Wilds of Hampshire Illinois
It began with a plea from the masses: "PLEASE please please host Galootapalooza
Mike Duchaj stepped up to the plate for the third time in four years
and volunteered to host the biggest tool-related event on every
midwestern galoot's calendar.
Every year on the first Sunday of August, the Midwest
Tool Collector's Association or, M-WTCA, has a tool meet at the Garfield
Farm Museum in Lafox Illinois. Almost twelve years ago Oldtools
list member Ralph brendler decided that would be a good weekend to
guys together from the Oldtools mailing list and have a cookout demonstrate
some favorite old tools and generally have a good time.
Galootapalooza was born. Every year, on the Saturday before the M-WTCA
meet at Garfield, galoots get together to enjoy the fellowship of fine
tools. The shared fun of show-and-tell. The fantastic feast of filling
foods. The bracing effects of brewed malt beverages. The diligently prepared
divergent demonstrations. The ... you get the idea. It's a nice way to
spend the weekend with new and old friends.
Here we see Mike D. clamping down his own hand in preparation to open
a vein after being coerced into hosting again.
The host's job is a huge one indeed. We can try to help out with food
and drinks and tables and chairs and even a porta-potty, but the host is
the only Galoot in attendance who must clean up his shop so that 25 or
so people can come over and mess it up again in a few hours. Never mind
that we have months to do all this prep-work, you know that it gets done
in the last hours before the event. I know. I've done it.
So here, without further ado are
some pictures from Galootapalooza 11.
Clicking on an image will show you a larger version. Use your Back Button
in the morning people started showing up to set up the area for Galootapalooza
11 This year, our return host, Mike Duchaj secured for us the use of
his brother's farm for the event. We had tons of outdoor space in which
to spread out as well as an
acre or so under roof if the weather failed to cooperate.
-Phil Cannon photo.
Galootapalooza always has a main event happening during the majority
of the day. Sometimes it's a class or workshop, or it could be demonstrations
or hands on exhibits. This year we had a lot of things to keep us occupied.
started early on our Group Project. This year was the first year that
Ralph Brendler would miss a Galootapalooza weekend. He'd been sidelined
for the summer and we decided to make him a mixed media "get well soon"
card during the day. We would have everybody in attendance do some
on steel to make a frame and carve their name in a wooden plaque to
be mounted in the frame. First we needed to modify a small carving
-Phil Cannon photo.
After the tool was shaped and sharpened, we
set up a workbench so everybody could go over and carve their name.
other than our gouge to do something other than carving. Probably
just laying out his name so he can get a good carve out of it. The
Michigan Cherry which was logged, sawn, stickered, dried, planed
and given by Gil chesbro for the project. Thanks Gil. Apparently
a Michigan Alum, but we won't hold that against him.
the carving continued, everybody took turns at the anvil with punches
and chisels stamping texture into 2 inch wide steel stock to be turned
into the frame for the wooden plaque. Here Jim Crammond wields the
punch to leave his mark. The anvil is a block of tool steel mounted
on a fabricated base. It's not pretty but it sure is easy to transport,
and it does it's job well.
the carving was complete later that day, we had the makings of a nice
tribute to the founder of Galootapalooza. OK, so we're not all great
considering we made the tool that day and harvested the wood, we deserve
some slack. Thanks to everyone for chipping in. (sorry) To see more images
of the completed frame Click here.
So that was one Project.
Since you can't pound metal or carve wood on
an empty stomach...
Urness generously offered to make some really tasty Sushi. Using the
freshest Tuna and Salmon, he hand rolled every bit for us. I'd never
watched this done without a sneeze shield between me and the food before!
What was really nice about seeing it done right there by Mike was
that he shared his knowledge, which is impressive, about the methods,
traditions involved in the making of sushi. If he would have let us,
it would have been eaten completely as it rolled off the mat, like
version of the old Lucille Ball skit.
Mark van Roojen came in from Lincoln Nebraska and knows a good thing
when he sees it. It's rare to see Mark set his tool finds down long enough
to eat, but for fresh home-made sushi... he'll make an exception. Mark
is a true renaissance man known not only for his ability to find exceptional
tools in unlikely places, but he's very good at using them to make things
too. Check out his
webpage for a more in depth look.
