At the end of this week, the biggest hand tool woodworking event in the world is happening in Amana, Iowa. If you don’t know already, Handworks is legendary. Woodworkers and tool makers are traveling from all over the world to convene in a barn (and various outbuildings) at the Amana Colonies in Iowa. These folks are serious, passionate tool nerds.
Every boutique tool maker and their mother is going to be there. When the organizer, Jameel Abraham, emailed us to ask if we wanted to participate, Mike and I were stoked. Yes. Yes. Yes. No matter what hurdles we had to jump over, we would be there. We started making arrangements for the big journey a long time ago.
Then my wife and I started doing some math and realized our third baby is due May 29th, one week after Handworks. Well, crap. That was some unfortunate double-booking. Mike and I spent some time trying to figure out the best way to make sure M&T had a presence there and ultimately decided Mike would manage the booth alone. He is a brave man. From all accounts, Handworks is nuts - a sea of voracious woodworkers desperate to get to the vendors’ booths before items sell out.
So he’s making a family vacation out of the trip. Mike and company began their journey yesterday in order to do some sight-seeing on the way down to the Midwest. He’s got a van full of booth gear and merchandise packed around his dear wife and three children. Whoever has the back seat has an awesome little cave. It’s the kind of hideout every young boy dreams about.
If your wife isn’t delivering a baby, you are crazy not to be there. Mike will be set up in the Millwright shop along with Voigt Planes, Bad Axe Tool Works, Walke Moore Tools, J. Wilding, Planemaker, and Fine Tool Journal. As always, Mike is ready to hand out free stickers to anyone wearing an M&T t-shirt at the event.
I have (obviously) no disappointment about being home for the birth. At the same time, however, I know I will be jealously watching my Instagram feed fill up with photos of my friends playing with hand tools and having a good time. That is, when I’m not busy catching my new little baby.