View Full Version : Where's the Plane report Mr. John Edwards????

Dave Anderson NH
02-14-2006, 11:08 AM
John was one of the organizers along with Chris Schwarz of Popular Woodworking, of a small convention of planemakers at the PW offices. I think that he's had his time to rest and recuperate from last weekkends event.

Time for a full report John. We'd really appreciate it.

John Edwards
02-14-2006, 5:06 PM
Dave, here is a report written on the Old Tools List by Ron Hock.
Cut-n-pasted by permission by Ron himself.

Short version:

I hung out with the world's finest plane makers on Friday.

Long version:

A few months ago John Edwards called about some blade or another and as
we talked (and talked -- it's easy to talk a long time with John) he let
slip about an upcoming gathering of infill makers sponsored by Popular
Woodworking magazine being organized by him and Chris Schwarz (executive
editor of PW). He dropped a couple of names of the proposed participants
and I started hopping up and down in my chair whining "Me too! Me too!
Can I come, huh? Can I? Can I?" and he thought that'd be okay and I
should just contact Chris to be sure. Chris was enthusiastic in his warm
invite to me and I proceeded to book a flight to Porkopolis.

Dig this roster:

Christopher Schwarz, Popular Woodworking Magazine, master craftsman,
eloquent master of ceremonies and gracious host

John Edwards, organizer, woodworker, friend of and patron to the
plane-making arts

Wayne Anderson, Anderson Planes, http://andersonplanes.com/, the legend,
in person

Bob Baker, plane maker of great talent and antique conservator

Brian Buckner, consummate metal craftsman and darned nice guy

Robin Lee, Lee Valley Tools, a big-businessman who manages to remain
humble, helpful and generous of spirit and with his time all the while
managing a thousand employees(!)

Terry Saunders, Lee Valley's plane designer -- no kidding, he's the guy
who's doing all that great work at Veritas

Thomas Lie-Nielsen, needs no introduction but I finally got to meet him
after all these years and he's as decent and gentlemanly as I would have
expected and he brought his charming and lovely daughter and
photographer, Kirsten

Mark (whose last name escapes me and my cheat-sheet is in my suitcase
which still hasn't shown up -- John, what's Mark's last name?!), Lie
Nielsen's pattern maker (imagine having HIS job! Too cool!)

Konrad Sauer, Sauer and Steiner Toolworks http://sauerandsteiner.com/
who brought his delightful family (and was, I believe the youngest of
this august group, except for Kirsten...)

Larry Williams and Don McConnell of Clark and Williams,
http://www.planemaker.com/ I've been talking with these guys for years
and finally got the meet them, too!

John Economaki, Bridge City Toolworks http://www.bridgecitytools.com/,
who brought his new variable-pitch planes which I've been curious about

Clarence Blanchard and Mike Jenkins of the Fine Tool Journal
http://www.finetoolj.com/ were there to keep everyone honest (and to
show off a few plow planes so rare I was afraid to even touch)

Joel Moskowitz, Tools for Working Wood,
http://www.toolsforworkingwood.com/ I've known Joel over the phone for
years but meeting him in person is like peeling an onion -- there seemed
to always be another layer to him (and I'm sure he'll send back my cell
phone today...) An erudite scholar and gentleman, indeed.

Did I leave anyone out, John? If I did, slap me and fill in the blanks.

The meeting was at Popular Woodworking's shop -- you've all seen the
shop in the many articles in the magazine -- and we started the day with
individual intros about how we got into doing what we do, etc. Even that
part was fun enough to last about twice as long as planned. But the
afternoon was devoted to using everyone's stuff. Planes from all
participants were tuned up and available as well as an incredible
selection of similar tools from other makers like Karl Holtey, Billy
Carter (I learned he's NOT the president's brother) and Ray Isles. We
made shavings with all the planes, popped the blades, looked under the
hood, shared stories, tips, and lies about everything imaginable --
including planemaking and woodworking. I must have handled about a
million dollars worth of infills and woodies. What a day.

