AWFS Fair 2013: Like Christmas in July

By Jared Patchin | Posted: 08/28/2013 12:09PM

 

J Alexander Fine Woodworking Jared Patchin I had the opportunity to attend AWFS Fair 2013, the biennial woodworking show, in Las Vegas last month. This is only my second time attending a large woodworking show, and I was as giddy as a little kid on Christmas morning. AWFS and IWF are large enough that, no matter how much you think you know, there is always something to be discovered and learned on the show floor, or in the dozens of seminars offered.

Last year I attended IWF with no itinerary or plan. I just took in the surroundings and absorbed what was there. This year, I had a short list of items I wanted to investigate, including cabinet door sanding machines (air sanders, flapper wheel sanders, profile sanders), straight line rip saws, CNC machines, cabinet software, and air compressors, just to name a few.

Day 1:
The first day of the show began bright and early with the first of six videos that I would host throughout the day for the Woodworking Network, interviewing Hafele, Osborne Wood Products, Accuride, Grass, Blum, and Bioformix. Between the videos I was able to steal away and take in some of the show floor, and here were my discoveries in no particular order.

While aimlessly wandering the many aisles, I spotted out of the corner of my eye, a hardware drilling jig from True Position. For years now, we have been using shop made jigs to drill holes for pulls and knobs. A shop-made jig is better than manually marking every door and drawer, but it definitely had it’s drawbacks. When I spotted this jig, I made a bee-line for the booth, pulled out my wallet, and kissed shop-made drilling jigs good-bye forever. 

Later in the day I stopped by the Kerfcore booth to say hello to my rep, Todd Fowler, and was shown one of their latest product, BalsaCore. It is a laminated panel with MDF, PB, or Masonite outer skins and an inner core of balsa wood. The resulting panel is rigid and lightweight, while having a continuously solid core, unlike other panels that use a cardboard honeycomb core. I will be investigating the possibility of using this product for the Maple veneered desk that we build.

Lastly, I rejoiced at my good fortune to wander past the Spring Tools booth! If you don’t already know about Spring Tools and their products, they make the best nail set in the entire known universe. No exaggeration! I had one of their nail sets in our installation tool box, until one of my employees commandeered it for use in the shop. I searched high and low in every hardware store in Boise, only to come up empty handed. No longer…for I purchased two…just in case another one of my employees decides they can’t work without one.

Day 2:
The second day of the show was similar to the first, with five Woodworking Network videos (Putsch, Komo, Felder, Franklin Adhesives, and Royce AYR), and more tool discoveries.

I love tools, and I especially love tools when they solve a problem that I didn’t know even existed. Enter the 21 gauge brad nailer from Senco. The gun, which Senco has been selling in Europe but is just releasing in the US, is a cross between the 18 gauge brad nail and the 23 gauge headless pin nail. The idea, at least in my mind, is to combine the holding strength of the brad nail with the invisibility of the headless pin nail. From the test shots I took, I was convinced enough to look into purchasing one for our installations.

SurfPrep was a new company at the show this year, and one of the AWFS 2013 New Product Visionary Award nominees. The company sells air sanders and abrasives, but the product that caught my attention was their 3″x4″ orbit sander. While using this sander, one is able to machine sand the seal or lacquer coat off of any surface, including raised panel cabinet doors, without blowing through stained edges or introducing cross grain scratches where the rail meets the stile.

Keeping with the sanding theme, we all know how important it is to properly sand the contoured part of a raised panel door. We also know how difficult it can be to accomplish that task by using a random orbit sander or hand sandpaper. Enter the Larick profile sander, which makes it is a whole lot easier and more consistent. Larick has, or can create, within 2 days, a sanding head to match any raised panel profile you may have.

Day 3:
For me, the third day of the show was all about CNC machines. I visited every CNC company that was at the show, spoke to reps, collected literature, and by the end of the day, had a solid foundation to begin more serious investigation. Tentatively, my plan is to grow enough to hire a third employee, and then purchase a CNC machine. I will be documenting this process in depth, so stay tuned.

