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JUST PEACHY IN THE PEACH STATE

 

 

There are some weekends where things just seem to turn out well and this last weekend in Atlanta, March 7-9, was definitely one of them. My flights were on time, I found a really unique place to explore, I had dinner and celebrated with good friends each evening and I was part of an excellent, well attended woodworking show in sunny and 70 degree sunshine.  Really can’t ask for much more than that!

Whenever and wherever a health emergency breaks out in the world, one organization is tasked with finding a cause and a solution. The Centers for Disease Control, established in 1946, has been on the leading edge in efforts to identify and confront issues such as Toxic Shock, Aids, Legionnaires Disease, Ebola, Small Pox and Anthrax to name but a few. At their headquarters in Atlanta I found a small but very informative museum on this large campus complex. In addition to epidemics, the CDC  is involved in the fight against heart disease, smoking and work place safety to improve and safeguard public health. Having grown up fearing the scourge of Polio, I was particularly drawn to the Iron Lung and the story of the man who lived in it for almost 40 years. Overall, a fascinating place to visit.

Our doors opened in Norcross to very large crowds of eager attendees who found all the educational seminars, even those packed into the tiniest corners and behind vendor booths. Our show literally filled the entire exhibit area and provided something to see in nearly every phase of woodworking. Stationary tools (heavy iron) occupied a large part of the floor and there were portable power tool vendors in every aisle.

A local favorite, the Woodworkers’ Guild of Georgia, conducted a juried contest of member’s projects and ran impromptu classes all day long. A T Rex stood guard at the corner of their very spacious booth.

The Gwinnett Woodworkers Association had turning displays amongst other member’s projects.

Barry Gross held classes with large crowds on creating and finishing a pen masterpiece in his booth throughout the weekend.

In the Redmond Machinery booth, in addition to the Saw Stop table saw demonstrations, there were sales of used machinery for those looking for a bargain. And at the Peachtree booth, I saw some of the most amazing examples of pyrography where wood burning is combined with India inks to create beautiful art objects.

We also saw a very nice collection of projects in our Project Showcase. I was disappointed with the lack of any youth submissions but the adult entries were very well done.

In the Furniture Category, first place went to the Chair by Steve Deafenbaugh.

In Turnings/Carvings, third place was given to the Spalted Maple Bowl by Don Heath. Second place went to Ron Britton’s Cherry Burl Bowl and the Chip Carved Chest by Mickey Hudspeth took the top spot.

In Models/Toys, Earnest Keretz was our second place finisher with his Marsh Buggy Excavator. First place was awarded to the Locomotive by Harry Kilpatrick.

In the Open Category, the Butterfly Inlay by Kenneth Kline took third place. Steve Carmichael’s Foot Long Sandwich gobbled up second (couldn’t help it). The Teardrop Trailer by Brian Harris was our first place finisher.

 

The People’s Choice winner was Harry Kilpatrick’s Locomotive and this weekend’s overall winner, Steve Deafenbaugh, won the Educator’s Choice award with his Chair.

Atlanta’s weekend may be tough to beat but our show in Milwaukee at the Wisconsin Expo Center in West Allis on March 14-16 will definitely give Atlanta a run for its money.  I hope that if you’re in the area you’ll stop in to see one of the best woodworking shows in the country. If you’d like to catch some of the educational opportunities, you’ll easily need a couple of days because we’ve got a lot to talk about. I’ll be in the WOOD Magazine booth reviewing cabinet construction if you’re so inclined. You know I’ll have plenty to talk about! Hope to see you there.

‘Til then, I’ll see you on the road.

Jim Heavey

WOOD Magazine Traveling Ambassador

SHORT BUT SWEET IN KC

 

 

Kansas City in March can always be a bit of a gamble when it comes to the weather and we experienced that phenomenon this last weekend, February 28-March 2, when the Woodworking Shows opened its doors at the Kemper Arena at noon on Friday according to schedule but closed them two hours shy of normal on Sunday. Conditions went from the sunny 40′s for my arrival on Thursday to near single digits and blowing snow for late Saturday and all day Sunday. I’m not one to complain (I do enjoy each season) but I think it’s about  time to strangle that groundhog in Pennsylvania. Metaphorically, of course!

As is my custom each weekend, I did take my normal side trip to see something of interest on Thursday. Having seen the Jazz Museum, The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, and an underground Minuteman silo on previous visits, I found the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art to be the perfect stop. Why this museum isn’t just jammed with visitors, I’ll never understand. There were very few people there when I went  despite the fact that admittance is free (they really appreciate donations though) and the art and the buildings themselves are so impressive. The grounds and outdoor sculpture art were an enticement even as I drove up. The neighborhood has some very interesting buildings as well. Coupling this with some great displays of period art and furniture including a very inviting courtyard for lunch, made this museum a real winner for me.

