Shows #1: Looking back on the St Louis Woodworking Show 2013

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Blog entry by DigitalFabber posted 09-13-2013 07:05 AM 1236 reads 0 times favorited 0 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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The St. Louis event was my first ever Woodworking Show, and it was a great experience that taught me a great deal. Not only did I learn about some great techniques and meet a bunch of awesome people, I also discovered a couple of flaws in the design of my own machine, the NC-2 Prototype.

These Woodworking shows are packed with vendors, classes and activities, from refinishing staircases to pen turning. It’s a great opportunity to learn. The dozens of vendors also offer great tools and supplies, some of them at deep discounts. Even those selling at MSRP have more to offer than your local hardware or box store: the representatives at a Woodworking Show have tremendous knowledge of their products and can help find the best tooling for your application.

At the Digital Fabber end of the hall, Shopbot, Carvewright and my own homebuilt NC-2 ran demos for passers-by and the truly interested. Many folks fell into the latter class, and the best thing about them is how very diverse they are. The growing fabricator community represents a real slice of life: old and young, male and female, experienced and amateur. It’s truly exciting to see so many people moving into the CNC zone, and the phenomenal ideas they bring with them.

As for my own NC-2, I learned that the couplers I had been using are not likely to stand up to long term wear. I will be replacing them with Oldham couplers to improve the match between my stepper motors and the ballscrew drives. Those dudes should make up for any errors in the manual machining of my prototype.

“Would you go to another show?” I hear you ask. Why, yes, I will. My next scheduled show is the Columbus event, March 1st through the 3rd. Several members of the Digital Fabber team will be there too, so we all look forward to meeting new friends and sharing our knowledge and enthusiasm!

Logan Masterson

-- Factory in a box ...

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