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This past week I was contacted by a reader in Chicago. He’s considering driving down to the Woodworking in America conference (WIA) to experience the Marketplace and had hopes of purchasing a band saw, possibly at a bit of a discount. (The machinery, at least those pieces that General International provided for us to use in the classrooms, will be discounted.)

You might be asking yourself why a woodworker would travel six hours one way to come to WIA. For many that answer is simple: This is going to be the biggest woodworking weekend that most of us have seen in some time. But if you need further convincing, here you go.

At the Marketplace you talk directly with tool makers and vendors. All your questions will be answered. There is no better way to decide if a tool is right for you than to stand in front of it or put it in your paws and give it a spin. Years back I called my local Woodcraft to ask if they had a Foredom carver setup to use. They did. I was on the fence about a purchase, but as soon as I touched the carver to wood, I knew I would be taking one home.

To make the trip even more attractive, show exhibitors have offered to hold classes right in the Marketplace. We call the classes “Shop Talk.” Education is key and what better person to learn how to properly use a tool or pickup a new technique than from a company representative. The Shop Talk portion of the Marketplace runs both Friday and Saturday and it is entirely free.

Here are the Friday classes:

  • Understanding Classic Hand Tools: Old & New w/ Lee Richmond of The Best Things.
  • Routers: The Most Versatile Tool in the Shop w/ Wayne Sutter of Woodline USA.
  • Understanding Adhesives w/ Kathy Hoelscher of Gorilla Glue.

Saturday’s list is equally impressive:

  • Building a Flat-panel Shaker Door w/ Brian Sedgeley of Festool USA.

If that list doesn’t bring you to the happenings during first weekend of October 2010, we’re not done yet. How about you simply walk into the Marketplace and win something via a random drawing? It cannot get easier than that. Vendors have ponied-up tools and prizes that make me want to attend the show in anonymity (I’m ineligible to win). Here are the list of prizes in no particular order, but I’m sure you’ll have your favorite. As they say, if you’re not here, you don’t have a chance to win , but walk through the door and you’re name is in the hat!

14″ Sash/Medium Tenon Saw from Bad Axe Toolworks.
Mag-Blok Magnetic tool holder from Benchcrafted.
Marking Knife from Blue Spruce Toolworks.
General Excalibur Osborne Miter Gauge from General International.
Gorilla Glue Pack of Six Glues and other Accessories from Gorilla Glue.
Kreg Jig Master System from Kreg Tool.
Veritas Quick-release Tail Vise or a Store Gift Certificate from Lee Valley.
#60 1/2 Low-angle Adjustable Mouth Block Plane from Lie-Nielsen.
TS2000 10″ Table Saw Blade from Ridge Carbide.
Set of Three Finishing Brushes for Waterborne Finishes from Tools for Working Wood.
$250 Gift Certificate from Woodline USA.
Saw Gauge (table saw alignment tool) from Woodpeckers Inc.
Black Resin Dovetail saw & Rob Cosman’s Dovetail Degree Kit (DVDs) from Woodcraft.

Speaking of Woodcraft and the Cosman saw door prize, I expect you have heard about the celebs that the company has scheduled in it’s booth. Click on the PDF listing below to see what Woodcraft has in store for Rob Cosman, Tommy MacDonald and Reto Odermatt. You’ll need to schedule some time at that booth while at the Marketplace.

If you’re a dedicated woodworker, you have to be here. A six-hour drive wouldn’t keep me from attending. This is going to be BIG!

– Glen D. Huey

Woodcraft WIA Schedule.pdf (121.9 KB)

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Showing 2 comments
  • megan

    Doug, the Marketplace is open only on Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.

  • Doug F.

    Anything happening on Sunday in the marketplace? I have to work that Saturday and was thinking of attending on Sunday.

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