BAGathon 2011

This year’s Bagathon (Bay Area Galoot meetup) was last Sunday, awesomely hosted by Greg Isola. Upon arrival, most of us wandered into his shop to check it out and there was a lot of drooling. (He’s got one seriously nice shop.)

I’ve gone to this event every year since I got into woodworking and started this blog, and it really is a treat. Seeing all of the tools that attendees bring along is one thing, but the demonstrations and interaction that you get with fellow woodworkers is priceless. It’s strange to wrap your head around this, but five days out of five years have really accelerated my work.

There was no shortage of good demos this year.

Mike Suwczinsky did a demo on scrapers, starting with cutting up beat-up handsaws. Here he is on the right demonstrating the use of a #80 cabinet scraper (if it’s not a #80, let’s pretend that it is):

That’s Bill Kasper on the left, sort of steadying that nasty piece of cocobolo.

Note the attire: Bill’s got a BAG shirt, and Mike’s outfitted in the more traditional Woodwright’s Shop garb. Not feeling content to leave it at the shirt, Mike also gave himself an Underhill-style cut on his arm (see foreground). Unfortunately, we weren’t filming, so we have no idea how he managed to do it.

Tom Conroy gave a demonstration on leather-bound bookbinding, gluing a piece of leather to a cardboard book cover. The technique is a little similar to how you might glue leather to a desktop. It was fascinating to see how one massages the material into place, and also how you can form it to shape with glue (and water).

Kirk Eppler demonstrated how to make leather sheaths for axes, adzes, and tools of a similar nature. This was fascinatingly easy-looking–installing the rivets and snaps appears to be a quick process once you’re used to it. Mike made one for an axe.

A perennial feature of Bagathons is the wine box feeding frenzy. Greg Hahn shows up with a whole bunch of empty wooden wine boxes, and we take them. This year, our host had the idea to surprise him, so several people brought projects they’d made with the boxes. A great many of these are tool holders, as you can see:

Greg H showed us his appreciation in advance by bringing another truckload of wine boxes. Thanks, Greg! Also, thanks again to Greg I for hosting, and to everyone who went.

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