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A Denver Diary

This last weekend’s flight on November 18-20, took me  a little more than a thousand miles west of my home in Huntley, Illinois to Denver, Colorado and to a change in both climate and altitude. The Woodworking Show would open its doors about a mile above sea level and to an arid 60 degree sunny weekend. Taking full advantage of the area and the weather, I drove out to Boulder to see the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) which is situated in the foothills of the Rocky Mountain National Park. Funded by the National Science Foundation, NCAR does not predict the weather but analyzes all atmospheric behavior and transfers that knowledge and resultant technology to benefit the world. As an example, my flight that day was guided by instruments calibrated by data from this institution. The causes and effects of pollution on agriculture and communication issues in times of solar flares are more of the things I learned that they are involved in.  The programs, building and grounds made this a great stop.


The Denver Woodworking Show drew nice crowds, and for those who have felt that there weren’t enough tool companies at the show, they sure were treated to some of the best selections we’ve had. In addition to our show sponsor, Bosch Tools, attendees found reps selling Milwaukee, Hitachi, Makita, Saw Stop, Rockwell, General, Delta, Powermatic, Jet, Festool and Porter Cable and Dewalt. Hammer also had their professional line of stationary tools.

 In fact, the show probably had more space dedicated to these manufacturers than we’ve seen. And most had some form of demonstration going on continually throughout the day. It was easy to pick out those who hadn’t seen the hot dog and the saw blade matchup at Saw Stop.  Wow, did they jump when the bang signaled the hot dog the winner!

I stopped in at the booth of the Front Range Woodturners (actually lured by the invitation to have a fudge brownie), and talked to Larry Cook. This club of over 300 members had some beautiful examples of their work on display. His “flame bowl” was the result of a turned bowl blow out that he had salvaged and sculpted into something he was justly proud of.

My surprise this last weekend was how relatively few entries we had in the Show Off Showcase. The winners surely weren’t complaining though. Rick LeBlanc took top honors with his very well crafted “Cedar Strip Kayak”.

 His entry (a digital version unless he’d like to paddle that thing down to Houston in April) will be entered in the final grand prize judging at our last show of the season. Second place went to Kevin Loyd for his “Floating Wall Cabinet”. David Dent’s entry, “Surfboard Table”, took third.

All of our winners left with a Bosch power tool and the recognition of fellow attendees.

My travels will take me East this upcoming weekend, November 25-27, but only about 35 minutes by car from home. We will be at the Renaissance Convention Center in Schaumburg, Illinois and inviting woodworkers to gobble up (sorry, couldn’t help it) all the education and deals we offer. We hope you’ll be stuffing (again, sorry) your bags with the tool deals you’ll find and your mind with all the free seminars. You can take your nap later.

And, if you follow this link, you can take $2 off your admisssion. http://thewoodworkingshows.com/styled-6/index.html 

‘Til then, I’ll see you on the road.

Jim Heavey

WOOD Magazine Traveling Ambassador

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