Highland Staff

Jul 142016

We had a fantastic time, yet again, at this year’s Lie-Nielsen Open House. The toolmakers are always so inspiring – we loved walking around in the tent and the workrooms inside to meet and chat with some of our artisan toolmakers such as Peter Galbert, Matt Bickford, Scott Meek, Chris Keuhn of Sterling Toolworks, and many more!

Michael Updegraff and Joshua Klein from Mortise & Tenon Magazine

Michael Updegraff and Joshua Klein from Mortise & Tenon Magazine

Chris Keuhn showing off the Sterling Tool Works Roubo Curves

Chris Keuhn showing off the Sterling Tool Works Roubo Curves

Jeff Hamilton showing off his Hamilton Marking Gauges

Jeff Hamilton showing off his Hamilton Marking Gauges

On both Friday and Saturday the offerings included 3 daily Tool Talks where you could delve a bit deeper into the workings of some of the tools. Tours of the factory left the check-in area every half hour and were led by the always excellent Lie-Nielsen show staff. We got a great tour led by the originator of our Women in Woodworking column, Anne Briggs.

Lie-Nielsen Show Staffer, Anne Briggs, discusses the Lie-Nielsen Hand Saws on the factory tour

Lie-Nielsen Show Staffer, Anne Briggs, discusses the Lie-Nielsen Hand Saws on the factory tour

As the open house portion of the weekend drew to a close on Saturday afternoon, the steamers and bonfires started up for the great Lobster Bake, and it did not disappoint. The lines were long but the lobster was worth the wait. After we ate our fill, we sat back and learned the history of woodworking tool commerce and how Tom Lie-Nielsen got his start from keynote speaker Garry Chinn, who was Tom’s first and last boss at Garrett Wade, and who also had a connection to Highland Woodworking in the early days. The evening concluded with attendees gathered around the bonfire to warm up on an uncharacteristically chilly Maine July evening, before saying goodbye. We’re already looking forward to next year’s Open House!

Jul 072016

We are very excited to be making our way up the coast to Warren, ME for the annual Lie-Nielsen Summer Open House. This one is a special one, celebrating 35 years of exquisite tool making.

We will be taking a look behind the scenes at the factory and talking to many great tool artisans who will be joining us in mid-coast Maine for the weekend, including Peter Follansbee, Chris Becksvoort, Peter Galbert, Chris Kuehn of Sterling Toolworks, Jeff Hamilton of Hamilton Woodworks, Josh Klein of Mortise and Tenon Magazine, and many more!

Take a look at the video below from last year’s open house to get a sense of what the event is like. And if you are free this weekend and nearby, come on out – we would love to see you!

Jul 012016

We were very saddened to hear of the death of Master Woodworker Michael Gilmartin in May of this year.

Screenshot 2016-06-30 12.48.09

Michael was a long time customer and an acclaimed woodworker who lived and worked for decades in Atlanta.  He specialized in sculpted furniture, and was known for his unique and iconic plywood sculpted chair, which became a style known as the Gilmartin chair.


We featured Michael in our Moment with a Master segment of an episode of The Highland Woodworker in early 2015, and enjoyed the opportunity to go into his shop and learn more about his techniques of stacking and finding cadence in the beautiful plywood furniture he created.

We will miss Michael’s visits to the store, and the woodworking world will miss a Master Woodworker, who inspired many in his time and will continue to do so.

Michael Gilmartin’s Obituary

Jun 282016

The Woodpeckers OneTime Tool Bevel Gauges and Angle Reference Plate are back by popular demand! The last time this tool set was offered in the OneTime Tool plan they were extremely well-received. After the buying period closed, Woodpeckers received so many requests from customers to re-run the tool in the OneTime Tool program that Woodpeckers decided to release it again in the current run.

The reason for this tool’s popularity is clear once you are holding one in your hand. The problems that typically plague bevel gauges – undependable blade locking and frustrating tightening lever setup – have been solved with the Woodpeckers bevel gauge. The blade locks at the base of the handle to insure dependable locking every time. And the tightening lever is fashioned after a workbench vise, so the sliding mechanism allows it to turn easily, even in small spaces.

The Angle Reference Plate is another great Woodpeckers innovation that simplifies your workflow. Just find the angle you need on the Reference Plate, lock your Bevel Gauge in place to match, and you are ready to go.

The Woodpeckers Bevel Gauge is one of those tools that just feels good to hold and to use. These great looking tools will get regular use in your shop and will last for generations.

Make sure to act now – even though the Woodpeckers Bevel Gauge and Angle Reference Plate were re-released in the OneTime Tool program, it is only available to buy until July 18th, 2016. Don’t miss this rare opportunity at a second chance!

Learn more in the video below:

Jun 062016

The new wall display in our retail store for showing off our ax inventory is now finished!

ax wall 2
The grid pattern of holes lets us easily alter the position of the custom wooden dowel pegs to accommodate just about every size of ax we offer.

A handsome mitered box with dovetailed key splines and a sliding lid neatly stores extra pegs.

ax wall pegs

ax wall peg box
Next time you’re in Atlanta, be sure to stop by and explore our offering of axes.

Hats off to Sam, our retail store manager for his ax display “vision”!

ax wall

Apr 012016

This weekend, Atlanta is hosting a bunch of woodworkers in town for The Woodworking Show. Highland Woodworking is sharing a booth with SawStop, so if you’re at the show, be sure to stop by and say hello!

A few of the show-going woodworkers are also taking advantage of our store’s nearby location and checking it out for the 1st time (or 30th).  We got a great write-up from Jay Bates of Jay’s Custom Creations who visited the store yesterday and got a behind-the-scenes tour from store owner, Chris Bagby. If you haven’t been to the store yet, Jay got some great photos, so be sure to check them out in the link below.

Mar 292016


Peter Galbert was at Highland all last week teaching his Windsor Chair class. After so many years learning his craft, Pete’s brain is full of useful nuggets like this one on how to maximize a bottle of Old Brown Glue.

The problem: constant re-heating of the glue bottle was causing the unused glue to get clumpy and unusable before you can actually use all of the contents of the bottle.

The solution: empty the glue into an old ice cube tray you aren’t using anymore, and put the ice cube tray in the refrigerator (not the freezer!) The cold turns the glue into gelatin-like cubes that you can store individually in a ziploc bag in the refrigerator and then easily pull out, one at a time. One cube is usually enough for the glue-up of a single chair! Thanks, Peter!