"The Woodworking Shows" Any good???

Has anyone atteneded any of the Woodworking Shows for 2003 or 2004?? Are they any good this year? I live in Cincinnati and they will be coming to Indy and Colubmus this month and I was just wondering if they're worth the 90 minute drive and admission?
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Don't expect any fabulous deals but there are some good ones to be had. Used the free spouse coupon off the website which finally worked in my favor as I've been needing a new router table since last March when SWMBO got me a new PC router for our anniversary (5th is the wood anniversary for you traditionalist. She got string of pearls in an maple box with inlays box I built) . I think I got a great deal at the show on the Woodpecker router lift system and a new table and fence.
Allen Catonsville, MD
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I was at the "Detriot-Novi Center" show......got 10% off a new powermatic bandsaw......saw a couple other deals, but i already spent my allowance...lol...lots of people there....first show that i,ve been too, might go again next year.....
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Take a look at the list of exhibotors who will be at your location. If you see anything there you want to see, go for it. I was about to go to the SLC show when I thought to check it out that way. The only thing I wanted to see was a mat cutting system. Turned out that I could see that at a local craft store for free.
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Attended the Detroit (Novi) show in December, big crowd, some good deals, and a multitude of excellent classes, most of which were included in the price of admission. My only problem was too little time to attend all the classes that I wanted to and still have time to spend money (although I did get a pretty good deal on the Jet stand for the Jet Mini Lathe - $89.00 - compared to $119 that everybody else has it for, I think that it was worth my time, gas, and price of admission). Have been to several of these shows over the years, and this was the best that this one has been in a while - IMHO. Oh, and my drive was about an hour and a quarter each way. As usual, YMMV.
Fred Bearman Port Huron, Michigan

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wrote:

I went to the one in Cleveland Ohio. Took a day off work. It turned out to be a waste of time for me to see vendors selling expensive equipment that I don't need. The admission and parking was expensive too. I thought it would have been a much more productive and enjoyable day spent in my shop. I won't be attending another Woodworking Show. Just my opinion.
I get much more out of local arts & crafts street fairs--I get to talk with real woodworkers showing their skills in action, and the fairs and parking is free.
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"Phisherman" wrote in message

I agree ... they have turned into a 'seen one, seen them all' experience. Prices do not seem to be an incentive to attend because they are rarely below retail in the area. You may, however, find some deals on the 'expendables' of woodworking ... sandpaper, glue, shellac flakes, dyes, etc ... especially items which may be usually hard to find locally.
That said, I've walked out without buying anything the past two shows ... probably won't attend again.
--
www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 1/02/04
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We have two of them a year here. Costa Mesa in the fall and Pomona in the spring. Costa Mesa has free parking. I enjoy the shows if for no other reason than SWMBO is pretty much OK with me bringing something home from the Lie Nielson booth. ;-)
Cheers, Eric
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If you have been to one of the shows in the years past, you won't see much new, and there's little reason to go.
But I did learn something at last year's show. I had made plans to go on the Saturday with my father and some relatives who are all novice woodworkers. Ended up going on Friday with a friend of mine who is a nationally known woodworker. We cruised through in about 20 mins complained there was nothing to see and left.
The next day I went with my family and had a great time. The difference? They didn't have the jaded view I had the day before. All was new and interesting to them. Showed me how attitude and where you are in life can make a heck of a difference.
So, if you're into shows and love seeing the stuff close up... go. You'll have fun. If you're a jaded old-timer, there's not much new to see.
HTH

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Some OT items, like ladders etc. For me, some deals on sandpaper, etc. Go maybee every 2 years or so.
Jim in Milwaukee
Ben wrote:

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Went to my first and only show in NJ last year. There are some deals especially package deals. Found most good deals were made in Taiwan tools and equip. Just about every other booth is selling laser lines for saws. I went home with the a new Dewalt 20" scrollsaw, stand and stool which I thought was great deal. I'm a novice woodworker and thought I'd go for the demos and classes. The parking was miserable and just about non existant, parked illegally and walked for a mile in the cold, (I needeed the exercise no complaint) waited in Line for half hour to get in. Once inside was very overcrowded, Masses of people clamering around demos had to constantly push my way through the croud just to see what was going on. I was very dissapointed did not get chance to see many demos and ask questions. Not what I expected and probably would not attend again. Just my experience.
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Went to both Chicago shows last year. The first one was to attend an all day class on finishing. The class was excellent and I had time to buy a few things.
They changed the format for the fall show and didn't offer the classroom lectures. All classes were free and on the show floor. IMHO they were not very helpful. I could watch TV and get the same depth of learning.
Did have the opportunity to compare surface planers. Actually got to operate the new DeWalt and then went over and bought the Delta 2 speed at a good price. I then bought a grinder and they then threw in a tenioning jig for my TS for free. Love the planer. I also find the show a good source for clamps, etc and have picked up many small accessories that I might not have been aware of from reading ads or going to my local Rockler store.
If they have classes, I'll probably attend one more show this year. The admission is cheap and the parking is on site. Use the internet to order tickets in advance and save the waiting in line.

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Just bring lots of money!!

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I went to the Baltimore one this past weekend, 3rd or 4th year in a row. It was packed beyond capacity, had to wait 30 minutes in line, arriving two hours past opening figuring the opening line would be gone (Friday). About 4pm things calmed down enough to actually get some service.
In general you don't get great deals, but okay deals. The advantage is seeing the hardware which, for me, the only real opportunity is the WW show. I had planned to get the Performax 16/32 drum sander based in part on good reviews in this group and my friend whose had a great experience with his 22/44 (btw, they've really dumbed down the 22/44 design since he bought his).
However, seeing it side-by-side with the Delta 'X5' 16/32, I was convinced to go with the Delta (despite some of the poor reviews of Delta drum sanders on this group). I felt the Delta was more ruggedly constructed, beefier, nicer table, etc. Fit & Finish are excellent. Downside is the 3" belts are more widely available for the Performance, the Delta's 2" not so much. Once I get it assembled and running I'll post another review.
So that's where the shows are good, you get to see a lot of equipment at once. If you know your pricing and it's clear you're ready to buy and aren't just fishing, AND you get the manager (it was too damn busy Friday) I've even been reasonably successful negotiating. I felt I got a good deal, 10% off and take it with me. The X5 comes with 9 belts and I got the free mobile base (other options exist).
The shows are also good for buying assorted doo-dads like glue brushes, and I'd have bought more but the lines were too long.
L-N was there and their planes are a thing of beauty - not in this year's budget though ... I was hoping to try the Airmate, but they weren't there this year.

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