On Friday, Jan. 8, I went up to Fine Lumber & Plywood in Austin to attend a Lie-Nielsen Hand Tool Event. it was a bit brisk — actually damn cold — for central Texas, but the Fine Lumber folks had set up heaters in their warehouse for the show, and it wasn’t too bad inside. Attendance on this Friday afternoon was light — due to the cold? — so it was easy to talk to other attendees, factory reps, and woodworking experts there.
I managed to get out without buying anything, but it was lots of fun getting a chance to try various Lie-Nielsen planes (they brought several as you can see in the picture above) with instructions and demonstrations by factory reps. I really liked getting long, almost transparent, curls off hardwood with a finely-tuned plane.
Frank Stazza (that’s one of his toolboxes above) from the School of Woodworking at the Center for Essential Education in Elm Mott, Texas, was there, and it was great chatting with him. I also had a chance to talk with one the school’s interns, and another attendee who had taken their six-day Foundational Joinery Course and recommended it highly.
John Economaki from Bridge City Tools was also there, primarily demonstrating the Jointmaker Pro v2. It’s an expensive tool ($1,295 unassembled), but John could make it sing, including cutting paper-thin slices off a piece of hardwood. One of the attendees asked John about setting up the Bridge City KM-1 KerfMaker, and John gave a quick but very thorough demonstration on calibrating and using it. The KM-1 looks like a useful tool for sizing grooves and dado cuts, and, at $75, its price seemed reasonable for the claimed ease and accuracy.
If one of the Lie-Nielsen Hand Tool Events comes to a location near you, I would recommend checking it out. Have other Toolmongers attended one of these? What did you think?