Houston Woodworking Show

I just attended the first day of the Houston Woodworking Show. I've never attended one of these so did not know what to expect. I must admit that reading this newsgroup and exposure to high quality dealers and publications perhaps has made me a bit of a snob. I found the woodworking show to be almost like a carnival. There were numerous booths with gobs of imported junk. I don't mean to imply that imported=junk. Otherwise I wouldn't have any tools. But some of this stuff was pure crap.
I also expected to see more competitive woodshow pricing. For the most part, the big tools had about a 10% average mark down, if they were marked down at all. Much of the smaller stuff was actually priced equal to or higher than what I see in the store every day. There were several highlights and high quality demonstrations. The Grip-tite booth wins the prize for the most compelling demonstration. I also saw a few really odd monstrosities like the numerically controlled laser burner that was doing tiny high quality etchings in wood. The guy in the booth was dressed in full suit and tie (in a woodworking show?????). I could have bought one of the gizmos for a mere $23,000. (yes that's five digits).
Minmax and Dewalt had some of the bigger spaces. Torben was there by himself with 3 Laguna bandsaws and lathe. He gave his understated demo of "a bandsaw is just a couple of wheels with a blade that runs around - it should simply make a straight cut when you guide the wood along the fence." Yes, these saws are impressive as he repeatedly cut wafer thin slices from various large blocks of wood.
One booth was selling hardwood veneer in large sheets for $3 each (how do they do this?).
My ever faithful dealer was there in spades. I went by his store on Thursday and virtually every stationary tool was missing. They hauled it all to the show. He's got the best prices on tools that I've seen all year. That Powermatic bandsaw is calling my name!
I think I'll go back today and see if I might get more out of it than yesterday. If you have any suggestions on what to watch for at these shows, I'm all ears. We have two more days.
Bob
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On Sunday afternoon they go for $1 a sheet - at least that's what they did in Atlanta.
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In rec.woodworking

Glad to hear because I was going back for some today. I think I'll wait till then and load up.
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If they are worth having, at $3 a sheet, do you think there will be any to load up on if you wait that long?
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----- Original Message -----
Newsgroups: rec.woodworking Sent: Saturday, February 07, 2004 10:47 AM Subject: Re: Houston Woodworking Show

In Atlanta there was lots of cherry/maple/walnut left on Sunday. Figured woods were gone in the first few minutes at $1/sheet. Bundles of wlanut burl went for $20/pack of 24 sheets.
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In rec.woodworking

Sure, they must not have run out in ATL because here they are 4 days later with plenty. They have piles of each flavor 2' high. OTOH, I don't have any pressing (pun) veneer projects.
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I'm convinced I could buy the 18" Laguna bandsaw and slice up old logs instead of paying these ripoff prices. Uh, maybe that's not convincing enough and I need another story.
Bob
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Day 2 was much more worthwhile than yesterday. I invested the time to watch several demos. This was an opportunity to get a close hand look at some of those fancy gadgets and understand their worth (or not).
The Jointech and Incra fence systems were quite impressive. The guys giving demos were also very, very good. They made a compelling case for how a fence system with a precise repeatable micro adjustment can be an asset. I was also wooed by the 90 day money back guarantee that Jointech offered.
The company that developed Gripper was there. They had a product which the guy claimed just came into production for this show. It was a simple plastic device that mounted in a zero tolerance throat plate to act as a splitter. It somes with a jig to precisely drill three aligned mounting holes with the saw kerf. The mounting jig was clever and worked well. The jig and splitter piece sold for $14. The splitter could be removed and mounted in another throat plate. They also had precut throat plate blanks for $9 each - not bad if you don't want to hassle making your own.
The Gripper is a good product, but the demo lacked integrity. The guy had a two piece router fence with the outfeed side set back about 1/32". You had to look closely but it was there. Of course he didn't point this out to the audience. He showed routing using a push block. He guided using the infeed side of the fence, then would imperceptibly and quickly move the wood into the offset outfeed side the last half inch. It created a gross example of snipe - a simple slight of hand on his part. He blamed it on the push block. Then he ran a piece through with the Gripper and magically the snipe disappeared. It was totally dishonest. He could have demod the product without creating this "feature". I was about to buy the splitter and maybe a Gripper until I saw this demo and left in disgust.
I watched a routing demo showing three bits for making various locking joints. I've read about these, but never actually seen them used. The speed and quality with which the host made these joints was awesome. These three bits (Oldham) were sold in a boxed set for $139. I was reaching for my wallet but decided to go home and check the internet first.
Bob

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In rec.woodworking
Bob, whatcha think of the Sand Flee psuedo drum sander? $298 is pretty cheap. The big flaw I see is that you can't precicely and repeatably thickness sand.
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Bruce, I saw it, but only in passing. Sorry I can't give more of an opinion than that.
Bob
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If anybody is going today could you get me the website/phone # for the tormek people? I meant to stop by their booth before the show closed, but got delayed at the Lie-Nielsen booth until it was over. :)
Thanks, Mike
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Well Mike, What did you buy at the Lie-Nielson booth? And didn't the houndstooth dovetails that Rob Cosman made blow you away?

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Well, I came away with a crosscut carcass saw to go with my dovetail saw. I also got the handcut dovetail video and a bottle of the rust preventative. I don't read Japanese and there were no instructions for the rust preventative. I assume you spray it on periodically and wipe it down :-)
I didn't know who made the dovetails since Deneb wasn't there, but I had never seen them before and I was dumbfounded when I saw them. I'm sure I will be ordering the second video after viewing the one I purchased.
I was pleased to discover that Homestead Heritage has a second rocking chair class where you build the tiger maple rocker. Hmm . . . . . .

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In rec.woodworking

Mike, I'm leaving in a few. I'll try and get that for you.
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Info from Terry Adams's business card. Terry is the National Sales Director PH: 210 377-1288 Fax: 210 377-1282 E-mail: snipped-for-privacy@jointech.com www.jointech.com
I've had their system for a couple of years and really enjoyed it. I had a problem w/the rails/fence alignment that I had been working around. Their demo tech spent 20 minutes walking me thru the alignment procedure - I came away w/ a much better understanding than their manual had provided.
If anybody is going today could you get me the website/phone # for the tormek people?
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In rec.woodworking snipped-for-privacy@aol.comnomore (Glider Rider) wrote:

I got it for you:
www.sharptoolsusa.com 1-800-872-5489
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Thanks!!!!
It's bookmarked now.
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