Performance bottom line: every plane I tried made thin, lacy shavings
and left a smooth, satiny finish. Bevel up or down, a well made plane
with a sharp blade will perform as intended. Some were easier or harder
to push, some fit my hand better or worse, some handled difficult grain
better, but they all worked remarkably and were a joy to use. And they
were all so beautiful they'll bring tears to your eyes. Even the new
variable-pitch plane from BCT worked well and completely vanquished my
concerns about its appearance of excessive gizmocity. I, representing
the everyman, brought two #5's with HC and A2 blades, and three humble
woodies by Michael Burns, Jim Krenov and a HOCK kit. All kept up
admirably and I was proud to be able to swim in this small pond with
these big fish.

The afternoon went too quickly but as evening fell we gathered at Steve
Shanesy's (PW publisher) house for beer, wine, dinner and more in-depth
conversation. For me the whole day was incredible -- warm, friendly,
generous, and cooperative. I know I speak for all participants when I
thank John, Chris, Steve, David, Linda, Megan, Robert and everyone else
at PW for providing the forum for this memorable gathering. It gave me a
sense of community I've never felt before.

PW's David Thiel was busily snapping photos of the planes and us all day
and they've promised to send the best to each of us on cd. I'll post
them on the website unless someone beats me to it and I'll let you know
when they're available.

I guess that's all for now. I had a real good Friday.

John, your turn.


Ron Hock

John Edwards
02-14-2006, 5:09 PM
The reverend Hock spews forth of a gathering of plane heads. Including Mark
Swanson of L-N, Ron.

Short version,
I got to buy lunch for Ron and Joel at the airport.

Longer version,
PWing pulled a major publishing coup by having most of the greatest plane
makers in the world in the same place at the same time. In addition they had
all of the planes that most of us drool over. Bakers, Buckners, Holteys,
LV`s, LN`s etc etc. Some of which where special editions and others simply
off the shelf planes.

Those plane makers who couldn't make it had valid alibis. Karl Holtey was
just getting back up to speed after a move from the British mid lands to the
Northern tip of Scotland. Billy Carter had a prior commitment in Germany.
Ian Dalziel was busy on the oil rig. Darryl Hutchinson had a big work
commitment. Even in there absence there were planes to represent them
Karl Holtey has already called me 3 times today wanting too know more and
more details.

Imagine taking a few swipes with a Sauer and Steiner. Reaching over and
grabbing a Holtey 98 or A13. Then a Clark & Williams woodie. All the while
having Robin Lee or Thomas Lie Nielsen standing there watching and talking
and brother Buckner saying smile for the camera. Bob Baker and Mark Swanson
talking about dovetailing infill soles.

We wont talk about the one plane maker whom used the entrance door to his
hotel room as the door to the bathroom and ended up locked out in his
Or the front desk calling down at 230 am to quiet things down. Just like a
bunch rowdy punk kids.
How about the Reverend Hock sitting on the floor with Konrads two young boys
playing cards.

Popular Woodworking. Thanks for allowing us to invade your shop. Take up
several important days of magazine writing from the entire staff and simply
allowing us to have a great time. Your hospitality and support was first

The big question remains was.
When are we going to do this next year? Several of the attendees have
already offered up there shops for just a gathering next year.

John Edwards

Who is still reeling in all the fun from the weekend.

Dan Moening
02-14-2006, 5:27 PM

I ... am ... speechless.

No small convention there.

Gary Herrmann
02-14-2006, 6:47 PM


Holy cr@p!!!


Bob Noles
02-14-2006, 8:39 PM
Whoa.... That was almost like a meeting of world leaders. Awesome.

Alan Turner
02-14-2006, 9:17 PM
An impressive array indeed. I am a bit jealous. No, actually a lot jealous.

