I lead a fun (and free) demo on bench planes today. Thanks to The Woodwork Shop for the invitation and for all the interested people who braved the Memphis snow to take part in the fun. You can just see the flakes in the picture. According to the store owner we had somewhere around 70 people stop by and many of them stayed for the whole demo. I couldn’t have imagined that so many people would come. I think that just shows that people really want to know how to make things with their own hands.
The class was fun for me because of audience participation. I fielded lots of questions. Many of them I expected like “is this plane worth anything”, “how do you sharpen the blades”, and “is it the plane, or is it me”. I also received a few questions that I wan’t expecting like “are low angle planes better” and “how tall should my bench be”. It shows that people had experience with hand tools and were asking the right questions.
I didn’t have time to plane as much wood as I had planned, but that is how it goes with timed events. The Woodwork Shop invited me to come back on Monday, May 6th. It is a 3 hour format so for that class everyone should get some hands on experience with a sharp plane or two. I’ll post more on that as the day approaches.
Oh, and a special thanks to my lovely wife for freeing up my Saturday morning. She’s really something special.