Random rumors I heard from "The Woodworking Show" vendors

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Forum topic by JesseTutt posted 02-09-2013 02:04 AM 3668 views 0 times favorited 41 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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854 posts in 2135 days

02-09-2013 02:04 AM

Topic tags/keywords: the woodworking show delta

The woodworking show is in town this weekend (Saint Louis, Missouri, USA, Earth). I have been going long enough that I recognize various vendors and they remember me. If they are not too busy, and today was not a busy day, I stop by and talk with them.

I picked up various “rumors” that I thought I would share. Take these with a grain of salt as I don’t have anything other than what vendors told me.

1. Delta was bought by Stanly, and then sold to a Chinese company, who has decided to close Delta down. No one knows what will happen concerning parts availability. I heard this from two venders.

2. The woodworking shows has been sold yet again. The new owner has funding to try to improve the show in coming years.

3. General power tools (Canada) is having problems.

From my observations of the show:

1. It is smaller than previous years with fewer vendors. This trend has been happening for several years.

2. The only stationary power tools displayed is Hammer. They had a single table saw ($1995) and a bandsaw.

3. Several years ago, if you arrived a half hour before the show started there would not be any parking, even in the over flow lot. Today there were entire rows open in the main lots and the parking lot never seemed to fill up. Although, people still elected to park in the overflow lots (habit maybe – or wishful thinking).

4. Every seminar I attended today (both on the main floor and the separate rooms) had empty seats. Several years ago seminars on the main floor was standing room only.

5. Sand-Flee is back! They told me that the previous owners of the show were friends with Stockroom Supply (Canada) the sellers of the V-Drum sander and Sand-Flee was told they were not welcome at the show. It is good to have them present.

6. Neither Rockler nor Woodcraft were present. In previous years Woodcraft brought Tommy Mac in for at least 1 day of presentations.

These are just my observations and comments I heard.

-- Jesse, Saint Louis, Missouri

41 replies so far

View Manitario's profile


2630 posts in 2908 days

#1 posted 02-09-2013 03:08 AM

I’ve heard that in several places about General…that’s too bad; I have or have had a TS/jointer/DC/bandsaw and drill press from them; they have been the best tools I’ve owned. I’ll be sad if they go under.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View nwbusa's profile


1021 posts in 2311 days

#2 posted 02-09-2013 03:16 AM

I spoke with a General dealer today in BC. He told me that General is shutting down its Canadian manufacturing line, and that the company was not going out of business, but rather would only be selling their General International line of tools, which are manufactured overseas.

-- John, BC, Canada

View paratrooper34's profile


915 posts in 2976 days

#3 posted 02-09-2013 03:50 AM

I went to the one they did in Western Mass a couple weeks ago and I was definitely not impressed. Unless I hear that it gets better, I will save my time and money and skip it next year. Just wasn’t worth it.

-- Mike

View weldoman's profile


114 posts in 2082 days

#4 posted 02-09-2013 03:52 AM

I was planning on going to the show tomorrow, but after buying a used g1023 ts this week I figured I better lay off. Maybe I won’t miss much.

-- missouri, dave

View unisaw's profile


92 posts in 4158 days

#5 posted 02-09-2013 03:32 PM

Honestly, once you go to one of these shows, you are not apt to return year after year to see the same vendors. That’s how I roll anyway. I was thinking about going to the Mass. show but saw the vendor list and decided not to. Also – most of the instruction videos are up on You Tube (eg. Carter Bandsaw clinic) so why make the trip? And one more thing – most of the instruction today comes online. I’m enrolled in Scott Meeks plane making course online through Google+ Hangouts. The world is changing.

View helluvawreck's profile


31378 posts in 2891 days

#6 posted 02-09-2013 04:10 PM

Interesting. The International Woodworking Show in Atlanta got into trouble a few years back because they were making all of the machinery dealers mad because of the outrageous prices they were charging them to display all of that wonderful machinery. Because of the City of Atlanta and State Government the union people on the floor had got into place all kings of rules – for example, you had to get a union electrician and let him plug in an electrical cord for a ridiculous price. Things like that. Then there were the prices you had to pay for a bottle of water or a hotdog. I mean come on. Some of the large companies would spend a couple of million dollars to come to that show. Folks, if somebody paid that kind of money to bring their machinery to the show I would have people waiting on ‘em hand and foot. Fortunately, I beleive it will improve because I heard the machinery dealers association bought a big share in that show. It was getting back to normal this last show. All of this info came from large dealers that our molding plant did business with and I assume that it is true.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View fuigb's profile


491 posts in 2982 days

#7 posted 02-09-2013 04:57 PM

Heard the same re: General / General International from their rep at a store sale in Detroit in December. Price of NA labor (labour) is too much to bear.

Are the gun shows siphoning off discretionary spending of hobbyists? Guys are getting unheard of prices for scrap metal weapons, and that money has to come from somewhere.

And what about the general state of the craft and hobby? My sense is that there’s a long, slow decline in interest as evidenced by fewer kids entering the arena than old guys retiring and dying off. And not just woodworking, either.

