all my woodworking time and commuter rail rides working on my book. This has taken far longer than I expected, so I had to extend the completion date to December.

That's why I'm just now getting around to writing about the Lie-Nielsen Open House back on July 8 and 9 in Warren, ME. They were celebrating their 35th year.

The weather was damp, gray, and chilly, not what you'd expect the week after 4th of July. But at least we weren't roasting in the 95-degree heat that had been plaguing Boston.

As with last year, I was promoting my "Intro To Hand Tools" online video course at Popular Woodworking University. The Fall 2016 session starts Sept. 16. See here for details.

For my booth, I had built 4 Japanese toolboxes from Toshio Odate's book Japanese Woodworking Tools: Their Tradition, Spirit and Use. I fitted out two of them with custom tills to allow me to store and display my tools on the workbench. This was much better than having everything scattered all over the bench.

I spent the time showing people how to use the tools, letting them try things out, and demonstrating my 2 stones and a strop sharpening setup. People are always amazed at what sharp tools can do.


Sue Tolleson-Rinehart, from North Carolina, learning how to use a bowsaw to rough out curves.

I also had a copy of the May, 2016 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine to show off with my End Grain article, Woodworking Interval Training. I was thrilled and honored to close out an issue with Roy Underhill on the cover.

This has become quite an event, with demonstrators and visitors coming from all over the country.


Bob Van Dyke, of the Connecticut Valley School Of Woodworking, demonstrating sand shading for inlays.


Tico Vogt demonstrating his Super Chute Board.


Claire Minihan demonstrating her magnificent chairmaking travishers.


Chairmaker Peter Galbert shaving chair parts on a shaving horse.


The Guild Of Maine Woodworkers.


Popular Woodworking Magazine editor Megan Fitzpatrick. I finally got to meet her in person!


Hamilton Woodworks selling a variety of gorgeous marking gauges.


Joshua Klein demonstrating chopping a mortise and promoting his beautiful new publication, Mortise And Tenon Magazine.


Freddy Roman trimming dovetails.


Left, Rory Wood of Rare Woods USA behind his stack of beautiful imported woods. Right, Travis Knapp, who sells Rory's wood on eBay as RareWoodsUS.


Tom McLaughlin of Epic Woodworking. The chair mockup is from his episode of Rough Cut with Tommy Mac on PBS, where they built a library chair.


The Apprenticeshop making oars.


Roger Benton of Lie-Nielsen in the showroom, demonstrating one of their low-angle planes.


Christian Becksvoort with a beautiful small Shaker cabinet in cherry.


Isaac Smith of Blackburn Tools, center, and Matt Bickford, right, with his beautiful moulding planes.


Phil Lowe, of the Furniture Institute of Massachusetts.


Matt Cianci, the Saw Wright, demonstrating saw sharpening.


Garrett Hack working on a lovely small side table.


Isaac Smith's frame and backsaws for sale. I have one of his large frame saw kits, I just need to build it. The thing is awesome for resawing.


The featured speaker for the Saturday night lobster bake was Garry Chinn, founder of Garrett Wade Tools. He was Tom Lie-Nielsen's first and only boss, before Tom set off on his own to found Lie-Nielsen Toolworks.

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