Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Maine event

You know what they say? Tomorrow never comes... Sorry about that, should anyone have been daft enough to be on tenterhooks over the promised posting yesterday.

Before I forget, R had brought along the practically-famous April Fool's 12 arm marking gauge. It's heavy. It would also, in theory, assuming you had a strong enough wrist, work. I'm agog to see what they come up with next year... That's a CAD image of the rear toted low angle block on the left, btw.

So, The Man from Maine. I happened to be hob-nobbing with BB when T finally had a moment between other eager beavers, so I'm afraid he got a bit of a two-pronged attack. I'm not proud that I joined in with the chant of "plough plane, plough plane" when the subject of new tool designs came up. :~) We had a small moan about the slow release of new stuff compared with the churnings out from Canada. T muttered that he opens up his own catalogue and says "Oh, they're doing this page this month" and that rather than LN getting left behind, LV are having to run to catch up. Hmm... Fortunately I had a lapse of memory and didn't mention router planes, medium shoulder planes and so forth ;~) Anyway one hold up is the design team is busy doing other things. Viz: He has to do shows like Axminster. We didn't beat about the bush and advised him to go home right away...

BB's perennial favourite, the #51/#52 shooting board and plane combo, was discussed. Alas I can't help but agree with T's assessment; it'd cost a wad and they simply wouldn't sell enough. I floated my Big Idea that the user provides the base board but the manufacturer supplies an adjustable fence and instructions for fitting etc. I reckon that'd remove half the doubt newbie shooting board users have; just follow the instructions 'cos they must be right if I've spent $X on this fence. Plus an adjustable fence would appeal to the more seasoned shooters. Well it would to me anyway. Of course it'd be breaking new ground a bit for L-N, rather than basing on an existing design, so maybe I should suggest it to R instead.

New stuff on show felt limited at the time, but it seems quite a list now: the medium shoulder, which was pretty, but nothing unexpected; the model maker's block; the dinky and adorable convex sole block plane, which I'd love to be able to find an excu-, er, reason, for getting; and a smaller version of the Tite-Mark, the Mini, which I liked the size of a good deal more than the original. Let's face it, how often d'you need the extra size? The only reservation I have is the fixed-width mortise blades; it does so depend on your chisels being the right size :~(

What's coming up next? Well now I come to think of it, he never said... I'd gathered elsewhere that a router plane was in the offing, but not a word. I dunno, but I get the impression there's a certain amount of consolidation going on and general settling down after the recent expansion.

Also on the L-N stand was DC, who I think was enjoying not being stuck out in the cold all on his own. Once again, as I do every year, I marvelled at just how high his workbench is. I couldn't cope with it, I know I couldn't. Trouble is, not only is it wrong for me for ordinary planing, it's not quite high enough to be as advantageous as I'd like for close work like marking out and so forth.

Meanwhile, remember that brace cleaning I was tackling? Well it's been pretty successful I think. I took lots of pics, so I'll probably write it up for the forum; anything that may rescue a poor negelcted brace in someone's garage has got to be worth the effort, no? I also cleaned up a nice little 5" sweep brace I bought on Saturday, but it's not got such quite spectacular woodwork. Lovely little brace though.

6 comments:

  1. So let me get his right. TLN thinks HE is leading the pack with new, innovative products? Hmm.......
    Wish he'd get his stock control problem sorted, too. I quote..."You can place your order now and we'll send you them to you when we get round to making them". Yeah, that's the way to keep me happy :(
    I do feel he hasn't got his eye on the ball, lately. Don't get me wrong, I love his tools. They are beauties and built to a high standard. But "other" companies are learning. Quickly.
    Oh, forgot to mention. Did anyone see the "Victor" A2 chisels at the show?? Or were they Axminster version of a late April Fools joke?

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  2. So let me get his right. TLN thinks HE is leading the pack with new, innovative products?
    Well he did have the well-known twinkle in the eye when he said it... :~) I think the expansion caught them out rather more than they expected; it's not unusual, but how quickly they recover is everything.

    The Henry Taylor guy showed me the Victor gouges, so I assumed, possibly wrongly, they must make the chisels too? They didn't seem to have any though, I did look out for them.

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  3. I appreciate that the (rather major) expansion of the Toolworks must be causing headaches in all areas of life for TLN. It just worries me that this area of the market (i.e. high quality-but -just-affordable)is growing very quickly indeed and I'd hate for the guy to fall behind. He has rather a hard-core following but you know how fickle we tool-heads can be......;)

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  4. Mike Wenzloff (MikeW)11/18/2005 11:10:00 am

    I think TLN needs to bring out a new product or two soon. Currently, they give the appearance of stagnation. But, the tools they do make, they do really well.

    Which btw, did anyone hang around long enough at the LN booth to see if they had the small panel saw there?

    Take care. Mike

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  5. I believe some of us did;) No new saw, Mike. Is that like the one Rob C was using in "Rough to Ready"?

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  6. Mike Wenzloff (MikeW)11/19/2005 02:28:00 am

    You know, I have no idea. I've never seen rough to ready all the way through, just bits and pieces.

    But hey, maybe I'll beat 'em to the punch!

    Take care, Mike

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