Handworks 2015 in Amana Iowa
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Wm. R. Robertson

Over a year ago my buddy Chris Vesper, a tool maker in Australia called me and asked if he came to visit me in KC would I drive him up to an event in Amana Iowa. This was to be the second time it was held, the reports he heard form 2013 were great and the plans for this year even better! So off we went, I figured I would just hang around and take it easy, take a few miniatures to show in his booth and relax.

Handworks is a gathering of folks that like high end hand woodworking tools, things like hand planes, beautifully made, costing thousands of dollars, that can take a 2" wide, thinner than paper shaving of a gnarly piece of tiger maple. It was held in 3 barns in the Amana Colonies. Admission was free, donations were accepted and folks came from all over the world for this! My first surprise came when I walked across the street from hotel to the barn 45 minutes before it opened to find the line all the way down the road and around the block! Can you see the end? It's out of view to the left!

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Inside the main barn.....

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Lots of eye candy like these fantastic planes.... Sorry but I forget the maker....

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One or two antique tool dealers like Pat Leach

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And dealers like Tools for Working Wood..... They had a really nice hammer I liked at about $ 250.

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Wm. R. Robertson

And here was Chris Vesper's booth, you can see my miniatures off to the side....

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And Chris

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My exhibit of miniatures caused a lot of attention, many of they people were familiar with the back covers of Fine Woodworking Magazine and the award from the Craftsmanship Museum

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Now if all this tool stuff wasn't enough for entertainment we had PBS's Roy Underhill from the Woodwright's Shop ....... If you have never seen him preform live I highly recommend it..... It had the whole crowd laughing, it liked his story about the missing chapter from Holmer's Oddesy....... When they come to a island of woodworkers called Normites who use noisy power tools...... You just would had to been there....

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Moderator1

And if all that wasn't enough, Don William's introduced his new book on the Studley Tool Chest at the event. To top that off he had made arrangements to the tool chest and workbench on display at the local Masonic Temple. This was one of the classiest Tool events I have ever seen. Unfortantly due to the low light my pictures didn't come out well. He had the chest and benches set up in the middle of a large room with large detail photos on the wall and a video playing. All the docents were dressed like Studley, one even looked like him.

And Don sported suspenders that mimicked the mother of pearl trim on the Studley chest!

It was the first time in 15 years this has been seen in public.... A truly rare treat.

Ps, I have actually gotten to touch and play with it twice! If you don't know what were talking about goggle it, it is probably the the prettiest and most famous tool chest in the world!

I suspect if they do this in 2017 I'll be there and you should be too.......

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Teresa layman

This is really amazing, it looks like a great time! Bill, are you going to make a miniature of The Studley Tool Chest?????? That would be awesome to the nth power.

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ElgaKoster

Oh cool, the chest is fantastic, you sure manage to play with fun things! When are you going to build it?

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WeekendMiniaturist

The lines for the opening of the tool show remind me of the lines for the Chicago International Show each year.  It is fun to see people in lines happily waiting to find a treasured object; I think tool collectors and miniature collectors have some common attributes.

 

It would be fun to attend this show; I had no idea that this one existed; guess I better start reading some woodworking tool blogs.

 

The Studley Tool chest in miniature would be a great piece to work on... but making all of those tools could take years.  You probably want to start working on this ASAP...  Lets see month 1 could be hand planes... and then when you need something else for that fabulous brain to be distracted with, you can work on cutting out that wire gauge tool... in the interim... when I look at my piano that is still on my workbench, I'll be thinking of that miniature wire gauge tool, yet to be made...as I will need one of those gauges to precisely select the correct size of piano wire.

 

Tamra

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miraclechicken

Fascinating and lucky you! I just kept scrolling up and down.....wow what a great post. I would have loved to have been there --Oh and Normites hahaha! 

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Wm. R. Robertson

The Normites thing was one of the funniest things I have ever heard.... Very unlikely to be on tape, kind of like the politicians say in closed events when the cameras aren't around.

Wire gauge, done that... I think it is shown in my machinist chest post or maybe it was on the PM how I cut the slots...... Very tricky.....

And to make the Studley in 1/12th....... Nearly impossible to get it all in.... The chest is three layers deep on each side.

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WeekendMiniaturist

Who would have thought Roy was a comedian...?!!! And we can't find this one on YouTube?

 

Cutting the slots was one thing, but it looks like there are numbers under the slots.  The question is did you save one for your tool collection?  You are going to need it for that Studley tool chest dream project of the future.

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WeekendMiniaturist

hmmm....with all your tools in life size scale, wouldn't you want to make the Robertson tool chest in a life size version? That wire gauge is amazing.  You had to use a jewelers saw right to make the slots?  I think there is magic in Mr. Robertson's workshop, he must have an invisible shrinking machine...that we were not able to find when we toured his shop at the Masterworks event.  That is an incredible wire gauge.  

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