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A Visit to Lie Nielsen Toolworks

Thomas Lie Nielsen and II spent about a week up in Maine last week for my sister-in-law’s wedding. It was beautiful with perfectly picturesque weather. Everyone behaved which is always good when you get so much family together and she had a wonderful day. Almost immediately after the reception the damp, foggy, and cold weather began to move in. Fortunately for me, it was nothing but sunshine as I headed up the road to the Lie Nielsen Toolworks to make an appointment with none other than Thomas Lie Nielsen himself. We were slated to talk about Woodworking In America and his return to the lecture stand.

Chatting with Thomas Lie Nielsen

A benchside chat with the Leonardo of the Hand Tool Renaissance

I have audio of our conversation that is in the editing booth now, but I thought I would post a few things ahead of that. (Primarily because Christopher Schwarz keeps scooping me on little tidbits I picked up while at the toolworks with his blogs.  Dang his newspaper journalist background)

I toured the factory several years ago and wrote about it if you want to read about it. This time was different. I had the founder of the company personally showing me through his kingdom, there was no time for photos or distractions. The passion and professionalism that Thomas shows is truly impressive. There were several moments when his comments and explanations turned on some light bulbs about how a toolmaking business is run and I think you can share in some of those once I get the audio up.

Lie Nielsen classroom

Lie Nielsen classroom roofWe adjourned to the upstairs classroom for our talk and the space is inspiring. This classroom was slated to be the foundry but plans change and now students gets to bask in the glow of bronze, brass, and iron reflected from numerous windows and a view of the Maine woods. The 45 minutes or so spent talking with Thomas were phenomenal and I was so glad he could take some time to talk with me. The most exciting (and terrifying) thing that came out of my time with him is that Thomas has a very long list of tools he wants to produce. Lie Nielsen fans can begin salivating as we can expect some great new tools to show up very soon.

Spouses of Lie Nielsen fans however can voice their displeasure on the web, Facebook, or on Twitter.  Please promise to be kind to Robin, she is a nice girl.

Finally, since tool chest seems to be the next Schwarz inspired rage. I thought I would post this photo of a hanging tool cabinet made by Christian Becksvoort. I especially like the spokeshave holder in the center.

Stay tuned for the audio of my conversation. I’m letting Thomas preview it first and I hope to post it in the next few days.

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