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A Memorable Weekend in New Jersey

The Woodworking shows went to New Jersey this last weekend, February 24-26. Because there have been so few options for flights of late, I booked a 6AM on Thursday for the trip to the east coast. After landing in Newark, I headed into New York to see the new memorial at Ground Zero. Created after much controversy, the site is and will be a fitting memorial to those who died on September 11th. Though the memorial center building is not yet completed, the two pools and surrounding grounds are open to the public. Around both the north and south pool are the engravings listing those who perished at that site in addition to the deaths at the Pentagon and in Pennsylvania.

The only surviving tree, a Callery Pear, was found severely damaged in the rubble and, after some rehabilitation, returned to the site 10 years later. Its “rebirth” is a tribute to our resilience with both life and commerce getting stronger each year. Just a short walk from the site is Battery Park and the view across the Hudson onto Ellis Island and Lady Liberty.

The show at the Somerset venue was well attended with plenty for the attendees to see. Delta and Jet had large tool displays to the delight of local woodworkers.

Local clubs had great examples of the work by their members. The Garden State Marquetry club had examples on display and a member teaching the art to any interested observer.

The Pen Jersey Scrollers had a number of very intricate works in their booth and the Atlantic Shore Woodturners displayed a really nice live edged bowl.

This week, Frank Klausz, noted artisan, ran educational classes that were very well received. It only took a minute to get through the heavy Hungarian accent and you knew that you were in for a treat. His take on woodworking and his techniques had to be seen to be appreciated. I accepted an invitation for dinner and we were joined by a great group of craftsmen and editors spending a couple of hours telling stories at each other’s expense. The following morning, Frank brought in of his prized guitars and a couple of the group put on an impromptu jam session before the doors opened on the show floor.

One of the more unique sales booths this last weekend was that of the Shaving Horse Antiques. Their specialty is old hand tools and the selection of planes took up the majority of their booth space. In spite of the age of these vintage tools, they were sharpened and adjusted to be put into service immediately. If you were looking for some beautiful lumber to plane or rout, you could have found it at Alderfer Lumber Co. This piece of Osage Orange would make for one great project!

The first two Show Off Showcase winners this week had something in common. First place went to Dan Peterson for his pair of “Big Rigs”. Every detail was well crafted and visible.

Likewise, second place was a “Road Grader” by Glenn Peterson and he had even more pieces to his offering. Lastly, the Intarsia “Rocky Racoon” by Larry Morgan rounded out the top three. Each of the finalists received a tool from Bosh and Dan’s big rigs will be competing with past winners at our last show in Houston for the grand prize. You’ll be able to see the ultimate winner on the Woodworking Shows web site sometime in April.

Next week, March 2-4, we will be opening up shop in Virginia with the Woodworking Shows at the Fredericksburg Expo, 2371 Carl D Silver Pkwy in Fredericksburg. This is replacing the Chantilly Venue that is now a Kmart super store. This is another of the Big Ten and should bring all that you would expect of a show dedicated to those who love wood and tools. This is a large venue and we hope to see it filled with woodworkers eager to learn a new technique, maybe purchase a new tool or accessory, and find the renewed enthusiasm to put those two things together.

If you come out to the show, be sure to preregister. Some of the few complaints we’ve heard is the wait at the ticket booth. And follow this link to get another $2 off your admission. http://thewoodworkingshows.com/styled-6/index.html. If you get the chance, please stop into the WOOD Magazine booth and let me show you ways to add that very personal touch to your next project. I’ll also show you how to sign up for our $5000 cash giveaway and you’ll get free downloads for plans of the projects I’m demonstrating. I really think that this is a win win.

‘Til then, I’ll see you on the road.

Jim Heavey

WOOD Magazine Traveling Ambassador


On a very personal note, I was entrusted with a really special gift on Sunday and completely taken aback by the thoughtfulness of a fellow woodworker, Tom Aimone.  His son, Ken,  is on active duty in Afghanistan and a pilot. I was presented with an American flag flown over the war zone by an Air Force fighter jet and dedicated to me. This was done on Veteran’s Day, November 11, 2011. I don’t think that I’ve ever been so moved and hope that the case I will build to house both it and the certificate will reflect the honor I feel having been given such a unique and powerfully symbolic treasure. I can only hope to one day find a way to repay the kindness of those who have taken an interest in me.

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