Jim Becker
02-14-2006, 10:04 PM
Talk about rubbing elbows!! Sheesh! :)

Tom Stovell
02-14-2006, 10:33 PM
I must have missed my invite on the answering machine. I got to check that thing more often! (-:

Sounds like a dream event. It would be hard to top that crowd for knowledge on a subject matter. Congrats on the logistics of getting it all together.


Dave Anderson NH
02-15-2006, 11:05 AM
Thanks for posting the report John. It sounds like an incredibly good time. I will look forward to seeing the article in PW though I'm sure it will be only about 1/10 as long and detailed as us addicts would like it to be.

James Mittlefehldt
02-15-2006, 1:06 PM


Holy cr@p!!!


My sentiments exactly, wow.

That must have been some day. Did not see any mention of the lads from Shepard Tools, were they unavailable?

All you needed was Rob Cosman doing a tutorial on dovetails, WOW, and once again WOW.

Ben Knebel
02-15-2006, 1:14 PM
My sentiments exactly, wow.

That must have been some day. Did not see any mention of the lads from Shepard Tools, were they unavailable?

All you needed was Rob Cosman doing a tutorial on dovetails, WOW, and once again WOW.

Hi Folks;
We were invited and I talked to John a couple of times about it--we just couldn't swing it--too many customer committments to justify spending the time. Reading these posts though makes me green with envy--really wish we could have been there. Hopefully they have another next year.
Best regards

James Owen
02-15-2006, 1:52 PM
Thanks for the great report!! It sounds like it was great fun, and I'm in awe of all the expertise and knowledge that was there in one place at the same time!!!! Too cool!!

John Edwards
02-24-2006, 7:55 PM
Reprinted from the Porch with permissioin from Ron Hock.

Galootish Friends,

The kind folks at Popular Woodworking Magazine, who hosted the
soon-to-be-legendary meeting of the plane makers (and some of us
ancillary to the task,) have sent photos of the event to all who
participated (pretty cool of them.) And, with their permission, I've
posted the lot on the HOCK TOOLS website:

Popular Woodworking is planning an article about the event for an
upcoming issue so keep an eye out for it.

There are a boat load of photos so it'll take a while to load but there
are some dazzling planes depicted and, of course some dazzling people as
well. Don't drool on your keyboard (over the planes, I mean. If you
drool over the people, well, that'd be weird.)

When you get to the group photo (I swear we were *this* close to a group
hug) here's the scorecard:

John Edwards (on floor), the row behind him, seated, l-r is Konrad
Sauer, Ron Hock, Wayne Anderson, Don McConnell, Larry Williams, Terry
Saunders, Bob Baker and Brian Buckner.

Back row, standing, l-r: Christopher Schwarz, Tom Lie-Nielsen, Kirsten
Lie-Nielsen, Mark Swanson, Joel Moskowitz, Clarence Blanchard, Mike
Jenkins, John Economaki and Robin Lee.

An august group if there was ever one assembled and I must repeat how
proud I was to be amongst them.


Ron Hock
HOCK TOOLS http://www.hocktools.com
16650 Mitchell Creek Dr
Fort Bragg, CA 95437
(707) 964-2782 fax (707) 964-7816

Steve Clardy
02-24-2006, 9:49 PM
Sounds great. Guess I need to get ahold of the issue that will come out. What issue will it be and where to purchase?

john mclane
02-24-2006, 9:59 PM
What a great and beautiful set of tools. Each one more wanting to touch, hold and then use.

Peter Mc Mahon
02-25-2006, 5:10 AM
That's funny. When I dream of being in a room full of all those planes, I am surrounded by playboy bunnies.

Jerry Olexa
02-25-2006, 11:54 PM
We are simply not worthy...:)

tim langford
02-27-2006, 11:51 AM
Perhaps you should ask Steve Knight to the next one. Excellent planes at excellent prices.

Brent Smith
02-28-2006, 6:01 PM
WOW !!!!!!! What else is there to say????