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.