In addition to the CNC machines, a few more things struck my eye. Silky Saws makes some beautiful hand saws. While we do almost no hand tool work, we do have a cheap Japanese pull saw, purchased from Home Depot, in our installation tool box, and it comes in so handy while on the job. Silky Saws has a few folding versions that I would love to upgrade to.

The last item I am going to mention, oddly enough, is also the smallest item I came across at the show…a simple little foam spacer. We probably all know about and use space balls in our raised panel doors, but if you are looking for an alternative spacer, look no further than Panel Buddies. They caught my attention because they are 1″ long, so there is more padding per Panel Buddy spacer than with Space Balls, and they are not made from rubber, so there is no chance of oily residue leaking into the panel or frame.

Overall, the show was very good. Going into the show with a few key topics to investigate helped me stay focused and kept me from being overwhelmed by the sheer number of booths, tools, and gadgets.

But, the best part of the show, by far, was working with the crew from the Woodworking Network. Bill, Bernie, Jim, Renee, Rich, Karen, Ellen, Steve, and Sean…you are all wonderful people, and it was a joy to spend three days with you!

 

I had the opportunity to attend the biennial woodworking show, AWFS, in Las Vegas last month. This is only my second time attending a large woodworking show, and I was as giddy as a little kid on Christmas morning. AWFS and IWF are large enough that, no matter how much you think you know, there is always something to be discovered and learned on the show floor, or in the dozens of seminars offered.

Last year I attended IWF with no itinerary or plan. I just took in the surroundings and absorbed what was there. This year, I had a short list of items I wanted to investigate, including cabinet door sanding machines (air sanders, flapper wheel sanders, profile sanders), straight line rip saws, CNC machines, cabinet software, and air compressors, just to name a few.

Day 1:
The first day of the show began bright and early with the first of six videos that I would host throughout the day for the Woodworking Network, interviewing Hafele, Osborne Wood Products, Accuride, Grass, Blum, and Bioformix. Between the videos I was able to steal away and take in some of the show floor, and here were my discoveries in no particular order.

While aimlessly wandering the many aisles, I spotted out of the corner of my eye, a hardware drilling jig from True Position. For years now, we have been using shop made jigs to drill holes for pulls and knobs. A shop-made jig is better than manually marking every door and drawer, but it definitely had it’s drawbacks. When I spotted this jig, I made a bee-line for the booth, pulled out my wallet, and kissed shop-made drilling jigs good-bye forever.

Later in the day I stopped by the Kerfcore booth to say hello to my rep, Todd Fowler, and was shown one of their latest product, BalsaCore. It is a laminated panel with MDF, PB, or Masonite outer skins and an inner core of balsa wood. The resulting panel is rigid and lightweight, while having a continuously solid core, unlike other panels that use a cardboard honeycomb core. I will be investigating the possibility of using this product for the Maple veneered desk that we build.

Lastly, I rejoiced at my good fortune to wander past the Spring Tools booth! If you don’t already know about Spring Tools and their products, they make the best nail set in the entire known universe. No exaggeration! I had one of their nail sets in our installation tool box, until one of my employees commandeered it for use in the shop. I searched high and low in every hardware store in Boise, only to come up empty handed. No longer…for I purchased two…just in case another one of my employees decides they can’t work without one.

Day 2:
The second day of the show was similar to the first, with five Woodworking Network videos (Putsch, Komo, Felder, Franklin Adhesives, and Royce AYR), and more tool discoveries.

I love tools, and I especially love tools when they solve a problem that I didn’t know even existed. Enter the 21 gauge brad nailer from Senco. The gun, which Senco has been selling in Europe but is just releasing in the US, is a cross between the 18 gauge brad nail and the 23 gauge headless pin nail. The idea, at least in my mind, is to combine the holding strength of the brad nail with the invisibility of the headless pin nail. From the test shots I took, I was convinced enough to look into purchasing one for our installations.

