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?
Just attended the one here in Baltimore and it was worth the effort.
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.
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.....
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.
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.
Port Huron, Michigan
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.
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.
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. ;-)
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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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