 

We had some very nice crowds of woodworkers who packed the entryway and the aisles on Friday and Saturday. With the threat of additional snow and really poor driving conditions predicted for Sunday, that day’s crowds were somewhat sparse. For those who did attend, they found an even larger show than last year with more tool vendors and educational opportunities. This was the second year at the Kemper Arena and even though there is a small parking fee, most attendees were excited to see the show’s expansion. As has been the case this last year in general, we are seeing somewhat younger attendees and quite a few children.

I stopped by many of the booths to chat with the vendors and clubs. I was particularly drawn by the interest and busyness of the Kansas City Woodturners Club. It seemed like there was something happening everywhere and constantly. Some great projects on display too.

Representatives from the DNR spent the weekend educating people about the various invasive bug species and their potential harm to the trees in the area.

I saw a very interesting Bishop Clamp system on display at the Bushton Mfg booth.

We had each of our Project Showcase categories covered this weekend with some very unique and well constructed entries.

The Youth Division had entries from two brothers take the honors with second place going to Jeremiah Stalder’s Rubber Band Gun and his brother, Daniel, taking first with a spinning top.

For the adults in the Furniture Category, a third place ribbon went to Caleb Schraeder’s Arch Entry Table. Ronald Lomax took second for the Sculpted Stool and Hal Jones’s Cradle took top honors.

In Turnings, Jim Ramsey was the overall winner with his Table Lamp with Turned Pendulum.

Models/Toys winner was the Fire Engine by Jerry Ray.

In the Open Category, Brian Dillon took first place for his Kayak. Brian was the winner of both the People’s Choice and Educator’s Choice as well. A clean sweep for that beautiful watercraft.

All of our entrants won a goody bag from the Woodworking Shows and category winners took home tools from Bosch Tools, Worksharp and Lee Valley gift cards. Brian’s Kayak will complete with the other Educator’s Choice winners for the grand prize at the conclusion of the Woodworking Show season in March.

The snowy conditions forced the show to close early on Sunday but that gave our intrepid road crews a little extra time to truck everything to our next venue in Norcross, Georgia at the North Atlantic Trade Center. We will be there from March 7-9 and, as of this writing, without any snow in the forecast. Maybe ‘ol Punxsutawney Phil knows he’s on thin ice! If you get a chance to see the show, I hope you’ll stop in at the WOOD Magazine booth for our seminars on Cabinet Making. I’ll make it worth your while.

‘Til then, I’ll see you on the road.

Jim Heavey

WOOD Magazine Traveling Ambassador

A GREAT WEEKEND IN SOMERSET

 

 

As the thermometer inched into the low fifties this last weekend, the Woodworking Shows opened its doors in Somerset, New Jersey. It’s been a particularly tough winter all across the east and the remnants of the truly unusual snow totals were still visible almost everywhere I drove. Though it may have been just a celebration of this temporary warmth, I believe that the woodworkers who packed the entryway and the aisles of our venue came to replace the memory of cold and ice with thoughts of shavings and sawdust. We have always enjoyed great attendance here and this time would be no different.

I feel that the show was a success on nearly every level. As has been the case for the last few years, there were more educational opportunities than the time to see them. The free seminars on the show floor were filled beyond seating capacity over the course of the entire three day show. The paid seminars (and we are slowly adding more of these focused classes) were becoming even better attended. And if you were here to make a tool purchase, nearly every manufacturer was represented in the sales booths. Both portable and stationary tools seemed to be everywhere.

Looking for antique woodworking tools, then Crafts Antique Tool Club of New Jersey had you covered there too. I don’t know about the food at this venue but beer sales looked to be very brisk. Again, something for everyone!

A few of the local woodworking clubs were on hand to display the work of their members and  to attract potential new  members. Garden State Marquetry Society taught their proven techniques and had samples on hand.

The Alderfer Lumber Company has some really nice stock including this striking Walnut crotch grain for sale.

Even some nice jewelry at the Hudson Valley Woodturning booth.

We also saw a large number of entries in the Showcase in both the adult and youth divisions.

In the Furniture Category, our winner was John Manura’s Jewelry Boxes.

The Turnings/Carvings Category had a tie for second place between Jeffrey Knichel’s Fluted Bowl and the Offset Baseball Bat from Robert Lenrow. First place went to Larry Morgan for his Maple Urn.

