On Tuesday online editor Jon Russelburg and I piled into a rented red Ford and drove from Cincinnati, Ohio, to Atlanta, Ga., for the 2016 International Woodworking Fair at the Georgia World Congress Center. If you’ve never been (and this was a first for both Jon and me), let me summarize the event for you in one word: HUGE.
In a professional capacity, I made sure to stop by some 60-something vendors’ booths to introduce myself – the magazine’s still fairly-new managing editor – to a number of toolmakers whose products we feature (or want to feature) in the magazine’s pages. Jon and I visited with Senco to chat about nailers and fasteners, and we walked through Festool’s awesome trailer to check out their innovative products.
We made sure to swing by Bosch and discuss the new REAXX jobsite table saw with finger-saving safety features – we just got one in the shop (keep an eye on the website for more on that one) and have a review in the upcoming November issue.
We talked planes with Veritas, who we’re looking forward to seeing again in September at WIA, and called on a few CNC toolmakers to study for a future CNC primer we’re putting together.
I especially enjoyed our time at Kreg’s booth, as their products contributed hugely to my early days as a maker (plus, they’re super nice folks). We handed out cards, shook hands and established contacts that’ll help us create useful and informative content in the next few years.
On a personal level – woah. Just, woah. There is so much stuff to see. Though we have to clear out soon to get back to the office (the November issue needs one final proofread before it goes to the printer), there’s more than enough to fill four days of floor-walking. There are machines literally bigger than my house (admittedly, my house is pretty small, but still) that I’m pretty sure produce finished pieces of furniture at the other end. The Student Design Emphasis Competition entrants were amazing examples of what we have to expect from the next generation of woodworkers. Routers, laser engravers, circular saws, finishing solutions…seriously, there’s so much stuff. You should stop by if you get a chance.