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The Woodworking Shows

ANOTHER ONE FOR THE BOOKS

 

The 2013-2014 Woodworking Show season wrapped up this last weekend, March 21-23, in Tampa. This has to be one of the nicest places to end a show that, other than Atlanta, has seen some form of frozen precipitation every weekend since January in each of the cities we’ve visited. Because of one particular spate of bad weather and luck, I never even made it home from Baltimore and decided just to drive 5 hours to the Hartford show instead. I can only imagine how hard the slushy, slippery season has been on our road crew as they’ve crisscrossed the country week to week. To close at a venue with 80 degree weather, a very tranquil pond and some local wildlife was definitely a pleasant way to finish.

I also took the opportunity to visit the home of some great friends, take in some of the more weird sights (like this maritime themed retail store), and say goodbye to my show friends over dinner each evening. Aah, life on the road!

The Tampa show was very well attended throughout the weekend with the best crowds on Friday and Saturday. Ours was the only show of the weekend at the Florida State Fairgrounds so the parking was perfect for our attendees and devoid of the long walks of previous years with the fairgrounds hosting multiple shows simultaneously. Wood Miser used the sunny, seasonal weather to cut logs at the front gate, providing a show outside the show. Once indoors, woodworkers found stationary and portable tools, an array of woodworking clubs and the educational booths.

Some of the clubs, like the Brandon Woodworkers Club,  did double duty by not only displaying the work of their members but teaching the fundamentals of the craft to anyone who was interested.

The Florida West Coast Woodworkers Club had samples of a very unique segmented vessel. And the Woodcrafters Guild of Florida paid tribute to our military by creating urns to be used by families to house the remains of their fallen heroes. Couple this with the more formal education in nearly every corner and cubby and you’ve got a weekend with almost too much to see, do and learn. Not a bad bargain for $12.

We also had a nice group of projects entered in the Project Showcase. Unfortunately, there were no youth entries but this is, after all, the home of the retired, nearly retired and wishing they could retire demographic. We did, however, have all four of our adult categories covered. In Furniture, third place went to Terry Sanchez for his Sailfish Coffee Table. Second place was the Scalloped Floating Top Table by Art Falcone. The first place ribbon and choice of a Bosch tool went to Raymond Wytovich’s Carved Story Table.

In Turnings/Carving, the first place winner Philip Ranalli took the ribbon and tool choice for his Orange Bowl.

In Models/Toys, The Model Trains on a Bridge by Charles Kested took top honors and a Bosch tool.

The Open Category winners were father and son. Second place went to Paul Ethington’s Game Board and his father, Jim, took home the bragging rights (and a tool) for his Guitar.

The People’s Choice winner was the Trains on a Bridge by Charles Kested and the overall winner, the Educator’s Choice, went to Art Falcone’s Scalloped Floating Top Table.

This was the final week of the judging so Art will join the winners of the previous weekends in a contest to find our ultimate champion. Judging should commence in the very near future and the winner will be announced on the Woodworking Shows  home site as well as on their Facebook page.

The end of the season for me is, to be honest, somewhat bittersweet. Though the summer is shaping up to be a bit busy, most of my time will be spent with family and much of the travel will be with my wife to visit our kids and grandchildren. I’m really looking forward to that.

But I’ll also be taking an extended  break from my “road” family, our show owner and his “front office” staff, our setup crews and truck drivers, vendors and fellow educators. Our last meal together was Saturday night and it was filled with food, drink, music and a lot of laughter. We congratulated each other on another year together and were told that the new season was already planned to start in late October. The summer, it seems, always goes by so quickly.

To all my fellow woodworkers, thanks for coming out to see us this last year. I very much appreciate all the kind words and those smiling faces. October will be here before you know it. Hope you’ll make plans to visit me and our show this next season.

‘Til then, I’ll see you on the road.

Jim Heavey

WOOD Magazine Traveling Ambassador

WHAT A WEEKEND! SLAINTE`, MILWAUKEE

 

 

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

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

 
 
 
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