The Foreign Invasion
Short of gassing up your Piper Cub and spending two months braving airport security in places like Timbuktu, there's only one practical way to see the fine wares from great toolmakers the world over. And that's in Amana, IA at Handworks 2015, less than three months away.
Rob Lee and the Atlas of the hand-tool world: Lee Valley and Veritas. Imagine if you will, that the Lee Valley catalog was no more. Would you feel like you lost a family member? Yeah, I thought so. And Lee Valley is very much a family business, and they treat their customers like it too. Here's to hoping they bring something new and shiny to the old barn.
Sauer And Steiner
Konrad Sauer is arguably the most accomplished infill planemaker to have ever lived. And he's still alive! Konrad's planes are not just works of art, but are also the most highly functional and satisfying planes I've ever laid my hands on. And I've tried them all. Literally. Every infill plane ever made has crossed my bench. That's a complete lie of course, but there's no joking about Konrad's planes. They are the pinnacle of the toolmaking craft. If you're new to infills, don't be shy. Konrad is a woodworker just like the rest of us, and there's nothing he likes more than sharing the craft with fellow enthusiasts.
From Southampon, England, furniture maker and tool maker David Barron will be showing his work and tools in America for the first time. We first became acquainted with David a few years ago through his blog. When if you hear "English woodworking" you imagine impossibly fine dovetails, incredibly figured timbers, a precision in wood that you thought impossible, then David is the embodiment of that tradition. His toolchest with piston fit tray is something to behold. See more at David's blog.
Phil Edwards is a wooden plane maker who we last had the pleasure of meeting at the very first Woodworking In America in Berea Kentucky. Phil works in the classic English tradition, and offers a full line of traditional wooden planes from hollows and rounds to full size jointers. Check out Phil's Facebook page for more pics of his gorgeous work.
Daniel and Sally Shaw-Smith
The creators of the legendary "Hands" series on traditional Irish crafts will be in the Festhalle Barn to offer the entire original series on DVD and answer questions about their incredible documentary produced in the 1970's and 80's before many of the traditional Irish crafts and trades died out. As we've said many times, and can't emphasize enough, the Hands videos are treasures of humanity from a time and place when superficiality and shallow pop culture barely existed. A glimpse of life from a more meaningful era than our's. You can preview their documentary excellence here.
Chris Vesper makes the finest bevel gauges and squares we have ever seen. They are flawless in every way. I use a Vesper bevel gauge almost on a daily basis. It is not only perfectly crafted, its also built like a tank and although I've dropped it on more than one occasion, it's not only weathered the fall perfectly, but didn't loose its setting.
And just in case you missed it: Reason #1 Why You Should Come To Handworks 2015