Friday, March 15, 2013

The Leather Attache' And A Road Trip

Lets talk leather first.  Yes I was able to snap a shot of the Jedi Leather Master (JLM) Ty Black, who brought by the prototype of the Leather Attache'  and I must say it is sweet!  This is not your ordinary run of the mill leather tool roll.  Ty really put some thought into the design of this piece. 

When the flap is folded back and the Attache' is draped over a board as pictured below, accessing the tools is extremely easy.  As you can see it is very easy to determine what tool is where with this design.  When the Attache' is laid flat the blades of the tools are completely concealed between the alternating pockets on the opposite side, providing maximum protection.

This Crazy Horse leather is so very nice.  Ty crafted the 12 pockets to nicely fit my chisels,carving tools, and even my new Galbert 6 degree reamer.  This will make traveling with these essential tools easy and worry free.

Now for the latest road trip.  On Monday I made the four hour trek to the shop of Tennessee Windsor Chairmaker Greg Pennington.  I left my northern Kentucky home, in the Eastern Time Zone, at 5:00 AM to arrive at Greg's shop in Hendersonville, by 9:00 AM.  About half way to Louisville I remembered that Greg lives in the Central Time Zone, insert V8 head slap!  I traveled the four hours, each way, to learn some new turning skills and how to turn the all so sexy Baluster leg and arm post, the way Greg turns them.

I was once told if you want to know how to do something, ask a person that does what you want to do.  In adherence to that sage advice I try to take at least one or two classes a year to learn from the experts.  Greg is one of these experts.  Greg received the majority of his training from two people I consider to be the best in the business; Curtis Buchanan and Pete Galbert.  Besides teaching classes in his own shop, Greg assists Pete with his teaching at The Marc Adams School of Woodworking and The Kelly Mehler School of Woodworking.

I have to say that Greg meets all of the qualifications of "All Around Nice Guy".  Like Curtis and Pete, Greg is very giving of his knowledge and information to help his students succeed.  I will be making the trip back to Hendersonville again for another class with Greg.  If you have never seen Greg's work stop by his web site and or his blog and take a look.

During the day Greg's friend Bill showed up at the shop.  Bill is the gentleman that milled all the timbers and more for Greg's magnificent shop.

As for my class with Greg, there were a few skew catches, read soiling my britches, and  a gouge corkscrewing or two.  However, I felt like I was starting to get the feel for it when I had to start thinking about heading home.  After working with Greg until almost 6:00 EST/5:00 CST I headed north.  The 4 hour trek home seemed to go by quickly.  My thoughts were consumed by the images of the warm and welcoming shop and all the great things I had learned.  Thank you Greg and Bill for making this a wonderful experience.

~ Ray Schwanenberger

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