Yesterday, after our bonfire breakfast (6:30 AM with our family, sitting around the fire laughing, eating), Rick and I headed to Toronto to the Woodworking Machinery and Supply Expo.
Over the past year Rick and I have attended quite a few woodworking shows in the region but I have to say that none of them have been like this one. First of all we had to have a special badge to enter. At the entrance door you had to show your badge AND they had to check it with a digital thingymajiggy to check that it was legitimate (I guess).
(Notice the company name…)
Once inside the main building we were surrounded by giant machines of every type you could imagine. CNC machines, sanding machines (with an 8’ wide bed), finishing machines, .... Definitely not for the small shop and average woodworker.
The wheelin’ and dealin’ that was going on was fascinating. Some areas has private booths for the rep and customer to sit and discuss the equipment / proposals.
Besides the big machinery, there were a few “regular” equipment displays (Steel City, General, King Canada, Festool…). There were dozens of booths involving wood finishes and an equal amount of displays for hardware. We also saw about three different companies that had computer programs to design with, create cut lists with, and then, with the one that we looked at, you could hook the computer up to your electronic equipment and have the parts cut out as needed. Fascinating.
Here I am at the “Planit” booth, checking out the program. The closet that is shown here has sweaters and shoes displayed on the shelves, to help customers envision the end result.
1) I saw the granite table tops on the Steel City Tools (see my interview held previously). The table saw and bandsaw had granite tops and a larger bandsaw is coming out soon. And the jointer fence was granite.
The gentleman who spoke to us about the equipment said that while jointers have been coming with longer and longer tables to help ensure a straight edge, the precision of the granite fence keeps the wood straight and the long bed isn’t as essential. (I hope I got that right.)
2) The General Company had a couple of things of interest. One, they have a hover pad that you place under the equipment and then simply by plugging that into an air source, the machinery is lifted off the floor and you can push it around with ease. This is a great addition to a small shop.
This 700 lb piece of equipment moved around like it had skates on!
(Here, I am trying to move the equipment without the use of the hover pad) _
The other piece of interest is that General is coming out with equipment (bandsaws etc) that can be used from a seating position (aimed at people in wheelchairs). The “Access by General” line will include a table saw, jointer, bandsaw , drill press and lathe for starters.
I will be chatting more with a representative from General and will get more information on these products that will be available soon.
In the end, Rick and I did a LOT of walking and a lot of exploring.
-- ~ Debbie, Canada (http://www.execulink.com/~yohan)