Iwrite a lot about what’s new in woodworking, espe- cially new technology. It begs the question: Is newer always better? That depends. In my own shop, I love using a truly sharp vintage
chisel to do joinery or picking up a well-tuned handplane to
make tissue-thin shavings. But I also can’t deny the joy and
increased productivity of using mechanized and automated
machinery to create precise parts in a fraction of the time.
I laugh when somebody maligns modern woodworking and
reaches back to traditional methods as far superior. My feeling is those craftsmen of yore would switch to CNC as soon
as they saw what it could do. When I built my house, I had a
pneumatic nail gun in my hand more often than a hammer.
But don’t get me wrong. I do understand what the traditionalists are getting at. It hits to the heart of what we do as
makers of things, and it’s something I talk a lot about when
speaking to woodworkers about pricing their work. It has to
do with value and how our customers perceive our worth.
What do the end users of our products really think about
craftsmanship? How many modern shops use the image of a
hand plane in their logo or on their business cards and never
use such a tool in their shop? Do
modern customers appreciate
precisely built products more
than a mystique of hand-crafts-manship? How is good business
and efficient production compatible with craftsmanship?
I know what my answers are
today, but I think the questions
resurface regularly and are worth
re-examining from time to time.
Meanwhile, I’ll go back to assembling the new high-tech dust
collection system in my shop. ✚
GlobalShop returned to Chicago where it started, and wood retail displays and fixtures were part of the scene. The 2018 edition at McCormick Place West exhibited a variety of products and services for a new retail model
that combines traditional stores and digital e-commerce.
Sponsored by trade association, Shop!, formerly ARE,
GlobalShop is the only trade show combining retail design,
merchandising and marketing. Wood products aren’t the
primary focus at the show, which includes all kinds of retail
displays and related products made from composites, plastics
Wood-related companies that we saw on the GlobalShop
show floor included KC Store Fixtures, Lozier, Newood Display
Fixture Mfg. Co., ICM Millwork, Showbest Fixture Corp., TC
Millwork, and Windmill Slatwall Products. We also spoke with
Mock Woodworking Co., which makes high-end retail displays
and wood millwork. They were exhibiting for the first time.
Barrel manufacturing might seem kind of old school on the
colorful, high-tech and LED-lit GlobalShop floor, but we saw
two wooden barrel makers, both from Maine: Bridgewater Barrels and Maine Bucket Co. Inc.
announced an agreement to
co-locate its event scheduled in
2019 with the Internet Retailer
Conference & Exhibition, and
RFID Journal Live! Retail to create RetailX.
This event will bring together
three shows to create a combination of e-commerce, store design
and innovation, and the event will
take place on June 25-27, 2019, at
McCormick Place in Chicago. ✚
by William Sampson
by Karl D. Forth
new retail model
✚ Follow Will
online at www.
✚ Follow Karl
online at www.