The highlight of July 2012 was definitely my trip to Germany. I was invited to teach a woodworking class for Dictum, a German tool supply house. http://www.mehr-als-werkzeug.de/page/homepage.htm?lang=en The company offers a variety of high quality woodworking tools, and tools for instrument makers, as well as such hard to find materials such as boxwood, reindeer leather, Damascus knife blanks, and bone. the store is located in Metten, while the school is in the town of Niederalteich along the Danube.
The shop, located in part of an old monastery, was well laid out, spacious, light, and well equipped. The entire south facing roof of the old converted barn, was covered with a solar cells. Inside, twelve individual benches with tool boxes, and a power tool room, sharpening room and break room, with automatic coffee machine (your choice of latte, cappuccino, hot chocolate). Every afternoon at 3:00 cake or pastries were served.
The class went very well. I was a bit nervous about the tools available, shop facilities, student skill levels and the language barrier. Turns out that none of those were a problem. The shop assistants, Matthias and Wolfgang were extremely helpful in machine set-ups and finding the right tools and supplies. I taught mostly in English, with an occasional lapse into German. The students were a great bunch, very willing to learn, not afraid to ask questions or try new techniques. During the four day course, all students completed their Shaker side-stands, with dovetailed drawers. Several even managed to get them oiled. C. H. Becksvoort © 2012