The Woodworking Show


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I attended the Woodworking Show here in Minnesota on Sunday. While I did spend some money, I have to say that even though I've only attended two of these shows, they've been a little disappointing after reading about them over the years.

For those of you who've been going to these shows regularly over the years, have you noticed a decline? Were they really so much better four or five years ago?

Here's my blog entry on the show with pics of the loot. :)

http://secondwindworkshop.blogspot.com/2010/12/not-so-big-show.html

Pete

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wow, that sucks to hear. I plan on attending my first Woodworking show in Baltimore this Jan. Like i said, it will be my first so i have nothing to compare it to. my main interest is the Bandsaw class, is that just showing me how to make boxes? and im guessing that any Christmas money i aquire should be saved for the show rather than just used to buy woodworking stuff online. Were there really good discounts there? Because i have pland on getting the TS Tennioning Jig from Grizzley with my Christmas money.

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I attended the Woodworking Show here in Minnesota on Sunday. While I did spend some money, I have to say that even though I've only attended two of these shows, they've been a little disappointing after reading about them over the years.

For those of you who've been going to these shows regularly over the years, have you noticed a decline? Were they really so much better four or five years ago?

Here's my blog entry on the show with pics of the loot. :)

http://secondwindworkshop.blogspot.com/2010/12/not-so-big-show.html

Pete

Hi Pete,

I have worked the Costa Mesa show for Lee Valley a few times. The first time, about 4 years ago, the show filled two buildings and the area betweeen the buildings (call it three buildings). A couple years ago, the show was down to one building, and this year, it was back up to two buildings. Some of the big vendors were absent - nobody was selling machinery, Lie Nielsen isn't in them any more. It's a good chance to learn and try new tools (limited to what's as the show, of course!). The seminars, I think, are pretty good (I haven't been able to attend any full seminars). Last year Graham Blackburn was doing seminars at every other show. I don't know if that is the case this year too.

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I was goig to attend the Mn. on Friday because I was going to be in the area but thanks to the snow I wasn't able too. I haven't been to one in about five years and each year I hear that they are getting worse. I would have to guess the economy is partially to blame but I think the main thing is since it is getting easier to see demo's on manufacturers sites as well as youtube and it is so easy to order online the need just ins't there. I know when I first went to a couple shows it was just amazing, you just couldn't see the stuff anywhere else, five years ago it just wasn't the same. You had aleady seen most of the stuff online and in the magazines. Sorry to hear that it was a bit of a bummer for you but it does make it seem notas bad for me not being able to make it :P

Nate

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  • 3 weeks later...

wow, that sucks to hear. I plan on attending my first Woodworking show in Baltimore this Jan. Like i said, it will be my first so i have nothing to compare it to. my main interest is the Bandsaw class, is that just showing me how to make boxes? and im guessing that any Christmas money i aquire should be saved for the show rather than just used to buy woodworking stuff online. Were there really good discounts there? Because i have pland on getting the TS Tennioning Jig from Grizzley with my Christmas money.

Ando,

I just went to the woodworking show and I was also mainly interested in the bandsaw class.

:angry: Is all I have to say about it.

They showed how to set-up a bandsaw for resawing which if you ask me didn't look any different than setting it up for any type of bandsaw work. It went real quick and you couldn't see much of what he was doing.

They also had another bandsaw that they showed how to set it up for curved work using Carters stabilizer. It also went quick then they spent most of the time cutting and demoing the stabilizer.

The whole thing was a demo on how to use Carter Products on your bandsaw.

Its the last woodworking show I'll be going to. The whole thing is becoming a waste of time. There was no discounts unless you think the $2 off coupon to get in the show was a discount. I checked about a half dozen prices and not a single one was cheaper at the show. I could of saved on shipping but then I had to pay tax so its a wash.

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wow, that sucks to hear. I plan on attending my first Woodworking show in Baltimore this Jan. Like i said, it will be my first so i have nothing to compare it to. my main interest is the Bandsaw class, is that just showing me how to make boxes? and im guessing that any Christmas money i aquire should be saved for the show rather than just used to buy woodworking stuff online. Were there really good discounts there? Because i have pland on getting the TS Tennioning Jig from Grizzley with my Christmas money.

There is plenty to see and learn at these shows. Despite what some of the mediocre woodworkers say. You will get out of it all you want if you put in the time and attend the classes.

There are some good buys on the smaller items, but necessarily on big equipment. If you are buying, know your prices before you go to the show.

