Highland Staff

Jul 162013

The beautiful Showroom entrance to Lie-Nielsen Toolworks in Warren, ME

This past weekend, several staff members from Highland Woodworking had the opportunity to attend the Lie-Nielsen Toolworks Open House at their factory showroom in Warren, Maine. The week prior to the Open House was dedicated to the Lie-Nielsen “dealer training”, where the expert staff at Lie-Nielsen taught attendees all about the use and creation of their heirloom quality tools. Both events were a great way to learn more about all of the Lie-Nielsen tools that we sell at Highland Woodworking, in addition to the culture and work that goes into the making of each tool.


As you can see from this MAP of Lie-Nielsen, they fully utilized their spacious campus for the Open House, with most of the fun occurring both upstairs and downstairs in the Demonstration Building. In addition to the knowledgeable Lie-Nielsen staff showing off the use and care of all of their tools, the event also hosted 15 elite toolmakers and woodworkers from all over the world, who were there to demonstrate and share their own products and works within the hand tool realm.

Among the activities were:

A flower carving by Mary May.

A flower carving by Mary May.


Chris Becksvoort’s joinery-teaching-aid cabinet

  • Chris Becksvoort explaining his joinery-teaching-aid cabinet that shows how to deal with wood movement, a subject that is well-covered in his new Lost Art Press book “With The Grain: a Craftsman’s Guide to Understanding Wood.” (Highland will have this book in stock soon.)

Toyohisa Sugita with part of his jig that he invented.

  • Toyohisa Sugita of Japan demonstrating his clever magnetic jig for precise sawing of hand tool joints. (Still in prototype stage. Highland may carry this jig in the future.) His website is all in Japanese, but has a lot of great pictures of his various jigs.

Kevin Drake demonstrating his new line of wood turning tools.

  • Kevin Drake of Glen-Drake Toolworks demoing his new spindle turning skews as well as his unique dovetail saws, hammers and extremely popular Titemark Marking Gauge. (Highland is considering adding to our product line some of his other fine handtools as well).
  • Matt Bicksford showing off his exquisite 18th century reproduction British molding planes. His seminal book on the subject, Mouldings in Practice, was recently published by the Lost Art Press.

Garrett Hack working on his table top.

  • Garrett Hack, a furniture maker and contributor to Fine Woodworking magazine, had a demonstration bench where he was building a beautiful side table, featuring his famous inlay work.
Tom Lie-Nielsen trying out one of the bows made by a student at the Center for Furniture Craftmanship.

Tom Lie-Nielsen trying out one of the bows made by a student at the Center for Furniture Craftmanship.

  • Several instructors and students were on hand with their pieces from the Center for Furniture Craftmanship, which is located just a few miles from Lie-Nielsen Toolworks.
  • Also gracing the Open House was an exhibition of furniture entitled “Women in Woodworking” that included dramatic works by seven talented female craftsmen. Keep your eye out for a more detailed feature about this exhibition in a future entry on the Highland Woodworking blog.

CLICK HERE to visit our photo gallery from the demonstrations presented at the Lie-Nielsen Toolworks Open House.

CLICK HERE to visit our photo gallery of the Lie-Nielsen Factory Tour, showing the process of how they make their exquisite hand tools.


Sep 092011

For September we have a couple new BRAND NEW video product tours on our Youtube channel!

This month, Morton starts with a thorough review of the setup and use of one of the more versatile tools you can have in your shop – the Rikon 14″ bandsaw. Take a look here:

Next, Morton takes a look at the Highland Woodworking Woodslicer resaw bandsaw blade in three different lengths, and compares its usage across a range of Rikon bandsaws, including the 10″, the 14″ and the 18″ models. Check it out:

May 122010

It’s Safety Week 2010 for Woodworkers – a good time to consider some of your own shop safety practices and think about what you might improve. One of our customers, Howard Van Valzah, contributed this great safety tip that could be valuable to some of you. We’ve also included some links below to other blogs that are also ‘celebrating’ safety week with links and tips that could help improve your workshop safety.

Got tips of your own? Share them in the comments!
Enjoy and be safe!

A Two Minute Safety Tip
by Howard Van Valzah

As a veteran woodworker age 80 I have finally learned something I should have learned many years ago. Recently it became obvious to me that the majority of my woodworking injuries were on my left hand. The worst one was on my left thumb that wandered by itself into a table saw blade. Stitches didn’t work so a skin graft was needed to complete the cure. That happened four years ago.

Click to read the rest of Howard’s safety tip

A couple of safety links for you
The Wood Whisperer
Matts Basement Workshop

Dec 242008


If router bits were hand tools we’d almost certainly handle them quite differently, but when it’s the power company that’s doing most of the work, it’s easy to forget what makes cutting tools cut.

If a good chisel might need sharpening twenty times during the course of a week’s hard work, then a carbide-tipped router bit doing the same work will have to be sharpened at least once a week.

Sharpening router bits is surprisingly easy to do. You don’t need a sharpening jig, precision measuring instruments or complex machinery.

Click here to read more about how to sharpen your router bits