Lee Valley is a family-owned business that has been serving users of woodworking and gardening tools since 1978.
The company is family-owned. The founder, Leonard Lee, was a recipient of the Order of Canada. He founded the company in 1978, in Ottawa, Ontario. Over the next ten years, the company opened several more stores (Toronto, Vancouver) and started manufacturing its own line of tools (starting with the Veritas Dovetail Marker in 1982). Since then, it has continued opening stores, manufacturing more diverse tools, and selling through mail order and the Internet. In 1998, Canica Design was launched. Canica is a medical design company associated with Lee Valley Tools which arose out of consultations between Leonard Lee and surgeon Michael Bell after Lee found that Bell was using Lee Valley tools in his plastic surgery practice.
Their primary business is mail-order and retail, purveying mainly woodworking and gardening tools and equipment, as well as woodworking hardware and gifts. The consumer part of the business runs under the main company name, Lee Valley Tools.
Lee Valley also has a manufacturing arm, called Veritas Tools. Veritas makes many woodworking hand-tools, including hand planes, marking gauges and other measuring tools, router tables, sharpening systems, and numerous other gadgets. Veritas does research and development activities for the factory line, and has developed and patented many innovative designs.
About one third of their total sales volume is in products of their own design. The vast majority of these are Veritas® brand products made by Veritas Tools Inc. They have a research and development team of 11 people and 130 more in manufacturing. And they have a number of customers earning royalties on products that they manufacture based on designs received from them.
Lee Valley Representative Lecture: St. John Fisher College (135 Basil Hall) - Friday March 02, 2018 @ 07:45 PM
A representative from Lee Valley will present on Friday evening at St. John Fisher Basil Auditorium. The presentation is called “Hand and Power – Striking a Balance” a look at adding hand tools to a power tool shop and vice versa in order to be as efficient as possible.
Lee Valley will have tools for demonstration, and for members to try, available the following day March 3, 2018 at CP Rochester, 3399 South Winton Road, Rochester, NY. Members will be able to place orders without paying sales tax and with free shipping.
For this special occasion, Lee Valley, will be bringing and demonstrating their luthierie (musical instrument making) specialty tools.
Take your woodworking to the next level with hand planes. This is an abbreviated class from the 4 day extensive classes offered in the past (“Plane Identification and Repair”, “Plane Tune Up”, “Sharpening”, and “Advanced Hand Plane Usage.” Session exercises shall include flattening a rough sawn board (in case you don’t have a jointer or a jointer wide enough for your plank) and jointing two edges of table top planks for jointing/finishing.
Participants should bring rough planks and hand planes if they own them. If not, materials and tools will be available in the session for anyone who needs them. Participants will attempt to achieve “finish ready” board surfaces with hand planes and card scrapers (with out sanding).
Mark Hedin is no stranger to woodworking, having been self-employed in the trade for the last 20 years, both as a custom homebuilder and a maker of high-end cabinetry and freestanding furniture. Mark received his education in the areas of design, architecture, and craft by attending classes at the Art Institute of Chicago, Ball State, and Miami University before completing his undergraduate degree at Indiana University. As owner and operator of Heartwood Builders, Inc., Mark’s craftsmanship and eye for design received publicity in local newspaper coverage of one of the unique and energy efficient custom homes he designed and built. Mark won the MASW Student of the Year award in 2010–the same year he completed his Masters. Mark is now a full-time member of the MASW staff and continues to fulfill commissions for custom work on the side. When he’s not wrapped up in the world of woodworking, he enjoys spending time with his two young beautiful children.
Mark Hedin Lecture: St. John Fisher College (135 Basil Hall) - Friday March 16, 2018 @ 07:45 PM
Mark’s Friday night lecture will show some of his work, his student’s work, and the work of those that inspired him. Mark will talk about the process of Infusion and how wood and other materials can be impregnated with resins, the reasons why you may want to do this, and the techniques involved.
Mark Hedin Workshop
Come learn from one of the world’s foremost leading experts on the subject of decorative and structural applications for resin in the context of woodworking. These simple but relatively unexplored processes and techniques will change the way you view porous materials, inspire you to try these techniques yourself and undoubtedly set your work apart from others. Imagine what can be done with wood once it has been permanently stabilized as a material and the less than desirable traits of this material have been overcome. Envision stunning resin based inlays and glass like stylized furniture panels that beg the question, “What is that made of? How did he do that?” Discover the only pore filling furniture finish that is unaffected by either water or alcohol. Learn to cast your own one of a kind blank for either decorative details in flat board work, or turning blanks.
At Mark Hedin’s Saturday Workshop, Mark will discuss and demonstrate many resin based techniques as well demystify the various types of resins available on the market, their general working properties, and which ones he recommends for different woodworking applications. Demonstrations will include surface stabilization/topical infusion, 100% cellular vacuum stabilization and dying and double dying your material during this process, the different types and uses of inclusions that can be used for resin based inlay techniques, utilizing fiberglass/carbon fiber/Kevlar for strength and aesthetics in woodworking, options for decorative surface treatments when casting panels with resin for furniture components, casting large turning blanks with a variety of resins, the necessary equipment to do resin work and considerations when purchasing such, the machining properties of each resin, safety concerns, and material and informational resources.
