“Midway through this life’s journey,
I found myself deep in the rough wood,
for the straight grain was lost.

So I opened up a can of infill on that mutha
and taught it what’s what!”
- Dante Jones

This week, Daed Toolworks is undergoing a rather significant transformation, shifting from my own personal little spare-time devouring hobby into a full-fledged spare-time devouring commercial enterprise.

“How’s that?” you say… well I’m glad you asked.

Because, this week, I’ll be bringing a handful of planes, a spankin-new traveling workbench, and my grossly underperforming personal wit to the 2010 Woodworking in America conference in Cincinnati (well – almost Cincinnati) at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center. I’ll be setting up shop in a booth with Matt Bickford of M.S. Bickford, maker of fine 18th c. molding planes.

Technically, this is the point where I should probably  hold forth with the entire ‘David Copperfield’ rundown, including all the details of my complicated personal history, what got me started making hand tools, what led me to consider such a professional shift, and why it’s so much More Fulfilling than What I Used to Do. From there,  I would segue into a grand description of the cultural significance of the Woodworking in America conference, wax eloquent about how great it is that hand tool woodworking has come so far in the last decade, and generally indulge in a full-on love-fest of flowery rhetoric designed to make all us handtool guys (and girls) feel like members of a Great and Honorable Fraternity (or – um – sorority).

But I’ve got a rather serious Dr. Phil allergy, so…

how about some pictures of planes instead?

Also, there have been a few questions about the name “Daed Toolworks”.  So for the record: it is pronounced ‘dead’, as in ‘dead accurate’, ‘dead to rights’, or Hamlet  Act V scene ii.

This, however, inevitably begs the question: “why, then, is it spelled d-A-E-d?”  Well -

How about a workbench photo?

And speaking of the workbench – for those of you playing along at home, it’s basically the lovechild of a Benchcrafted split-top Roubo and the Schwarzian Holtzapffel workbench. The important part, though, is that it can be set up or broken down in just over five minutes at a leisurely pace, and it takes up a ridiculously small amount of cargo room.

The best part of the bench is that it took under 20 hours to build, thanks primarily to my friend Justin, who has the power tool workshop I dream of.  It’s astonishing how much you can get done with a 12-inch jointer, 15-inch Shelix-head planer, and a Unisaw.  Total stock prep for the bench (excluding mortises) took the two of us just over two hours.  Needless to say, my next shop will most definitely have three-phase power.

So if you’re going to WIA, please stop by and introduce yourself.  Until then, allow me to close by exploiting my oldest daughter, seen below as a princess with a fluffy shaving.