Jul 172010
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After some very successful wild blueberry picking, we headed over to the 2nd day of the Lie-Nielsen open house this afternoon.

We spent some time talking to Kevin Drake of Glen-Drake Toolworks. We sell his Tite-Mark Marking Gauge, and are quite impressed with how easy it is to use. The rest of his products were also really remarkable – in particular, his saw designs were very unique, and he had a line of hammers that almost do all the hammering for you!

Lee Laird, one of the extremely knowledgeable Lie-Nielsen show staff who came to Maine for the week, gave us a thorough demonstration of the 102 block plane. This is a topic that your blogger is particularly interested in, having one in my own collection. Lee discussed setting up the plane and tuning it, and reminded us of our sharpening class from back on day 1 of the dealer training. Then he proceeded to give a very thorough demo, reviewing all of the plane’s uses (pretty much everything, from chamfering an edge to smoothing a large board to corrections and detail work) and patiently talking us through using the plane ourselves. After a rough start, we smoothed out our technique, and the plane was flying across the board. Now we can’t wait to get home and try it again!

The open house wrapped up with a traditional Maine lobster bake. We were told that some of the locals require 3-4 lobsters to fill them up for one meal, but we stuck it out with 2 lobsters between the 3 of us. After the folks who cooked up the lobsters taught us how to crack the lobster open and get all the meat out, we helped out all of the Lie-Nielsen show staff members who sat down with us with their lobsters. Just repaying them a little bit for all the patient instruction in hand tool technique they gave us all week!

It’s been a great week at Lie-Nielsen, and we are sad to say goodbye. From Tom Lie-Nielsen all the way down, this company is made up of really smart and personable individuals, and it was a pleasure to meet each of them. Thanks for having us, Lie-Nielsen!

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