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Lie-Nielsen Open House 2018

“Iron sharpens iron and one man sharpens another.” Wise and profitable discourse sharpens men’s wits; and those that have ever so much knowledge may by conference have something added to them. It sharpens men’s looks, and, by cheering the spirits, puts a briskness and liveliness into the countenance, and gives a man such an air as shows he is pleased himself and makes him pleasing to those about him ... Men are filed, made smooth, and bright, and fit for business (who were rough, and dull, and inactive), by conversation.  - Matthew Henry (1706) What a wonderful weekend. Thank you again, Tom, for your generosity to have us all over. Looking forward to next year! -Joshua  

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What ‘Made by Hand’ Means

 Editor’s note: The following is a guest post from one of my students at Lie-Nielsen this June. Adam finished his table and wrote up these thoughts about his time at the class.   “The planned obsolescence of modern consumerism is a real tragedy.  I encourage you to rebel against this.” ~Joshua Klein After reading Christopher Schwarz’s The Anarchist’s Tool Chest cover to cover, an obsession began. This eventually led me to take Joshua Klein’s “Cut-The-Cord” class at Lie-Nielsen Toolworks this June. Joshua, whether he realizes or not, has played an integral role in shaping my thoughts and ideals about woodworking since my very first project not long ago.   After taking my first-ever passes with a handplane at a Lie-Nielsen...

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The Central Concern

  “The central concern [of my own work] is encouragement – encouraging people to seek, to experiment, to design, to create and to dream.” – Wm. S. Coperthwaite, A Handmade Life   There are few events that I look forward to more than Lie-Nielsen’s Open House. Every year, Tom Lie-Nielsen opens his doors and invites his fellow toolmakers to showcase their work. The list of guest demonstrators is always long and impressive. Hoards of people come out to this small town of Warren, Maine for a most unique fellowship with these hand tool fanatics. Visitors are able to handle and use the most amazing tools in the world all in one place. It would be easy to write a blog...

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Issue Three Table of Contents at Lie-Nielsen

  Today, Mike and I are packing up for Lie-Nielsen’s Open House. This is always a highlight in our year because Tom throws such an awesome party. He is incredibly generous to us and we get to catch up with so many great friends we only get to see a few times a year. If you haven’t had a chance to try one of the tools you’ve been eyeing up from one of your favorite toolmakers, this is a great opportunity to do so. The list of vendors is huge - it seems like it gets bigger every year.  If you are going to be there, make sure to drop by our booth. We’ll have magazines, DVDS, t-shirts, posters, stickers,...

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The Gift of Doing Stuff You Love with Friends

I like to run. Specifically trails - the steeper, the better. Few things make me giddy like bombing down a rugged, mossy, meandering mountain path, or cresting the last rise before the summit and seeing the horizon burst into view. But as family and work obligations take precedent, almost all of my running takes place in the early morning hours. 5 a.m. is a lonely time, even in a place as predictably bustling as Acadia National Park in the summertime. I rarely see another soul. What this means practically, though, is that when I happen across someone else out on the trails, I feel an instant connection with that person and the experience that we're both engaging. I want to...

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2017 Schedule of Events

  Below are the events we have scheduled for 2017. If you’d like to take a workshop we’re teaching or chat with us in person, look below to see if you can make it out to any of these events. We hope to see you this year!   Center for Furniture Craftsmanship – March 10th Presentation: “Why I Cut the Cord”  I’ve been invited to present this coming Friday to the Furniture Intensive students at CFC about how pre-industrial methods has informed my furniture making. Read about the school here.   Fine Woodworking Live 2017 – April 21st - 23rd – Southbridge, Mass. Fine Woodworking’s live event. We’ll be there as a vendor. Looks like a great show with top-notch...

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We All Need to See it

My wife, Julia, and I have been baking our own sourdough bread for ten years now. Early on in our marriage, we began learning the building blocks of using different flours, kneading methods, and how to accommodate for temperature and humidity changes. For years, our bread was not much more than passable. We loved doing it but the books we read and videos we watched online could only take us so far. We needed someone to show us. Fortunately, when we moved back to Maine eight years ago, some of Julia’s old friends generously taught us the way they make the sourdough in their incredible wood-fired bakery. Spending that day with them revolutionized our baking. They taught us little new...

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Cut the Cord: Build a Table with Hand Tools at Lie-Nielsen

What if you could build furniture efficiently without relying on power tools? Ever wish you could “cut the cord” completely, finally freeing yourself from the dust and scream of machines? This summer I will be teaching a weekend workshop at Lie-Nielsen which lays the foundation of pre-industrial (read: efficient hand-tool-only) woodworking by building a small pine worktable with hand tools. The emphasis of the workshop is the rediscovery of the efficiencies of hand tool woodworking that have been lost since the industrialization of furniture making. Students will be able to examine and handle a few different disassembled 18th and 19th-century pieces to see period tolerances and the difference between “show” surfaces and “non-show” surfaces for themselves. Students will learn to...

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First Impressions

The 2016 Lie-Nielsen Open House was the first show I’ve attended as a vendor. Consequently, the experience was entirely new and exciting and even a bit surreal for me. Joshua and I arrived early Friday so we could get our fairly elaborate display set up before the tent filled in with other demonstrators. We’d worked out the most efficient method of setup back at the studio, but here I found myself distracted by everyone else trickling in with their wares. Whoa, look at those planes! How much for that saw?  I just spotted Peter Follansbee (the legend)! Tom Lie-Nielsen  shook my hand. I may never wash it again.     Focus, Mike. We have work to do. I don’t want to...

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The Weekend at Tom’s

Mike and I had a wonderful weekend at Lie-Nielsen. He and I have had many conversations since about how much we appreciated the culture of creativity there. I am always blown away at how, even though it’s been a year since the last one, we can pick up right where we left off. These folks are down-to-earth awesome people. Tom’s business model is groundbreaking in its generosity to other vendors. Think about it: The guy invites all his competition (i.e. friends) to come and sell their goods without charging them a fee, he buys them dinner, and then genuinely thanks them for coming to the party. What a class act. In most markets you expect fierce competition, belittling other makers,...

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