SurfPrep was a new company at the show this year, and one of the AWFS 2012 New Product Visionary Award winners. The company sells air sanders and abrasives, but the product that caught my attention was their 3″x4″ orbit sander. While using this sander, one is able to machine sand the seal or lacquer coat off of any surface, including raised panel cabinet doors, without blowing through stained edges or introducing cross grain scratches where the rail meets the stile.

Keeping with the sanding theme, we all know how important it is to properly sand the contoured part of a raised panel door. We also know how difficult it can be to accomplish that task by using a random orbit sander or hand sandpaper. Enter the Larick profile sander, which makes it is a whole lot easier and more consistent. Larick has, or can create, within 2 days, a sanding head to match any raised panel profile you may have.

Day 3
For me, the third day of the show was all about CNC machines. I visited every CNC company that was at the show, spoke to reps, collected literature, and by the end of the day, had a solid foundation to begin more serious investigation. Tentatively, my plan is to grow enough to hire a third employee, and then purchase a CNC machine. I will be documenting this process in depth, so stay tuned.

In addition to the CNC machines, a few more things struck my eye. Silky Saws makes some beautiful hand saws. While we do almost no hand tool work, we do have a cheap Japanese pull saw, purchased from Home Depot, in our installation tool box, and it comes in so handy while on the job. Silky Saws has a few folding versions that I would love to upgrade to.

The last item I am going to mention, oddly enough, is also the smallest item I came across at the show…a simple little foam spacer. We probably all know about and use space balls in our raised panel doors, but if you are looking for an alternative spacer, look no further than Panel Buddies. They caught my attention because they are 1″ long, so there is more padding per Panel Buddy spacer than with Space Balls, and they are not made from rubber, so there is no chance of oily residue leaking into the panel or frame.

Overall, the show was very good. Going into the show with a few key topics to investigate helped me stay focused and kept me from being overwhelmed by the sheer number of booths, tools, and gadgets.

But, the best part of the show, by far, was working with the crew from the Woodworking Network. Bill, Bernie, Jim, Renee, Rich, Karen, Ellen, Steve, and Sean…you are all wonderful people, and it was a joy to spend three days with you!

- See more at: http://jawoodworking.com/awfs-2013/#sthash.TQHECRAR.dpuf

I had the opportunity to attend the biennial woodworking show, AWFS, in Las Vegas last month. This is only my second time attending a large woodworking show, and I was as giddy as a little kid on Christmas morning. AWFS and IWF are large enough that, no matter how much you think you know, there is always something to be discovered and learned on the show floor, or in the dozens of seminars offered.

Last year I attended IWF with no itinerary or plan. I just took in the surroundings and absorbed what was there. This year, I had a short list of items I wanted to investigate, including cabinet door sanding machines (air sanders, flapper wheel sanders, profile sanders), straight line rip saws, CNC machines, cabinet software, and air compressors, just to name a few.

Day 1:
The first day of the show began bright and early with the first of six videos that I would host throughout the day for the Woodworking Network, interviewing Hafele, Osborne Wood Products, Accuride, Grass, Blum, and Bioformix. Between the videos I was able to steal away and take in some of the show floor, and here were my discoveries in no particular order.

While aimlessly wandering the many aisles, I spotted out of the corner of my eye, a hardware drilling jig from True Position. For years now, we have been using shop made jigs to drill holes for pulls and knobs. A shop-made jig is better than manually marking every door and drawer, but it definitely had it’s drawbacks. When I spotted this jig, I made a bee-line for the booth, pulled out my wallet, and kissed shop-made drilling jigs good-bye forever.

Later in the day I stopped by the Kerfcore booth to say hello to my rep, Todd Fowler, and was shown one of their latest product, BalsaCore. It is a laminated panel with MDF, PB, or Masonite outer skins and an inner core of balsa wood. The resulting panel is rigid and lightweight, while having a continuously solid core, unlike other panels that use a cardboard honeycomb core. I will be investigating the possibility of using this product for the Maple veneered desk that we build.

