Well, the TPW roving reporter went on the road Friday, January 18th to Indianapolis or as we hoosiers call it, "Nap Town." Friday was the first day of a three day show and I was impressed with the turnout for the show. The show started at noon and we had to park quite a ways from the door but we were sharing parking with a gun show that sported a line of 3000 folks waiting to get in. Anyway, back to woodworking. The exposition hall was packed and there were several really good demonstrations but I went there to make some new friends, spend a little money and introduce as many as I could to The Patriot Woodworker. I had the opportunity to meet and chat with Bradley McCalister, Roland Johnson and Andy Chidwick as well as representatives from the Central Indiana Woodworkers and the Central Indiana Chapter of the American Association of Woodturners.
Bradley is a very accomplished turner and was scheduled to have several sessions on all things turning. By the way, when I met Bradley he was discussing the quality and usability of Easy Wood Tools with a fellow turner.
Andy Chidwick, AKA The Woodworking Coach, is a great guy to chat with and if you haven't heard the name before is the owner of a woodworking school in Montana. He showed us some beautiful chairs that my wife simply fell in love with.
Roland Johnson writes for Fine Woodworking magazine and is also quite interesting to chat with. Roland hails from Minnesota and is currently playing the role of "road warrior" as he teaches at the Woodworking Shows as they tour the country.
Check these guys out on the web! Their addresses are: www.bradleyrm.com. http://chidwickschool.com, and www.rolandjohnson.com. Just for the record, all three of these gentlemen got a formal TPW invitation to check us out so keep your eyes peeled on the new member roles.
Now might be the time to mention that my wife Dorothy is a woodworker's wife and a woodworker's daughter so she was in her element at the show. She was especially impressed that there is an Indiana Chapter of Women Woodworkers and she spent alot of time chatting with those fine ladies. Of course, being the bargain hunter she helped me find the best buys.
I have never been to the first day on the woodworking show but I did find out that there is a distinct advantage to being there when the gates open on the first day. The shelves are well stocked on Friday and there are several show specials that are gone by the time Saturday or Sunday rolls around. There was a vendor area sponsored by Tool Time Liquidators that looked strangely like a giant woodworking flea market. We milled around there for about 30 minutes searching through the tables and I bought several boxes of Norton sandpaper for my PC 5" ROS for $5 a box (25 sheets per box). So, I have enough sandpaper to last awhile. Even with the bargains I single handedly help spur on the Hoosier economy significantly.
The show was really good this year and I'm glad I went. I met some super people and was pleased to be able to brag about The Patriot Woodworker and hopefully bring a few people over here so be sure to watch the new member's list for Indiana folks. The trip home always has a couple of side trips. We live about 60 miles north in Indy and there is a Woodcraft store there as well as Woodcraft's competitor and I proudly and sacrificially supported both of them. Final stop was to get an Indiana favorite at our favorite restaurant, a breaded pork tenderloin. The perfect end to a perfect day.
Here's a few photos just to prove I was really there.
The fine folks at the Hollister Lumber booth
Central Indiana Chapter of the American Association of Woodturners
Andy Chidwick - The Woodworking Coach
Nice chairs Andy!
Yes, those are Easy Wood Tools guys! He loves them
Dorothy with one of the members of the Central Indiana Woodworkers
Central Indiana Woodworkers booth
Thanks the tips guys!