I just attended the AWFS Fair (Association of Woodworking and
Furnishing Suppliers) in Las Vegas. If you aren't familiar, this is
the big tradeshow for all the machine, equipment lumber, hardware,
etc. for the cabinetry and furniture industry.
I do wood on the side so this was a vacation for me. It was really
cool. You do see all of the same guys you see at the retail wood shows
that go around the country but also, the full spectrum of all the
other suppliers from small to medium to huge companies and products.
Some of the biggest equipment was attomated finishing lines that had
conveyor systems and drying centers and covered a few hunderd feet.
The Woodworking supply guys had a Woodtek Planer that I felt was the
best 20" planer I have seen on the market without getting up to the
$6-10k proce point. It has all the real features for about $3k if I
recall correctly. It has segmented infeed rollers, spiral (square
insert) knives, AND fine adjustable bed rollers, just like the very
high end machines.
Delta\Grizzly\PowerMatic\Jet\Shop Fox\Steel City\General all had full
completments of their clones. The Steel City guys have started to add
some small improvements like little wings on the bed rollers of 20"
planer to assist in setting the ecentric setting (but still the same
poor set screw concept) and the Shop Fox Drum Sanders had some nice
features like better clips for holding the sand paper and better
I finally got to see a MultiRouter in-person. I touched it (stroked it
really) and had my few remaining questions answered with the right
answers directly by the inventor and the guy and his wife are so nice
I really need to get one now. The action was so sweet. The Woodworkers
supply guys have some lower end Woodtek horizontal router thing that
looks about 1/3 as nice and cheaper but couldn't get any help on that.
Finally, I sat through the Snappy quick connector guys complet pitch,
end-to-end and he convinced me they do have the best made and best
thought out version of this stuff. I negotiated a great price for a
full set of quick connect drills, vix type bits, accessories and lots
of other cool items in a slick black pouch that will (would have)
lasted a lifetime. However, I was traveling lite with no checked
luggae and the home land security folks felt I might bring the plane
down with my drill bits and would even let me just take out the sharp
pieces and keep the chuck, etc. Oh well, small price to pay for for a
safe trip home.