OZ: Melbourne WW show.

Arrived early at the show to allow time for a good snoop around. Enter the door and walk into the MIK display. They have all the Lie-Nielsen planes and saws on display right in the entranceway, consequently a huge blockage of drooling, aging woodworkers occurs 'right there' and the entrance backs up.
Looking around, the hall has been reduced in size to allow a book show to occur next door. They achieve this by narrowing the aisles, so if you stop to look at something, someone else usually has to stop with you. It reminded me a bit of the Khan el-Khalili market. Displays were well stocked with smaller items, though bigger machines were hard to find. One large machine dealer I know said he had sold so many in the morning that he was back-ordered for 10 weeks, so the business was there, I don't know why others didn't bring their machines in. Major machine displays were by Carba-Tec, Leda and Timbecon.
The shoe cleaning stalls were there as usual and, no, I have no idea why, they just always seem to be there.
Terry Gordon was giving great demos of the planes and that is where I seemed to get stuck for the longest. Had a great debate on planes, technique, sharpening, shooting and mitre boards plus a little on bench design. Colen Clenton was absent this year but Terry Gordon was carrying his gear. I didn't see Terry Gosschalk (sp?) either.
LV gear seems to be penetrating the market further, with a decent range of their gear available through various dealers.
I went to the Makita display intending to (perhaps) get one of their 9820-2 sharpeners. I was greeted by a young guy who gave a spiel about the new display carrying all their tools yada yada. So I asked where the sharpeners were, he just looked deflated, so I left; mind you, they had hundreds of drills and saws.
I almost went back to get an Independance saw from LN but didn't want to re-enter the crush, so I wandered back to HNT Gordon and picked up a 1" Gidgee shoulder plane <http://www.hntgordon.com.au/prodcat1sh.htm (not a gloat, paid full price). Terry then gave me a 1/2 hour tutorial on setting, use, maintenance, blade care and technique. I guess there's a gloat there, as I value free tutorials perhaps more than free tools.
So, 6 hours later, I left. Somewhat poorer cash wise, somewhat richer knowledge wise. For the $23 it cost to get myself and neanderteen into the show it was worth it. If you're hesitating, go for it.
Greg
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