In the Models/Toys Category, Hans Bolliger took second for the Firetruck and first place was taken by the Drilling Rig and Tractor by Glen Peterson.

The Open Category had some interesting pieces. Third place was given to Roger Sinclair for the Gershwin Scroll Saw Picture. Gualberto Malave took second for the Bandsaw Box and the overall winner was Larry Yaskulka and his Jousting Horse.

The People’s Choice winner was Glenn Peterson’s Drilling Rig and the Educator’s Choice went to Larry Yaskulka’s Jousting Horse.

The Youth Division was a guitar makers heaven. All of the entries were school projects and they were all well crafted.

Third place was given to Craig Mitchell for the Blue/Silver Razorback Guitar. Second place turned out to be a three way tie! Justin Barbato (Orange Les Paul), Shelby South (Black/Blue SG Standard) and Ryan Fox (Sunburst Les Paul) drew equal votes for their guitars. First place was awarded to Lauren Woods for the Bass/Treble Clef Guitar. Lauren also took the People’s Choice award and the Educator’s Choice Runner up was Jarrod Gallack”s Gold/Black Warlock. The Educator’s Choice winner was Shelby South’s Black/Blue SG Standard.

All entrants were given goodies bags from the Woodworking Shows and a variety of products from the vendors. Winners took home tools from Bosch Tools and Work Sharp as well as gift cards from Lee Valley. Larry Yaskulka and his Jousting Horse will compete for overall winner following the Houston Show this March.

Somerset was quite a show. The attendees left happy and the educators and vendors exhausted. I was fortunate and could fly home on Sunday night. For those who make the show happen each week, our set up and transportation crews,  they will drive to Kansas City next week only to go back across the country to Atlanta the following week. As always, the unheralded stars of the show. The Kansas City show will be February 28-March 2 at the Kemper Arena Grounds on American Royal Court. I hope that you’ll get a chance to come out and see what we’re so proud of. I’m teaching cabinet making in the WOOD Magazine booth and I promise you a lot of information during the course of each day. Come sit a spell and we’ll talk.

‘Til Then, I’ll see you on the road.

Jim Heavey

WOOD Magazine Traveling Ambassador

THANK YOU DETROIT

 

 

This past Friday and Saturday, February 14-15, the Woodworking Shows returned to the Detroit area and opened its doors to a very nice group of attendees as eager as we were to enjoy and display our craft. Even though the Detroit show had only been put on the schedule a couple of weeks ago, the crowds we had hoped for did show up and we made good on our promise to provide something for everyone. Read more

NOT SINGING THE BLUES IN ST. LOUIS

 

 

I’m very fortunate. I work for a great magazine and I really like what I do. This last weekend, February 7-9, I was able to escape the harsh and all but relentless cold and snow in the Chicago area for a trip South as part of my “job”. Read more

A SUPER (BOWL) WEEKEND IN COLUMBUS

 

 

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. Read more

INDY SMORGASBORD

 

If your goal this last weekend, January 17-19, was to pack as many experiences into three days as you could, the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis was the place to be. For me (and a huge number of other people), the highlight was definitely the Woodworking Show but there was certainly something for everyone else. It all started on route I-65 and its interpretation of the Indy 500. Straighten out that oval, add excessive speed and throw in snow and wind and you’ve got something to see. A lot of yellow and red caution flags flew nearly the entire weekend both North and Southbound. When you finally arrived at the Fairgrounds, you found the parking lot overflowing with snow and cars long before the doors of the show opened. Some great advanced planning led to the use of a few shuttle buses for those parked in the hinterland. Then, cold and pooped, you had your choice of the home show, gun show or Nirvana (AKA The Woodworking Show).

Once inside the warm Blue Ribbon Pavilion, attendees found nearly every square foot of the show floor filled with tools, woodworking supplies and educational seminars. Jet/Powermatic had a very nice display of heavy iron including bandsaws, cabinet saws, drill presses, planers and more. Lee Valley had an impressive gathering of precision planes, squares and marking devises. And for those looking for tools of the past, two different booths were there with enough hand tools to fill even the largest tool chest.

The educational seminars were packed the entire weekend with the only complaint being that even three days wasn’t sufficient to take them all in. Small groups seemed to gather around anyone demonstrating a tool or technique. Braving the cold, attendees watched a vendor milling logs in the parking lot. More to see this last weekend than you could shake a stick at.

