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Not Your Indy 500


This last Friday, January 20th, the Woodworking Shows opened its doors in Indianapolis, Indiana and I began my trek down there on Thursday. This is usually a pretty quick trip of about four hours. Not so this time. Mother nature and some “fearless” drivers would add another hour and a half to that trip. With visions of taking that checkered flag, 18 wheelers looking like snow ghosts passed we Sunday drivers creating clouds of swirling snow and severely limiting any real visibility. Ignoring the proverbial yellow caution flags that would have been waved on overpasses and curves, they discovered the laws of physics still apply when traveling over packed snow on an iced roadway. I can only imagine the rush of adrenaline that three of those drivers must have experienced as they plowed into each other. Traffic had slowed to ogle another would be Parnelli Jones about 100 yards ahead whose big rig was nose down in a culvert. We were detoured around all the action and back onto I-65 Southbound after a lengthy delay. Not to be outdone, further south on the northbound side of the “expressway”,  a semi crash and trailer fire resulted in a  red flag closing the roadway and backing up race fans for miles. Sure glad I was a spectator and not a participant.

The show in Indy was held in the State Fairgrounds which also hosted the annual home show in the next building over. Our venue, the Toyota Blue Ribbon Hall, was packed with attendees all weekend long.

Though parking was at a premium, everyone seemed to have navigated the lots well and found their way into the show. There was a wide selection of tools from area dealers including air tools and stationary tools.

 Hollingsworth Lumber brought some really nice stock so one could learn a technique at an educational booth, pick out some great material and then bring home the tools needed to finish everything. Kind of a one stop shop, if you will.

If you were looking for some instruction on how to build a Greene and Greene inspired furniture piece, Bernard Woodworking School was the place to get started. They have classes in all phases of our craft and some beautiful examples of finished work on display. The Women’s Woodworking Guild of Indiana also had a booth showing the accomplishments of their members.

It seems that the show continues to add new content for attendees and now Ron Brown from Woodline USA  can be found conducting short turning classes from his sales booth.

The Show Off Showcase had some nice entries this last weekend. The first place winner was Alan Brittingham and his “Caleb’s Wagon”. All but completely of wood, this project was well constructed and sure to please the intended recipient.

 Second place were a pair of pierced turning plates called “Charlets Web” by Duane Leach.

 And third place was a very unique three legged “Figured Maple Chest” by David Valentin. This project caught my eye when I first walked by the displayed pieces and David was justifiably proud of his effort. Each of the winners took home a Bosch Tool.

Kansas City is next up for the Woodworking shows. We will be there the weekend of January 27-29 at the Overland Park International Trade Center on 115th Street in Overland Park. This is another of the Big 10 shows and we anticipate nice crowds and a hall full of venders, schools and educational booths. You can check out www.thewoodworkingshows.com for the locations of the remaining shows in this season.  Judging from the last couple of shows, it would be a good idea to preregister on line and avoid the lines. if you are coming out, follow this link http://thewoodworkingshows.com/styled-6/index.html to save two dollars off your admission price. You can also have your single day ticket extended to all three days for free by stopping at the information counter on the show floor. If you plan to take in all of the free education, you’ll need the extra time. These are the best shows you’ll find to provide the knowledge, supplies and tools to build that special project. Stop in at the WOOD Magazine booth and I’ll show you how to add that personal touch that will really set your project apart from the rest.

Oh ,and inside the hall, you’ll find a well lit and warm environment with dry pavement. We want you to be a participant, not just a spectator. Try the tools, ask questions and engage your mind. We’re here for you. Just drive safely getting here. OK?

‘Til then, I’ll see you on the road.

Jim Heavey

WOOD Magazine Traveling Ambassador

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