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Spring Break In Tampa

Could there have been a better place in March to hold a woodworking show than in Florida? This last weekend, March 16-18, the Woodworking Shows opened their doors in Tampa at the State Fairgrounds. We have used this venue for years so the area woodworkers knew where to find us and we knew what to expect.

On Friday, a nice crowd awaited the starting bell at noon and attendance stayed fairly consistent until about 4PM. Saturday was definitely the busiest day of the weekend with packed aisles and good sales reported by the vendors. Sunday started light but the crowd grew all day right up to the free bandsaw giveaway at 3PM. Attendance at the educational seminars seemed pretty strong throughout the weekend and those who came to my classes spent the entire day in the booth. I think that we all enjoyed each other’s company.

I also had a great weekend. I had the chance to spend some quality time with a couple of good friends. I was invited out to the home of Mark Hensley. Mark was well known to show goers when he sold Leigh jigs and later as a lecturer teaching finishing and model building. The “professor” and his wife provided great company at their home in the country. Though he misses the show circuit, he said that he is really enjoying his retirement. I also had a chance to sit for an hour and have a cup of coffee with a very prolific blogger and WOOD Magazine contributor, Tom Iorvino. As the “Shop Monkey”, Tom has a unique perspective on the interests and motivation of the average woodworker and writes about it with a very engaging touch of humor.

I was impressed by the interests of a local woodworking club. The Florida West Coast Woodworkers Club has partnered with PET FL-Tampa. The PET group produces hand carts to enable those with ambulatory difficulties. Hundreds of these carts have been sent to all parts of the globe with the help of the volunteers at the Florida Woodworkers Club. To get more information about this very worthy cause, you can visit www.pettampa.org.

The Show Off Showcase had some very nice entries this last weekend. The overall winning vote getter was the “Turning Block Sofa Table” by Terry Sanchez. Second place went to Charles Kested”s “23rd Psalm” and finally, third place was awarded to Philip R Aalli’s “Toward The Sunrise”. Each winner chose a tool from the Bosch Tool Company. There was a nice crowd at the award presentation and they were encouraged to submit one of their own efforts for next year’s show.

I apologize that there are no images with this week’s post. I did not go home on Sunday as I usually do and I’ve had some issues getting my traveling computer to do as I’ve asked. You can find images of the weekend at www.thewoodworkingshows.com and also on their Facebook page.

All in all, the Tampa show was a good and it will be on the schedule for the 2012-2013 season.  And, with the current season quickly coming to an end, I hope that you’ll get a chance to see us at one of the last two shows. We will be in Charlotte at The Park on Briar Creek the week of March 23-25 and finally in the Houston area in Katy’s Leonard Merrell Center March 30-April 1. Make sure you preregister to beat the lines at the door and, while you’re there, check out the coupon to save $2 off the admission price. When you come to the show, make sure to stop in at the WOOD Magazine booth. And when you do, plan on staying a while. I’ve got a lot to show you. Besides, I like some good conversation.

The Woodworking Shows is very proud of the product that they have created and promise to add even more to next year. Your feedback is very important to those of us involved in planning for an enjoyable experience. Feel free to offer suggestions at www. thewoodworkingshows.com.

‘Til then, I’ll see you on the road.

Jim Heavey

WOOD Magazine Traveling Ambassador

Kansas City in T Minus 10-9-8

When the Woodworking Shows go to Kansas City each year, I know that I can expect a great weekend. This last weekend was no exception. I guess that I didn’t realize how interesting and fulfilling my time in KC would be. Read more

Starting 2011 With A Bang

The 2011 Woodworking Show series opened in Baltimore this last weekend to clear cold skies and the promise of big things. Little did I know that this would start in Annapolis in addition to the show venue in Timonium, Maryland. Read more

Be an angel for an angel

If you can make a simple box, you can make a difference for parents in need.

The Des Moines Woodworkers Association always looks for ways to help others, and we’re probably not alone when it comes to woodworkers. One cause that’s allowed our members to put their skills to work involves the Precious Angels organization.

