Saturday, March 27, 2010

Dealers' Shows

Who has time for woodworking when there are lumberyards to tour and dealers' shows to attend?

The PATINA and Brown International shows are in close succession, which is tough on the wallet, but easy on the eyes. And even if you're not looking for anything in particular, you can usually find something you "need".

New additions to my collection include: a well-maintained "user" moulding plane; a book entitled Carpentry and Woodworking—A Handbook of Tools, Materials, Methods, and Directions (1945); a jeweler's saw; an inexpensive, but workable wooden brace; and four shell bits.

If you attend enough of these shows, you start to make friends and see familiar faces.

Last year, I met Bob Baker, an antique tool restorer, who made a reproduction of the famous Thomas Falconer plane and a reproduction of one of my favorite planes—the Moisset.

Apparently, when they were dishing out bowls of talent, Bob went back for seconds. He's blessed with a heaping helping of it, as evidenced in his Moisset reproduction (shown above), which he made 27 years ago—his first attempt at carving.

At these shows, you'll find a lot of user tools that are just waiting to be adopted and put back to work. But you'll also find some rare and unusual ones.

Jim Bode carries a number of unique tools, some of which you may have seen in fine tool books. Poke around his site and you'll see what I mean. I snapped pictures of an ivory figurine of Japanese carpenters and a fish hammer.

The last group photo shows some pieces that will be auctioned off today.

But I'm sitting this one out and staying home to play with my new old tools instead.