All the stars were aligned this last weekend, March 14-16, when the Woodworking Shows pulled into the fairgrounds in West Allis, Wisconsin. Some of the best crowds this season came out to celebrate the upcoming St. Patty’s day by spending time and some serious cash on the show floor. It’s nice to have a major holiday (I am a bit Irish, by the way) lift the spirits of our attendees this time of the year. Read more
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.
WOOD Magazine Traveling Ambassador
Categories: Woodworking Show Reports | Tags: Atlanta, Barry Gross, Gwinnett Woodworkers Guild, Jim Heavey, Milwaukee, Peachtree Tools, Redmond Machinery, The Woodworking Shows, WOOD Magazine Traveling Ambassador, Woodworkers Guild of Georgia
At just about two hours away, the last show within easy driving distance is Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I know that there is an old ad that said that Schlitz is the beer that made Milwaukee famous, but I had another destination in mind and I wasn’t disappointed when I arrived.
Less than 15 minutes from the venue is the Harley-Davidson Motor Company maker of one of the more iconic symbols combining the American free spirit and a love of the open road. I think that ever since I saw the movie Easy Rider I’ve had this not so secret fantasy about being a shorter Italian version of Peter Fonda.
I know that Marlon Brando rode one in a movie and that Elvis owned and gave away many of these beautiful machines but I could identify with Fonda. Maybe it was the hair. I do have the sunglasses. Read more