ATLANTA -- When I tell my friends about IWF and my spending a week in Atlanta every other August, they are always amazed. They ask: How many new innovations can there be in woodworking? How many new sawblades or sandpaper types can you have?

by Karl Forth

How much was new at IWF?  There were 1,080 exhibitors, and the majority had something new to show, whether a product refinement, software development, new color or size, or a completely new idea.

There wasn’t time for any one person to see them all, but an energetic attendee could see a lot if they wanted to.

And many did. Attendee/buyer attendance was up 11 percent over the last IWF in 2014, to about 16,000.  Overall attendance, including exhibitors and others, will be about 25,000.

Before the IWF and other major exhibitions, we always urge those who have never been to the show to take a look.

You don’t know what you don’t know.

And we’ve heard many times of people walking the show floor and finding a product or an idea that addressed a problem in their shop.  They found something they weren’t looking for.

If you were at IWF, we would be interested in your comments. What were you looking for? What did you see that most impressed you?  What did you like about the show?  What didn’t you like? Contact me at

For those who did not attend this year, there is plenty of coverage on about new products and show events. The amount of online information available to anyone who seeks it is many orders of magnitude larger than when we used to produce a printed magazine only.

Now if your shop can just find a good person to come work for you…

Have something to say? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.