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Forum topic by End_Grain posted 10-24-2009 04:51 AM 1963 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View End_Grain's profile


95 posts in 2561 days

10-24-2009 04:51 AM

While my registration is new, I have been lurking for a good two months in anticipation of the Dallas Show. In addition to all the other stuff (Band Saw, Joiner, Cabinet Making stuff and the Carter Band Saw Guide system), I walked out with a 24” PC Omnijig. I have been out of ww for over 30 years but now that all the kiddos have swooped the coop, I really need something to prevent the empty nest syndrome. That and the fact at 51, I just got my motorcycle license but I’m not allowed to buy one but I can set up a full ww shop from scratch. The boss thinks I’m not smart enough to figure out that if I spend the money on tools to set up the shop there won’t be enough money for a bike for a long time to come. She’s not smart enough to figure out I really just wanted to set up a shop. After 30+ years of marriage, it all comes down to tactics and diversions.

I was really disappointed though but not with my PC jig. It had come down to an either or between the Leigh D4R or the PC jig. I was happy to see both PC and Rockler listed as exhibitors. I was hoping to see both jigs in action or at the very least a static display. You can only learn so much from lurking the different ww forums about these tools.

Rockler really did a disservice to Leigh Industries and even to themselves. All they had at the show was Rockler branded merchandise and what they had was unimpressive at best (at least to me) and the Rockler reps didn’t appear as if they really wanted to be there in the first place. A Leigh jig was nowhere to be found so I strolled over to the PC/Dewalt/Delta booth. Then I saw the Unisaw, then the Omni, Unisaw, band saw, Unisaw, Joiner, Unisaw, Woodline booth, Unisaw, etc, Unisaw, etc, Unisaw…... It too me six hours to convince myself I didn’t need the Unisaw and I’m still not so sure. The rep was fussing and frustrated with the Omnijig. The show jig was set up completely wrong. There was no way a through dovetail could be cut without hitting the bar and destroying the bit or bar but half blinds could be cut at the other end. I asked him if he wanted me to haul off the piece of crap as a favor. He laughed and I walked away. About 20 minuted later, I came back to look at the Unisaw, no I mean the jig and he was still fussing with it, this time with the help of another. Neither could figure it out so I had to put my two cents in. I told him that if I was using this tool for demos at shows, I sure would hate to waste time setting up the jig from scratch to cut a second type of dovetails. I would probably set one end of the jig to cut through DTs and the other end to cut BDTs. He flipped the template over about four times and the lights came on.

Would I bought the Leigh if it had been set up? Can’t say. But if a manufacturer is asking me to spend $500.00 on a bench top tool, I had better be able to touchy-feely it before I reach in my left rear pants pocket. I liked the weight of the PC jig; it’s not something one person can carry very far without breaking a fair sweat. I like the weight, feel and appearance of the fingers, I definitely like the vacuum attachment not being attached to the router and I like the fact they threw in the tool box and the vacuum attachment with the the sale. After all I read about the Leigh and what little is out there on the Omni right now in comparison, I was pretty much sold on the Leigh D4R when I walked into the show. As far as I was concerned it was a done deal. I just needed to see it.

-- My greatest fear is that when I die, my wife will sell all my stuff for what I told her I bought it for.

5 replies so far

View a1Jim's profile


115177 posts in 3001 days

#1 posted 10-24-2009 04:57 AM

Welcome to Ljs
A good way to check out what others think of any tool your considering is to look under the reveiw area here in LJs.

