Woodworking in America (Midwest) was a great experience, and now that things have slowed down for me a bit, I actually have a few moments to write something about it.
First, meeting several of the folks that I regularly follow, either due to their writing or their fantastic tool offerings, was a very gratifying experience for me. My wife kindly helped out manning the bench, which allowed me a few minutes to talk to some of the other vendors there. (sadly, not everyone, and I am certain that I wasn’t even able to get around to even half of the marketplace)
Mostly, I enjoyed talking to folks who share my passion for building things. There was a feeling in the air throughout the entire show. This sense of anticipation, not of purchases made during the show, but of what could be accomplished with those tools. The same feeling was with the guy walking out of the market place doors, no tools in tow, just a thoughtful expression as though he had just finally found the right technique to finish the hope chest on his bench.
I learned a few things myself. Not much about woodworking (although I picked up a few inlay tips from the folks beside me from The Connecticut Valley School of Woodworking) First, prepare for a larger crowd than I was prepared for. Second, don’t forget the needed tools for doing a few carvings or boxes. I was all fired up and ready to do a little box or two, but unfortunately had left a good portion of the tools I was planning on using on the saw bench back at the shop.
Definitely an experience to try for again next year.