To celebrate Maine’s wood harvesting heritage, hands-on workshops to learn from tool collectors and historians and to expand a tool collection are planned from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 20-21, at the Maine Axe and Saw Meetup. This gathering is sponsored by the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association and will take place at MOFGA’s Common Ground Education Center in Unity. It will provide ample opportunities to work with and gain confidence in using both vintage and modern hand tools.

Most workshops are “free range,” i.e., ongoing all day, and impromptu. More formal workshops will be listed on MOFGA’S schedule at A sampling includes Chopping Techniques, Hand-forging a Small Axe, Hewing Timbers with a Hewing Axe, Sharpening Two-man Crosscut Saws, Re-handling your Axe, Axe Shaping and Sharpening, and Axe Safety for Kids. At noon Saturday, Aug. 20, Geoffrey Burke will deliver “The American Axe — Its History, Construction and Use.”

To make this event work and to open the door for conversation and instruction, participants are encouraged to bring a tool or two of their choice — for example, one to have evaluated for restoration, one that needs a new handle or one that needs to be sharpened. Please choose tools that reflect the scope of this meetup, i.e., hand tools associated with woodlot activities, and keep sharp edges covered.

Come for the day or stay for the weekend (free camping available).

The meetup will cost $5 per day and is free for children. For more information, visit or call 568-4142.

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