Forum woodworkers get together to share food and fun.

SHOP OWNER: Mike Fitterling
LOCATION: Lake Wales, FL

    In addition to my morning visits to WoodCentral, I also visit WoodNet, another very active forum. Recently, some of us were chatting there about David Mark's visit to Orlando to teach classes at the Woodcraft store in Casselberry. We jokingly talked about having a BBQ and getting David to come, "as long as he was in town anyway". I e-mailed David via his website (http://www.djmarks.com) about the BBQ and asked if he would like to come, not really expecting an answer, let alone a yes. The next day I received a very nice email from David's wife, Victoria, saying they would be glad to come and hang out with a bunch of woodworkers.

    We decided that we would open the invitation to all woodworkers, including those of us here at WoodCentral, and we set about planning . . . and cooking. We held the get-together on Sunday, June 19, at a WoodNet member's home, Mike Dauphinee - (aka) Knot Haid, who happens to live just a few minutes from the Woodcraft store. As usual, Mike 's BBQ ribs were fantastic and there was a wide array of other foods to choose from, including 16 authentic key lime pies brought by one energetic WoodNetter, Bonely.


    While the food was being prepared in the afternoon, and everyone was waiting for David and Victoria, we set about making a Krenov-style plane to give to David as a gift. We made it out of scraps we found around the shop; turns out a block of cherry was just the right size for the body, and maple scraps made a nice pin and wedge. Fellow WoodCentralian, Rod Peterson, got the job of grinding the iron while I worked on the body. Rod made the iron out of an edger blade using only a bench grinder and it came out really well and sharpened up nicely. Fred Kingston, from WoodNet, helped with the sharpening and refining, and of course, many helped with suggestions and kibitzing. Glue up was almost a disaster, but we discovered our mistake before it was too late and we found out that Mike‘s new chisels were excellent glue scrapers. It took a while and when David arrived, work was still in progress.


    We all ate with gusto and afterwards pulled our chairs around in something like a circle and chatted with David and Victoria about woodworking, TV, and his future. David and Victoria are really down-to-earth, pleasant people and completely unpretentious. It was not a "celebrity appearance", but just a bunch of woodworkers sitting around and talking about their craft, or art, if you prefer.


    David brought some of his turned work and the design, patination, and finish were all fabulous. By the way, "tung oil" apparently is another word for Seal-a-Cell. David also brought his portfolio and went through it describing how he made the items and passing along little anecdotes associated with each piece.


    We finished the evening with the presentation of the plane we had made, and David seemed truly appreciative of the effort. Overall, it was a wonderful evening of camaraderie between woodworkers with David and Victoria being the icing on the cake. Afterward, David e-mailed me and said how much they enjoyed their time there and that they hoped we would all meet again sometime. He also offered, again, to do another chat with us sometime in the future.

. . . Mike Fitterling



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