Next week, Woodworking in America will command all our attention. We’ll be selling books and tools in the Marketplace, Raney Nelson and I will be teaching classes upstairs for registrants and we will officially launch Crucible Tool. Here are some details.
We’re holding a launch party on Thursday night at our Covington storefront. We are booked up, so if you don’t have a ticket, please visit us in the Marketplace on Friday and Saturday where we will have tools for you to check out. During the launch event, we will demonstrate (and sell) our holdfasts and the second tool in our line.
I’ll be honest, we have been working like crazy to build up inventory, but I’m not sure how many units of our tools we will have on hand. Getting our production levels cranked up has been a challenge.
Lost Art Press
Lost Art Press and Crucible Tool will share a booth at the Marketplace for Woodworking in America. We’ll be selling our full line of books and tools – plus special T-shirts and posters. You’ll be able to try the tools out, check out all our books and even try out the two Roman workbenches I’ve built this summer.
However, we won’t have our storefront on Willard Street open during Woodworking in America. Our companies are – in essence – three guys. And we will both be working hard at Woodworking in America with no time to keep the storefront open. Sorry. I wish we had a way to make everyone happy here.
Classes at Woodworking in America
I’ll be teaching three classes at Woodworking in America and moderating a roundtable discussion amongst the leading planemakers of the day. Raney Nelson, who is one of the three principals at Crucible, will also be teaching classes. Check out his classes here. Here are the official descriptions of my classes:
Nails & the Decline of Western Civilization
Class Times: Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
In the early 19th century, nails represented one-half of one percent of the country’s GNP. That percentage is equivalent to everything that everyone in the country today spends on computers and personal technology in a year (a lot). This country was built with nails. But about 1860, something horrible happened: Nails became terrible, and furniture makers rightly turned their backs on this once-critical fastener. What happened? And what can we do to restore the nail to its rightful place in the shop and as a historical hero? It’s easier than you think. Come learn everything you need to know about nails.
The Roman Workbench – How does it Work?
Class Times: Sunday, 8:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
The Romans (or perhaps the Greeks) invented the woodworking bench, and this robust and simple design lasted more than 1,500 years. Then the form disappeared. Christopher Schwarz has spent years studying benches, and he’s built two of the most famous Roman-style workbenches: one from 79 AD that was shown at Herculaneum, and another from 1505 that was both the last Roman bench and the first modern one – a fascinating example. During this session, Chris takes you on a tour of how these two benches work and shares his thoughts on why they have survived in isolated pockets of civilization, such as Estonia and rural Maine. Participants will even get the opportunity to try the benches for themselves.
Build a Chair without Chairmaking Tools
Class Times: Sunday, 11:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Many woodworkers are put off by chairmaking because you typically need a lot of specialty tools, green wood and skills that are outside of the typical garage workshop. For the last 12 years, Christopher Schwarz has been developing a number of techniques and joints that allow the typical entertainment-center-building woodworker to make a traditional chair without investing in a lot of new tools, having to take a week-long class or having to chop down a tree. If you own a jack plane, a brace and a spokeshave you are almost there. Come see.
Class Times: Saturday, 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
The plane is one of the fundamental tools of woodworking – even if you use machines, you likely pull out a block plane from time to time. In this roundtable discussion, Christopher Schwarz moderates a discussion of handplanes in the modern shop. With Konrad Sauer, Raney Nelson, Caleb James, Terry Saunders of Lee Valley, Thomas Lie-Nielsen of Lie-Nielsen and more.
Somehow all of this will happen, and it will be as mind-blowingly awesome as it always has been for the last eight years. So if you are in Covington next week, please stop by the booth and say hello.
— Christopher Schwarz