A neighbor & I spent some time this past weekend to drive up to Sacramento
CalExpo for the spring woodworking show. Great day, good company, really
not all that many vendors, far fewer than last fall.
My buddy came loaded for bear, hoping to purchase several major tools, but
left pretty much disappointed, money clip still bulging, as there was not
nearly the selection or depth of stock that had been there in the past. He
was looking for a SCMS, another router, and a couple of jigs, some other
major buys. He left with a new Akeda DT jig, 'so as not to go home empty-
I really enjoyed the 45 minute presentation on inlay techniques by Michael
Fortune. Enough that buying his portfolio CD @ $20 for inspiration seemed
a really good bargain. He seems a genuinely nice man, a good teacher, and,
by all evidence, a master craftsperson. That his inlay techniques can be
accomplished on a Larry Jaques-level budget, with tools that Conan the
Librarian would appreciate only added to the appeal. Somebody teaching,
rather than pushing big iron.
Steve Russell's green wood bowl turning demo served to remind me what I
don't know about that craft specialty. However, to do things his way
seemed to require a $5k lathe, a new drying barn, and $70 worth of DVDs, in
order to get the details of the no-warp bowl-boiling technique. Maybe I
missed something, though. Happens, once in a while.
So, finally, here's the question: How often, if ever, do you go to the
shows? Why? Has it changed over the past few years? Do you go, expecting
to spend money there?
Did you leave, feeling the time (and money) was well spent? Did you learn
glad he didn't wait to buy the new lathe...