Precious Angles started about 30 years ago to help parents whose premature or newborn children have died. When the 2-lb daughter of the group’s founder died, she discovered there were no sources of infant burial clothes and many families in need lacked the resources for an infant-sized casket. So she and the group’s volunteers sew tiny outfits, blankets, and accessories. Volunteer woodworkers make infant-sized caskets—more than 360 of which were sent out last year.

The task sounds pretty grim, but making caskets became a way for DMWA members to work together in groups and turn scraps into something more valuable than just cutting boards. Last year, DMWA members built more than 160 caskets like the one shown here, many from plans drawn up by our own Jeff Mertz and offered at the group’s Web site. (Go to “plans” under “support menu” for a PDF.)

So check out the Precious Angels Web site, ask them about offering to make wooden caskets, and maybe help them out with some cash. You’ll know that some family will appreciate your skills more than you can imagine.

Inspiring others in your shop

A few days before Christmas, Carter and I put the last coat of finish on 40+ holiday gifts. We turned the handles for bottle openers, pizza cutters, and cheese planes. Next, we revised the plan for the Tile-Topped Keepsake Box, featured in the November 2006 issue of WOOD, and built over a dozen of them in our Greene and Greene style. Finally, we edge-joined most of our cut-off scrap stock to create a trio of cutting boards.

Holiday Gifts Galore!

Holiday Gifts Galore!

Read more

Doing some holiday work at The Box Warehouse

I just finished up a sleigh-full (well, minivan) of Christmas gifts in my shop—and just in time! I had been working on a china cabinet for my wife, but put that on hold so I could make some projects to give as Christmas gifts. As it happened, I was testing Rockler’s new box-joint jig for a router table. It works so well and so quickly that I just started whipping out simple keepsake boxes. I don’t build these from a plan, but rather make them from whatever scraps and cutoffs I can muster. Some I glue together, often mixing species, and let the size of the pieces dictate the size of the box. Then I fit it with a thin plywood bottom, make a lid and a handle, apply my mark (a cross to signify my faith in Jesus Christ), and finish it with oil and lacquer.

3025 Read more

25 Interesting Facts about Deputy Editor Dave Campbell

In honor of WOOD Magazine’s 25th Anniversary, we posted 25 Interesting Facts about each of the folks who put out your favorite woodworking magazine. Here’s my list:

Dave Campbell, Deputy Editor

Dave Campbell, Deputy Editor

1. My earliest memory is of helping “John the Carpenter” put down new subfloor in my folks’ house. I was a preschooler with a hammer—what could go wrong there? Read more

25 Interesting Facts about Design Editor Jeff Mertz

In honor of WOOD Magazine’s 25th Anniversary, we’re posting 25 Interesting Facts about each of the folks who put out your favorite woodworking magazine. Here’s my list:

Jeff Mertz, Design Editor

Jeff Mertz, Design Editor

1.    I was a Project Manager for a general contractor before I came to WOOD magazine.

2.    I am a engineer before I am an artist…I fight to be the other way around. The engineer in me wants to see a schedule before it will allow me to switch, but the artist in me does not know how to make a schedule…thus an ongoing conflict! Read more

25 Interesting Facts About Multimedia Editor Lucas Peters

In honor of WOOD Magazine’s 25th Anniversary, we’re posting 25 Interesting Facts about each of the folks who put out your favorite woodworking magazine. Here’s my list:

Lucas Peters, Multimedia Editor

Lucas Peters, Multimedia Editor

1.    I graduated in a senior class of 14 people. And that was in a school district made up of two towns. My first class my freshman year in college had more students in it than my entire junior high/high school building. Read more

25 Interesting Facts about Multimedia Editor Craig Ruegsegger

In honor of WOOD Magazine’s 25th Anniversary, we posted 25 Interesting Facts about each of the folks who put out your favorite woodworking magazine. Here’s my list:

Craig Ruegsegger, Multimedia Editor

Craig Ruegsegger, Multimedia Editor

1.    My first woodworking project was a shoe-shine box for 4-H. It was built mostly by my dad.
2.    I have intersecting scars on my scalp from two separate childhood incidents; one on a toboggan, the other on a bike. Read more

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