Houston Woodworking Show

DON'T EXPECT MUCH
And I have to ho back tomorrow to return some BAD DOG drill bits. These Bad Dog drill bits have a life time guarantee and will be resharpened for life for free but I guess you would have to be able to drill the first hole with out breaking one to be impressed. At the show year after year I have seen the bits go through wood, ceramic tile, files, cinder blocks and other drill bits. Mine would not go through 1/4" thick angle iron. My old drill bit went through with out a hitch.
Anyway the show is a shadow of itself and while they are in a new location west of Houston they offer free parking. The problem is we were lucky to find a parking spot early Friday afternoon. The facility is a high school gymnasium in Katy, TX. the vendors were packed in, Wood Craft and Rockler and about 150 sq. feet each. I really don't think they were there to sell anything. Kreg had a large display as did Peach Tree and Wood Line. Delta and PC were there through a local vendor.
The facility was so crowded that the some vendors like LeeValley, a wood working school, a wood turners club, and a few classes were actually located outside the area where you need a ticket to get in.
The facility and the parking lot was way too small.
I am pretty much a die hard when it comes to going to these shows but this will probably be my last for The Woodworking Shows show if it is held in this facility again.
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Leon wrote:

Hmmm. I was planning on making the trip from Austin on Sunday (with one, possibly two other buddies) since I've missed the last show or two, but now you've got me wondering if I should even bother... Interesting that the place was so crowded; could it be they were expecting low turnout because of the economy but they assumed incorrectly?
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I was there. Hot dogs are $2 instead of $8. The Lee Valley booth is accessible and I thought their location was great. I was luke warm about it, but then I didn't go last year because I don't like going to the Reliant Center. I didn't see a lot of unhappy people. I suppose beauty is in the eye of the beholder. :-)
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?

I never even saw the Hot Dogs! And I did not see Laguna, Minimax, Jet, Leigh Jigs, Makita, Bosch, Festool, Powermatic, Sand Max, the Veneer vendor and a few others.
The Lee Valley booth is

Agreed, and you don't even have to pay to get to them.

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Well, you can see most of the machines at Rockler and Woodcraft. But, it's not the same.:-)
Actually, The Cutting Edge had a display of pictures of the Jet machines, but that's not going to work unless they have killer prices and they didn't.
I look back at the show's for the last 10 years, and I really think they have become stale.
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Yeah they don't have the exotics. LOL

Yeah I talked to Steve and adked him what was going on. Apparently he is delling direct out of the warehouse. I agree that with out any overhead so to speak and nothing to touch or feel his pricing will have to be good.

Absolutely.
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When I went to the Toronto Woodworking Show this past February, it was quite crowded. The show was held at the same location as always, but there was a little less floor space than usual which I'm sure made it look more crowded than it would have normally been.
Talking to several vendors and a few friends working two of the General Tools booths, sales were very brisk according to them and even busier than last year. I was surprised considering the cost of big iron, but maybe there's a mind set to concentrate more on home based activities such as woodworking and home renovations than there might be with going out other places and spending money that one might do in a more robust economy.
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wrote in message

The gate count was actually higher at our show in Saratoga Springs this year than it was the past two. Some speculation is that it's cheap entertainment compared to the options... which could explain the good turn out at the Toronto and Houston shows.
John
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Well, the booths in the outer passage way at the Merrill Center (Katy/Houston) had some of the best entertainment. Frank Strazza was there with his prize winning Federal Desk. It is a masterpiece of inlay and stringing. It was in a recent issue of FWW. The inlay work was all hand crafting. If you missed that, it's worth a trip back to the show to just see it. The Lee Valley booth was entertaining. You can caress all of their latest creations. They are giving 10% discount and free shipping for any order. All sales are catalog sales. I ordered four of their new clamps. I may go back and order the small plow plane. The Society of American Period Furniture Makers have about a dozen pieces on display and they are demonstrating carving. This includes the Newport Shell as well as ball and claw cabrolet legs.
All of the above is accessible without even buying a ticket. It is good entertainment with no $8 parking. You can get there by traveling on the latest taxpayer rip off, the Katy freeway. Is it 10 lanes now?
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We had Lee Valley and SAPFM at Showcase in Saratoga too... L-N was there too so you could wander back and forth and fondle pretty much their whole line up! L-N has finally got small panel saws in production--I think it was 3-4 years ago when I saw prototypes--with larger saws coming. It is interesting to be able to handle, say, the large shoulder plane, of both brands and see first hand the differences. Personally, I've got L-N stuff and Kristen was kind enough to sharpen the iron for my No 5 before I did my demo--the 6 weeks leading up the show were a mad-house for me and it slipped my mind to sharpen the iron. BTW, she did a supperb job!
John
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I would hate for you to miss the show because of my comments but it was disappointing. In the last several years it was held at the Astrodome/Reliant complex and there was plenty of room. I would say the floor space now is probably 20-25% of what it had been. There were only 2 or 3 vendors that had adequate floor space. The show IIRC is under new management/ownership. I think they have been listening to complaints about parking and probably from the vendors having to pay high rent. That said, if you want to sell something do you want to cater to the people that are complaining about parking fee's? I know that a parking fee is a pet peeve with many but IMHO it is a small price to pay along with admission to see a bunch of vendors under one roof. On the bright side, the show being in Katy, TX means you will not have to drive through the heart of Houston to get to the show.
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Unless you live in Baytown. =:o)
Dave in Houston
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Yeah but I was responding to the guy coming from Austin.
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Leon wrote:

Yeah, that parking deal at the Reliant center sucked, and you couldn't even leave to get a decent meal and come back without paying again - at least not unless you bribed the guy at the guard shack with the promise of bringing HIM back a #1 from Whataburger as well... :-)
I'm a bit confused about the floor space though; you say it's only about a quarter of what it was at the Reliant center, but at that location they never used anywhere *near* the actual space that was available. Are you saying that it's now only 25% of the space they actually *used* at the Reliant center? That *would* be pretty small...
We'll probably go anyway. It's a nice drive through the countryside and a nice diversion from the routine, and I don't even have to come away with a purchase to feel like it was time well spent.
--
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Well there is that. LOL

Yes, that is what I am saying, the current show is in a high school basketball gymnasium, a large one because of all of the seating, but floor space is very limited. That is why probably 1/3 of the needed floor space is out in the loby around the gym where you don't have to pay to get into.

Absolutely go, it is still fun to see what is going on but get there early to find parking.
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Hi Steve I love the work you did building the rocking chairs. Fantastic works of art. Did you rough out the joints by hand, then finish, or use something like a power rasp ?
Smitty
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Smitty wrote:

Thanks! I love building them.

While not possible in all cases, most of the joints are cut on the tablesaw and/or router while the boards are still flat and square; i.e., before they are cut to their approximate final "seat", "leg", "arm", "backslat", or "headcrest" shapes on the bandsaw. Most of the contour shaping of the joints occurs after the parts are glued together. For my first chair I did use a power grinder with a carbide "donut" to "hog off" most of the waste, but this made such a huge racket and mess that I threw it aside and never looked back. Now I use a variety of hand tools: skew chisels, spokeshaves, scrapers, and one of my favorites, the "microplane":
http://us.microplane.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdIDU
The microplanes are fabulous inventions, and with these I have no need for any other files or rasps; however, I do wish they would make them with handles on both ends. For the final finishing I use air-powered Dynabrade sanders:
http://www.dynabrade.com/pdf/lit/D0701Sect/D0701_pg44-59ROS.pdf
These sanders are lightweight and have a low profile, and this makes all the difference in the world when you're trying to sand something as absolutely non-flat as a rocking chair... :-)
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