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Halloween in California

The second week of the 19 week Woodworking Show season couldn’t have come with more promise. It was sunny with temperatures in the low eighties and it was in Southern California. The show this week was in Pomona. Located about 40 minutes (or up to 2 ½ hours during rush hours) east of LA, the venue is in the foothills between the Inland Empire and San Gabriel Valley. The exhibit hall complex is probably one of the most picturesque we’ll see this season. Its proximity to Mountain View Golf Course (viewed from the second fairway for research purposes only) and the palm trees set this apart from the mostly urban halls we’re accustomed to. This venue, Fairplex, is also familiar to the local woodworking community as we’ve exhibited here on and off for many years.

Attendees were greeted by a log milling demonstration outside the front of the hall. One of the first exhibits inside the building was that of Legacy. The Legacy Mill that has been around for years has been transformed into a CNC milling and carving tool and Tracy led discussions of the commercial and profit making potential of this system.

Across the aisle from this futuristic view of woodworking were the booths of Cerritos College and William Ng’s Woodworking School with their inspiring examples of the craft. The use of hand tools was evident in the carvings, turnings and marquetry of the projects on display. The furniture pieces had some book matched veneers that were very well done. You could also walk through an arched entryway in William’s booth and have your chi or feng shui adjusted. I came each day to find inner peace or maybe just a piece of the Halloween candy. Deeply soothing either way.

The tool sellers were out in force at the show. Most every portable tool manufacturer was represented with multiple sales areas. Even heavy metal manufacturers were on display. With the interest and sales success they reported, there’s hope that we’ll see more of them at upcoming shows.


The Show Off Showcase winner this week, Robert Copeland of Pomona, won with his version of a very intricate chess set. Robert took home one of the Bosch tools as his prize. His entry will be entered in the grand prize competition that concludes in Houston in April of 2012. Joel Davisson’s “2 Legged Rocker” took second and the scrollsawn “Farmland” by Chuck Collins was the third place winner. I really liked the Intarsia Fireman.

The attendees were very engaged this weekend. Each of my seminars was standing room only with a good deal of give and take participation. I think that they could sense my inner peace or maybe my chairs were oriented just right. In fact, there was so much positive Karma, that I met a man in my presentation who was enjoying his first ever show. Not only did he say that he really enjoyed the experience but he was also the winner of the bandsaw give away. No trick, just treat!

This coming Friday through Sunday, November 4-6, the Shows move to Northern California in Sacramento at the State Fairgrounds. You can check out all of the particulars of that show and all the rest at Thewoodworkingshows.com. Now, there may not be an arch in my booth, but I think I can help adjust your woodworking attitude. I can’t promise that you’ll win the bandsaw that week though. But if you were to win, I’ll take some of the credit. I can still feel the energy.

Boo, hah, hah!

‘Til then, I’ll see you on the road.

Jim Heavey

WOOD Magazine Traveling Ambassador

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