Another Year at Fine Woodworking Live

Last weekend I traveled up to Connecticut for Fine Woodworking Live.  This was the second year of the conference and have to say it was even better than last year.  For any of you that have attended woodworking conferences like this you know that it is a mixture of great speakers, tool vendors, and getting to connect with others that share your passion.

We all have our reasons for going to events like this.  My own is mainly for inspiration and motivation.  I spend a lot of time talking about woodworking being one of the leaders of the Modern Woodworkers Association, and the podcast allows me to constantly talk to inspiring woodoworkers from professional woodworkers, tool makers, authors, and magazine editors.  The only problem is that I spend a lot of time doing all of this and with my day job I often find that I end up only talking about the hobby I love most of the time.  So for me getting out and spending 3 days immersed woodworking is a way of recharging my batteries.

Last year you were assigned to groups and everyone attended all of the classes offered, so there were classes that I normally would not have attended that in the end I really enjoyed.  This year was a la carte with even more classes, so it was tough to decide at times.  I tend to enjoy the sessions focused on design more that I do the “how to” sessions, but I still made sure to attend a variety as I always pickup something that I didn’t know before.

One of the big additions to this years was the Build Off.  Eight teams of four had a challenge of buildings a piece of ”furniture” that was not announced until the last moment.  The only material and tools available were seven 2×4, a jig saw, drill, and a few marking and measuring tools.  In the last minute we were told to build some sort of seating and given an hour and a half to finish our design and build.  To say that this was a fun event is an understatement.  One of the most interesting things is that once the time started the onlookers walked on over and started interacting with the participants, giving advice and criticism when needed.  In the end my team did not win but had a blast…note to self don’t try and cut joinery with a jigsaw….

If you would like to hear more about this years Fine Woodworking Live you can listen to Fine Woodworking’s Shop Talk Live Podcast that they were gracious enough to allow myself and Ian Mackay join them on.  Or you can also listen to the MWA Podcast that Dyami and I recorded at the event and were joined by Matt Kenney of Fine Woodworking.




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