Woodworking Past and Future

show_signLast Saturday I spent an enjoyable afternoon at The Wood Working Show* held at the Minneapolis Convention Center. While these shows do not generate the level of excitement and attendance they did in the late 1990s, they still feel kind of like “home” to me.  Walking among the attendees, I could tell that I was hanging out with my people.  It is not often that you casually overhear folks talking about dadoes, upspiral router bits and band saw guides.

I felt right at home with folks who spoke my woodworking language. Dadoes, dovetails and band saw guides were topics of the day.

I felt right at home with folks who spoke my woodworking language. Dadoes, dovetails and band saw guides were topics of the day.

The regular cast of characters were at the show: Woodline USA, Rockler, Carter Products and others. Some others I expected to be there were not — likely a result of our down economy. You could register to win a Unisaw (my editorial status meant that I was not eligible, rats!), learn about finishing, cabinet refacing and how to sharpen stuff.

These shows are also a place to renew old friendships.  As I turned a corner, there was the Micro Fence booth with owner Rich Wedler explaining the benefits of Micro Fence’s remarkably accurate fixtures and jigs. With the possible variable of the amount of grey hair on our heads, this scene could have occurred anytime over the last decade.

The usual cast of characters were plying their wares on the floor of The Wood Working Show.

The usual cast of characters were plying their wares on the floor of The Wood Working Show.

Rich showed me his newest product — the Micro Stop — another great example of the clever and practical products that he, as an expert woodworker, develops to solve real woodworking problems. The Micro Stop allows woodworkers to achieve the degree of accuracy and adjustment, common across the Micro Fence products, on other tools in their shop. Router tables and fences, table saws, etc. You can find out more about it at the Micro Fence website. Check out the photos below.

All in all, I was quite happy that I spent a few hours cruising The Wood Working Show. I was not only inspired to get back into the shop and get busy,  but reminded of all the reasons I like the whole world of woodworking.

Rob Johnstone
Editor In Chief

*For further information on the dates and locations of these events, visit the Calendar page of the Woodworker’s Journal eZine.

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Rich Wedler points out his newest product in the Micro Fence line of jigs and fixtures.

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About Rob Johnstone

Rob Johnstone has been part of Woodworker's Journal's since 1997, becoming editor of the print magazine in 1998 and editor in chief in 2007. He began woodworking at age 13 in his family-owned cabinet shop and, as an adult, trained to become an accomplished luthier. He eventually opened his own cabinetry and custom fine woodworking business. Rob has brought many of the most well-known authors in woodworking to the Journal's pages and introduced Woodworker's Journal Online Survey. When, in his free time, Rob isn't woodworking, he enjoys hunting for sharp-tailed grouse with his bird dog, playing music and/or listening to his son's rock band and cooking on his high-tech stove.

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