I said I was going to The Woodworking Show in Baltimore (Timonium, actually). I bought a ticket. I drove north. I went. The blog is my reflections and opinions on attending said show.

On Saturday, The Show opened at 10:00 AM. I arrived at around 10:10 expecting an empty parking lot at the Maryland State Fairgrounds. To my annoyance, the lot was close to 70% full. Most people were not there for the children’s toy and clothing sale in the FH/Home Arts building. Most seemed to be heading to the Cow Palace, weekend venue of The Woodworking Show.

I don’t like crowds but I had come too far to turn back. I trundled on. Like other woodworking events, the attendees are closer to Medicare than college. Trundling is an appropriate description for how we all moved.

Arriving at the Cow Palace, the vendor area seems about the same size as the vendor area at Woodworking In America, my only frame of reference for woodworking shows. The area was the same but the vendor mix was different. Lee Valley/Veritas represented the high-end of the hand tool world. No Lie-Nielsen or Scott Meeks Woodworks or Bad Axe Toolworks or Vesper Tools. Or Stumpy Nubs Woodworking!? Or Lost Arts Press.

There were more local clubs and flea market tool vendors. Oddly there were people selling kitchen and bath remodels, gutter guards, basement waterproofing and food services.

There were things I never saw at WIA like Wood Magazine and Fine Woodworking Magazine. I think I have only seen Popular Woodworking at WIA. Matt, Mike, something to think about.

Also there were the good people from 360 Woodworking. They were there giving instructional seminars (free) and promoting their site and memberships there of. All people giving free seminars were there educating and promoting their company. This might explain why this show was $10 and WIA is over $400.

360 Woodworking’s sessions were all about building a simple wall mounted cabinet one hour at a time. 45 minutes at a time if you back out self-promotion. Here are the boys men at work:

Chuck Bender and Glen Huey of 360 Woodworking. Chuck is the smart one and Glen is the good looking one.

Chuck Bender and Glen Huey of 360 Woodworking. Chuck is the smart one. Glen is the good looking one. I think.

They have some unique approaches to common woodworking tasks. Here is Chuck with an improvised router table:

A board screwed to a Porter Cable 690 clamped in a vise. I don't know if he is using a fixed or plunge base.

A board screwed to a Porter Cable 690 router clamped in a vise. I don’t know if he is using a fixed or plunge base.

The image is a bit fuzzy due to me using the digital zoom on my iPhone. I didn’t want to get too close.

The 690 has two flat spot on the shell that house the motor’s brushes. This is how he clamps it in the vise.

The 690. I really want a Festool 1400 but my 690 won't die.

The PC 690. I really want a Festool 1400 but my 690 just won’t die.

Only vaguely troubling artifact of The Show was Miss Makita, an attractive woman in a midriff revealing shirt. There is also a Señorita Makita who must have been revealing her midriff elsewhere. Collectively, they are referred to as the Makita Girls.

How retro…

I was curious to see who responds to this type of display, so I stood there for a few hours to observe. Not true. With my ADD, anything over 5 minutes would be impossible to believe. The few times I did walk by, the only people I saw leering were two male vendors from an adjacent booth. Either we have evolved beyond it or we are better at leering covertly.

If The Woodworking Show comes to a Cow Palace near you, you should go. I you have $400 and some free time in September, go to Woodworking In America. All the cool geezers do.