Woodworking in America Video

I attended Woodworking in America for the first time this year and I had a BLAST!  I met so many woodworkers, makers, YouTube content creators, and friends fromFacebook that my head was spinning, figuratively speaking!

The Woodworking Podcast Meetup during Woodworking in America

I signed up for the classes, but I had so much fun meeting people that I spent most of my time in the Marketplace.

Amazing collection of infill planes at the Woodworking in America Marketplace

Lie Nielsen and Lee Valley tools had large booths and I couldn’t resist buying a 45 degree saddle square at the Lee Valley booth. Unfortunately, the saddle square is on back order.

One of my favorite booths was the Rare Woods booth.  I like to keep a supply of black colored wood on hand for marquetry and accent pieces, but of course, that is usually pretty expensive and hard to find, too.  Rare Woods was selling 1-1/2″ x 1-1/2″ x 17″ blackwood blanks for $7 each and I bought 6 of them!  I also picked up a 4″ x 29″ piece of ebony for $20.  I have no immediate plans for them, but I know I will use them on something!

Ebony and Blackwood from the Rare Woods booth

Certainly, one of the high points of the entire event was the Hand Tool Olympics.  This is an event put on by Mike Siemsen of Mike Siemsen’s School of Woodworking.  The event consists of three different hand tool activities.  First is hand cut dovetails, second is crosscutting a board, and third is rip cutting and planing a board.  Each of the activities is judged by speed and accuracy.  I did just OK with ripping a board and just terrible with the hand cut dovetail, but I got the BEST SCORE for SPEED and ACCURACY for CROSSCUTTING A BOARD!  And, the prizes were GREAT!  I won a Knew Concepts Coping Saw and a holdfast from Gramercy Tools!

Me with Mike Siemsen after winning two cool prizes at the Hand Tool Olympics during Woodworking in America

There were lots and lots of great classes to choose from and I wish I had attended more of them!  Chris Schwarz, Mary May, Roy Underhill, Shannon Rogers, and many more.  My personal favorite was Matt Cremona‘s presentation on Risk Mitigation in Woodworking.  One of his main points was to pay attention to what matters and the parts that will actually show.  For example, don’t get too worked up about the inside of a mortise and tenon joint.

Matt Cremona presenting at Woodworking in America

I live in the Twin Cities and WIA was in Cincinnati so I chose to drive there.  I didn’t know what else to do with Zippy so I brought him with!  He loves riding in the car and he stayed with my Uncle while I was at the conference.

Zippy in the car on the way to Woodworking in America

Actually, the drive down there and back were quite eventful for me.  On the way down I stopped in Bloomington, Illinois and spent the day with Andy Birkey.  Andy is one of a kind, and I mean that in a (very) good way! Of course I interviewed him while I was there and that should be on my YouTube channel sometime in October.

Andy Birkey, the Big Guy, and me

On my way back from the conference I visited both Guy Dunlap and James Wright.  I got a nice shop tour and chatted with each of them for a while.

Visiting James Wright’s shop in Rockford, Illinois

Visiting Guy Dunlap of Guys Workshop

I also stopped by Nick Ferry‘s shop and hung out with him for most of the day.  What a fun guy he is!  Expect to see an interview on my YouTube channel sometime late in October.

Charlie Kocourek visiting Nick Ferry after Woodworking in America

Here are some more pictures from my Woodworking in America trip:

Tom Prichard and Me

Tim Holiner

With Ray Mowder of TabLeft Workshop

Nick Ferry at the Hand Tool Olympics during Woodworking in America

Randy Wright

Mike Fulton, Bob Lee and Charlie Kocourek at Woodworking in America

Charlie Kocourek and Juan Vergara with one of his cool infill planes at Woodworking in America

Johnny Brooke of Crafted Workshop and Charlie Kocourek at Woodworking in America

David Proctor, Paul Desmond, Wes Swain, Andy Klein and Charlie Kocourek at Woodworking in America

Gib Clark and Charlie Kocourek at Woodworking in America

Dyami Plotke of Modern Woodworkers Association and Charlie Kocourek at Woodworking in America

Guy Dunlap of Guys Woodshop and Charlie Kocourek at Woodworking in America