Spring Woodworking show at Sacramento, CA


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- handed'.!!!
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 something new?
Patriarch, glad he didn't wait to buy the new lathe...
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About once every three to five years.

If I went more often, I'd never save up for stuff I *really* want.

Seems like fewer and less excited customers than in the past.

I do not take a credit card or checkbook. I treat it the same way I do the Indian casinos; I take only as much cash as I'm willing to part with. This after a couple of "Why'd I buy *that*?" experiences. See also "Why?".

The time is always well spent. Sometimes the money is well spent.

Always.
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I goto the Houston shows. I have made the last several years and they get smaller every year. This was the first time I got a big item. I went on a Friday (first day). I found a Shop Fox 2hp dust collector marked $225 with upgraded bags and a cheap hose kit. It was marked the same as the 1.5hp unit. Right after I got it the salesman remarked the mistake on the 2hp. I think it went up a hundred. Other than that I usually leave empty handed.
Patriarch wrote:

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On Mon, 18 Apr 2005 22:38:30 -0500, the inscrutable Patriarch

Cool.
Going to the Santa Clara show next weekend? David Marks will be presenting a wood embellishment seminar that I'd like to see. http://www.thewoodworkingshows.com/index.php?eventName=Santa%20Clara&pageName=Seminar_Schedule

You can just say "bottom-feeder budget" next time, Glenn. ;)

I never saw the really good deals at shows on big arn that others claim to have seen. Of course, I haven't gone late on the last day, either.

These guys wouldn't be hawking the stuff if it didn't make money for him. Turning seems to be a YB hobby lately, with $200 tools for each and every width and type of cut. They can have it!

I haven't been to a wood show since moving to OR. <sigh> The closest I've seen is Portland, 245 miles away. As a SDFWA member for the last few I attended, I got to volunteer to work as a helper in the teaching sessions at San Diego and Pomona shows. I worked twice with (sharpening) and once with Frank Klausz (dovetailing).

Regarding the show vs. the seminars, about 2/3 of the time I left feeling totally unrequited, the Gransfors Bruks booth being the saving grace in one case. That dude can really make _axes_! But charging $8 to park a fracking car for a few hours is criminal. At two shows, the only things I came away with were volunteer tee shirts and the satisfaction of helping a fellow woodworker, but NO TOOLS! :(
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Patriarch wrote:

How often, if ever, do you go to the

Once a year when they hold it in town, Sacramento. Once every 3 years when I had to drive to Santa Clara.
Why? To talk to the vendors about how to use the product or tool that I consider buying. Especially when it has accessories of which I want to get the correct combination. To get good stuff I can not buy locally and for which I can get a discount at the show, as Snappy self centering bits (bought 4 for price of 3 and a free magnetic bit holder) and Kleg pocket jig accessories. To buy high grade tools and parts that cost about the same as the shipping cost if I ordered them from a catalog store such as the plugs and screws for pocket holes. To buy the really cheap stuff that I want to look at before I buy such as the set of 16 Forster bits for $20. To get a discount on a particular machine, especially Sunday. To hang out with a bunch of people my age who don't feel they have to prove anything.
Has it changed over the past few years? The people who have a bright idea of a new product have disappeared such as ones who make special jigs and kits for them or special tools that will make some particular task real easy.
Do you go, expecting to spend money there?
Yes.

Yes, when I go Friday to see the demonstrations, lectures, and products. Not always when I go a second time on Sunday looking for something I missed.
Did you learn > something new? Always.
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Patriarch wrote in message
2005 11:38 pm:

I went this past year, for the first time ever, to the Novi Woodworking Expo. The parking was outrageous. The $5,000 lathe was breathtaking; and about $4700 beyond my budget that day! I took extremely good notes about the boiling wood. So far, I have managed to tick my wife off and crack several pieces of solid cherry (gloat wood). I measured the major thickness and I boiled for one hour per inch and still they cracked. I'm not too impressed with LDD, either, but that's a separate rant.
I will go again next year, a more informed consumer, looking for one really nice piece of equipment. It might be a rip-your-arm-off router or a saw-a-building-in-half bandsaw or an incredibly precise, powerful and silent tablesaw. Who knows, it might even be that $5,000 lathe. But it will be only one piece. I've decided that it is better to master one tool at a time than to tackle every permutation possible simultaneously.
Bill
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thickness
really
will
Novi, as in the mitten?
Don't boil, don't soak. Cut using some sense and control moisture loss through paper. If in the mitten, you've got a basement. Put 'em down there, on the floor where it's cool, and you won't lose a one.
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