Jul 152010
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Our second day at Lie-Nielsen Toolworks began with an in-depth presentation of the full line-up of Lie-Nielsen handplanes by Deneb Puchalski, who really knows his stuff. He reviewed plane setup, tool cleanup and maintenance, and gave a great overview for which planes to start out with if you are just getting going in woodworking. A good starting collection would include a jack plane (aka the “Jack of all Planes”), a jointer plane, a smoother plane and a block plane. We got a closer look at the Lie Nielsen 62 – a low angle jack plane that is very versatile due to its adjustability.

After the presentation and demos, we got some more playtime with the tools, during which we all created mountains of shavings and sawdust, and generally felt very accomplished in making all of the wood pieces in the shop much smaller and smoother.

The afternoon session started with Deneb reviewing several specialty planes. He started the presentation by telling us that these were less critical for starting out, as their uses were very specialized. Honestly though, watching him work with these planes made us want to have one of each for our own shops.

Tom Lie-Nielsen then invited us down to the saw shop to demo the process of saw sharpening. He emphasized the value of a good magic marker (to know which blades you’ve sharpened already and which ones still need work) and even let us get our hands dirty with the file for a few blades.

The Lie-Nielsen dealer workshop has been really fun and informative. It’s really clear that Tom Lie-Nielsen has organized everything around his number one priority – as he says “The Most Important Thing is Quality.” Tomorrow we’ll visit the bench shop facility and enjoy the Lie-Nielsen open house. We might take a sidetrip to the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship in the afternoon, and maybe go pick some blueberries!

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