Day 2 at IWF 2012 started at 7:45 AM in Hall B, weaving my way through hundreds of machines in the eerily quiet hall. I worked my way to the Felder Group booth, was introduced to the CEO of the company, and interviewed him for a video we were making with WoodWorkingNetwork.com.
You can watch the video we made to get a pretty good overview of their product offerings, but I will share a few of my observations here. Felder has some pretty impressive machinery spread throughout their three product groups: Hammer, Felder, and Format.
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!
After the video was completed at the Felder booth, I began my wanderings through Hall B, which would last the rest of the day. Hall B was in some ways more fun to visit than Hall A, and more frustrating. Looking at top-of-the-line woodworking machines all day is pretty awesome, but buying some of those machines is even more awesome. Yet, as I documented in my prior blog entry, I had already blown my budget on a new Brandt edgebander. So, my mission was strictly one of information gathering and education.
Not long after leaving the Felder booth, I came upon a booth selling an interesting little tool called the ThingaMeJig. This little device is pretty much a scribing tool on steroids. After watching the demonstration by the rep, who I think may also be the inventor and owner of the company, and after holding the little tool, I think it will find a place in my tool box. When the rep saw my press pass, he gave me one of the tools and asked me to use it in the field and write up a review. I told him I would be more than happy to do just that. So, hopefully in a few months, after a half dozen or so installs, I will have used the tool enough to write a solid review.
The next item that caught my eye was the Systainer booth. Most of us have all seen a Systainer container before and may not have known it. All of the Festool tools are packaged in systainers. The design and engineering that has gone into this modular, incredibly flexible, and endlessly customizable container system is awesome and brilliant, but doesn’t come cheap. If you were an organization freak, you could drain your bank account purchasing thesm, but you would have the best looking, most organized tool collection for miles.
Just about every vendor had a show special of some type, and the first product that seriously made me consider opening my wallet to take advantage was the Senco Fusion F-18 cordless nail gun. At our other company, Shutter Crafts, we have used two Paslode cordless nail guns for a decade or so, and they are awesome! But, the Senco gun had two features that made it better than what we already use. The first was the fact that it could shoot 18 gauge finish nails, the early Paslode models we purchased were only available in 16 gauge, and the second was the Senco has a gas cartridge that never needs to be replaced. A charged battery is all that the gun needs to work. All of those features, along with the thought of not having to lug a compressor and air hose into a client’s home, made it very tempting.
I have always had a fondness for well engineered layout tools, such as squares, straightedges, levels, and the like, so it is no surprise that the Maya Posi-Stop booth caught my eye. We have an older CTD saw that we currently use for cutting rough lumber to smaller lengths. I have wanted to upgrade the fence system so we could begin cutting all our face frame and door material to their final lengths using this saw, rather than having to cart everything to the one chop saw in the shop that has an accurate fence system. I am thinking a 12′ fence and a Model 1 stop should do the trick.