GREAT WOOD SHOW DEALS

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 30, 2010
I just got back from the Canadian Home Workshop show in Toronto held last weekend. This show was a bit odd in that there were three other shows going on concurrently including: the Cottage Life show, the Outdoors Canada show and the Explore show. The format was interesting and there were definitely many more people in attendance than there usually is when it was just the Home Workshop show. We had plenty of people come through the Lee Valley booth that admitted to not ever attending a wood show before. I'm not sure how profitable the show would have been for the 'woodworking only' companies that were there but there certainly were a lot of people milling about.

As I walked around the show, I noted that there weren't that many "deals" being offered by many companies. Of course Bert at Grantham Books did alright with me being there – I bought another five books from him at this show and that brings the grand total for the year to around a dozen or so. It got so bad that he started giving me a 'frequent flyer' discount. Bert carries many new and used book titles that focus mainly on woodworking but he carries books on anything from trees to birds. He has great deals on books, in some cases his prices are 75% off of the sticker price.  He knows I have a weakness for books and always seems to know what I will be interested in.

As I was saying, there weren't many great deals there but one thing I did notice is that the show organizers had stages dotted amongst the selling booths. On these stages there were many seminars being presented by experts of many different fields including contractors, woodworkers and foresters.

Personally, I think that passing on knowledge is the true 'great deal'. I've always believed that it is important to pass on my woodworking skills and it's good to see that wood shows are starting to catch on. I was fortunate to have been trained by some of the best woodworkers and designers in North America while at Rosewood Studio and I think that it's important to share that skill. People aren't exactly lining up to learn woodworking so I will pass on what I know to anyone who will listen. At the same time, I take any opportunity to learn from other designers and woodworkers. You can never stop learning or know too much.

So in the end I guess there were some good deals to be had at the show. The only bummer for me was that I couldn't attend any of them because I was busy demonstrating hand tool skills in our own booth. Although, I'm sure I will pick up many gems of information from the five new books I bought ... I guess I should be thanking Bert instead of cursing him.

- Thanks to my friend Doug Orr – antique tool dealer and superhero for busting my chops today for not blogging about the show in TO. You're right Doug ... I should write more often.