It’s Saturday here at the Georgia World Conference Center—and the final day of IWF. Things are definitely winding down. In fact, after putting the final touches on our last few videos, it’s time for our crew to head home. But, our coverage of IWF doesn’t end here. Look for more new product news from IWF in upcoming issues of the eZine, on our regular blog and in the December print issue (it’ll hit your mailbox in October).

You shake a lot of hands at a big trade show like IWF. Editor-in-Chief Rob Johnstone went through both of his, and has wrist braces to prove it.

In all honesty, it’s been a challenging couple of years for the woodworking product industry, which has felt its share of bumps and bruises from a volatile economy. No surprises there. Still, we feel we’ve found plenty of new things worth getting excited about at the show—and we heard more than a few hints about promising gadgets in the pipeline for next year. We’re optimistic. It’s a good time to be a woodworker. It’s also a great time to invest in some of the best products our industry has to offer.

Catch you back in the shop,

Chris Marshall, Field Editor

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Rockler’s new 3-Way Face Clamps (Item #39062), just introduced at IWF, offer some nice enhancements over other standard 3-way clamps. Non-marring pads are provided on all three of the clamp screws, so you can secure a delicate face frame to a cabinet carcass without damaging the wood or the finish. Quick-release buttons enable you to slide the left and right jaws into position, then tighten them the final turn or two efficiently. Acme threads on the screws should provide tremendous clamping pressure when you need it, and the clamp’s die-cast aluminum framework (which which offers up to 5″ of clamp opening) is lighter in weight than cast-iron versions. For $34.95 each, you can use these 3-Ways not only for face frame applications, but also for applying solid-wood edging to shelving. They should be available at Rockler stores or online soon.

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Aside from oogling over all of the latest tools, supplies and other woodworking products here at IWF, one of the more enjoyable parts of the trip has been browsing through “Design Emphasis 2010″—IWF’s student furniture design competition. This year, 31 colleges, universities and design schools participated in the contest, and the top 50 finalist projects were on display. The following is only a sampling of those pieces we were lucky enough to see up close. Congratulations to all the finalists! It’s inspiring to see such creative interpretations of form and function and the ingenious ways these artists have used materials and construction methods. Enjoy! (more…)

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General International is adding more heavy metal to its band saw line with three new Deluxe models (14″, 18″ and 22″). The trio, which are labeled as part of “The Ultimate Woodworking System,” all have heavy-duty one-piece steel frames, cast-iron tables and dynamically balanced cast-iron wheels with replaceable tires. They are equipped with the latest safety foot brakes that simultaneously disconnect the electrical circuit while slowing down the blade.

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If you’re looking for more capacity from a dado set, plus the ability to use it for cutting delicate materials along with everything else‚ Freud may have your answer. The company just unveiled two new Super Dado sets today—a 10″ diameter (SD510) and 12″ (SD512) size.

Up until now, the company says preexisting large-diameter dado sets were older designs with positive hook angles that generally produced ragged edges on delicate materials like veneered plywood and melamine. Additionally, these blades lacked 3/32″ chippers that would make it easier to adjust cutting width to suit undersized plywood.

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Summer might be winding down, but woodworking excitement is definitely heating up this week in Atlanta!

For four days—Wednesday, Aug. 25 through Saturday, Aug. 28—the Georgia World Congress Center is going to be packed wall to wall with the latest innovations in woodworking tools, hardware, wood products, finishes…you name it. Why? The International Woodworking Machinery and Furniture Supply Fair (IWF) is coming to town. With nearly 1000 exhibitors on display this time around, it’s the biggest woodworking show in the Western Hemisphere, and one we look forward to every other year.

Wish you could go?

You can, without ever leaving your computer screen. Woodworker’s Journal is going to take you there for a first-hand look.

Rob Johnstone and I will be waiting at the front doors Wednesday morning, bright and early, when the show opens. I’ll tell you right now that we’ve got a long list of appointments at some of the most promising booths, and we’re hunting for cool new products. We’ll be sharing it all with you in video coverage throughout each day of the show, right here on our IWF Blog. You’ll also want to check back often for text blogs on other products we find along the way, plus ongoing tweets and Facebook updates. So be sure to keep us on your social media radar.

Here’s a good reason to start plotting that next big tool purchase—or get that shot of adrenaline you need for fall and winter woodworking. Rob and I are downing the Wheaties and getting plenty of shut-eye, because it’s going to be a HUGE week! But we’re thrilled to be part of that action and bring it all back to you.

So, stay tuned, and let us know what you think! It’s gonna be fun.

Catch you from the show floor,

Chris Marshall, Field Editor

PS – If you missed our coverage of previous shows, it’s never too late to learn about great woodworking gear!

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