Yo…woodworking dudes and dudettes, listen up! If you are a woodworking editor, the wonderful rites of summer include the new tool roll-outs and trade show events. I’m just back from the AWFS show in Anaheim, California (did you notice?) and am invigorated both by the positive reception Woodworker’s Journal received, and by the cool new products entering the market. I saw everything from a battery powered router – that Porter-Cable is showing off – to a new 6″ jointer that Powermatic has matched with extra-long infeed and outfeed tables and that was just in the first few minutes of the show.
These shows combine the excitement of a carnival with the energy of innovation. All of this activity is fueled by a shared nexus: woodworking in all of its varied aspects. At the Anaheim show, there were machines so huge that only a large manufacturer would even know what they did. But there were also mom-and-pop businesses that brough only one little woodworking widget that they invented and brought to market all by themselves. That diversity was impressive and illuminated a positive future for our craft.
And that future is even more exciting as you consider the great woodworking projects displayed by student woodworkers at the Student Design Contest. Their work was beautiful, sophisticated and well executed. The President’s Award was delivered by Sam Maloof–a perfect image of the baton of past excellence being passed to the hope for future quality. It also pointed out one of the other cool aspects of the show: this was a true gathering of all of woodworking’s faithful. Well known national woodworkers, woodworking authors and everyday Joe’s hung out and took in the latest in woodworking gear and gizmos. Why, even Woodworker’s Journal project builder and cover boy, Rick White, got slapped on the back and praised more than once as he walked the floor. (We are trying to enroll him in an ego reducing program even as I write this!)
So, in the coming eZine issues (now back to its every other week delivery schedule), you can look forward to plenty of new tools and woodworking supplies being reviewed and displayed. And I have it on good authority that there will be even more new products revealed as the woodworking season gets up a head of steam.
If you were one of the thousands of woodworkers at the Anaheim show, sorry I missed you. If you couldn’t make it, keep your eyes peeled and enjoy our new product reports, both in the eZine and in our print magazine.