You could say I was stoked when I got a call from the editor at WOOD Magazine. He cooked up an idea to have me package the collective wood knowledge that keeps the Woodworkers Source ship shiny side up and massage it into a 90 minute class for their annual “Weekend with WOOD” education event. So, I gave it some thought and put together a little clinic on three snazzy tips for finishing exotic woods.
In short, Weekend with WOOD is a live educational event for folks who want to learn about woodworking. The crew at WOOD pulls together the finest woodworking instructors from across the country, brings them to the magazine’s headquarters for a weekend, and sells a maximum of 250 seats to attendees to take classes for three fun days. They get to learn the ins and outs of making beautiful things out of wood, from the basics of how to operate a table saw to bending wood for artful project parts.
But I’m not a woodworking instructor. My part was a sponsorship thing. Advertising. In exchange for paying money to underwrite the whole enchilada, I got the chance to also host a clinic as long as it demonstrated something useful to people who genuinely wanted to learn about woodworking.
Okay, I could do that.
Then, in the course of our conversation, he mentioned a “charity build” that would take place on the last night of the event.
“What’s that?” I probed.
“Well, we figure we have 250 people on site who like to build things out of wood, so why don’t we organize something where we can put everyone’s skills to work and use it for doing good in the community. So we’re building cremation urns for veterans.”
“250 people…. how many urns are you going to build?”
“We’re hoping to get 100 done.”
“Wow. that’s a lot. Do you have the wood?”
“That part is a challenge….”
“Maybe I can help, Dave. Let us donate the wood. ”
“Are you sure?”
“How much do you need? Just give me a number, I’ll make it happen.”
So while I got to attend the event and conduct a clinic, I thought the best part was watching 250 people gather to chop, rout, shape, sand, assemble, and polish up a big pile of lumber until they’d turned it into a collection of beautiful handcrafted solid hardwood cremation urns to benefit the families of veterans.
All told, they didn’t get 100 done. . . . they cranked out 130, and did it in just about 2 hours.
It was noisy, dusty, smelly and downright awesome to see. This is why we do what we do. We’re proud to see how this whole thing turned out.
Highlights are in the video above.