Hi guy’s. Welcome back to Behind the Sawdust. I just wanted to give you an update about what’s going on and when we’ll be back to business as usual here on YouTube and over at Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal.
As I said in the last episode, we are working through a perfect storm of public appearances that’s making the end of the summer so busy that we had to combine the August and September issues together, and release them later this month. But I don’t want you to think this is a bad thing. It’s not. In fact, IWF last week was a lot of fun.
If you’ve never been to the International Woodworking Fair, it is quite an experience. Like Comic Con for adults who don’t live with their parents. You’ve likely never seen any woodworking show as large. In fact, I know you haven’t, at least on this continent, because IWF is the largest in North America. Everything even related to wood is represented. Companies spend weeks before the show setting up giant furniture making machinery, complete with even gianter dust collection systems- all for a week long show. Then they spend weeks tearing it apart again. You may think it a little silly to spend more than a month setting up and tearing down, but these guys are happy to go all out. And besides, I suspect they don’t have to sell too many of those machines to make a tidy profit at the show.
Of course, it’s not all about giant machinery. There are plenty of small booths too, including some familiar brands that most of us have in our workshops. I spent a little time talking to the nice folks at Whiteside about an upcoming book I’ll be writing about routers. I really like Whiteside because they’re a family run business. I also met with Kreg tools to talk to them about their Forman pocket hole machine, which I have been using for a while now and absolutely love.
But the vast majority of my time was spent in the Tormek, Sjobergs and Bora Tools booth. They set up a couple of benches for me and a giant, 8’ tall banner with my big, fat face on it. I got to spend the week hanging out with everybody, meeting fans, and doing some wood carving. I only got a chance to take a little video when things slowed down at the end of each day, so it may not look very busy. But the booth was actually pretty full most of the time. I talked to hundreds of woodworkers from all over the world.
IWF is also the largest gathering of woodworking media in the country. Representatives from all of the woodworking magazines stopped by the booth to chat, some of them more than once. Glen Huey and Chuck Bender came by a few times, George Vandriska- Tommy Macdonald even came to hang out for a while. April Wilkerson and Matt Cremona were only there for the weekend with the Triton booth, but we managed to talk a little and get a great photo. No, Matt is not laying his head on my shoulder, he’s trying to not block the big Stumpy banner.
While the most rewarding part of the show was meeting all of the woodworkers from all over the world, I have to admit that the most fun was hanging out with the Tormek and Sjobergs guys each evening. There is no footage of that, and for good reason. Nobody wants to see a group of hungry woodworkers eating and drinking their way through Atlanta. Not that there was a lot of revelry going on. I enjoy a cold one or two, but I am actually a pretty light drinker. But the guys never let my glass, or stomach get empty. Seriously, we ate like kings all week and they only let me pick up one small check, and that was because I insisted. I have never been treated so well by people I hardly knew in my life. And it made me glad I had chosen to work with them.
The hotel was spectacular too. This is a view from inside. The lobby ceiling is 25 stories high. But all good things must come to an end, and I flew back home on Saturday to begin preparing for the rest of the late summer events.
Next up is a book signing and meet and greet at a Detroit area Rockler store in Novi, Michigan, then it’s Woodworking in America- which is what is taking up the bulk of my time this month as I write the curriculum for the classes I’ll be teaching, including building a bunch of new jigs just for that show. Seriously, if you’re going to be there, you have to take my classes. You’ll learn a lot about your table saw and your router, and you’ll leave with a bunch of free woodworking jig plans. But, putting together three 2-hour classes is a ton of work, and that’s why we had to take a break from our regular woodworking videos.
But worry not, things will be back to normal later this month. I’m wrapping up with a final book signing and meet and greet in the Chicago area, I think Boilingbrook on the 24th. And then I hope to get a little free time to catch up.
In the meantime, don’t forget to check out our sponsors who help pay all of the bills, we couldn’t do what we do without them. So visit their websites using the links in the notes below the video. Then you can sit back and have a cold one, because you’ve earner it, my friend!
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