What’s coming up?

This is always the best time of the year. The holidays are coming up fast, people are feeling pretty darned good, and we’re getting ready to ring in 2014. And, just as with this year, there are some big events coming up that you should be putting on your calendar.

A great shot from last year’s Folk Festival

First. on January 25, the St. Petersburg Woodcrafter’s Guild is going to be working over at Heritage Village, Pinellas County’s historical park for the annual Folk Festival. We have been there in the past, doing some woodworking demonstrations, But, this year, we are looking to build a workbench for Heritage Village to use for future demonstrations.

We are going to try to build – in one day – a Nicholson bench sort of like the one that I built for my shop. Since the guild has a number of talented hand tool woodworkers, we’re looking to do this without power tools. OK, I may do some initial planing and sizing on the power tools in my shop, but the main work will be done on site. We have already secured a donation from Lee Valley Tools for a face vise, we are looking for a donation for the wood, and we are working with the village’s blacksmiths to get some custom forged holdfasts made.

I am also trying to figure out how to live broadcast this event. So far, it looks like I can use UStream to do this from my iPad, but we’ll have to make sure that it works down at the park. If anyone else has any good ideas, I’m all ears.

That same day, my friend Chris Wong of Flair Woodworks will be holding a shop stool build along. Tired of plain-Jane store bought shop stool by his bench, he will be leading an online build-along on Saturday, January 25. If you would like to join in on the fun (this does sound like a total blast), be sure to check out his link.

This is not the first time Chris has conducted a build-along. Just 11 months ago, he and Scott Meek held a scrub plane build along, which was pretty successful. I hope this becomes an annual event.

Get Woodworking Week 2014

And, as if that wasn’t enough, mark your calendars for the first full week of February, because I’m going to be hosting the 2014 edition of Get Woodworking Week.

For the past two years, we have gotten woodworkers off of the sideline and into the shop to try their hand at the craft, and we hope to continue the momentum as we move into 2014. There has been plenty of support for it, but this year, I think we need to step it up a notch. I think we need to get into some schools to talk with kids about woodworking. I’m cooking up some details on this, but I think that’s where our aim should be pointed. If we are going to get new folks into the craft, it’s time to break onto the scene.

So, strap on your shop aprons, ready your safety glasses and let’s get ready to make some serious sawdust in 2014.

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