The free Marketplace area of our Woodworking in America shows are , hands down , the best woodworking shows I’ve attended since I started in the craft. The exhibitors are top-shelf (no ShamWow) and are hand-picked. (We say “no thanks” to several sellers.) See the complete list here.
And, I might add, the Marketplace is totally free. Check it out Oct. 2-4 in Valley Forge, Pa.
What’s more, I think you can visit the Marketplace and learn an astonishing amount about woodworking. Many of the exhibitors are also A-list craftsmen and are happy to walk you though using the tools in the booths , almost everyone brings workbenches and wood. Both the tools and the exhibitors are sharp.
I will warn you, it’s hard to escape without buying something. And that’s because you are going to see stuff that you never ever see in person. How many of you have used a saw from Eccentric Toolworks? Where are you going to find “new old stock” files and Starrett stuff if you don’t visit Slav at Mustang Designs. (Watch out for Slav. He always gets me for a couple hundred bucks.)
Get Don McConnell of Clark & Williams to show you how to use moulding planes. See the incredible Glide vise in person from Benchcrafted. Custom toolmakers such as Sauer & Steiner, Brese Planes, Bad Axe Tool Works and D.L. Barrett & Sons will be there. See their wares, try them out and try to resist.
Plus you’ll find exhibitors who don’t traditionally do shows. The Best Things? You gotta meet Lee Richmond there. Gramercy Tools? Meet Joel Moskowitz himself. And how often do you see Lee Valley Tools and Lie-Nielsen Toolworks at the same shows? Not too often.
And it’s not all hand tools. MicroFence and Woodpeckers will be there , they make some of the best darn router accessories around.
I’ll be there (and so will my credit card). Just don’t get between me and those Starrett wing dividers in the Mustang Design booth. I’ll poke you good.
Woodworking in America exhibitors
(as of Aug. 31, 2009. Subject to change)
, Christopher Schwarz