I guess I should have sent out a notice before this event to help publicize it, but surely anyone who was interested would know before they read my little blog.
I attended my first ever Lie Nielsen (LN) Hand Tool Event last weekend. LN does these events all over the country, but this is the closest they have ever come to Memphis. Since the event was “free” it was pretty easy to justify a little road trip for my wife and me. We made a fun weekend of it. I got the LN event and she got a fancy dinner and a trip to the mall. Spend – spend.
Nice necklace, Scott. He just made it of a really long shaving.
I think it’s great than LN invites other makers to their events. This was a real plus for everyone. Scott Meek (of Scott Meek Woodworks) and Josh Nava of Suburban Pallet were positioned at the front door. It was fun to talk with both of them and try out Scott’s wooden body planes. I don’t think I’m ready to give up my metal bodies just yet, but Scott’s planes are excellent. He has a unique rear grip that felt great, but is hard to describe. It’s kinda like shaking hands with a plane. You just have to try it, but keep in mind that it is dominant hand specific. Thankfully he had one left handed model for me to test out. Scott was also showing a prototype low-angle spoke shave. Sorry no pics, but it worked so well that I put myself on the list to buy one when he gets it all worked out. It looked pretty similar to one that Bob R. is making now on his blog, but Scott is using hardware from Hock tools.
Josh was selling / making spoons. As a failed spoon carver, I was impressed with his work. Lindsay (my wife) was also impressed with his craft and bought a butter spreader at a good price. Check out his website here.
Sorry, no pics of the LN area. I was too busy playing with the tools to take pictures. You can find lots of those online anyway.
I also met a few LN reps that were really helpful. First was Deneb Puchalski. I’ve seen some of his youtube videos, so I recognized him right away. In his videos he’s really controlled and level – not so in person. He’s a colorful sort who enjoys a good argument more than I do (which is quite a bit). He spent a lot of time answering all of my questions and trying to convince me that my Stanley planes and planing technique needed improvement. I tried his technique, but was unconvinced. His planes were more convincing. I’m partial to my souped-up Stanley’s, but I see the advantages to the Lie Nielsen’s. I think I may need one or two of them to know for sure, but I’ll have to find some extra cash for that experiment.
Another helpful rep was Keaven. She’s a woodworker who works for LN (not just road trips). She has a great blog at K.Willa.Designs. Her blog is a useful one for woodworkers because it covers topics that are adjacent to woodworking like refinishing and upholstery. I’ve read a few of her upholstery posts and she has me thinking I could try that sometime. Lindsay did say we needed a new couch. Hmmm
The real point of this post was to say that if you are ever able to attend one of these events, do it. For those who can’t spare the time or cash to spend weeks at classes or tour distant tool showrooms, this is almost the only way to try out these premium tools without buying them. Besides, these events are “free”. There is no admission, but don’t expect to leave there with as much money as you brought with you. I know I didn’t. The tools were just too tempting.