Well, another Galootapalooza has come and gone and I notice no one has yet
posted a summary. I'm still on the road, but I'll put up a few words.
I was lucky enough to catch a quick precursor gathering at Russ Allen's
house Friday evening with Todd and Nathan Herli. Russ showed us some of
his patternmaking tool highlights, some of his castings and failed
castings, and so on. We BSed about how to make several more patterns, and
had a generally relaxed an pleasant time looking at the cool stuff Russ has
in his house. I had driven about 550 miles at that point, so I did head
out rather early. Apparently some castings were made after my departure.
Saturday, After several reasonably well spent hours at the Kane County Fair
grounds looking at old junk (and noticing that there were some regular
dealers missing in some locations) I headed over to Mike Lindgren's
house. The shaker box class was winding down with people sinking pegs into
box seams and using all manner of eggbeater drills to do it. Soon Mike's
house, yard, street, and neighborhood were buzzing with galoots, galoot
kids, galoot spouses and assorted stray raccoons (well actually I saw those
rather late in the evening). I'm not going to attempt a list, because I'm
only going to insult about half the people there because there were far too
many to remember. But two notable long distance attendees were Mike's
cousin Kirk who came from Oregon, and Mike Davies who drove up from St. Louis.
After a very nice, mostly Mexican flavored potluck meal, put on by a
generous subset of the group with access to cooking facilities, it was back
to the basement for demos. Ralph, ever the pedagogue demonstrated saw
sharpening on one of Mike's nice Disston #12s. We then compared its cut to
several saws that Fausto had done by Tom Law. Tom's sharpening was
impressively uniform under a loupe, but Ralph's sharpening was nothing to
complain about. All saws cut very well, with people's preferences seemingly
more determined by the fit of the saw with their personal sawing styles
than anything else.
Todd Herli then demo-ed using a 45 as a mother plane for making molding
planes. He talked about custom grinding cutters to do it, and how to
figure the geometry. I really want to find the time to do a sash and cope
workshop with him soon. For those of you who have not seen or used any of
his planes, the workmanship is fabulous.
Scott Post had his C &W smoother which did a fabulous job on some curly
maple Mike happened to have lying around. And we compared it with Mike's
own SJB infill. Both had virtues and both did a very nice job on this
wood. If I had both, I'd find myself using both, possible saving the C&W
for the lightest of final cuts. This isn't because one or the other cut
better in that test. It's just that I myself would like a slightly heavier
plane for deeper cuts, so there I'd want to use the infill, and it would be
very nice to have one plane all set and very sharp for light cuts in
squirrelly grain. The C&W would excel at this task, as it did in the demo.
At about 11pm things broke up and we went our separate ways til the early
am hours when we regrouped at the Garfield Farm MWTCA meet. Or rather some
of us did. Some who shall remain nameless showed up a bit later
on. Several people did pretty well at the meet. Joe Palazzolo won the
pounds of iron sweepstakes and also won going away in the cool gadget
category. But this was only after Doug McClarren was disqualified for
buying a rather ancient (and cool) tailed apprentice off of a tailgate, but
we won't say any more about that, except perhaps that the judges felt that
the use of copper in the motor windings would give an unfair advantage to
buyers of such devices.
A very pleasant and laid back time was had by me this weekend! I should
thank (at least Russ and his family, Mike and his family, Ralph, and Todd
for their various sorts of hospitality and instruction. And just say that
I was pleased to renew old acquaintanceships with many in attendance, and
to meet several new people who will no doubt have their own tails to tell
about this event.
I think a good time was had by all!
Mark van Roojen
Department of Philosophy
University of Nebraska - Lincoln
1010 Oldfather Hall
Lincoln, NE 68588-0321
(402) 472-2428 (w)
Lincoln, NE 68501-3836
(402) 4383724 (h)