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  PATINA - The Potomac Antique Tools and Industries Association, Inc.

Meeting Information

The next in-person CLUB meeting in McLean VA, WILL BE SUNDAY NOVEMBER 13. We will use the upper lot only for tailgating. Please park in the lower lot if you are not planning to set up a table.
Start time: 8:30 for tailgating, with a mini-auction to take place approximately 11am.


Due to late notice of the postponement, we will do a member showcase. Bring a recent tool acquisition, a recent project to show, or share a story from the past.

Check back regularly for details on zoom meeting presentations, schedules, updates, podcast, at www.patinatools.org.


January 15, 2023
March 11, 2023 (Damascus Tool Show and Auction)
May 21, 2023
July 16, 2023
September 10, 2023
November 12, 2023


May 21, 2023

Our special guest will be Sean Hollowood, and the topic will be "The art of leather working".

Sean has been learning the trade for just over a decade, specializing in handmade practical items for everyday use. His work includes leather cases, bags, belts, sheathes, and other personal sundries both practical and custom tooled. With a little under a decade of experience, He is always striving to learn new techniques and improve on the ones he already knows.

Sean will focus on identification and classifications of commercially available leathers, to include tannages, weight, uses, benefits and drawbacks. He will include a short Leather Tooling and Carving Demo, Leather Tools Identification and explanation, and Question and answers.

Some of the most attractive and uniquely custom tools that show up at PATINA events are for leather working and only a few attendees know their exact purpose. Additionally, we have had numerous requests for a demo on the leather craft.

Attendees are encouraged to bring leatherworking tools to show or trade. Sean is likely to bring along some of his hand crafted products so plan to purchase a gift for friends, family, or yourself, as the holiday season is right around the corner!


July 10, 2022

In lieu of a guest speaker we featured an auction of the collection of a former PATINA member who had recently passed away. Items included very nice planes, chisels and gouges, axes, drawknives, braces, spokeshaves, hand saws, chairmakers tools, and various items of interest. These items were consigned as a courtesy to the family, with all proceeds going directly to them.

Click here for the listing of lots and pictures featured at the July 10, 2022 auction.

May 15, 2022


Our speaker for the May 15 meeting was Greg Ricketts. Greg has done considerable research on off-brand tool makers.

He hosts wonderful and very informative websites, TimeTestedTools, https://www.timetestedtools.net and A Plane Life, https://www.APlaneLife.us as well as a considerable following on social media and has posted many studies of how to collect, date and restore vintage tools. His presentation was excellent and We were very fortunate to have him speak at PATINA.

Greg's expertise is in tools which have been 'contract produced' for other companies and large retailers. He has compiled an extensive study of catalogs from Sears Roebuck, and he has detailed how and when such house brands such as Fulton, Merit, Dulap and Craftsman were introduced and sold, as well as the manufacturers that made them.
Additionally, Greg has researched original japanning processes and he has refined methods to bring life back to tools that are in need of serious restoration.

He explained in detail how companies such as Siegley, Sargent & Company, Union Mfg. Co., Buckeye Saw Vice Co., Stanley, Millers Falls Tools, PEXTO, Schmachtenberg, Kunz produced tools with their own names as well as others.

November 14, 2021

This meeting featured our member sponsored 'Show and tell' event. Club members were asked to bring their favorite tool, your project restored tool, tools to trade or part out, or any 'what's it?' tools, as well as creative projects.

Amy M. brought this self made highly creative and functional chisel sharpener.

Carlin G. showed this intricately carved jewelry and keepsake box.

Harold S. featured his beautiful Hickory topped coffee table.

John D. brought his circ. 1880 fiddle case, repurposed into this wonderful luthier's tool chest.

The club tries to have at least one 'show and tell' event a year, and it is one of our more popular dates!

September 17, 2021

The guest presentation featured Amanda Doggett, who presented a lecture entitled "John Hemmings: A Life and Work Under the Institution of Slavery". Hemmings was the enslaved Joiner of Monticello who's work there and at Poplar Forest reflect Jefferson's deep love of Palladian architecture as well as a convoluted relationship with the institution of slavery in the 18th century. This discussion featured not only the work of Hemmings but also took a closer look at how enslavement effected five generations of his family. Amanda also presented her reproduction of a surviving Hemmings piece. This program tied-in nicely with that of our last speaker, Scott Merrifield who featured the works of 18th Century plane makers Francis and John Nicholson, with special emphasis on Cesar Chelor.

Amanda Doggett is an apprentice Joiner at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation in Southeastern Virginia. Her research focus outside of traditional joinery focuses on marginalized groups in the workforce, namely women, black Virginians, and LGBTQIA+ individuals. She is a two-time ERHI Professional Development Grant recipient, a one-time Gonzales Field Experience grant recipient, a Certified Interpretive Guide with the National Association for Interpretation, and a fellow with the International Center for Jefferson Studies in Charlottesville.

July 11, 2021

The guest presentation on July 11 featured Scott Merrifield, who is an Andrew W. Mellon Curatorial Intern working with mechanical arts and household accessories at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. He holds a BA in History from Christopher Newport University and is working to fulfill his thesis requirement for a MA in History from James Madison University. He was a 2016 summer intern in Colonial Williamsburg's cabinetmaking shop. In his current position, he has cataloged 250 eighteenth-century woodworking planes made by Francis Nicholson, John Nicholson, and Cesar Chelor. His current research interests are in trades and tools of early America.

