Friday, 15 May 2009

Shoulda never gone!

To Victoria that is!

What an amazing place. A friend of mine referred to it as “God’s waiting room” and I don’t think that is too far off. The trouble is we are already scheming about how to get back again.

My time at Lee Valley was great - the evening seminar went very well with lots of great questions and time for visiting. Hopefully there will be a few people that are dreaming of making their own planes.

Saturday was just as much fun with one particular moment that will stay with me for quite a while. Several of the people from the evening seminar stopped in on Saturday to continue with conversations, or to catch one of the demonstrations I was doing. At one point there were three of us standing around talking and we were discussing chip breakers, bed angles and other cutting geometry. It went something like this;

Konrad - “Oh, there is this guy online that has done a pile of work on this - Brent Beach... you should really look into it”.

Guy standing there (with an odd smile) - “Brent Beach... that’s me!”

Konrad - “What.....??????!!!!??! For real?”

It was pretty funny, and I have to say, it took me about 6 minutes of shaking my head to come around. It was a really, really crazy moment.

Jill and I went to visit with Chico and his charming wife Terri on Sunday night and were treated to a stunning gastronomical adventure. Man, can those two cook! Dinner lasted several hours which is a good thing because there is no way I would have been able to eat that much otherwise. It was a delicious meal and visit with two delightful friends - thanks to you both. And of course Chico and I wandered off a few times to the shop to look at tools and to admire some of his prized pieces of wood - he has an amazing collection.

We went to Butchart Gardens for mothers day and were not disappointed. If you are ever in Victoria - you have to check this place out! I must admit I am not a huge flower guy - but this was so much more than flowers. The combination of large scale planning and architecture was stunning and the whole thing covered in flowers, trees and colour. The most unexpected place was walking through a somewhat dark forested hallway through some large evergreen trees and then the hall suddenly ends to open up to “the sunken garden”. It really did take your breath away.

Thanks too to all the fine folks at Lee Valley for showing us around, including us in their activities and helping us out.

We returned home Tuesday night and I was back at it on Wednesday. Part of my excitement was to finish a plane I have been looking forward to for some time. This is another smoother variation... African Blackwood infill, 50 degree bed angle, no adjuster and no cap iron. If the cap iron free No.4’s are any indication - this plane is going to be a joy to use!

And speaking of variations - I have another one just around the corner....

We were a little worried about the timing of our trip out west because we did not want to miss the apple tree blooming next door.

This is the view from my shop balcony... I could not back up far enough to capture it all. We did not miss a thing... and this is a great reminder of Butchart Gardens... just on a one tree scale.

When we were gone, Riley had a field trip to Medieval Times in Toronto, and unfortunately - we forgot to give him a bit of money to buy himself a souvenir. He was quite upset about it because most of the kids bought a wooden sword. Well... we took care of this injustice today after school! His buddy Tyko came with him for Swordfest 2009. I had some scrapish hard maple kicking around and I figured it would make for a fairly sturdy sword material. Unfortunately - I did not take into account working hard maple is not the same as Home Depot pine... but I am thrilled to report that both boys started and completed their swords in one afterschool adventure.

They both did a fantastic job and the above photo says it all for me - Riley has developed some very fine skills and has a natural comfort with handtools.

This was the first time Tyko has done anything like this - and he caught on extremely quickly. I can see a future spokeshave making class already!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

First he mastered the dovetail saws, now the spokeshave - is there no end to Riley's skills?

Cheers ;-)

Paul Chapman

27 May 2009 at 02:16  
Blogger Konrad said...

Hey Paul, apparently not. Tonight we made the cedar shield - spokeshave time again... and he even did the endgrain. Successfully. I am starting to worry about a hostile takeover :)


28 May 2009 at 20:58  

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