GO or NO GO; The Wood Working Shows 2018

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Blog entry by Matt887 posted 02-26-2018 11:05 PM 875 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch

GO or NO GO; The Wood Working Shows 2018

As I have mentioned before I am beginning my quest to learn more about the skills needed to become the type of woodworker who can build furniture and items of outstanding quality. With a fulltime job that takes up 60 hours of my week the one way I know to gain the knowledge I seek is to attend some classes and tradeshows. That being said I came across an advertisement for The Woodworking Shows event in Kansas City and began looking around for reviews of the show. I did not come across very much information, but decided for the $14 entry fee and parking how could I go wrong. So on a brisk Saturday morning in February I loaded up in the car and headed up the Kansas Turnpike for Kansas City. I arrived at the show right as it opened and as I entered the show floor the first booths were full of all kinds of eye candy, Lee Valley, Woodpeckers, and Carter Products each with a full supply of products. As I walked the show floor there were way too many great product offerings to list out, but for me it was nice to get to see all these different products in person most of which you could purchase and take home with you same day if you desired. But the real reason I went was to attend a few of the classes being offered in the afternoon. I don’t want to take up too much time here and go into all the specifics on the classes but do want to mention a couple things, and by in large I thought they were all very good. First, Alex Snodgrass from Carter Products puts on a quick, fast paced clinic on band saw setup/tune-up that provided a lot of information, I will sit through this one anytime I come across it. I stopped in late on Charles Bender of who was talking about building your own inlays, this class was amazing and gave me some great ideas to try in the future. Overall for me the show was well worth the ride, sure most of the items for sale were the same price you could purchase them for online and the classes were of an introductory nature. By introductory I mean we weren’t sawing dovetails and laying veneer, nor should we expect that in a 45 minute class. However all the instructors were top tradesmen and answered any questions folks had. I for one left Kansas City with a list of things I will be doing in the future and some I have already completed since returning home. So, if you are looking for a way to spend some time perusing the some of the latest tool offerings with some likeminded individuals spend a few dollars and GO to a show. Matt

My next blog post I plan on reviewing the UJK Parf Guide Drilling System from Lee Valley.

-- "If you want to go fast, go alone... but if you want to go far, go with a team."

2 comments so far

View Rayne's profile


1315 posts in 2422 days

#1 posted 02-27-2018 01:29 AM

Good read as I had the same perspective when I was starting out about 5 years ago. I went to the show and loved everything it had to offer and also attended Alex’s clinic every time I go. But for future visits, look at the agenda to see if it’s worth going again. I went for a 3rd time this year and every single class was the same. If anything, it was much worse than last year because so many notable companies were missing. The primary companies were there like Lee Valley, Peachtree, Woodpeckers, and Carter, but the other big companies were missing, like Infinity Tools, Woodcraft (only cause it was a pooooor showing this year), Bosch, and a scrap vendor that I thoroughly enjoyed sifting through the 2 shows prior. Unless the classes varies a little next year or more companies show up, I will probably not go anymore as there is nothing being offered that would be of value to me (1-1/2 hour drive). If I’m just bored out of my mind at that time, then yeah, why not? lol. Looking forward to the projects you make.

View Andre's profile


3742 posts in 2688 days

#2 posted 02-27-2018 06:21 AM

I’m about an hours drive from a Lee Valley store and try to take in some of there seminars, usually pick up some thing, sometimes give the instructors some pointers! Did catch a Lie Nielsen show a few years back in Vancouver and did that ever cost me a lot of $ That was the start of my hand tool evolution!

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

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