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Saturday, December 30, 2017

2017 A Tale Of Two Cities, And All The Stuff I Bought In Between

It has been my custom since starting this blog to list every (most?) vendor that sucked the yearly woodworking budget.  Even though I have not posted since February 2017, a lot has actually happened.

Let us digress for a moment.  Why haven't I been posting?  Two excuses come to mind.  First, it is time consuming and I seem to have less time for spend.  Second, the world has gone to video.  Everyone expects a Youtube channel and/or hours of live streaming every week.  Woodworking is an enjoyable hobby for me.  I want to keep it that way.  Also, I have the perfect face for radio and the perfect voice for print.  This blog about me growing in woodworking (and my other hobbies).  I do not believe I have anything interesting to actually teach people if I go to video.  Most of the footage would be of me sitting on a saw bench figuring the next problem.

Let us regress? Ingress? Ungress?  Mow grass?  Whatever.

Back on topic; where my money went in 2017.

By far, most of my money went to attending Handworks in Amana Iowa, and the Lie-Nielsen open house in Warren, Maine.  Warning to anyone from a big city:  All roads not an Interstate in Maine are two lanes (or less).  The residents all ride burros and Volvos--slowly--along those pathways.  That is a humorous way to say that it is a different pace of life in Maine.

We made a vacation of the trip to Maine, stopping at Niagara Falls on the way.  I Thoroughly enjoyed myself.

Here is the list of vendors that caught the remaining pennies.  As usual, no attempt is made to quantify everything spent, but I often add tidbits I thinks might be interesting.

The big five:

Highlandwoodworking
Lie-Nielsen  Picked up the honing guide, and a big arse pair of scissors as an impulse buy.
Lee Valley
Woodcraft
Rockler

Below outfits are probably familiar to most woodworkers:

Amazon.com
360 woodworking
MLCS
Lost Art Press
KlockitMortise and Tenon Magazine

Off the beaten path:

CU Woodshop
Hovarter vx20 Bought a second one.  Will detail in a future post.
Peter Galbert spindle caliper  Used it for the first time before writing this with great success.
Acme tools
Albany County Fasteners  Great price on some solid brass fasteners!
80/20 Inc.

The Garage Sale of the decade.  HUH?  Of course this begs an explanation.  A man died this year.  He was not known to me.  He lived a dozen  miles up the road.  None of this is remarkable.  What is remarkable is that the man lived into his nineties, and was a life long woodworker.  Over 70 years he plied our hobby.

I dearly wish I could have known this man when he was alive.  What a glorious opportunity it would have been to stand at his side and soak up whatever he cared to share.

I found out about him when the town had a garage sale weekend event.  My phone slowly blew up as word spread about the woodworker whose shop was being liquidated for crazy prices.  The man's retired daughter was trying to clean out the house and garage.  Things were going for a song--and she knew it.  But she wanted the stuff gone so she didn't have to deal with it.

All the really good stuff was gone by the time I arrived, but I managed to score some small finds.  An Atkins saw sharper than the day it was made, a full set of drill bits taped together in a coffee can and some other oddments.  I spent a lot of time walking around his shop, trying to get an idea how he worked.  All the big stuff was still there, bright SOLD tags on all of it.  I talked to his daughter to get some story.  Eventually I offered to help her heft and tote whatever was left; she turned me down as a plethora of neighbors had already stepped up to help.

A great summary of the year 2017 is experience.  The experiences in woodworking I've had this fine year are my valuable treasure.

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