Full Chisel Blog

June 15, 2010

Does all Woodworking in America take place East of the Mississippi?

Filed under: Of Interest,The Trade,Uncategorized — Stephen Shepherd @ 8:51 am

Apparently all of the ‘movers and shakers’ of the modern woodworking movement are from the East.  Why is this so?  There are no Woodworking shows or events held out West!  A few woodworker and tool makers from the West are sometimes featured in those effete gatherings in the flat-lands.

I for one am tired of the West being neglected, overlooked and dismissed.  There are many great craftsmen from this side of the big muddy and it isn’t the old wild West full of hay seeds that just fell off the cabbage wagon.  I am sure many woodworkers, both hobbyists and professionals from the left coast would attend a Western gathering.

So what is up?



  1. Ron Hock’s on the west coast.

    But more people live on the east coast.

    Comment by joel — June 15, 2010 @ 9:14 am

  2. Ummm… Sam Maloof, Art Carpenter, Too many turners to count (Centered in Utah!), etc. The East coast had the cities with money and the desire to be like the “old country” (England) and so there was more time for refinement of homes and accessories.
    Still, there is a lot of Southwestern style(s) of furniture just waiting for some historian to catalog and dissect.

    Just because the Eastern workers are getting the press, does not mean that others do not exist. You have a forum and readers – educate us!


    Comment by Mike Holden — June 15, 2010 @ 10:13 am

  3. I know!

    I had to fly to NC to meet up with Roy Underhill, and the tool shopping was so much better.

    I’m a northwest guy trying to go the old school route, but it’s a bit difficult when I’m handicapped by living out here.

    The PNWTC is the only group out that seems to be interested in the older ways that I found, and it’s mostly tool collectors.


    Comment by Badger — June 15, 2010 @ 11:13 am

  4. It’s not our fault. It’s due to the slow nature of continental drift. We’re trying to get to the west coast but it just takes a little time…

    Comment by Gary Roberts — June 15, 2010 @ 2:42 pm

  5. To shoulder some of the blame, those of us on the west coast aren’t willing to do the work of organizing the shows. I’m a relatively new member of EAIA, and looking at doing a local show. There’s also no offical Southern California chapter of SAPFM. On that one, I’ve heard national is dragging their feet. We’ve just got to do the work.

    Comment by Chuck Nickerson — June 15, 2010 @ 3:31 pm

  6. I think there are two things in play here. Remember that Woodworking in America is targeted at hobby woodworkers.

    1. If the weather is nice outside, fewer people will have indoor hobbies. The weather in the west is often gorgeous most of the time.

    2. The west is much more spread out, which makes a conference in any given location less accessible to folks driving.

    So, if you have it in the midwest, then all the folks who huddle in their shops during the winter can drive to the conference. At least that’s my theory.


    Comment by Mark Wells — June 15, 2010 @ 10:01 pm

  7. Checkout http://www.ptwoodschool.com/Home.html it is well worth the trip

    Comment by Joe — June 16, 2010 @ 6:59 pm

  8. I for one did not even realize there were people past the Mississippi. Are you Americans? Do you vote? Have you heard about the oil spill? Maybe we in the east could arrange some sort of woodworking mission. We could bring you a couple chisels and teach you the gospel of Goddard and Townsend. 🙂

    Comment by Adam Palmer — June 17, 2010 @ 12:14 am

  9. Looking for a one time a year Woodworks Show there is know reson for having them all in the East.

    I like beer and the best is in the west, good wood to you

    Comment by Wayne Murry — April 3, 2011 @ 12:57 am

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