Crowded booths dominated the International Woodworking Fair, as cabinetmakers, specialty woodworkers, custom furniture makers and wood shops owner arrived in large numbers.
After four tough years, woodshop owners and craftsmen of every stripe filled the aisles of the International Woodworking Fair. The biannual Atlanta show suffered in 2010 along with the woodworking industry. Both attendance and exhibitor count were lower.
This year equipment, software and supplies manufacturers returned for a successful show. Preliminary attendance was 23,000.
For custom woodworkers, fundamentals were key. Practical offerings — software to rent instead of buy; basic floor machinery (particularly saws) — trumped whiz bang technology in capturing woodshop pros.
Attendees came for education — the Cabinet Makers Association reported more than 400 registrations for its workshops — as well as peer fellowship. Our bloggers and correspondents reported from the show floor:
Bernie Bottens, owner, Kapellmeister Enterprises, Vancouver, WA:
MD Dario exhibited an articulated bandsaw. The articulated arm allows the saw to come to the wood and make difficult, intricate cuts while the work piece holds still.
All of you folks who are cutting really bulky pieces on a band saw understand the difficulties of feeding something really heavy or bulky through the saw while trying to conduct an intricate cut. Here’s a way to do that while the work piece holds still and the saw moves. The articulated arm, with its ball bearing joints keeps the saw perfectly plumb in all axes. There is also a guide on the saw that lets you follow patterns clamped to the workpiece.
The saw has a multiple workstation where the saw arm pivots around a central point to service four separate pieces, at four work stations.
Jared Patchin, J Alexander Fine Woodworking, Boise, ID:
I began my wanderings through Hall B, which is mostly machinery. Looking at top-of-the-line woodworking machines all day is pretty awesome, but buying some of those machines is even more awesome.
I worked my way to the Felder Group booth, which has some pretty impressive equipment spread throughout its Hammer, Felder, and Format lines.
I would love to buy one of their planers and jointers with the “Silent Power” spiral cutterhead! I also saw, for the first time, a crosscut fence with a digital readout for the cut length and angle, complete with an automatic cut length adjustment depending on the angle of the cut. Consider me impressed!