Saturday, July 27, 2013

Day one: AWFS stuff

It's a big week for woodworkers across the country - the AWFS show right here in Vegas. This is THE place to be if you're interested in the latest technologies, the newest tools and accessories, or just want to check out what other woodworkers are doing. 

I arrived to the convention center early, and being greeted by these banners always gives me a rush. 

This is just outside the South Hall, where you can pick up programs for the day's activities. In previous years, the booths filled both halls - the North and the South ends of the Convention Center. This year, it was quite noticeably smaller - with some of the larger tool companies missing. Still - many of the major players were there.

Down the hallway are the classrooms, where you can learn about everything from setting up a dust collection system to repairing damaged finishes, and everything in between. I took a terrific class on "Tackling damaged finishes: Touchup and Spot repair" and it was exactly what I'd hoped for: terrific!

David Smith brought impressive credentials to the classroom.

David Smith
President, Fresh Air Finishers
David Smith is the President of Fresh Air Finishers in St. Paul. He has been finishing wood professionally for 20 years with specialties in on-site executive office touch-up and refinishing; historic interior woodwork restoration; and custom finishing for artists, designers, architects and fixture manufacturers. David travels coast to coast repairing complex wood finishing problems and has taught color theory, spot repair, distressed finishes and water-based coatings at companies seeking to gain knowledge on wood finishing. He is a visiting instructor at the National Institute of Wood Finishing.

The seminar was described this way:  

The ding, the scratch, the gouge, the dent—don’t let these finishing pests prevent your job from having a successful conclusion! David will show you the techniques to make these imperfections blend into their surroundings and discuss how to avoid finishing problems that can turn into enormous amounts of rework. You will be informed as to how to properly fill a range of surface blemishes with a variety of material choices. David will also instruct on how to place the color and blend the sheen – and explain their interconnectedness. Additionally, as learning from others’ mistakes can help prevent you from replicating them, he will discuss real life finishing problems.

David was an amazing artist - he would take a cabinet door, quite similar to one you might find in your kitchen, and then dig a huge gouge out of it. He'd then proceed to repair it right on the spot - and I swear - you couldn't even find the area that he'd repaired. Over the course of the class, he did this over and over, demonstrating a variety of repair techniques, as well as sharing his tips for what products do and don't work for these repairs.  

I've taken on a few repairs in the last year, and his seminar really clarified some questions I had. Wow - worth every penny. 

There is much more to post, and I'll do that in the next coming blogs. But I need to head to the shop. Seriously - if you're interested in wood - you need to start planning for the 2015 show. 

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