I went to the chicago show yesterday. There was a big delta booth.
Dewalt and porter cable also had largish booths. jet/powermatic were
sort of feeble. the leigh booth had a "show discount". Get this: For
an isolock template, the price was $209, and that included a $25 gift
certificate for one of the usual woodworking stores. That's a whopping
$9 off the price at the leigh website. With the price to get in, you'd
break even except for shipping. I passed.
I did pick up a bosch colt laminte trimmer and bosch jigsaw. They
threw in one of those router mats and a set of bosch jigsaw blades. I
was most impressed with the case for the jigsaw. Makes the porter
cable cases look like junk. With the show discount, the prices were a
little less than amazon, but not much. But when you conside the
freebies, it was a little better deal.
I thought sunhill was going to be there, they wern't. I also went to
the sharptools booth and picked up one of their break-in kits for the
tormek, which was overpriced, but handy. And the dvd that came with it
Marveled at how ridiculously overpriced the production pocket hole
cuttnig machines are. $700-$800 to cut pocket holes. I'd buy one if
they got below $300.
The legacy router lathe thingies were there. Also ridiculously
I watched a guy try to make one of those bandsaw reigndeer like the
carter guide people used to. He didn't put the falloff back in and
snapped the leg off. That was kind of funny.
Laguna had a *really* small booth. Three machines. One was a largish
band saw with a huge sliding table for resawing entire logs. That
looked interesting. The guy tried to sell me a combination 12"
jointer/planer. It was $2800, $2500 if I wanted a refurb. On the plus
side, it was a 12" jointer. On the minus, it was expensive, the planer
was also 12" and the beds were *really* short. Good for a small shop,
but I don't really have that problem. I figured an 8" grizzly jointer
and a 15"-20" grizzly planer would come in well under $2500. So I
passed on that one also. The laguna band saws looked nice. But
comparing the $2500 16" laguna to what I know the $1600 21" grizzly
must look like, I had to pass.
Also talked to the kettle-moraine people and got directions to their
south-side store. I'll be heading there soon.
I'd say it was worth going to. I got to go with a friend of mine that
I don't see enough of so that made it more enjoyable also. This friend
is a 350lb polish guy. My wife had a coupon to get your "spouse" in
free. She joked that we should go as a gay couple so he could get in
free. I told him about this within earshot of the guy taking tickets.
He laughed and said that it would have worked.