Monday, January 30, 2012


I attended the Hamilton Woodworking Show yesterday on January 28, 2012. Just like last year, I had a great time. I spent time reviewing all the booths. I spent time looking at all the entries for the wood carving contest and I attended several seminars. It was amazing how quickly the day went by.

Initially, I was a little disappointed, some of exhibitors that I had expected to see did not attend the the Hamilton Wood Working Show. I was looking to buy a few more inexpensive riflers but that  particular vendor did not attend. However, there were many other interesting vendors. I noticed that there were a lot of high end woodworking machine manufacturers in attendance. I spent quite a bit of time perusing the equipment by General Machine.

They make incredible stuff, solid, dependable and more capacity than I would ever need. Unfortunately, the price of the equipment is also more than I can afford. If I was going to set up my own woodworking business then I would buy all General equipment and never worry about it again. In other words I would have to be using this equipment five days a week, eight hours a day to justify buying it. Needless to say, I did not buy any wood working equipment at the show.

I did spend some time talking with the gentlemen who were at the booth Haldimand Area and Woodlot Owner's Association. Mostly, we talked about managing and preserving woodlots that were owned by private individuals. I found out that 95% of the land in southern Ontario is privately owned and 15% of the wood processed in Ontario originates from private land. Even more surprising, 80% of endangered species are on private land in Southern Ontario. It is imperative that we as landowners must practice good stewardship regarding the lands in our possession.

I attended an excellent seminar given by Minwax on the application of finishes. Of course, they featured their products in the seminar but the information and the techniques that they discussed can be applied to any product that is used to stain or preserve wood. I came away from the seminar with a lot of good information that I will be able to apply to woodworking and wood carving.

I also attended a seminar given by Maurice Desnoyers of Shaker Roads who is the same gentleman who sold me the fine hard maple that I used to build my granddaughter's crib. He gave an excellent talk on building a work bench. This is a topic that I have been researching and thinking about for some time. Maurice gave me more to think about as well as mentioning a few excellent books about work benches. The first book is by Scott Landis and it is called THE WORKBENCH BOOK. The second book that he mentioned is by John Wilson and his book is called, PRACTICAL HOUSE CARPENTRY: SIMPLIFIED METHODS FOR BUILDING.

The third seminar that I attended was by Sheilagh Mercer who demonstrated carving a Baltimore Oriole. It more than I had expected. In the end I received a detailed tutorial on the anatomy of a bird which is very timely since I am thinking about carving a bird. One of the pieces of found wood that I came across on the beach suggests a bird to me so the information that I gained from the seminar will be of great help as I develop the bird figure.

As I mentioned earlier, I also checked out all the submissions for the carving competition. Let me start by saying that there were not the impressive works of art that so wowed me last year. The competition this year seemed to be dominated by birds of all sorts and totem poles. There were a few pieces that caught my eye, such as the mountain man/ father Christmas character that I showed at the beginning of the post. I liked it because it really seemed to capture the spirit of the subject.

The totem poles were interesting if not original.

The bird that won the open competition was a beautiful piece. It looked incredibly realistic.

I guess I was looking for something a little more artistic. I really need to consider entering into the fray next year. With the focus that I am going to put on carving this year I should have a few outstanding pieces that I would consider entering into a contest next year.

I would like to mention some of the other exhibits that I saw at the Hamilton Wood Working Show. There was an entire bench of wood turners from the various wood turning chapters in Ontario. Wood turning is always something that is fascinating to watch and even more fun to do.

I also watched a demonstration of someone doing scroll work with a specialized scroll saw. It is amazing the level of detail and precision that is possible with a scroll saw.

I never really paid much attention to it before but some of the pieces that were done using the wood burning technique were absolutely amazing! The subtle shading that is possible with this technique is truly impressive.

Last but not least I had a good chat with a couple of fellows from the marquetry society. I took a picture of the large map of Canada that they did. Apparently, each member of the chapter took a particular province then someone else took the flower for a specific province. Once all the parts were done individually, someone else put the whole thing together. It was particularly well done.

All in all, it was another great show. I attended some great seminars, there were lots of interesting things to look at and I did buy some Basswood at the Woodshed and I bought another year's supply of sandpaper. I think that I will need a good supply of sandpaper to help me finish all the projects that I have planned for 2012. 

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