The Project Showcase featured both youth and adult entries and, having seen the quality of their efforts, those young woodworkers could have easily competed with their more seasoned fellow entrants. The Box by Caiden Fry won first place in the Youth Open Category and the Maloof Chair by Jalen Waggoner took top honors in the Furniture Category. Jalen also was awarded the People’s Choice and Educator’s Choice in the Youth Division.

In the Adult Division, the Furniture Category had three winners. Third place went to Michael Powell’s Bar Stools, second place to the Hall Table by Zachary Peterson and the overall winner was Kelsea McDonald’s Buffet.

in the Adult Open Division, there were also three award winners. Third place was taken by an Intarsia Frog by Robert Hammond. Second place went to the Bow Saw by Patrick Meyer. The first place winner as well as the People’s Choice and Educator’s Choice winner was Bill Arnold’s Dulcimer. All the entrants received goodie bags from The Woodworking Shows and the winners received tools from Bosch Tools and Work Sharp and Lee Valley gift cards. Bill Arnold’s Dulcimer will be entered in the grand prize judging at the close of the Woodworking Show season in late March.

If you weren’t able to attend the Indy show, you missed a beauty but there is always next year. If you’re in the Columbus, Ohio area your opportunity comes January 31-February 2 at the Ohio Expo Center on East 17th.  All of the shows continue to grow in size and popularity and the Columbus show is no exception. Expect to see tools, supplies, tips and techniques covering nearly every aspect of our craft. When you do attend, please try and make some time for the WOOD Magazine booth where the topic is cabinet making and questions are welcome. Seats are fairly comfortable too. Though I can’t promise a display of flawed driving, that ready to install hot tub or that rifle you’ve had your eye on every weekend, I can promise that you’ll come away from our show educated, inspired and equipped for your next woodworking project.

Til then, I’ll see you on the road.

Jim Heavey

WOOD Magazine Traveling Ambassador

A TALE OF TWO CITIES

The Woodworking Shows opened the 2014 winter season in Baltimore on January 2-5 at the State Fair Grounds in Timonium to one of the best attended venues in recent memory. The aisles were filled to all but overflowing for most of the three day event. Read more

FOUR DAYS IN DENVER

Traveling for WOOD Magazine to the Woodworking shows can be quite an adventure at times. The rain that was ever present in Portland two weeks ago turned out to be the precursor of the snow storm that greeted my arrival in the mile high city last weekend, November 21-24.

Temperatures that never got out of the low teens on Thursday made for a rough transition for someone who wasn’t quite ready for this early blast of winter. It may not be Thanksgiving yet but I can almost hear those sleigh bells ring-a-ling-ing.

The show at the Denver Merchandise Mart opened to really big crowds of woodworkers and they eagerly took their places in the various educational seminar areas. In addition to the classes run by our weekly team of instructors, Mark Adams returned for the first time in a few years to teach cabinet making and routers as paid seminars in a separate part of the show floor. In years past, these paid seminars were a mainstay of the show circuit and featured more intensive 3 hour classes in contrast to the free 45 minute classes we currently offer. Those who attended Mark’s class felt the  additional cost was well worth it. Mark will be present at more shows beginning this winter. Check the Woodworking Shows website for dates and class content.

Woodworking clubs and Red Rocks Community College were on hand to display the work of their members and instructors. Pete Jones, instructor at Red Rock, proudly displayed this beautiful bench. A guitar on display looked ready to play. The hollow vessel from the Front Range Woodturners was very well done.

One of the vendors, Legacy CNC, had a very cool machined stool and lidded container as examples of just a couple of the possibilities their tools and software are capable of making.

The only way to get an unobstructed view of the True Track system was before the show opened. The booth seemed busy every time I went by there.

I was a bit disappointed and yet, at the same time,  very excited by the entries at the Project Showcase this last weekend. For all the big crowds of attendees, I expected more than just the few projects that were submitted for judging but the quality of those projects were easily some of the best of the season to date. Only two of our categories were represented. In the Open Category, first place went to Scott Roth’s Marquetry Piece. He took home a Boch Tool and a show goody bag for his efforts.

In the Furniture Category, third place ribbons went to Bob Amador for his Heirloom Rocker. Second place was a very unique Lingerie Chest by Rich Gady. First place and a Bosch tool went to Art Brazee for his interpretation of a Krenov Cabinet. In our closest contest yet, the award for People’s Choice went to Art Brazee and he also received a Drill Doctor by Work Sharp. The Educator’s Choice was the Lingerie Chest by Rich Gady. Rich will go on to the Grand Prize judging at the end of the season and he also will take home a Knife and Tool Sharpening System from Work Sharp as well as subscriptions to WOOD Magazine and Fine Woodworking.

