Shopsmith booth at the 2012 International Woodworking Fair

I just returned from a week at IWF in Atlanta, which is short for the International Woodworking Fair.  IWF is the largest woodworking show in North America for professional woodworkers, and since my employer is a large exhibitor it's always a blast for me to visit the tool exhibits to see what's new.  I was surprised a few weeks ago when I received the email from Shopsmith announcing that they would be exhibiting.  It surprised me so much that I tossed an email off to their customer service department to make sure that they were aware that this show was likely to be the worst fit for them of any show I could imagine.  I received a pleasant reply that stated that they appreciated my concern and that I was encouraged to drop by their booth. 

The show ran from Wednesday through Saturday and when Saturday finally arrived the traffic at the show slowed down enough that I was able to slip away from our booth to walk the show a bit.  It was then that I was surprised to learn that we were only four booths from the Shopsmith booth the entire time!  The booths in the center of the show are very big booths (ours was 40' X 150'), while the SS booth was 20' X 20', so it was easy to miss.  The other odd thing about their booth was that the Mark VII was not front and center, but instead the Shopsmith abrasives from ALI Industries abrasives were.  I introduced myself the the guy in the burgundy Shopsmith apron and though he told me they really kicked butt I couldn't help but notice the clean carpet and the dust collector with the mostly empty bag.   One of the non-Shopsmith guys manning the booth said that really it was a ALI booth, ans as I've written before, ALI is the trademark owner of the Shopsmith Abrasives brand.

I hope they were able to sell a few PowerPro upgrades, but I suspect it was a tough crowd.  The vast majority of the folks in attendance are using CNC equipment and very large tools, and the Shopsmith line was as out of place as a Yugo at a Lamborghini rally.

Click the pic to Biggie-Size and visit this link to see Shopsmith Sandpaper on Amazon.

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