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Something Good Is Brewing In Milwaukee

It may have a reputation as a great beer town but this last weekend, February 15-18,  Milwaukee could have also been known as the King of Woodworking Shows. We had some of the best attendance numbers I can remember there and each day saw packed aisles and seminars. Even Sunday, which can be a little slow, brought really nice crowds. All Paul Moore, our Crazy Canadian, could say is “Wow, what a show”!

One of the things that drew attendees was the number of free educational seminars offered each weekend. Their only lament is that they just couldn’t see them all during even a full three day show. I went through the schedule and counted over 100 opportunities to learn something that can make you a better turner, finisher, small or large tool user, furniture maker, stair builder or CNC operator. Shoot, you can even learn a foreign language don’t ya know! Couple that with some great tool and accessory prices and the chance to meet others with our shared passion (disease?) and you can see why we’re pretty excited about this and future Woodworking Show seasons.

Wisconsin is also the home of Kettle Moraine Hardwoods. They brought a very nice selection of domestic and exotic stock to tempt those looking for that perfect wood for a special project.

 The Wisconsin Woodworkers guild displayed a very interesting turning in the booth.  And the Badger State Carvers had examples and demonstrations of carved shelves and the techniques used to create them.

 Though maybe cheating a bit, but the Carve Wright people had a very impressive 3D running shoe including the waffled sole and Nike swoop logo.

 I thought that I had seen just about everything that a Dremel tool could do until I saw this demo.

 

We were very happy with the Project Showcase as it had one of the largest numbers of submissions so far this year. There was a very nice Walnut and Oak bent leg table on display as well as very unique jewelry box among the offerings.

 The winner this last weekend was the “Spill Table” made by David Scott Krenz. A composition of vertical grain bamboo, Purple Heart and Black Burl Walnut, made this the majority choice.

 Second was the huge creation of Mr. Bauer, his “Crane Miniature Replica”  which defied any attempts at photography. Lastly, the Cherry, Walnut and Maple “End Grain Table” of Matthew Schlechta took third. All the winners were awarded a tool from the Bosch Tool Company and every entry took home a show goody bag. David’s table will be judged with other local weekend winners by the educators for the grand prize to be awarded after the final show of the season in Atlanta.

We will travel from Lake Michigan to the shores of the Atlantic for our show next weekend in New Jersey, February 22-24. We will be in Somerset at the Garden State Exhibit Center where we have been for years and we fully expect to see our east coast fans and friends. As always, we promise to provide an enjoyable and educational weekend and the chance to swap a story or two. Please take advantage of the opportunity to buy your tickets on line at thewoodworkingshows.com and avoid the lines at the door. When you do come out, I hope that you’ll stop in at the WOOD Magazine booth and we can talk about my topic this year, Finishing. Bring a question or just a good story and pull up a chair. We need to talk!

‘Til then, I’ll see you on the road,

Jim Heavey

WOOD Magazine Traveling Ambassador

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