Well that was an exhausting time in North Carolina! In a whirlwind of a weekend, new friends were made, new ideas tossed around, lots of beer consumed, and exciting things were planned for the future. After all of the dust settled, we feel even better about being a new part of this tight knit woodworking community.
I was privleged to assist Mark Hicks of Plate 11 Bench Company assemble his latest Split Top Roubo with the brand new Benchcrafted Glide leg vise hardware. Mark's attention to detail was readily apparent as I inspected each component, inside and out. Before we attached the top, he pulled out his Lie Nielsen bronze smoother and went over every surface, not satisfied until every face was show room quality. The Benchcrafted hardware was something to behold. Anyone in need of a quality vise should look no further. Anyone in need of a quality bench need not look any further than Plate 11. I can personally attest to the quality and potential of their benches.
The crowds were great, a lot of excited people who were interested in every aspect of woodworking. They were attentive and enthusiastic, asking lots of questions and showing a lot of interest. My saw vise prototype was a big hit, drawing a crowd almost everytime I set it up.
Matt Cianci of the Saw Blog was in attendance and stopped by Friday to see the vise. He had some good advice and was a really positive person to talk to. The support for the small maker was evident day in and day out. Everyone from the attendees to the tool making veterans did all they could to make us all feel welcome. This community is something else!
At the end of the show, I restored the tooth line on a Disston rip saw that belonged to the grandfather of a good friend. The tooth line was concave, resulting in a blade that bound up with every stroke. After milling a slight crown, I reshaped and sharpened all of the teeth. The saw that came to me in sad condition left in wonderful shape, ready for another century of service.
The highlight of the entire show was the hand tool corner, dominated by the Instagram community. We came in force, and we made a solid impression! It was great getting to meet so many talented and wonderful people. I feel like I've known them all for so long, it was great to further the friendships over such an amazing weekend.
With such renowned makers such as Peter Galbert, Marco Terenzi, Scott Meeks and Caleb James on hand, there was no shortage of talent. The best part is the every single person was more than willing to share every bit of knowledge they had, answering every question and demonstrating every technique. I learned more this last weekend about woodworking and toolmaking than I have in the last year.
Also in attendance were a nice collection of aprons I've made. Nice to see them all after a bit of use!
All in all, it was a great experience. Much more than I could have ever imagined. I was sad to leave, but excited I was able to attend. It seems most of our group will be at Handworks 2015 in Iowa this May. That just can't come soon enough.