Unlike other woodworking-specific trade shows we attend, the International Builder's Show is really geared toward the professional builder or remodeler - not us shop rats. But, despite the fact that we don't write articles about wall systems, the latest plumbing fixtures or new ways to insulate attics, there are still booths here that are just plain inspiring to see. Two standouts that caught our eye as woodworkers are Barnwood Incorporated and Green Choice Flooring International.
Barnwood Incorporated's booth was hard to miss: the company erected a barn on the showroom floor to showcase their reclaimed lumber products. Barnwood Incorporated is in the business of salvaging vintage barns in the Pacific Northwest area and reclaiming the lumber for millwork, flooring, siding and timbers. Although the company is still aiming its vintage wood products toward homebuilders, we thought it impressive to see a forward-thinking approach to saving, in some cases, centuries-old virgin-forest lumber and giving it a second life. Barnwood Incorporated does provide a pricelist for various reclaimed lumber products on its website (www.barnwoodincorporated.com) as well a thought-provoking video that's just plain fun to watch. Check it out. You might think differently about those old, falling-down barns that dot the landscape in almost every rural area of our country.
We also saw some simply stunning flooring in Green Choice Flooring International's booth here at the show. It's made from strandwoven bamboo, mulberry and coconut tree byproducts that would otherwise be discarded in the harvesting and manufacturing processes of these trees. The flooring, which comes in a range of styles and striking grain patterns, is reported to have the durability of hardwood with anti-microbial and low VOC benefits. The company offers a lifetime structural warranty on its products and manufactures both solid and engineered flooring, along with matching stairparts, moldings and accessories. Green Choice literature also says that it manufactures its flooring in a socially responsible manner. Learn more about this eco-friendly flooring by visiting the company website: www.greenchoiceflooring.com. Then, definitely consider it the next time you're planning a new floor for your home.
Kobalt's Tower of Power Tool Chest
If you're as much a grease monkey as you are a woodworker, you've gotta check out Kobalt's new 53-in.-tall, stainless steel tool chest (model 112374). We saw one up close on display in the Lowe's booth here at the show, and well, it's just plain awe-inspiring for any red-blooded tool junkie. The chest sports 16 full-extension drawers, an on-board power strip, MP3-compatible Pioneer stereo system with a pair of three-way speakers and here comes the drum roll: a 1.6 cubic foot refrigerator! The chest stands on the biggest lockable casters we've ever seen, and there's even a pair of LED lights that turn on when you open the top lid. Here's your ticket to pit-crew status in the shop, racing fans! See the new 53-in. Tool Chest, coming soon to your nearest Lowe's store, or learn more about it now by visiting Kobalt's web site at www.kobalttools.com.
Chris Has Left the Building!
It's been great to pound the pavement here in Vegas
this past week at the International Builder's Show,
but the soles of my feet tell me it's time to wrap
things up...and so does my watch (the flight home
leaves in three hours!). All of us here at
Woodworker's Journal hope you've enjoyed our show
coverage. There's a lot to see in such a massive
convention space, but we think we've skimmed off some
of the coolest stuff for your viewing pleasure. Be
sure to check out more product overviews from IBS in
upcoming eZines as well as the "What's In Store"
section of our June print issue. So long from Nevada!