What to do when you're full from sushi? No problem. Mike Duchaj brought
over a nice green walnut log and Phil Cannon, Andy Baughn and he went
to town de-barking and splitting it with sledges and wedges.
Larry Williams and Don McConnell of Clark & Williams were
on their way home to Arkansas after teaching a class at Marc Adams
School of Woodworking and stopped by to give us all a chance to get
up close and personal with some really amazing traditionally made wooden
-Les Schreiber photo
picture may be worth a thousand words, but with hand work of this high
quality, you can't truly appreciate the fine craftsmanship unless you
heft it, turn it over in your hands and loft some see through shavings
into a midwestern summer breeze.
No tool meet would be complete without the hardest working man in Tool
Business: "Mr. File", "Founder and President of C.A.T.S.", "The Human
Slav "Just call me Slav" Jelesijevich.
Slav rolls all over the country buying, selling and trading. He's an
awesome woodworker and he knows his stuff. You've not seen anything yet
if you haven't seen Slav's selection of files and other New Old Stock
tools. The Chicago Artisans and Trades Society meets at Slav's shop on
the second Monday each month. If you're interested in joining us sometime
for a evening of fun and education, contact
Slav by email.
Relaxation, forging, carving, buying, selling, B-S-ing all came to a
halt for dinner. Here we see Russ Allen getting personal with an entire
weber-full of marinated asparagus.
year at galootapalooza we do something different, we go somewhere
different and we have different Galoots in attendance. One thing that's
don't mess with perfection.) is that we always trust the cooking
to our own resident particle physicist, Mike Lindgren. Not only does
he know his way around Quark Theory like nobody's business, but he
heat calories and meat calories to collide in delicious ways. He
truly knows the half-life of a grill full of briquettes.
When our bellies were well and truly full, and our beers were cold and
tasty, Larry Williams set up an excellent demonstration of how he heat
treats the plane irons in his planes.
He's a huge amount of different real-world
experiments running the gammut of accepted methods and his personal
style is so simple you wouldn't beleive it. I don't feel as though I
right to tell you his method myself, mainly because I don't want to
tell you wrong. If you want to learn more send Larry or Don an
email and get
the info from
torch is a simple Propane unit attached to a spare can I had for the
forging setup. You can see the adjustable arm set-up in the picture above
That's what the iron looked like after treating. I've got to hand
it to Larry for putting in the work to refine this method. He makes
look simple and effortless, but I doubt if many of us would have had
the patience to get that good at it.
When the heat treating demo had ended, we moved over to Slav's area,
and he gave us some pointers on improving the condition of saws that we
find in the wild without over doing it, or damaging the good parts, like
patina and etchings.
Mike Urness, Keith Pyle and Laddie Walen take a closer look at the
results of Slav's efforts.
Before people started to leave we got together for a nice big group photo.
For names, click the photo, or go here.
As the sun set in the west, we got to work with the clean-up process.
Then when the last things were put away and the trucks were loaded up,
we headed off in separate directions until the Garfield M-WTCA meet in the
Dawn comes really fast after a full Saturday spent with your tool buddies.
We always joke that it starts at 9:00 am, but in fact, by that time, all
the best deals are made and it's time for breakfast. As soon as you can
see your way to the field, the buying, selling haggling and gloating begin.
It's a tough place to phtograph, but trust me, the setting couldn't be
nicer. Grass instead of gravel, big oak trees for shade and plenty of room
for the dealers to spread out.
The Garfield historic farm is a working museum. The chickens, geese, cows
and horses must think the aliens have landed on the first Sunday of August.
I think that's our chef, Mike Lindgren on his knees pleading with a seller
to take 50 cents for a brick chisel. Go Mike GO!
Every year this meet gets a better turnout, and every year we informally
choose somebody as having made the most fun or gloatable purchase.
This year's winner was Russ Allen for shaking down the seller of this
nifty tailed demon. Here Russ accepts the accolades of his comrades for having
the guts to bring it home in his wife's minivan
Last we checked, Russ is still married, but he doesn't get to go out very
much. At least not for a while.
And he does an excellent job on the laundry, so I'm told.
So until Next August; Finish your to-do list and make plans to join us
in the Midwest for Galootapalooza 12!