Lastly, I rejoiced at my good fortune to wander past the Spring Tools booth! If you don’t already know about Spring Tools and their products, they make the best nail set in the entire known universe. No exaggeration! I had one of their nail sets in our installation tool box, until one of my employees commandeered it for use in the shop. I searched high and low in every hardware store in Boise, only to come up empty handed. No longer…for I purchased two…just in case another one of my employees decides they can’t work without one.

Day 2:
The second day of the show was similar to the first, with five Woodworking Network videos (Putsch, Komo, Felder, Franklin Adhesives, and Royce AYR), and more tool discoveries.

I love tools, and I especially love tools when they solve a problem that I didn’t know even existed. Enter the 21 gauge brad nailer from Senco. The gun, which Senco has been selling in Europe but is just releasing in the US, is a cross between the 18 gauge brad nail and the 23 gauge headless pin nail. The idea, at least in my mind, is to combine the holding strength of the brad nail with the invisibility of the headless pin nail. From the test shots I took, I was convinced enough to look into purchasing one for our installations.

SurfPrep was a new company at the show this year, and one of the AWFS 2012 New Product Visionary Award winners. The company sells air sanders and abrasives, but the product that caught my attention was their 3″x4″ orbit sander. While using this sander, one is able to machine sand the seal or lacquer coat off of any surface, including raised panel cabinet doors, without blowing through stained edges or introducing cross grain scratches where the rail meets the stile.

Keeping with the sanding theme, we all know how important it is to properly sand the contoured part of a raised panel door. We also know how difficult it can be to accomplish that task by using a random orbit sander or hand sandpaper. Enter the Larick profile sander, which makes it is a whole lot easier and more consistent. Larick has, or can create, within 2 days, a sanding head to match any raised panel profile you may have.

Day 3
For me, the third day of the show was all about CNC machines. I visited every CNC company that was at the show, spoke to reps, collected literature, and by the end of the day, had a solid foundation to begin more serious investigation. Tentatively, my plan is to grow enough to hire a third employee, and then purchase a CNC machine. I will be documenting this process in depth, so stay tuned.

In addition to the CNC machines, a few more things struck my eye. Silky Saws makes some beautiful hand saws. While we do almost no hand tool work, we do have a cheap Japanese pull saw, purchased from Home Depot, in our installation tool box, and it comes in so handy while on the job. Silky Saws has a few folding versions that I would love to upgrade to.

The last item I am going to mention, oddly enough, is also the smallest item I came across at the show…a simple little foam spacer. We probably all know about and use space balls in our raised panel doors, but if you are looking for an alternative spacer, look no further than Panel Buddies. They caught my attention because they are 1″ long, so there is more padding per Panel Buddy spacer than with Space Balls, and they are not made from rubber, so there is no chance of oily residue leaking into the panel or frame.

Overall, the show was very good. Going into the show with a few key topics to investigate helped me stay focused and kept me from being overwhelmed by the sheer number of booths, tools, and gadgets.

But, the best part of the show, by far, was working with the crew from the Woodworking Network. Bill, Bernie, Jim, Renee, Rich, Karen, Ellen, Steve, and Sean…you are all wonderful people, and it was a joy to spend three days with you!

- See more at: http://jawoodworking.com/awfs-2013/#sthash.TQHECRAR.dpuf

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About the Author

Jared Patchin J Alexander Fine Woodworking Network

Jared Patchin

Jared Patchin started woodworking professionally in 2008 when he set-up J.Alexander Fine Woodworking in Boise, ID, where he builds custom crafted furniture and cabinetry. He started building furniture at the age of seven when his father bought Shutter Crafts. He has developed his craft since then, moving from making wooden swords for himself and his friends to building some of the finest furniture and cabinetry available. He lives in Boise, Idaho with his wife and two young sons, who have taken over the sword making side of things.

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