As I mentioned in my last post, I headed up to Port Townsend. It turned out to be a 2 1/2 hour road trip (each way, including the required ferry ride) though I was able to catch up on a lot of podcasts during the ride so it wasn't totally wasted. It was a much smaller "event" than I had envisioned. They had tables set around a small room (might have been 40'x30') with a lot of Lie-Nielsen tools. I've seen many photos of similar displays but it is impressive to see them in person. It was really cool to see the hand plane collection in particular. I was able to touch a few planes that I may consider getting in the future.
The two planes that I was in particularly interested are the Iron Miter Plane and the Tongue and Groove Plane.
The Iron Miter Plane was very nice in heft and feel. It comes with a "hot dog" which is basically a grip that can be moved from one side of the plane to the other for use on the right hand side or the left hand side. I've seen older miter plane designs that have a knob instead of this grip. I'm not sure which would be better in day to day use. It seems to use the same bed angle as the low angle planes which would make it very effective for shooting the end grain. As an alternative to this, I would consider getting the Low Angle Jointer Plane. My reasons for not going with the Low Angle Jointer Plane include the sides of this plane are not as tall as the standard Jointer Plane (which I already own) and the fact, that I already own a jointer plane.
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="230" caption="Lie-Nielsen Iron Miter Plane"] [/caption]
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="450" caption="Lie-Nielsen Low Angle Jointer Plane"][/caption]
The Tongue and Groove Plane had a nice heft though seemed reasonably complex to use with the fence and the fact that the plane does two jobs instead of one in cutting the groove as well as cutting the tongue.
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Lie-Nielsen Tongue and Groove Hand Plane"][/caption]
I did watch a session on hand planes and what makes a good hand plane. The instructor was from the local woodworking program (the Port Townsend School of Woodworking) which I have considered (vs the Northwest Woodworking Studio mentioned in many previous posts). The instructor was sharp and did not have the arrogance of some woodworking instructors that I have met. I didn't really learn anything from the session though it was full of information. I think this could have been useful if we had been given a schedule of these sessions in advance. I could have been there for the sessions that interest me versus just landing on this session.
I did also see (in use) the Shapton Glass Stones. I don't know how long my Norton stones will last but these are stones I would consider replacing them with. I also saw something that could prove more useful than standard sheets of sandpaper for flattening plane bottoms and plane blade backs. This was Adhesive Backed Sandpaper on rolls. The only weakness (that I discovered later when I got home) was that these don't seem to be available in high/polishing grits.
I got value from this event but it probably wasn't worth spending the 5 hours of driving that I needed to get there. If this was more local, I'd go again in a heartbeat (i.e. at the Local Rockler or Woodcraft stores).