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2013 – A New Season for the Woodworking Shows

Seems like forever since the last woodworking show in Houston last March. Being addicted to all the activity and camaraderie of the show circuit, it would be a long summer and fall before I would get my fix. This last weekend would finally bring relief in Baltimore as the 2013 season kicked off. Adding to the rush is the new schedule, new ownership and, for me, a new presentation. As Ole’ Willie Nelson would say, I’m “On the Road Again”.

Where we used to start our season in the fall and finish in early spring, we will now start in January, continue straight through March and then finish the year in the fall. Bryce Beermann, our new owner, has kept nearly all of the same venues though some of the dates may have changed. He brings a new face to the show as well as the energy, enthusiasm and desire to create a great experience for woodworkers of all skill levels. With even more educational options, you’ll have to spend the entire weekend to take it all in.

My presentations will be new for the year also. With a focus on finishing, we’ll cover prep, coloring and top coats with tips and techniques designed to provide the knowledge and confidence to apply that “perfect finish”. As always, the classes are very informal and questions are encouraged both during and after each discussion. We’ll also have a “mini” WOOD Store on site with our videos and CDs at discounted prices.

The attendance was excellent this last weekend in spite of the fact that the Baltimore Ravens are embroiled in the playoffs and looking for a spot in the Super Bowl. Woodworkers are true multi-taskers. Nice to see that in spite of their relative age and infirmity, these bandaged warriors were able to keep from smudging their eye shading while pulling on a purple jersey over their “Got Wood?” tee shirt. It brought a tear to my eye. Really!

There was a lot to see this weekend. One of the booths that caught my eye was selling old and antique hand tools. The selection of planes was amazing as was the condition of the wooden ones, still able to cut a crisp profile. Whether you plan on using one of these or just collecting it,  this booth was a find.

 And the selection of some very nice stock was available at a number of lumber dealers on the show floor. From small exotics to huge special cuts, there was something for everyone. 

 So, in a single venue, one could find a cool new or antique tool, attend a seminar on how to use it and also bring home the hardwood for that special project. Where else can you do that!

The Project Showcase is back this year with a new name but a familiar theme. Open to all attendees, bring in your favorite project and compete with other entries for some great prizes by the Bosch Tool Company and the recognition you deserve. The top winner each week will compete in the grand judging at the season’s end. This weekend’s winner was John Lebkicher and his “Big Boy Toys”. Made of wood, this project took John a year and a half to complete. With attention to every detail, this was a beauty.

 Second place went to a team of woodworkers, Eleaner Rosendale and Jeanne Brandenburg for their “Seaside Coffee Table”. A great collaboration on a very well done piece of furniture.

The “Blanket Chest” by Robert Pegram was third and sported some nice joinery.

The show will travel to Massachusetts next week, January 11-13. We’ll be at the Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield. If you’re a woodworking junkie like me, you won’t want to miss it. And while you’re there, stop into the WOOD booth and pull up a chair. You’ll meet a lot of other people with the same sickness. I don’t think that we can be cured, but we do enjoy the therapy.

‘Til then, I’ll see you on the road.

Jim Heavey

WOOD Magazine’s Traveling Ambassador

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