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A Weekend in Portland 2011

This last weekend the Woodworking Shows traveled to Portland, Oregon. This is still one of my favorite destinations on the tour as it blends some of the most beautiful scenery in the country with a talented eclectic group of wodworkers. I took advantage of the only sunny dry day of the weekend to drive out to the Columbia River Gorge with fellow educator Roland Johnson to show him why I find this area is so amazing. Though I have experienced fall in many parts of the country, the season here is even more lush than normal. We spent the afternoon walking, taking pictures and solving world problems. Not a bad days work.

The show opened on Friday to some of the heaviest fog I’ve seen. No problem for the locals who have come to this venue for years And there was something for everyone to see. Before the doors opened, Paul Moore from Stockroom Supply ran a fun clinic on hockey, Canadian style, and awarded bottles of Titebond glue to those who answered questions about our northern neighbor. One of the first booths in the show featured examples of Intarsia and carving. The booth was literally jammed with projects and club members demonstrating their specialties. There was also music from the carved flutes on display. Kind of a multisensory experience.

Woodworkers seeking more formalized education checked out the Guild of Oregon Woodworkers who had class schedules posted and someone to talk to about what to expect when they enrolled. In another booth there were demonstrations of marquetry and the techniques to make it easy.

The Show Off Showcase was easily the best to date and definately raised the bar for the eventual overall winner in Houston. Portland’s winner was Richard Babbitt’s “Table de Vino”. The top was white oak crotch veneer and Macasar ebony and the carved base was Mudrona. This flawless rendering will grace the foyer in the Babbitt home.

Second place went to the “Hitachi Crawler Crane” by Mike Rohrbach. Made almost entirely of wood, all the parts were operable.

 Lastly, the “Chamarros Sunburn Rocker” by Kelly Gerke was a very gracefull interpretation of a Maloof chair and his first attempt at a dyed finish.

 Each entrant took home a Woodworking Show goodie bag and the winners each had a choice of a Bosch tool.

Not only did I enjoy the weekend but I also got to take home a prize. Don, one of my loyal regular attendees brought a block of Tillamook cheese that I’ll enjoy for a while. I also received a few abalone shells and about half a board foot of a 2000 year old Redwood. I said that this was one of my favorite cities.

Next week, November 18-20, we will be in Denver,  Colorado, at the Denver Merchandise Mart. Each week the show gets larger and Denver should be the busiest yet. If you’re in the area, please come out and see what we have to offer. And bring a friend. Brush up on your slap shot and take home some glue. Enter the drawing for the free bandsaw that’s given away at each show. And use this link to save a couple of bucks on your admission. http://thewoodworkingshows.com/styled-6/index.html
You’ll be glad you came out.

‘Til then, I’ll see you on the road.

Jim Heavey

WOOD Magazine Traveling Ambassador

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