-- - Crud. Go tell your mother that I need a Band-aid.

View teejk's profile


1215 posts in 2709 days

#8 posted 02-09-2013 05:22 PM

That Delta rumor has been floating for a few years now. Delta’s new parent is based in Taiwan and they have their own brands so it wouldn’t surprise me if they send Delta to the back of the pack in order to promote their own brands. The German company that bought Milwaukee tools tried to do that and failed (I feel bad for anybody that bought a Milwaukee tool during that short window…they got a piece of junk). When Delta/PorterCable were bought by B&D years ago PC was similarly treated in favor of the “Dewalt yellow” that B&D had owned for a long time. B&D (now owned by Stanley) had much better sucess at repositioning the PC brand (it’s now in the “value category I think).

View MJCD's profile


542 posts in 2396 days

#9 posted 02-09-2013 05:34 PM

Charles brings-up an excellent point.

Many companies refused to exhibition due to the Costs: the sq’ charge is huge, and is only the beginning – In venues I’m familiar with, Unions required each exhibitor to have at least two riggers (1 to operate the fork lift, the other to spot for the driver) – to place stock for the exhibit; 2 electricians; formal clearance from a safety inspector; and if you had running water…

I’m not anti-Union, I’m against un-commonsense and overkill, especially when the process shoots itself.

Incra stopped exhibiting, due to the cost; Sommerfeld has stopped, as well.
Regarding Hammer, there doing very well from the shows: they’re having trouble keeping-up with demand, at this point.
For Delta, I’d be surprised if they go out of business – you don’t buy a brand, then not use it – though, Stanley is doing a great job killing Porter-Cable. I’ve had a lot of trouble finding parts for my 14” Delta bandsaw.

The Golden Egg which was The Woodworker’s Show is now part of the bygone era, before everyone started to squeeze the money tree.

-- Lead By Example; Make a Difference

View TheDane's profile


5441 posts in 3688 days

#10 posted 02-09-2013 05:45 PM

I’m with MJCD.

My former company exhibits at a huge trade show every year in Las Vegas, and the costs for floor space, electricians, teamsters, etc. amount to legalized extortion.

Our costs for a 20’ by 20’ booth with 40 amp service dropped in from the catwalk in the hall would run close to $30 thousand dollars, not including cost of the booth itself, shipping, hotel, meals, and travel.

I’m going to the Milwaukee show next week … never been to one, so I’m looking forward to the experience.


-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View ShaneA's profile


6956 posts in 2623 days

#11 posted 02-09-2013 05:55 PM

The local guys I buy a lot of wood from had a booth in the show. I thought he said it was $1500 for this tiny space they had. Plus he said they were “pressured” into it. Those shows are kinda like extortion in some ways for sure. The place was packed though.

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4948 posts in 3985 days

#12 posted 02-09-2013 06:20 PM

Don’t get me started abt. the union rip-offs at a trade show.
I got in big trouble years ago for replacing a light bulb in one of our display units. Some bozo came up and started a bunch of crap. I told him to kiss my neither parts.
I do miss the wwing show in ATL. that is/was held in Gwinnet.


View teejk's profile


1215 posts in 2709 days

#13 posted 02-09-2013 07:14 PM

Years ago a friend of my dad related his experience at a trade show…electric signs needed to be plugged in by a union electrician. They were big and fragile hence were shipped in wooden crates. He had to call in a union carpenter because the electrician refused to open the crates. Same thing in reverse when the show was over. That was his last trade show I think.

OT but there was a time in Milwaukee where supermarkets had to put metal grates over their meat cases when the meat cutters left for the day (‘no meat for you”).

But back to the topic…the internet has certainly changed the woodworking world. One might want to attend a trade show soon if you ever want to see one.

View PittsburghTim's profile


230 posts in 2347 days

#14 posted 02-09-2013 07:32 PM

As a toy train enthusiast, I hate to say that I notice the same thing happening at local train shows. Sure, the economy is not helping, but the average age of those attending the show is around retirement age. Younger people who do like trains are lured to the internet stores for low prices.

I believe that the same trend is occurring in woodworking. It’s been years since a show hit the local Pittsburgh area and it was pretty poorly attended by both exhibitors and woodworkers. As the younger generations are more inclined to spend their time with the lateest electronic gadgets, I do not see the trend reversing itself soon.

I’m 46 and I am one of the very fewamong my friends who enjoys working with their hands. Most couldn’t be bothered. I’m not saying that there aren’t any younger people enjoying the hobby, just not in the numbers they used to.

-- She asked me, "Who are you going to please with that?" I said, "Me."

View teejk's profile


1215 posts in 2709 days

#15 posted 02-09-2013 09:12 PM

PittsburghTim…they grow up with the internet and x-boxes and other stuff now. I have 2 sons that won’t even step into my workshop…no interest whatsoever. Maybe when they finally get on their own (another issue we have), they will learn that making/building things can sometimes be an economic thing in addition to getting some satisfaction from pointing at something they made.

But your post reminded me that I bought a train set at a garage sale a year or two ago. I was deprived as a child and when I saw an old “new in box” set for $25 I had to go for it.

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