Woodworking in America


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I am so lucky living in Atlanta. We have a huge convention business and the World Congress Center has some giant halls for trade shows. One of the biggest shows every 2 years is the IWF ,International Woodworking Fair. So every other year the worlds biggest trade show for woodworking comes to my home town. No way a 2 man custom cabinet shop could afford to go out of town and see a big trade show. About 1/3 of the show is stuff we all would recognize (and why I have been going for the last 30 years or so.) The rest of the show is the industrial equipment and suppliers. It is fun to look at but there is equipment that wouldn't even fit in any of our shops!

That being said I still have fun at the annual Woodworking show for the hobby and small pro shops that travels around the country. I think it is similar to the " Woodworking in America" but I could be wrong.

If anyone is interested the IWF is this year in August. Come on down and we could meet for drinks one evening!

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I could not go to WIA last year because of a trial, but was planning on going this year, because I am only 2 1/2 hours upriver from Covington.... and then they moved it to Winston-Salem, which is 4 1/2 hours away.  It went from a day trip to an overnight stay, which means that it probably is a no-go. 

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I have been to three (or four) WIAs. They are high on my list of satisfying experiences. The sessions bring in outstanding and very accessible teachers/experts. The Marketplace is awesome. The opportunity to talk to the people who actually design and build the tools is incredible. Even if you are too shy to initiate conversations with our (woodworking/toolmaker) legends, being able to eavesdrop on the chatter is super satisfying.

 

A highlight for me is to interact with fellow attendees. Some, I sort of knew from forums and social media while others just struck up a conversation while fondling an exquisite hand tool. That makes our mostly solo woodworking hobby much richer. After the show, it is fun to follow up with folks about our projects and impressions of various sessions and discussions.

 

I like the size of the event. My eyeballs just spin and brain goes to sleep in large convention settings. This has intimate and cozy feel, but with enough attendees and vendors to keep interest level high.

 

Great opportunity to make some cuts with a Bad Axe hand saw, create micro-fine shavings with a Sauer and Steiner plane, take some whacks with Blue Spruce or Shenandoah mallets or ask a Lie-Nielsen tech person how they set up a smoothing plane. Ever wonder what the attraction is to wooden hand planes? A number of creators are usually there, including Scott Meeks. 

 

After hours with the WoodTalkOnline community has been a great feature. That might be missed this year, but if you just follow you nose you'll find interesting people to hang with after show hours. If you don't make it this year, at least flag your calendar for the 2015 event. 

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While it looks like Marc and Shannon (with a maybe on Matt) won't be there this year, I am sure that the Modern Woodworking folks will be represented. They are a very outgoing and welcoming group with much overlap with the WoodTalkOline community. Most of them wear the MWA Ts at the show, so just introduce yourself and follow 'em around if you are looking for after show socializing. Since Marc and Shannon won't be there to defend themselves, all are welcome to talk about 'em until their little ears burn.

 

You can check out MWA at: http://www.modernwoodworkersassociation.com/

I'll also miss WIA 2014 for some budget repairs, but have high hopes for 2015.

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Yes I was really hoping Marc would be there cause I am going to try and attend his videos have been a big help to me getting started. Maybe if we get enough people to buy shirts and wear them he will come. Lol I'm really excited to see the crowd and lots of tools!!!

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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I have to say I'm honored that people are factoring my presence into their decision. Well, and a little sad too. But if you were thinking of going, I encourage you to do so. There are so many great instructors there, all in one spot, and you have the added bonus of meeting people from our various online woodworking communities. It's a great show and you should definitely go.

 

Without a doubt, I'll be going in 2015.

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We will catch you at the next one then marc. If youre teaching in maine at the cffc i think ill sign up and make that trip for sept.

 

Do you have more information on that CFFC event? I am right next door and would totally go.

 

Sorry I was able to find it: http://www.woodschool.org/furniture-making/video-woodworking-course

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