Big noisy woodworking machinery and silent operating software are big draws on the floor, but the another major draw are the many wood industry personalities at the AWFS Fair 2015 show in Las Vegas. Who's here?

Thursday morning July 23, John Bassett III keynoted at The Stage on the show floor, recounting his efforts to reinvent Vaughan-Bassett Furniture and to challenge China's manufacturers for dumping furniture on the global market. A best-seller recounting the Bassett family business story, Factory Man," became a ebst seller and is being made into a mini-series for HBO by Tom Hanks.

Friday morning July 24, Association of Woodworking & Furnishings Suppliers presents Wade King and Brett Ramer from Animal Planet’s hit reality show “Tanked,” courtesy of Stiles Machinery. The hulking pair of acrylic cutters make amazing aquariums, which is also a good fit for the Plastics theme of the AWFS Fair, a growing category of cutting and shaping for woodworkers. King and Ramer will be featured at The Stage (#Booth 5531) 10:30 a.m., Wade and Brett will inform and entertain Fair visitors by revealing the challenges they’ve faced in becoming one of the nation’s most successful manufacturers of custom acrylic tanks – as well as reality show stars.

Also Friday, New York Times columnist Paul Downs addresses small woodshop owners in a seminar session, "Looking Under the Hood: How One Successful Maker Does Business." Downs, operator of Paul Downs Cabinetmakers in Pennsylvania, gained popularity for his New York Times blog and columns, "You're the Boss." His new book, "Boss  Life," will be published next month.

Popular woodworker Brian Newell, of Brian Newell Furniture, provided a lecture-demo this afternoon, "Playing With Pierced Carving." Newell covered the basics in this technique for carving, then cutting away the background by saw.

And of course, the irrepressible Tommy Mac, of PBS Rough Cut show fame,  is on the AWFS floor again this year, showing off the GRR-Ripper at Microjig's Booth #7741.

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