Not too impressive. No new vendors IIRC. The classes were mixed in with
the show vs. being separated in the back and sides. I went primarily to
look at the MiniMax and Laguna band saws and their prices were higher than
calling the 1-800 number. MiniMax had broken equipment and bad mouthed the
laser engraver by Epilog was pretty cool.
But what is it with the guy selling the yellow handled brooms? I mean
this guy has been at every single show in Houston and Galveston this
year. In fact, I saw him just a couple weekends ago at the Galveston
Home and Leisure Show.
http://wuudchuck.com - Free Woodworking Plans
Unimpressive, fewer exhibitors and even fewer of the "supplies" that I
usually go for, and lots of "jigs" that a decent woodworker could make
himself for a tenth the price. (Apparently we are entering into a new age of
wood working: "Jigs for Dummies".)
I made a list before I went and ended up buying nothing but an overpriced
cup of coffee.
The company was excellent though.
It was typical. Same old folks, no really good deals, but lots to see. I
did learn a little from Kelly Mehlers talk on Jointers. That was helpful.
This is the second time I've set in on one of his talks at the shows, I
really enjoy him. I wished I had time to sit in on his other seminars. The
did combine speakers with vendors. For example Kelly gave his talk under
the Delta tent using Delta tools.
I went nuts and spent $140 on plane, a LN rabbit block plane. I'm not a big
hand tool user but I do use a block plane quite a bit and wanted something
for tenons. It's a sweet looking plane and should meet my needs. I hope I
don't regret the purchase.
Delta themselves did seem to have a bigger presence than in the past,
instead of relying on local folks like Circle Saw ... too bad their tools no
longer live up to expectations.
One of the local exhibitors I know, a franchisee of a national company,
specifically mentioned that the organizers gave them more room and spread
them out to make it look like the show was bigger.
Sounds like I can be glad I saved my money and spent the day working with SWMBO
in the shop.
We don't own any LN, but I have had a chance to handle a couple (not the rabbet
yet) at the local
wood plane meetings. One of the guys has the little apron plane which is a joy
to use, and of
course several folks I'm jealous of have the larger LN hardware. The LN's tend
to be the most
fondled by everyone at the meetings.
Omagosh! Tool Envy!
I doubt you will be unhappy with your purchase.
I found the show to be informative. Now I'm interested in turning . . . .
and so is the wife . . . I told her red heads don't like woodworking, but
she won't listen . . . Enjoyed the Porter-Cable dovetail jig demo . . . Saw
tons of tools I "really" need . . . . Did pick up a Bosch Router pack . . .
and almost a Grex pinner . . but felt guilty since I'm new to the hobby . .
. maybe next year . . .shop is still in the construction phase . . . Found
out that Texans have woodworking clubs galore, wish they did in the Baton
Rouge area . . . Well back to work on the shop tomorrow . . .
I was a little disappointed. But then I did not go to buy much this
year, so I was bypassing a lot of the booths that would have tempted me
into going broke. I've enjoyed past shows because they had a large
collection of odds and ends that are hard to find in one place,
including great collections of discounted books. I was tempted by the
Powermatic bandsaw at show price of $699. I did buy a Forrest WWII for
One of the dealers told me the show took a big hit because one of the
largest exhibitors (The Woodworker's Choice) backed out. I did see the
new Powermatic parallelogram jointer for the first time up close and
personal. That's a mighty hunk of iron.
Jointech had a very good presentation of their sawtrain table system
that brought out the rationale and advantages in a way that I had not
The Woodworker's Choice is reputed to no longer be in business. Reportedly
a victim of the Delta/Black & Decker dealings.
Patriarch, planning on Sacramento this weekend, although not exactly
looking for anything special...
Ditto on the company. Had a lot more fun talking to Swingman, Leon,
and his lovely wife Kim. That was good time in itself, and actually a
lot more fun than the show.
I felt like I was at a giant homeshow type exposition, with a lot of
"stuff" going on at one
time but nothing of real interest. Not a lot of variety, and lots of
the vendors that didn't bother to show, or just had a minimal presence.
There were some show deals on some things, but strangely enough I found
I could buy a lot of the things they had there for less money at the
average retail outlet. As for actual tools and content, think of one
of the larger Woodcraft stores with one of their baloney 20 minute
demos they have once and a while and you have gist of the show.
A few years back I would go to those to look at the new stuff, and to
stock up on consumables. I would buy the generic "Old Hickory" brand
bits for my router at $1.50 for the 1/4 and 3/8 dados, and $2.00 for
the roundover bits. I would buy a bag full, and when I was doing a
house with MDF trim, or really sappy pine, those babies fit the bill.
Use 'em, throw them away. Same with bulk drill bits. Same with saw
blades. I used to buy Bosch platinum blades at about 40% less than
retail at the show, but I didn't even see Bosch there except as a
product on a tool vendor's table.
Freud was there, but they were selling their blades for more than
Amazon, and in some cases more than Home Depot.
No new products. No innovative products. There were no "classes",
just demos to sell the products. I only saw a few of booths that had a
"hands on" demo where you could actually try the product.
I don't think I would go again unless it was convenient, or I knew of
some vendor that was going to be there that I didn't have any access to
any other way.
I wonder if the state of this show is an indicator of the state of the
woodworking retail business or its just an off year. I am amazed that
companies like Rockler and Woodcraft can stay in business. I am even
more surprised that a quality independent store like The Cutting Edge
can stay in business. I guess it depends on support from the
commercial cabinet shops. I would hate to have to make a living off of
cantankerous hobbyists like most of us. I feel guilty when I walk into
a well stocked store with $100,000's of inventory and only four other
customers, while I pickup the single router bit that I came to purchase
and walk past the $2200 Powermatic tablesaw gathering dust. Who buys
this high priced stuff anyway?
Robert, How you doing sir. Does SA ever have a ww show, I know there is
one in Dallas in the fall IIRC
I am not sure I would have believed it had I not heard it from the Laguna
salesman's mouth a few weeks ago but they have quit going to some shows to
simply avoid the hassle of dealing with sales tax collection.
Doin' fine. As for a WW show, forget it here in sunny San Antonio. We
used to be on the circuit, but no more. The vendors that frequent
WoodCraft told the guys there that the San Antonio market was too
small, and that they wanted to be in larger cities (SA is only about
1.3 million) that were more centralized.
Since we didn't provide the types of sales they wanted, they simply
quit coming. No doubt it was about the dollars, because if they could
make a buck I am sure they would be here. As a side note, I sure
didn't see a lot of people pulling their wallets out in Houston,
I think that the show guys want to avoid a once or twice a year sales
tax issue, and that would be a hassle indeed for some of the larger
companies that sell at those things.
But I think that the reality is that many people just don't want to buy
at the shows. I know many like myself that will go shop there, but
won't pay retail, or a "show special" price which is still higher than
purchasing on the internet. When you were able to go to the shows and
purchase something that you wanted for about the same or less, that was
a good thing. However, even on saw blades, the prices I saw marked on
the Freud blades was higher than my everyday price at HD.
As for heavier machinery, it is easier to purchase from a reputable
internet dealer, have the machine delivered to the door, and the
shipping included usually beats the pants of those guys, or our local
I personally think that they should turn these shows into daily classes
and seminars that show people how to use the tools properly and how
they can be used, rather than just a quick, wham - bam product
exposition. Then I think they could move some product. As it was, I
really couldn't tell the difference between the Krieg guy and the guy
that was selling the rubber bristle broom.
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