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While there were definitely passing thoughts of football this last weekend, January 30-February 2, woodworkers in Columbus took time out to visit the other big game in town, The Woodworking Shows. We’ve always enjoyed good attendance in Ohio and, as anticipated, our fans turned out in droves to be educated, equipped and inspired by our well seasoned team of vendors and seminar speakers.

Landing on Thursday and before going in to the venue for show setup, I took some time to see some of the other attractions in the Columbus area. Being a bit of a golf nut, I drove to Ohio State University to take in the Jack Nicklaus Museum which is located on the campus. Being the only visitor that morning made for a leisurely stroll around a tribute to one of the game’s best Hall of Fame players. A variety of course and tournament vignettes as well as over 2,000 pieces on display told the history of the sport and the man. After a couple hours there, I couldn’t wait for Spring to come. There may have been a few inches of snow on the ground here but I swore I could almost see the flag on a green as I drove by a course on my way downtown.


The Ohio Statehouse was worth a stop during the afternoon. This very impressive building was completed in 1861 and is a great example of Greek Revival architecture. It didn’t take a special pass to visit nearly every room including the state senate chambers. Beautifully ornate to imply the solemnity of the business of state, this grand room was very impressive. One thing I did find very unique was the large entrance door and its elaborate construction. A closer look revealed the “Oak” door with its surround was actually Poplar with a faux finish. Again, really impressive.

The opening of the show on both Friday and Saturday was something to see. It took better than 15 minutes for the first wave of attendees to enter the doors because of the size of the crowds and the aisles were all but filled to capacity those first two days. A somewhat smaller group rushed the doors on Sunday.  Front row seating at the seminars started a half hour before presentations began and those who dallied settled for standing room only. There would be a lot to see.

Jay Kinsinger of Cedarville brought his collection of wooden family bicycles. Laminated black walnut made the frames light but very durable for the long cross state rides that his family made together.

The Woodworkers of Central Ohio displayed pictures of some of the 3700 toys made and donated by club members for needy children at the holiday season in 2013 alone. I spent some time talking to Joseph Poindexter, a carver of just 4 months, about his craft and the joy he hopes to convey to those who look at his creations.

A young craftsman at the I.G. Furniture booth worked on forming and smoothing a Maloof style chair during show hours. A nearby finished piece showed the end result of all that personal attention to detail.

At the Peachtree booth, attendees watched a demonstration of how a simple turning fixture could make producing a perfectly round ball look so easy. Almost too much to see and hear before the clock ran out on Sunday afternoon.

The Project Showcase had entries in all 4 categories this last weekend. John Haywood took first place in the Furniture Category with his Walnut Slab Coffee Table. Paul Courtright was the overall winner in the Carvings/Turnings Category with his Ash Puzzle Vessel. In Models/Toys, the Steam Locomotive by Brian Gray took top honors.

In the Open Category, third place went to David Johnson’s Scrollsaw Eagle. A second place ribbon was awarded to the Gun ‘N Jewelry Box by Philip Davis. First place honors went to James Herrick for his Intarsia Bulldog. This weekend’s Educator and People’s Choice winner was Brian Gray’s Locomotive. The winners received Bosch tools, Worksharp tools and gift cards from Lee Valley.

The show in Columbus is in the record books. If you missed it there won’t be a replay until next year unless you’re in the St. Louis area where we will start the clock all over on February 7-9 at the Gateway Center in Collinsville, Illinois. One extra point, if you are coming to the St. Louis show, I hope that you’ll stop in at the WOOD Magazine booth where I’ll be making cabinets and conversation. What could be better than a woodworker and a woodworking show? Truly a classic matchup! Hope to see you there!


‘Til then, I’ll see you on the road.

Jim Heavey

WOOD Magazine Traveling Ambassador


  1. While at the Columbus show, I had an early Disston backsaw straightened and sharpened by Ron Herman. When I got it home, I could not believe how well it cut. Thanks Ron! I picked up some nice wood, consumables, and lots of great tips. I can’t wait until next year.

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