Words and photos: Linda Nathan, Wood Review Editor
I arrived punctually at what I thought to be the 9:30am start for a Lie Nielsen Hand Tool Event hosted in Brisbane by designer maker and Wood Review author Damion Fauser.
Clearly however it’s the early woodworker that catches a hand tool and timber bargain, because a crowd of people were already spilling out of the big roller door at the entrance of Damion’s workshop.
With bags and boards in hand they next made their way over to Damion’s desk, eager to register for the substantial door prizes on offer. Help-yourself style tea, coffee and mountains of bikkies were on tap. For the punters, it was a good start to the day.
Back a few decades we had only wood shows to congregate in fellowship and feeding frenzies for tools and machinery. But there is now an array of smaller and more focused events for woodworkers to network at and enjoy. Hand tool events nowadays seem typically associated with woodworking schools because the synchronicity is evident.
The first of what is hoped to be an annual Brisbane event, this Lie Nielsen Hand Tool Event took place on June 1, 2019 and was very well received. Aside from a very extensive display of hand tools there were three demonstration areas where a rolling program of topics were covered. Emphasis was also placed on hands-on and question time for attendees as well.
Anthony Powell is director of LNA and also teaches hand tools skills in workshops now regularly given at company HQ in South Australia and elsewhere as announced. He began the day by demonstrating sharpening using the Oishi waterstones for which he has created a mobile sharpening station which includes an angle setting jig.
Oishi stones don’t require pre-soaking, just a spritz of water prior to use. Literally a few strokes on a 1000 stone were enough to produce an easily discerned burr (we were all invited to feel it). A few strokes on a finer stone produced an edge that could shave.
Sharpening scrapers was Anthony’s next demonstration and after a short break this was followed up by a session on hand saw usage. The demonstration covered correct stance and hand positions, and how to start, establish and make cuts squarely and effectively.
Matt McKeough from LNA was also present and demonstrated some handy jigs for hand tool usage including bench hooks and straight sawing aids – several of which can be inexpensively shopmade.
Damion’s own presentation focused on his principles for design as well as hand tool usage and in particular shaping wood with drawknives, spokeshaves and rasps. Some interesting field stories – the tales of a bespoke maker – kept the crowd laughing as they learned.
The atmosphere at smaller events such as these is relaxed and convivial. With no entry charge or parking dramas it's a great way to tap into some woodworking inspiration.
Read Damion's comparison of Rikon and Woodfast 300mm Planer/Thicknessers in the June issue 103 of the magazine now out.