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There is plenty to see and learn at these shows. Despite what some of the mediocre woodworkers say. You will get out of it all you want if you put in the time and attend the classes.

There are some good buys on the smaller items, but necessarily on big equipment. If you are buying, know your prices before you go to the show.

Mediocre ???

Ok, lets hear what you make!

A birdhouse with nails sticking out everywhere?

I make furniture as a side job. Not the butt joint and screw everything together type either. I just finished a hall table for a client that sold for $3000.00.

Ok, I'm a mediocre woodworker, I should of charged $4000.00. I under bid it.

The shows are small, all the classes are basically demos for the companies that sponsor them (surprisingly shocking isn't it).

I could buy a bandsaw guide for $199 at the show and then come home and bought it from the manufactures website (same one who was selling it at the show) for $199.

I could go and buy wood from the show and then go to a local lumber yard and get the same exotic wood cheaper (with a bigger selection).

I could buy a screw system at the show for $150 and then come home and again go to the manufactures website and buy it for $150.

So wheres is this savings?

I know, you get a badly produce woodworking DVD for free. Theres your savings. Watch out when you play it, for the intro to every "interview" the volume is very low so you'll have to crank it up and the its blaring when it gets to the "interview".

Now lets talk about the gimmick tools they sell at these places.

A water nozzle that can spray something or other (no idea, I couldn't stand around for the 10 minutes it took for the guy to stop demoing the tree trimmer).

How about the chemicals that clean everything safely with no harm to the environment.

Or the all wonderful drill bit that drills through anything and stays sharp forever. Who by the way owns the woodworking show. Hmm, a guy selling a gimmick that owns a show. That can't be good!

If you go there expecting to learn anything, you'll be disappointed. If you go there expecting the worse, you won't be disappointed.

I'm not in the "big ten" (woodworking show words) show area but I have gone to a "big ten" show because I was in the right city at the right time. Or should I say wrong time. It wasn't any better than a regular show. I think there was more attendees than a regular show but the vendors were the same with a couple more shamwow vendors.

The shows are good for those who are bored and want to see a couple of tools. Is it worth the $10 to get in? Not in my opinion, it'll be better to got to a woodworking store and look at what they have and ask the workers there what they think. You'll probably get some better advice from them because they want to sell you the right product for the job not the product the manufacture is paying them to push.

Yes, this is a long post but I'm so tired of hearing from the people who claim its a decent show. I wonder if they have a vested interest in it?

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  • 2 weeks later...

My wife and I will be attending the Baltimore woodworking show tomorrow (Saturday)

We're driving down from NJ to combine the show with a local family visit.

If anyone would like to meet at the show and say hi, please drop me a private message here by this evening (we're leaving in the wee hours) and I'll reply with my cell phone number.

Alan Z.

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I have been attending the wood show in Woodstock, On. for the past 12 or so years and in the past couple of years it too has had a large drop in attendance by both vendors and visitors. I have attended the Woodworking Show in Detroit for the past two years and although it is less than half the size of the Woodstock show it was still interesting. My 12 year old son attended the show with me and was able to get on a lathe and make a pen, something he has been asking to do for a little while now. Needless to say this was over the top for him and although he has been working the scroll saw for 3 years and even demonstrating it at a local tool show, this opened a new world to him and renewed his excitement for woodworking. My point being that even the smallest shows can still open up a new world of woodworking to a novice or even a new avenue to the accomplished. So although the show we attended was small and unchanged from one year to the next it was a great day for my son and I. Just my 2 cents.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I went to the Baltimore show, it wasn't bad, but I wouldn't rate it as 'good' either. 90% of it was folks selling one gimmick or another. I sat through some of the classes and really didn't care too much for them either, however what I did get some great info from was talking to the guy from the Chitwick woodworking school after his presentation. He basically gave me a 15 minute private class on joinery and how to use an angle grinder with (forget the name of it) a blue grinding wheel to mold projects.

I watched some of the gimmicky presentations, looked at the stuff for sale and compared prices online with my phone, got a few freebees, other than that I wasn't too impressed.

I also didn't pay to get in, they give military free entry so thats a big plus for me, really though the 15 minutes I spent talking to the chitwick guy would have been worth $10, the rest of the show not so much.