-- Custom furniture

View dmorrison's profile


150 posts in 2686 days

#2 posted 10-24-2009 07:12 PM

2 items. I have looked at the PC Omnijig at the Rockler store. Impressive tool. Rather large compared to my Leigh D4 jig. I watched the guy in the store explain its operation. Pretty straight forward, once you understand the jig. But I find the Leigh jig much better. More than that, the manual is fantastic. I set the jig up the first time, followed the manuals step by step instructions and I only needed to adjust the unit one more time before I was cutting very nice dove tales. So I vote for the Leigh jig.
I was at the show Friday, a little disappointed. Not very many distributors or stores there. And your right, all Rockler was doing was showing the new Dustright collection system, that’s all. I have not been to a woodworking show in about 6 years. This show was about 1/2 the size of the last show I went to.
I did buy some 6” X 48” sanding belts and 9” discs for the new sears sander and a couple of boxes of 8 hole 5” discs at Peachtree woodworking, good prices.
One item that I felt was a good deal were new “Bessey” type clamps by Woodline USA. Very nice quality and are a brand new product . I got 2- 50” clamps and 2- 37” clamps plus set up bases for $99.00. Very nice clamps. Also got 2 sets of thicknesser blades for my Delta 22-540 unit. $27 each. Another good price.
One item I noticed was no major manufactures were there. No Delta, Powermatic, Jet, Grizzly, Etc. So the show was OK, I got some nice additions for the shop but the show was rather small, or is this how the shows are going lately, the economy and all.


View Gary's profile


8965 posts in 2857 days

#3 posted 10-24-2009 07:16 PM

Welcome to the site. I missed the show this year. Wish I could have made it.

-- Gary, DeKalb Texas only 4 miles from the mill

View northwoodsman's profile


242 posts in 3171 days

#4 posted 10-25-2009 01:21 AM

I just returned home from the show. I was very dissappointed in the show. I hadn’t attended this show in many years, so I thought that I would give it a try. Even the vendors were dissapointed with the shows organizers. The venue is awful and the advertising that they promised was almost non-existent. I didn’t see any “deals”. I spent some time getting tips from the Golden Triangle Woodturners and got some great pointers on hand cut dovetails from the CFEE School. I stuck around for the 4:15 pm. demo in the hand tool corral but it was cancelled. There was no announcement that it was cancelled or any signs indicating it. At 4:00 the guy who was suppossed to give the seminar just came over to the area and packed up his tools. I wouldn’t waste my money or time attending this show.

-- NorthWoodsMan

View Rick Boyett's profile

Rick Boyett

167 posts in 2637 days

#5 posted 10-25-2009 05:38 PM

The so called Exhibition Hall in Mesquite was a dump. It looked like it was waiting for a wrecking ball. The Arlington Convention Center was a vastly better place to hold this show. The parking lot looked like the surface of the moon.

Just a couple of years ago, you could find a huge number of vendors. They would have Laguna, Mini Max, Lie-Neilson, and a lot more. This was pale shadow of what the show used to be. Yes, the Rockler booth was pathetic. Though I admit I did get some bench cookies. The woodcraft booth was just the Sawstop contractor and Cabinet saws. The local Woodcraft owner decided to have a much scaled back showing.

I was ready to drop $1000 on a new jointer but Delta was the only manufacturer present. They had a Ridgid banner at the entrance but Ridgid wasn’t there.

The show would have been a total waste of my time if not for one Graham Blackburn and his Hand Tool Rodeo class. It was both entertaining and EXTREMELY educational. I bought two of his books. There were other good classes, but Mr. Blackburn’s class was the best.

One other positive was the group of woodturner clubs and vendors that were present. There was still noticably fewer vendors for woodturning but there were still enough to make it worth someones time. The woodturning clubs were there in force and I had a great time talking to them. I didn’t know that there was a “Golden Triangle Woodturners” club. Those guys are right up the road from me in Denton.

IMO there weren’t many “deals” to be had around there. Some notable exceptions were at the Woodpeckers booth and Carter Products. I was using my iPhone to crosscheck prices and found that they were the only ones offering any real discounts.

Frankly, I left the show very disappointed and kinda ticked off. The classes were the only thing that made this show worth my time. I’m not sure I’m going to check it out next year.

The so called “Exhibition Hall”. Look it has a sign, so it must be true….

What a dump.

Graham Blackburn gives a fantastic class on Hand Planes.

The woodturners never disappoint. They are like a biker gang, all grouped in one place. It was the area where the cool kids hung out. ;)

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