Is Woodworking in America worth it.

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Forum topic by StuffByThom posted 08-09-2015 12:06 PM 1584 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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24 posts in 2826 days

08-09-2015 12:06 PM

Topic tags/keywords: woodworking in america

I was considering going to Woodworking in America this September, but then discovered it is $450. After looking through the class schedule there are 6 classes I would be interested in attending, but I’m having a tough time justifying the money I would spend to MAYBE learn a new technique or see a new tool.

My question is, to those have attended, is it worth it? Are the classes informative and well structured? Is the trade show floor worth the time?

Part of me wants to go just to meet some YouTuber’s in person, but again it is hard to justify the expense.

Any comments are appreciated.

8 replies so far

View oldnovice's profile


7791 posts in 4827 days

#1 posted 09-10-2015 06:37 AM

I haven’t been to a woodworking show since the early 1970’s (admission $25, $12.50 seniors) because they have become way too expensive.

In my opinion these shows should be free as they are for the most part commercials for manufacturers. Yes they should charge for classes if they have decent instructors.

I did attend a few home&garden shows but stopped that at $45!
I also went to the Maker Fair, not really that costly but we’ll worth it.

But don’t let my miserly opinion stop you!

-- "Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." -- Aldous Huxley

View BurlyBob's profile


10498 posts in 3725 days

#2 posted 09-10-2015 02:56 PM

I’d given a bit of thought of making a vacation out of going to it. But this is one more strike against it. That kinda money will be better put towards tools and material.

View oldnovice's profile


7791 posts in 4827 days

#3 posted 09-10-2015 03:42 PM

Part of my job, when I was working, was attending trade shows and most of them had minimal, if any, entrance fees. The educational sessions, in most cases, required some fees as many times as there would be literature/documentation supporting the session. I still have, stashed somewhere, three binders worth from one such session. I should find that and get rid of that since I have been retired for over 6 years.

-- "Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." -- Aldous Huxley

View Earlextech's profile


1164 posts in 4150 days

#4 posted 09-11-2015 01:10 PM

I’ve gone every year for 7 years now. I’m a vendor in the Marketplace. This is a letter I received from Popular Woodworking Mag about the show. I think this explains why you should want to go, of course, cost does play a part in it. If you go just for the Marketplace, don’t bother, it’s not worth it, but if you want to hang out with, learn from and be totally immersed in “fine” woodworking and woodworkers, this is the place to be.

“Woodworking in America 2015

A Letter from the Editor of Popular Woodworking
Hello WIA Followers,

Where else can I learn – in a three-day period under one roof – from Patrick Edwards, Phil Lowe, David Marks, Will Neptune, Alf Sharp, Roy Underhill, Marc Adams, Tom Fidgen and many more?

Where else do I have the chance to choose classes and absorb expert woodworking knowledge on such a wide variety of topics as Resawing by Hand, Make Your Own Woodworking Machines, Creating Unique Patinas, Bent Lamination, Router Tricks for the Period Woodworker and 37 more?

Where else in one place can I check out – and try out – the latest from Lie-Nielsen, Chris Vesper, ShopBot, Blue Spruce Toolworks, SawStop, Lee Valley and many more?

The answer? Nowhere.

So every year as I drive to the conference (no matter how much I might have kvetched and moaned during the weeks leading up to it), I arrive full of anticipatory excitement knowing that I’ll bask in the woodworking genius of many of the best instructors and toolmakers in the country (and beyond), meet old friends and make new ones, and have a great time hanging out for three days and talking woodworking.

I hope you’ll join us – September 25-27 in Kansas City, Mo. – if you do, please find me and say hello (I’ll be the one with the shepherd’s crook).

Megan Fitzpatrick, Editor, Popular Woodworking Magazine
Community Content Director, Woodworking”

-- Sam Hamory - The project is never finished until its "Finished"!

View Maverick44spec's profile


391 posts in 3944 days

#5 posted 09-14-2015 03:09 AM

$450 could buy you a LOT of books and videos with all kinds of useful information. I’m not sure you could get $450 worth of info out of six classes over a couple days.

-- Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -- Albert Einstein

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

27706 posts in 4565 days

#6 posted 09-21-2015 12:59 PM

I could not justify it. I go after a technique just as I need it ( a lot is on You Tube) . I know there it s a lot of expert knowledge given at that big seminar, but I’d rather use the money to buy tools or material to make them.

Cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View firefighterontheside's profile


21615 posts in 3316 days

#7 posted 09-21-2015 01:15 PM

I had no idea it was that expensive. Maybe some day when my wife makes me wealthy, but for now its not an option. Like others have said, id sooner spend that money on a tool or my shop.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

View a1Jim's profile


118322 posts in 5036 days

#8 posted 09-21-2015 01:17 PM

I guess each person has to evaluate the cost of $450 for their budget and their need to know whatever subjects their covering. For some folks the cost is pocket change others it may be more than a weeks pay. There may be classes outside the show that will specifically cover a subject you want to learn more than the shot gun approach with many classes covering many subjects for the same cost . I don’t know where you live but I know Charles Neil teaches
“Finishing A to Z – Basic Course” on finishing a category many woodworkers feel the need help in, for close to the same cost.


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