Thursday, November 20, 2008

Woodworking In America Conference in review

The conference, while not void of problems, was a great success. I got to meet people like Frank Klausz, Chris Schwarz, Roy Underhill, Mike Dunbar and Adam Cherubini. Just to name a few. Like any other event like this there was more than enough praise and complaints to go around. I tried to keep the fact that this is the first time Popular woodworking has ever put on a show like this. Sure, there were going to be problems. Overall I felt very good about the show.

My main complaint was the the class length. Some classes were about 1.5 hours and some were about 2.5 hours. Some of the instructors had a 2.5 hour time slot with 1 hour of material to share. You would see a lot of people just get up and leave when the instructors seemed like they were just passing time. People wanted to get the vendor area to look at tools, or get a jump start on their walk back across campus.

I do think It would be nice if everyone who attended the conference had a chance to take a hands on class. That class should be of the 2.5 hour variety. My hands on class was a mess from the minute I signed up. I signed up for a hands on class that was later canceled and got moved to another class. This class was scheduled to be a 1.5 hour class and later got downgraded from hands on to demonstration. I decided this class wasn't worth the walk across campus and just took that time to buy some tools.

On a positive note I was very impressed by some of the instructors. Frank Klausz really shined. His personality kept everyone involved. I just wish I had signed up for one of Roy Underhill's classes. I'm sure he had some very interesting classes.


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