Galootapalooza 4 has come and gone and the Chicago area galoots once
again made it a memorable outing.
The usual suspects were there plus a few I hadn't met before. Amontg the
Jerry 'I will buy anything with Yankee engraved on it" Servisss
Ralph ' The Driving Man' Brandler
Russ 'There isn't a tool made I can't copy' Allen
Mike ' The hell with it, I'll just make my own tools' Lingren
As well there were a number of remembered faces from Galootapalooza 2
such as Gil Chesbro, Wes Groot, Joe Palazzolo from Indiana, plus new
faces (to me) like Todd Heurli, Mark van Reujen (sorry, I forgot how to
spell your last name), Charlie Nunemaker and, as always, a few more
whose names this old mind failed to memorize.
Also ran into Ron Harper who was pillaging the Kane County Flea Market.
As Ron noted in his posting
"Oh BTW our reputation grows. I asked one dealer who had some tools if
had seen any galoots? This produced a visible flinch and he said "
they came thru hear awhile ago like a bunch of locusts".
The locusts almost starved at the Kane County Flea Market. There were
fewer vendors than normal, possibly due to the 100 degree heat the day
before. Pickings were slim and only Mark managed to find any gloatable
items. This lets Gil Chesbro off the hook, and this year's goat is now
Mark, who managed to scoop the best finds from both the Kane County meet
and the Sunday MWTCA meet by getting there before anyone. For the next
twelve months we can enjoy progressively more outrageous stories about
Mark's finds until next year's gathering, when a new goat will be
While most of us searched in vain, Ralph Brendler hosted a Shaker Box
making class, and the results werw shown off that night. Joe's boxes
were especially striking as he used lacewood for the tops.
The Saturday night gathering a Jerry Serviss's place was wonderful.
Apart from the good food and great conversation there were several great
This year's comparison was on mitering tools. Ralph Brendler came with
his Lion style miter trimmer with the amputation blades, Wes Groot
brought his Chaplin's Patent Chute Board and Plane and Mike Lingren
showed off his 51/52 Chute Plane made from Russ Allen's castings. No
definitative winner, but each tool produced true polished cuts at all
Todd Heurli, planemaker extraordinaire, gave a demonstration of heat
treating moulding plane blades.
Although I have tried to follow discussions on this subject on the list
for the last couple of years, I learned more in 20 minutes of
demonstration that I had in a year of reading. Todd teaches classes in
plane making, and his excellent explanations and patient answers to even
the most basic questions (mine) make me believe his classes would be a
worthwhile experience to many galoots. I hope to take one in the next
couple of years.
Russ Allen also demonstrated how a casting would be made to duplicate a
Stanley 71. Once again, a single demonstration is worth a lot more than
multiple postings. Seeing is believing.
While the core of these gathering may be conversation and tool hunting,
there is tremendous benefits to the sharing of knowledge through these
Saturday evenings. The scope of knowldege that galoots share when they
get together is astonishing.
The MWTCA meet on Sunday was fun, and I even managed to find the few
items I was looking for at reasonable prices, plus a couple more I
didn't even know I needed until I found them, Funny how that works.
My host, once again, was Ralph Brandler, an extrordinary fellow who
shared his home, his extensive knowledge and his truck throughout the
weekend. Ralph must have driven at least 300 miles this weekend, much of
it ferrying me from place to place. There are no words to describe
Ralph's wonderful generosity.
For sheer entertainment, and to broaden your knowledge of our collective
mania, nothing beats gatherings like this. If you can't get to one of
these around the country, think about organizing your own. They can't be
Alan N. Graham