St.Louis area LumberJocks #2: Woodworking show, Day 2

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Blog entry by SteveKorz posted 02-08-2009 06:31 AM 2169 reads 1 time favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Woodworking show meeting Part 2 of St.Louis area LumberJocks series no next part

I got to the St.Louis are Woodworking show this morning about 10a and took a few classes. I’ve been eyeballing the Sommerfelds Own router bits for cabinet making, and a Triton Router for some time. I walked around most the day thinking about it, and finally decided that I’m going to have to order the bits through the mail. I did, however, walk out with a Triton 3 1/4 hp router. I bought a set of flush cut pattern bits of variable sizes to trim my finger joint boxes, and some other miscellaneous jig hold downs. I was on my way out the door (honest) when I suddenly was overcome with the idea to walk through “just one more time.” Well… I walked out after buying a pin/ brad nailer with some brads… lol. It’s like gambling, I just couldn’t stop… lol. The brad nailer was cheap, and it is some off brand, but I figured I would see how I liked it before investing in some that are really expensive.

Anyway, during the show, I met Waid- Spaids and his wife. They were both great people and they made a great looking couple. We chatted for a bit and then went our own ways to shop some more.

I had a great deal of thought over this router. I currently have a Craftsman 2hp router that has the fixed base on it, with a dial ring to set the depth. I have so much trouble getting the height set with it that I’m about ready to throw it out to the dogs. So, the purchase of this Triton router will make things considerably easier for me. I decided on the 3 1/4 because I would like to get into some cabinet making, and I wanted that extra power to hog out the raised panel doors. This also gives me a variable range of power in the three routers that I have. The router is a beast, though. It’s going to have to be relatively limited to being mounted under the table because it weighs in at 14lbs. It’s a bit much for trying to balance on the end of a board to shoot a bead on it.

Overall this year, I was a little disappointed in the size of the show. When I first started going, it was really huge. They had quite a few classes, some paid and most free. The classes and smaller venders were packed into corresponding showrooms directly adjacent to the main showroom with the major venders. Now, I’ve noticed that everyone, venders and classes, are just packed into the main showroom. It’s easily 30% smaller than it was 4-5 years ago. I noticed that a some more of the venders were not there this year. I hope that trend doesn’t continue for the future, or there won’t be a show….

Regardless, I had a great time. I really enjoyed meeting the other Jocks in person. I got some great new tools to try out, and I’m fired up to get into my shop. Now, if it would just stay warm outside…. I’d have it made.


-- As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17) †

6 comments so far

View Popeye Jr.'s profile

Popeye Jr.

120 posts in 4665 days

#1 posted 02-08-2009 10:05 AM

Great choice on the router Steve! I got one of those for Christmas and love it. I also got a nice raised panel bit as well. This router Just chews up the wood without even missing a beat. You won’t be disapointed.
Happy routing

-- People who say it cannot be done should not interup those who are doing it

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27249 posts in 5064 days

#2 posted 02-08-2009 02:37 PM

Steve, it appears as if you had a good time, were able to attend some classes, meet some great people and come away with some new tools. Sounds like a successful combination to me and a great way to spend the weekend.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Karson's profile


35278 posts in 5643 days

#3 posted 02-08-2009 04:23 PM

Thanks for the review Steve. I was reading that “The Woodworkingshows” brand was bought in September of last year by a consortium of vendors. I don’t know who makes up the owner panel.

But, at least you would get the feeling that they want the shows to continue and get bigger because they are invested in the success of their business.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View Sawdust2's profile


1466 posts in 5330 days

#4 posted 02-08-2009 04:27 PM

All, unfortunately I have to agree with Steve. The shows are getting smaller, the selection is smaller, the prices are no longer very compelling.

I’ve spoken with past vendors and the exhibit space is costly. I even talked with manufacturers who can’t sell because of price points (market protection). Others that have decided to put their advertising money on the internet and use monthly deals (weekly in the case of Rockler) to enhance the business.

All part of the changing nature of business. In this case the greatest benefit is meeting fellow woodworkers.

Oh, well. Tomorrow is another day.


PS I had to come back because I noticed that the adverts surrounding the post primarily dealt with routers and bits, the main topic of items purchased. I also noticed that the advertising might also be zip code related as one of the advertisers is a saw blade sharpening shop that I use in my area.

-- No piece is cut too short. It was meant for a smaller project.

View SteveKorz's profile


2140 posts in 4956 days

#5 posted 02-08-2009 04:40 PM

I did enjoy it tremendously. It just pains me to see the trend of it getting smaller every year. I can order some of that stuff on the net, sure… but I like to see it and feel the weight of it in my hands, maybe hear it run.

I can remember when I started going about 5yrs ago, it was huge and growing. A bunch of local venders were there, they had a guy from a sawmilll that was selling some wood and veneer selection, Rockler, Woodcraft… on and on. They don’t want those locals in the shows now, because they compete. I remember one local veneer salesman had so much stock that he was almost giving veneer away on Sunday at about 4pm. I was new to the whole “veneer” experience, and I thought, “why the heck would you want veneer, no wonder he can’t give it away.” NOW, I wish I bought $200 worth when it was cheap… LOL. Heck, I didn’t know.

I also remember all the classes that they had. In Collinsville, they have a main show arena, a smaller but still large second arena, then a variety of smaller show arenas and rooms around the main. They used to fill up the entire arenas with venders, and then the 5-6 smaller 20×30 rooms were the paid, private classes. It was nice and quiet, and you didn’t have to fight to hear over the next class (Some days I feel like I’m about half deaf anyway). Now, it’s reduced enough in size to all (classes and everything) fit into the one main arena. I just hate to see that.

There were some venders that I was able to haggle with at this show, that willingly negotiated a lower price. Some would not. The ones that would not still were lower than anything I could get anywhere near me, or on the net (at least that I found), so there was no loss on my end there.

Overall, I had a tremendously good time. I really enjoyed the classes that I took, the people I met, and viewing the tools that they had. I’ll do it again and again, even if they get so small that it’s just one day long. I’d recommend for anyone to go that can.


-- As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17) †

View spaids's profile


699 posts in 4936 days

#6 posted 02-08-2009 09:44 PM

BAH! Sounds like Friday was the day everybody was showing up. Oh well it was still nice meeting you Steve and maybe next year I can get in on the bigger lumber jock meet and greet. It would have been nice to maybe have dinner or something that Saturday but my poor wife had been by my side since before the doors opened and she was WORN OUT. I honestly find it hard to believe that a spouse can make it through something like the wood show. If woodworking is not your hobby it has got to be the most boring thing ever. And then guys like us will go and stay there for 8 hours! She didn’t complain once but I could see how much it was starting to wear on her. Maybe I’ll go two days next year. I could do a hang out day and meet some guys and only make her go on the short day. Then the next day I would be unsupervised. $$$$$

This is only my second wood show and even I noticed it was smaller. That is troubling. I’m glad I got to turn a pen this year before they stop doing that. I had never touched a lathe before and they teach you how to turn a pen and then let you keep it and its FREE! I went into the show after that and straight to a lathe which I did not buy. Bummer.

-- Wipe the blood stains from your blade before coming in.--

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