Thursday, April 24, 2014

May 2015 - Start Planning Now

We've been itching to write this blog post for quite a while now.

Handworks: Woodworking Tools and Traditions will happen again on May 15-16 2015 in Amana, Iowa.

It's no secret at this point that we got the ball rolling for Handworks 2013, and due to all the great companies and people that participated, the groundwork for doing another one was basically laid out right after the first event. But we don't like to toot our own horn here. No question, Handworks 2013 was what it was because of everyone involved. We simply knew about a neat old barn, in a neat old place. The rest sort of happened on its own.

For those who didn't attend the first one, Handworks is more or less a woodworking get-together for us die-hard fans of handwork and the tools and people that go along with it. Handworks doesn't make a dime on the event, and the donation box covers extras like equipment rental, getting some signs printed, and website hosting. 100% of anything that's left gets donated to charity. The exhibitors all pitch in to rent the barn for the weekend, and they all get to Handworks on their own dime. They also don't pay a lick of fees to be at Handworks. The idea is to get as many of the top hand tool makers and teachers together as easily as possible. Handworks 2015 will be no different.

Here's a basic rundown of what to expect at Handworks 2015.

Green Wood Barn

Festhalle Barn. Same as 2013. The best hand tool manufacturers, teachers and advocates under one roof.

Green Wood Barn. Just across the way from the Festhalle Barn is what the locals call the "Market Barn". Shortly after the utopian height of Amana, the local farmers would gather here and sell their produce, hence the name. Nowadays it's still used for this, and also other events. At Handworks 2015 this area will be populated by green woodworking experts and a handful of other demonstrators like Blacksmith/Whitesmith Peter Ross, Carl Swensson (who will be demonstrating coopering), chairmaker Peter Galbert, Don Weber, Jarrod Stonedahl, plus some others. The Green Wood Barn is just a stone's throw from the Festhalle, about a city block down the street.

New Faces. In addition to the new folks at the Green Wood Barn, there will also be some new faces in the Festhalle. From the U.K. David Barron and Phil Edwards, from Australia, Chris Vesper, and we're especially delighted to welcome from Ireland, Daniel and Sally Shaw-Smith of the 1970's and 80's Irish TV Series "Hands" (If you're new to Hands, click here.) And a few folks that had planned to be at Handworks 2013, but had to cancel due to last-minute conflicts: Patrick Leach, Ron and Linda Hock and Konrad Sauer.

Studley. At Handworks 2013 we got an insider's view of the Studley Tool Chest and Workbench. If you were there, you remember Narayan's slideshow. You could hear a pin drop in the barn. This time, Don Williams, of The Barn on White Run is organizing an exhibit of both the Studley Tool Chest and Workbench in nearby Cedar Rapids, IA. Yes, the tool chest and bench will be on display the same weekend. Don was so thrilled with Handworks 2013 that he thought it only made sense to schedule his exhibit on the same weekend as Handworks 2015. You don't need us to explain what a fantastic opportunity this is. As someone who's seen the chest, I wouldn't miss this opportunity. In fact, I'm looking forward to seeing it for the second time. More info at

And there will be a Saturday morning presentation in the Festhalle Barn as well, just like last time.

More info at the Handworks website:

If you'd like to see some pics from Handworks 2013, here's a bunch, courtesy of the tireless Jeff Burks.

Hope to see you there!


  1. Oh, be still my giddy heart!

    I had a great time at the first one and look forward to heading back to Amana in 2015, Jameel!

    Well, except for that part about Patrick Leach. That snake oil salesman always increases the cost of such events for me. ;) Dang if he doesn't know what I like...

  2. I just knee-jerked so hard I scared my cubicle neighbors. I'm there, again.

  3. I freaked out thinking this was for 2014 and I was trying to figure out how I was going to juggle my schedule. Then I finally noticed 2015. No way I'll miss this show! Hard to believe the last one could be topped but it surely will with what you have planned,

  4. Missed the first one. MANY thanks for the advance notice on the next one. That's a huge help. Can't wait...

  5. Sorry, can't go but it would be a fun event to do what Hida Tool, in Berkeley used to with their Kezurou-Kai or planning contests. I loved watching the Japanese masters tune their planes and a go at it.


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