Picking up from an earlier blog here’s a bit more detail on Woodworking In America (WIA) 2011 and some examples of the seminars that were held.
Saw Sharpening De-mystified by Ron Herman
The quality of your work and your ability to do good work depends on the condition of your tools. It’s important for craftsmen (and women) to keep their tools sharp. Ron demonstrated simple and proper file techniques for the accurate sharpening of both rip and cross-cut saws. The methods were effective and straight forward. A novice could use his techniques and get great results. Here’s a short intro video by Ron about saw sharpening.
Ron Herman is a master housewright. He specializes in the restoration of heritage homes using traditional hand tool methods.
Shooting Boards That Work by Ron Herman
A shooting board is a workshop appliance that is used to trim end grain on moldings and trim to perfect angles of either 45 or 90 degrees. Ron discussed the use of shooting boards and how to simply construct a shooting board (aka a jig) to allow you to bring you more precision to your work. He gave a number of useful tips and tricks as well as techniques for using handplanes for shooting perfect miters (a miter joint is one where each side of the joint is cut at 45 degrees). Ron had a very good rapport with the audience. His sense of humour and his simple, no-nonsense approach to the subject backed up with years of practical experience made for a very entertaining and enlightening seminar.
Unlocking Japanese Planes, Chisels and Saws by Jay van Arsdale
Jay was inspired to become involved in Japanese woodworking after seeing a demonstration by a Japanese tea house builder in the 1970’s. If you want to learn more about Japanese joinery have a look at this video. Jay is very knowledgeable. His presentation incorporated information on Japanese culture and how the tools were developed and why they work so well compared western designs. Did you know western planes cut on the ‘push’ stroke while Japanese planes cut on the ‘pull’ stroke. Jay provided information on both the construction and use of Japanese tools and he gave advice on how to use these tools to produce excellent results.
Japanese Joinery 101 by Jay Van Arsdale
Japanese joinery is much more precise than western joinery. It is designed to hold together without the use of any adhesives. Jay showed a number of finished examples and he cut some other joints to demonstrate the intricacy and precision that the Japanese bring to their craft.
Have you heard enough about WIA? There are pictures of tools and toolmakers present in the ‘marketplace’ at WIA-would seeing some of that be of interest?
Dateline: Covington Kentucky-Sept 30, Oct 1, Oct 2, 2011
I have a blog site but I do not do woodwork. My husband enjoys woodworking as a hobby but does not have a blog site. He recently attended the Woodworking In America (WIA) conference in Covington, KY and we decided we’d blog about it.
What: Once a year hand tool ‘galoots’ from all over flock to the WIA conference. This year was the fourth annual get together. Galoots is the term used to describe those who pursue the craft of woodworking solely with hand tools. (Editor’s note: Beats me why someone would want to be called a galoot.) Dedicated hobbyists, craftspeople (there were a very few women at WIA) gather for 2 1/2 days of seminars, demonstrations and to drool as they toured the 20,000 sq, ft, marketplace of exhibitors.
Where: Covington, Kentucky (Covington is just across the river from Cincinnati, Ohio)
Why: To learn from the who’s who in hand-tool woodworking-to be clear, this is not carpentry. It is the world of hand cut mortice and tenons and smooth planed surfaces, of inlaid wood and carved contours. It’s an opportunity to meet craftspeople and tool makers that previously you would only have read about and chance to meet others who share the same passion.
WIA 2011 by the numbers:
450-500: approximate number of attendees. While most attendees were from the USA, there were some from Canada, South Africa, England and Australia
75: number of seminars/lectures to choose from over the 2 1/2 day conference
56: number of top-tier toolmakers and vendors demonstrating and selling their wares in the “marketplace”
6: number of evening programs to choose from
355 $US: cost of registration
priceless: the opportunity to attend-according to my husband
Let us know what you think about this joint (hah!) effort about joinery. We will post one or more blogs to describe some of the classes and seminars. Would you like to hear about anything in particular when we write the blogs?
I estimate I have gone to dozens and dozens of conferences and large meetings and symposiums (I wondered how to spell the plural of symposiums and this is what I found). At first I thought I could say hundreds but that’s likely an exaggeration. The topic of conferences has been largely the profession of pharmacy, the world of pharmaceuticals, the evidence to support their effectiveness and how they are used. Add to that symposia about how we could better work together provincially, nationally and internationally and I am now thinking I should have kept a list. I’d be up for some sort of badge-if they gave badges for this sort of thing. I have given presentations (always telling a true story during the presentation), introduced speakers, chaired sessions and acted as a “discussant”. I had to ask what that was…besides someone who discusses things. For all those conferences, my husband and in years gone by, my daughter often attended and they did their own thing and joined me for various social functions during the conference.
This week for the second time in our 36 year marriage, the shoe was on the other foot and I rode shotgun while my husband attended the Woodworking in America (WIA) conference in Covington, Kentucky.
Compare and Contrast
I walked over to the conference centre a couple of times and here’s my observations of the differences between conferences about drugs/pharmaceuticals, the profession of pharmacy and a conference about woodworking-or joinery as some call it.
There is a great deal more facial hair at the WIA conference.
There is more denim and plaid and vests worn….far more.
You don’t hear much discussion about mortices and tenons at pharmacy conferences.
You do hear about keeping things sharp at both conferences.
Both fine woodworking (joinery) and the profession of pharmacy are at the crossroads. I was intimately involved in the associations representing the profession of pharmacy for over 10 years and the profession was at the crossroads the whole time. It still may be. It’s a phrase I came to dislike…a great deal.
Passion is evident at each conference-and that’s a great thing. People sharing the same interests and goals coming together-contacts and friendships made that will last well beyond the fleeting days of the conference.
It’s great when your spouse indulges and supports your interest (I am so indebted it will never be an even split for us).
Do you have thoughts about attending conferences and are there difference and similarities across the board? How would you spell the plural of symposium?