I was fortunate enough to attend the Northeastern Woodworkers Association annual Fine Woodworking show again this year in beautiful Saratoga Springs NY. This is the 21st year for the all volunteer show, and it is really worth the trip. There is a showcase room with some very impressive work by local members on display. The show floor is a nice mix of smaller dealers, local sawyers and hands on demos. While there is certainly attention given to the young ones, with a toy section devoted to kids- giving them the opportunity to use tools and build toys, the participants in the show were, well,…..let’s just say I was the only one there sporting a Modern Woodworkers Association t-shirt (know what I mean?). Although I did speak with some fellow Wood Whisperer members! Paul Sellars was in attendance and had a similar observation you can read about on his blog.
I sat in on Paul Sellers demo. I am very excited to attend a three day class with him in May at his New Legacy School of Woodworking which is opening this month right here in Eastern NY. My hand tool skills need sharpening! I picked up Paul’s book as well- Working Wood 1 and 2: The Artisan Course with Paul Sellers, which looks great, and I am still getting through it.
Tico Vogt, a show favorite, was on hand to debut his prototype of the LCM (large carcass miter) Shooting Board. I had a great chat with Tico and was able to give the LCM a spin. I don’t see a need for me to own it in the near future, but I was impressed and I liked the biscuit feature. You can read more about it on his blog.
One of the highlights of the show for me was the chance to talk with Chuck Brock. Everything you’ve read and heard is true. He is the ultimate gentleman. We had the nicest chat about woodworking, work, and even mutual acquaintances. Lot’s of vendors at these shows should take a note from Chuck. Stop selling your wares and just introduce yourself and have a chat with a woodworker. That’s the best thing about any of these shows. The chance to talk with others who love what you do. The sales, etc will happen regardless. I own the plans and DVD to The Low Back Dining Chair, it’s certainly on the list. Chuck prodded me in his southern accent “Now what are we gonna do to get you building?” Sometimes that’s all the incentive one needs…
Here are some pieces from the show that caught my eye:
Kitty Scharl of Voorheesville, NY
Howard Jackson of Altamont, NY
Cherry, Maple Veneer
I’ve decided to join the association, although I am not sure how much I’ll be able to participate given the location, but dues are only $25 annually and I think it’s important to support groups like this.