Though no one material is the “silver bullet” product for woodworking, resins have been generally over looked and underutilized in the word of woodworking. From choosing adhesives for dissimilar materials to understanding the backbone of certain inlay techniques to turning beautiful but structurally unsound wood into something stronger and more durable than the original sound wood, this seminar will open your eyes to a world of possibilities you may never have considered.
Participants will construct a Shaker oval box (size #2, 3-1/2″ x 5-3/4″ x 2-1/4″ high) using commercial 1/16″ veneer in cherry, walnut or anigre. Top ] and bottom materials will vary. Materials and specialized equipment will be provided. The class will extend over two sessions because of the need for the steam bent sides to dry. It is expected that some work at home will be required to fit the top and bottom, and to finish the box.
There will be a presentation with handouts that will cover the construction process, material selection, construction of the forms and steam box, and other projects that make use of the techniques used in the workshop.
After some clean up of the pre-cut sides, participants will steam bend, tack and dry the sides. Boxes must then dry on the forms. In the second session, bottoms will be individually fit, pinned, and glued. The band for the top will then be steam bent, and formed around the bottoms for a tight fit. The top can be fitted at home using the same techniques, and the participant can choose and apply a finish.
Bring these tools if you have them:
- Exacto knife with standard blade, fine carving knife, or utility knife
- Tack hammer or other small hammer
- Fine needle-nose pliers
- Wire cutters (can be part of needle nose plier)
- Sand paper, #80 grit to #220 grit with sanding block
- Manual or power hand drill with 1/16″ bit
There will be a material fee of $35. The forms can be borrowed for the duration of the class, or purchased for $35.
After 18 years as an award-winning chef in French restaurants Bob left the business to begin a career in woodworking and teaching. Furniture making had provided an outlet to the pressures of the restaurant business until 1993 when he started the Harris Enterprise School of Fine Woodworking. In seven years of operation the school gained national exposure and recognition.
In 2000 he formed a business partnership to open the Manchester, CT Woodcraft store and the Connecticut Valley School of Woodworking. The school was an instant success and the demand for classes was so great that a second shop was built to allow two classes to run simultaneously. He continually strives to expand his skills and knowledge by working on a variety of commission furniture pieces and new projects for upcoming classes. He has been featured in Fine Woodworking Magazine and Woodshop News.
Bob’s approach to teaching centers on the belief that people learn “by doing rather than by watching”. Successful contemporary furniture making also depends on utilizing a sensible combination of machine woodworking and handwork. Bob’s classes feature hands-on woodworking projects that require mastery of a combination of hand tools and machines.
Bob Van Dyke Lecture: St. John Fisher College (135 Basil Hall) - Friday April 27, 2018 @ 07:45 PM
On Friday’s presentation, Bob will talk about his work and experiences as woodworker.
Bob Van Dyke Workshop
The Basics of Using Veneers to Create Outrageous Patterns!
If you have ever done any re-sawing then you know how cool a book matched panel can be. When you incorporate veneers into your work the possibilities for creating spectacular patterns are almost endless! Bookmatching is the simple one- but what about radial matching or parquet? A sunburst veneer panel from crotch walnut can be breathtaking! And they are a lot of fun to make. This demonstration will center on using veneers to create different patterns along with basic techniques for working with the veneers – Flattening them, buying & storing them and how to work with them to create tight, almost invisible seams. We will go into the basic tools & supplies needed along with discussing the various adhesives and ways to clamp up the veneered panel. This demonstration might be just what you need to bring your woodworking to the next level.
Oops – That was not really a part of the Plan … Fixing Woodworking Mistakes with Bob Van Dyke
Have you ever had that sinking feeling when you realize you put an offset tenon on the wrong side? Or broke off a twin tenon? How about a hinge morticed in the wrong place? Or just a badly cut dovetail? Beginners are not the only ones who make mistakes– but it is the pros who have figured out how to get out of a tight spot without having to start from the beginning. Woodworking is really just problem solving and in this demo, Connecticut Valley School of Woodworking director, Bob Van Dyke will demonstrate ways to fix simple common mistakes like fixing a hole that might have be drilled by mistake through the face of a board or fixing a loose tenon or a “gappy” dovetail – Those are some simple fixes but we will then go on to explore some techniques to save some parts that most woodworkers might write off and start over again. Obviously a big part of any repair strategy is to know when something can be fixed – and fixed well – and when to cut your losses and start fresh. This is something that we will discuss and show in a series of practical examples and demonstrations. Hopefully this valuable demonstration will get you thinking hard the next time you encounter an “unexpected design opportunity”