The Woodworking Shows will go on a brief hiatus for the holidays and will ring in the new year in Baltimore at the Maryland State Fairgrounds on January 3-5, 2014. I can’t believe it’ll be 2014! This is always a very large show so advance registering will be a really good idea. Besides, you’ll save a couple of bucks and get a jump start on the lines by doing it.

While the shows may be taking a break, I will be in the Tampa area on December 7 speaking at the St. Petersburg Woodworking Guild. Not only are these a great bunch of like minded woodworkers but Florida in December is nothing to sneeze at either.

Here’s hoping that you have a very Happy Thanksgiving and a great holiday season. Enjoy the time with friends and family and make a trip to your shop. It’s never too late to make something special for someone special. Let’s hear those sleigh bells ring-a-ling!

‘Til then, I’ll see you on the road.

Jim Heavey

WOOD Magazine Traveling Ambassador

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TOO SHORT A STAY IN PORTLAND

 

Just as an old story line says if it’s Tuesday it must be Sweden, for me if it’s Thursday I must be flying to somewhere. The Woodworking Shows will have at least 16 of those Thursdays this season and, I must admit, they all seem like a blur at times. This last weekend however, November 14-17, was in one of those cities in perfect focus. Portland Oregon has to be a favorite for me because of its mountains, forests, waterways and eclectic downtown.

Even the nearly continual chance of rain, something that gives this area its vibrancy and beauty, is almost invigorating for me. A long Thursday of exploring eventually gives way to Friday, the opening of our show and the fun of seeing excited woodworkers ready to spend the rest of their weekend with us. Not a bad reason to be on the road. Having a nice coffee break with an old friend at the show doesn’t hurt either.

The doors were jammed on that Friday and the crowd filled the show floor until just before closing time. That would be our best day as there were less attendees on the following two days though still a good weekend over all for the educators and vendors. Jet Tools and Hammer as well as Lee Valley saw a lot of interest in stationary and hand tools. Bosch had both corporate and retail booths and dozens of others had jigs, templates, fences and clamps on display as well. Plenty to see and purchase from the retailers.

The local woodworking and carving clubs were here too and garnered a lot of interest. The Columbia River Chapter of the American Marquetry Society had a great interpretation of Multnomah Falls (a favorite Thursday stopover) and other pieces from their members.

 The Guild of Oregon Woodworkers displayed a pretty cool old classic with a rumble seat to boot and a very unique horizontal pin router.

 

I’m sure I saw that Rainbow trout earlier in the week and in its past life before it graced the Western Woodcarvers Association booth.

We had a very nice assortment of entries at the Project Showcase this last weekend and a chance to recognize our largest number of entries to date. The winners took home gift cards from Lee Valley, Subscriptions to WOOD Magazine as well as Fine Woodworking, Work Sharp tools and Drill Doctor, and of course, a variety of Bosch Tools, our Showcase sponsor. Chris Dayton took first place with his chair in the youth division, followed closely by Fernando Hernandez’s Sofa Table. Chris also won both the People’s Choice and Educator’s Choice awards.

In the Adult Division, Mike Rohrbach took first with his Cat Scraper beating out the School Bus from Robert Oswald in Models/Toys.

In the Open Category, Dennis Kincaid (Backgammon Board), Theo Hardy (Baritone Guitar) and Wade Sims (Wine Clock) took 1st, 2nd and 3rd respectively.

In Furniture, not only did Richard Babbitt take first place with his Round Foyer Table, edging out Willie Sandry and son Cherry Trundle Bed, but also swept the People’s Choice as well as the Editor’s Choice awards. He also will be entered into the grand prize contest at the end of this season.

 A good weekend for everyone, especially Richard!

Next weekend, November 22-24, we’ll be in Denver at the Denver Merchandise Mart.  As in the past, this promises to be a very well attended, busy woodworking show. If you get a chance, stop in. I’m sure you’ll find something that interests you and a whole lot more. Get your tickets on line to save a couple of bucks and time at the gates when you get there.  I’m in the WOOD magazine booth and we’re talking about Cabinet Construction. You’ll want to pull up a chair. I’ve got a lot to show you.

I left Portland yesterday in a light mist (what else is new) after a Sunday night dinner downtown. The perfect end to a perfect weekend. I left with a heavy heart and heavy suitcase. Most everything in there was wet. Ah, Portland! Gotta love it!

’til then, I’ll see you on the road.

Jim Heavey

WOOD Magazine Traveling Ambassador

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