The program summary centered on Cesar Chelor, the earliest documented African-American toolmaker, worked in New England as part of the first school of American plane makers. He learned his trade while enslaved to Francis Nicholson of Wrentham, Massachusetts, the first professional plane maker in the colonies. Upon his master's death in 1753, Chelor was freed by the terms of Nicholson's will, and opened his own shop where he manufactured planes which bear his name. The large quantity of his surviving planes, of which Colonial Williamsburg owns 75, shows that Cesar Chelor was both a prolific maker and a master craftsman.
This presentation discussed Chelor, his work, and the world he practiced his trade in.

Fall 2020

POSTPONED Due to Fairfax County COVID-19 Restrictions

PATINA is proud to present Dr. Elmer Nahum, Author of Practical Clubmaking. Playing Bobby Jones’ home course of East Lake in the 1980s spawned Elm’s interest in golf history. Over the years, he has studied the early history of the game as well as biographies of notable players. His woodworking focuses on making 18th and 19th-century furniture using hand tools and traditional methods. Reproducing a 19TH century long nose golf club is a natural convergence of these two hobbies and a golf motif finds its way into some furniture elements. Elm maintains a woodworking blog, Unique Tips for Hand Tools, which includes posts on golf clubmaking. Each attempt at making a replica 19th-century golf club offers a chance to gain new insights into the traditional methods and history of clubmaking and woodworking. The free time following retirement as an interventional radiologist allowed him to produce Practical Clubmaking, his first book.

Dr. Elmer Nahum

September 13, 2020

A Morvianian Workbench

POSTPONED Due to Fairfax County COVID-19 Restrictions

PATINA is proud to present Steve Dietrich, a West Point graduate and retired Army Lieutenant Colonel who operates Dietrich’s Early American Furniture Reproductions (DEAFR) near Fredericksburg, VA. His work can be seen in George Washington’s replica boyhood home, Ferry Farm, and Burly Man Wood Specialties in Fredericksburg. A lifetime member of the Society of American Period Furniture Makers (SAPFM), Steve descended from German cabinetmakers and conveys their pride of craftsmanship in his work. He holds an MA in History and has published extensively on military history and the history and reproduction of early American furniture


Steve will discuss construction and functional features of his reproduction Moravian Style Workbench
For Meeting Info, see www.patinatools.org

Date TBD (May 17 or Nov 15), 2020, in McLean VA,

 PATINA is proud to present violin maker, Melanie Belongia.

.A graduate of the Virginia Governor's School for the Arts, Melanie studied violin with Eugene Drucker of the Grammy Award winning Emerson Quartet at the Hartt School of Music. She performed with the Katahdin String Quartet and met many contemporary violin makers which inspired her to pursue her lifelong dream of becoming a violin maker.

Melanie moved to Boston and graduated from the North Bennet Street School with a degree in Violin Making and Restoration and apprenticed for several years. Ms. Belongia worked for several prestigious violin firms and auction houses before returning to Hampton Roads to focus on making and restoration.
Her experience as a professional musician gives her valuable insight into her work as a luthier and she is well known for her skills in making an instrument sound, and play, its very best.

When not at her bench, she can be found playing her 5-string violin with Bound Roots. Melanie welcomes the opportunity to give back to arts & educational organizations and serves on the board of advisors for Bay Youth Orchestras of Virginia.




Melanie will demonstrate purfling or similar techniques.
For Meeting Info, see www.patinatools.org





Directions to the Meeting Hall -

A. The Capital Beltway from Maryland: Take exit 44 (VA Route 193, Georgetown Pike) Turn left at the traffic light and then take the first right after crossing the beltway onto Balls Hill Road. Go about 1.4 miles to the American Legion Post 270, 1355 Balls Hill Road. There is parking for about 30 cars on site.

B. Inside the beltway from the George Washington Parkway: Going north on the GW Parkway take the McLean Exit (Chain Bridge Road / Dolley Madison Blvd. VA 123) Proceed on Dolley Madison Blvd. for about 4 miles to Old Dominion. Go about 1/2 mile and turn left on Balls Hill Road, and follow about another 1/2 mile to 1355 Balls Hill Road.

C. The Capital Beltway from the South: Take Exit 46 (VA 123, Dolley Madison Blvd.) Go about 1.5 miles to Lewinsville Road. Turn left onto Lewinsville Road, then immediately turn right onto Balls Hill Road. The American Legion Post 270 will be on your right in about 1/4 mile.

D. From the West via the Dulles Toll Rd.  Exit the Dulles Toll Rd. on the Rt. 123 towards McLean Exit (Chain Bridge Road / Dolley Madison Blvd. VA 123), which is just after you cross the Beltway.   Make a left at the first light, which is Lewinsville Rd, then make an immediate right onto Balls Hill Rd.  The American Legion Post 270 will be on your right in about 1/4 mile, 1355 Balls Hill Road. 


Use Google Maps or Map Quest to find The American Legion Post 270 located at 1355 Balls Hill Road, McLean, VA

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