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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

WIA 2016 Short Course

I spent a brief time at Woodworking in America last week.  I plan my attendance like anyone else: location, presenters, and budget.  This year the location was close enough (Cincinatti-ish).  However, the presenters were not intriguing enough to fork over the full conference fee.

So, I settled for show floor attendance and an overnight trip to the area.  With a bonus.  Lost Art Press founders John Hoffman and Chris Schwarz teamed up with Raney Nelson to create Crucible tools.  They had a coming out party the Thursday night before WIA.  I was opportunistic enough to get one of the free tickets to attend at the Lost Art Press storefront headquarters in Covington Kentucky.

The soiree was a veritable who's who of the woodworking world.  I snapped a few photos and was going to talk about my experiences.  After a bit of reflection, I decided that the people who were there are public enough without some schmuck like me posting their every move on the intratubes.

Crucible had a fair number of their monster sized holdfasts for sale.  I'm building two benches in the coming months and seriously considered buying a couple.  However, I'm already invested in the Gramercy holdfasts, which I love and have had zero problems using them.

Crucible had a second 'secret' tool they kept to themselves until the launch party.  The second tool is (are?) dividers.  As it happens, dividers were on my list of things to buy while in the market place.  They only had a few of those to sell, so I decided to take the plunge and purchase one.

Why dividers?  I have a fair number of them already, but I found that I still didn't have enough.  I have an outside shop in the garage, an inside shop in the basement, and a desk area in the living room where I type these, and otherwise doodle around with my project design book.  After just completing a bookcase based completely on proportions, the first take away from the experience is that I need appropriate dividers in all three areas.  I found the same thing a long time ago with tape measures and bought a half dozen from Highland to remedy the situation.

I'm reserving judgment on the Crucible dividers until I use them for a while.  The tension is adjustable with a spanner bit, which is a good thing.  But the fact you need to keep track of a small component is a bad thing.  I already have an idea for a bit holder that fits on the top in rough footprint of a yo-yo.

I got a second divider from Patrick Leach for 25 bucks; the original intention was to get everything from Patrick.  A couple booths down from Patrick was a tool collectors association--I don't remember the name.  The tool collector's had a bin of random user tools for 5 bucks each; I scored a Buck Brothers chisel with a custom long handle.  I'm sure Patrick didn't appreciate the garage sale merch so close to his stuff. Snicker.

Here is a pic of my scant haul:
The marketplace was smaller than in past years.  That is good because you get more quality time with the vendors.  A small marketplace is bad in general for the vendors.  Hopefully future incarnations will be more...populated.

I'm not sure if I'll attend WIA next year either as I've decided to save up to take a woodworking class in 2017.  I'll end this post here as it is already too long.  Maybe I'll write something about my quest for the perfect woodworking class.


  1. Did you really pay $187 for a single divider?

    1. The price has gone up considerably since they were first released. Truth be told, I wouldn't have paid that much at launch.