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About 15 years ago, I used to go to every show 2ce a year with a carp bud of mine . We'd have to go when they opened on Fri in order to see everything b/c they got so crowded and full of stuff, lots of neat demo etc. Well I ahvent been to one in about 4 years. The last one I went to was either Costa Mesa or Ontario anyway, I wasnt really thrilled about thesize of it (smaller) the vendors and no what I would call deals were offered. It was no different then going to a store and byuing it or nowdays ordering online.

Plus it saves me from fighting the crowds, paying for parking, buying the junk food at inflated prices..sorry if ya think Im whining, just telling ya what I think

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I've been going to the Denver show for years and I would say is has declined over the years. The vendors are the same year to year with few exceptions. The big woodworker houses show up selling the latest miracle jig and router bits to remodel a kitchen in twenty minutes. You can buy 1000 sheets of sandpaper for dirt cheap (which is what it's worth), plenty of cheap import clamps, router bit combo sets etc.

None of the large tool manufacturers showed up but the local suppliers were there with the typical lineup of Delta and Jet. The only hand tool maker that was here was Lee Valley.

The seminars can be good but for the past couple years in Denver they have been the same stuff for the most part, not much new content year over year. They used to offer half days classes for a fee of around $85 when you could really learn something but no more of that, all of the seminars are now on the show floor and typically 30 minutes long. Some of them are good, I've enjoyed some seminars with Graham Blackburn and Jim Heavey.

There was a hardwood supplier at this year's show and I picked up a couple large slabs or Swiss Pear and Honduras Mahogany. I paid the going rate but those species aren't easy to find around here.

If you've never been before you will probably find it enlightening and enjoyable. Just remember if you find a deal on tools that seems exceptional look under the hood and lift up the tail, something is wrong.

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I've gone to the one here at the Somerset Expo center in NJ for the last 4 years and I have to say that last year was the worst so far.

Many of the main vendors had smaller displays or weren't there at all. Many of the ones that were there had little inventory to sell. About 1/3rd of the selling space was junk dealers (you know what I am talking about, the dollar stores of the woodworking world) The size of the show had shrunk by about 20% from the year before and there were fewer classes and demos then before.

There were no show deals really at all. I was waiting until the show because I needed a bandsaw fence and wanted to see if there were any deals to be had. Kreg didn't have any stock at all for the show so they pointed me to another vendor there who had it for the same price I would have paid online. I looked at getting some more clamps (can never have enough) but I could get them cheaper when they go on sale at Rockler so I didn't bother. Then I checked out the Lee Valley booth because I like their stuff but usually can't afford it but had a few extra bucks at the time and was hoping to pickup a router plane or maybe a scraping plane, no go, they had a demo of each but didn't have any stock and no special sale pricing anyway. Still haven't picked up either of them... they lost, or at least delayed a sale. Maybe they'll have some stock this year... I still like their stuff and cash in hand beats putting it on the credit card :)

About the best parts were talking to the local woodworking clubs and checking out some of the classes. I never knew there were so many turning clubs in NJ, shame I'm not into turning... :unsure:

I later found out that the owner of the show had booked two shows for the same weekend in different states so vendors in a lot of cases had to choose which show they wanted to display at because they didn't have enough displays, inventory and people to handle two shows for the same weekend. I felt a little ripped off about paying to get in after hearing that.

I'm hoping this year it is better... there are no Rockler or Woodcraft stores around here and a lot of the time this is my only chance to really checkout new products first hand unless I go out of state. They designated NJ as one of their top 10 shows so I'm hoping to at least get my WWII blade sharpened this year, that'll make the cost of admission worth it to me.

Anyway, I'll give it a go again...

Hopefully I'll catch up with some of you there.

-Jim

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Jim,

One of the reasons the Somerset show was so small last year was that it conflicted with another show going on in a large midwest city. So folk like Craft-USA did the larger show.

I'm a member of Hudson Valley Woodturning (local to me here in northern NJ) and you're right, talking with visitors and members of other clubs was a kick and put an entirely new socializing aspect into the show for me and my bride.

So, we're looking forward to a larger show this year in Somerset... it does drive membership for these clubs, it's an important event.

We did drive down to the Baltimore show and had a good time... bought some tool upgrades, sat through some lectures. Worth the trip for us.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The Woodworking show was in Kansas City last weekend. Many fewer venders than past shows. but still some good deals. One good thing is the price went down by $2 so less expensive to go look. Not any new gizmo's that I saw but I did not spend a lot of time. One walk through.

I did buy a Dewalt 12volt drill and impact driver set that was pretty cool and priced pretty good as well.

Will I go next year, probably.

Domer

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