Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Thank You Woodpeckers

We need to thank Rich Hummel of Woodpeckers. Besides making great marking and routing tools, Rich was kind enough to help us out and fund the lanyards we gave away at Woodworking in America West and will give away at Woodworking in America Midwest.
If you're not familiar with Woodpeckers, they are the purveyors of some of the nicest milled aluminum marking and routing tools you can imagine. I know the make your own wooden marking tool movement has caught on as of late, but listen to Rich talk about machining aluminum and you'll see he's just as passionate about it as we are about working wood.

My first Woodpecker tool was their 1281 12" Precision Woodworking Square I bought from Christoper Schwarz a few years ago when he was selling his excess tools. While I have the utmost respect for Chris, and I enjoy learning from him whenever I can, I can't wrap my head around selling off a 1281. It instantly became my favorite marking tool, and I don't think I'll ever have the desire to make my own when I can use one of these.

Be sure to check out Woodpeckers at or by clicking the Woodpecker logo on right. They'll become your favorite tools too.

On a related note, Popular Woodworking Magazine is currently auctioning off a set of signed Chris Schwarz Books & DVDS. Having read the three (3) books ("The Workbench Design Book", "Workbenches: From Design & Theory to Construction & Use" & "Handplane Essentials") I'll tell you they're well worth it, even if the auction wasn't for the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

WIA 2012 -West, Thanks for your Help!

We've made it back from a great weekend in Pasadena, where the Modern Woodworkers Association hosted the Hand Tool Olympics. If you missed the live stream and really want to see the activity, you can find a series of live streams on the MWA Channel on YouTube. We'll eventually find some time to edit the 6 or more hours of it to just the action, so be forewarned, there is a fair amount of downtime captured.

We'll be aggregating a ton of photos from WIA from our members over the next few weeks, and posting them as soon as we can. Before we do anything else, we'd like to acknowledge everyone who helped make the Hand Tool Olympics possible at WIA West.

First, a sincere thank you to our members who sacrificed hours of their time to help out teaching, timing, setting-up, tearing down, prepping wood, tuning tools, and so much more. In no particular order, thanks to:

  • Kyle Barton
  • Nik Brown
  • Aaron Marshall
  • Matt Gradwohl
  • Jeremiah Rodriguez
  • Chris Wong
  • Mike Lingenfelter
  • Matt Watkins
We also received tons of support from friends of the MWA in donating prizes and gifts, lending us tools, benches and materials, and other support for pulling it off. We thank them for their help, and encourage you, the members of the MWA, to support the organizations who share our mission and help make it possible:

Special Thanks to Wilbur Pan for capturing this photo of me getting my butt-kicking from Chuck Bender in the dovetail challenge...(I, uh...let him win...)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

MWA Meetup at WIA-West!

Ok folks, the moment you've been waiting for:

The MWA get together for the Woodworking in America WEST crew has been announced.

*Here is a link* to the invitation (you will need to have added +Modern Woodworkers Association to your circles in google+ to be able to open the link, and adding us gets your invitation to future events delivered to you directly). 

When:  Saturday Oct. 13th, 6:30P - ? (we'll be there all night)

Where: Lucky Baldwin's Pub (17 South Raymond Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91105)

Seating may be limited if you come later, but there will be standing room aplenty, and we're planning on over-running the joint and filling more tables with saw-dust covered wood-junkies before the night is out. Get there early for good food, drink and camaraderie and secure yourself a nice spot for an evening of fun. 

Last year at WIA, we had a great event, and we're looking forward to seeing everyone whose coming to Pasadena this year!

PLEASE RSVP in the G+ event invitation even if you THINK you might make it. If you aren't on G+ or just haven't circled us yet (what are you waiting for?) Let us know by email, or right here in the comments.

NJ/NY MWA Meetup

On Saturday, September 29th the inaugural meeting of the NJ/NY chapter of MWA was held at the Nautilus Diner in Madison, NJ. We had seven attendee (some of whom had previous met at Fine Woodworking Live in New Paltz.) as well as a friend of one of the folks there.  Joe U. brought a radiused wooden plane that he had made in order to finish a collection box for his church and a photo album of some of his other work, including a very nice clock.  Rusty and Rob both brought along some photos of some recent work as well.  Rusty showed off a very nice Tansu step stool that he had submitted to a juried show that Tommy Mac hosted.  Rob showed a dining room light fixture that he had recently worked on that had a very unique set of turned aspen lampshades.

Breakfast was hearty and there was much coffee consumed.  All agreed on the desire to keep this group going and to aim for another meeting in about a month's time.  There is an upcoming exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC that may be our first field trip:

The Princely Furniture of the Roentgens, on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art October 30, 2012, through January 27, 2013, will be the first comprehensive survey of the Roentgen family’s cabinetmaking firm from 1742 to its closing in the early 1800s.  Some 60 pieces of furniture, many of which have never before been lent outside Europe, and several clocks will be complemented by paintings, including portraits of the Roentgen family, and prints that depict the masterpieces of furniture in contemporary interiors.

If you are interest in joining us in the future, please join the MWA-NJ/NY mailing list here:

Order up! Coffee - black!
L-R: Carol P, Rusty B, Joe U, Jonathan S, Rob A

L-R: Carol P, Rusty B, Joe U.
Light Fixture with Aspen Lampshades (Rob A)