Report From WIA – Goodies in The Marketplace


One of the benefits about every woodworking show is the space for the tool vendors, and WIA 2016 certainly fit that description.  I’ve noticed over the years that there is a definite trend towards hand tools and away from heavy woodworking machinery.  Yes there are many pigtailed apprentices, but they were small scale or benchtop machines.  While this shift in preferences works fine for me, I wonder if this paucity of large tablesaws, bandsaws, joiners and planers is necessarily a healthy development.  The really great thing is the quantity and variety of tools to fondle and even use, and the opportunity to get to know their makers and purveyors in-person.


My own time in The Marketplace was spent in either looking at the hand tools I wanted or engaging in fellowship.  I am at the point where my tool acquisition stratagem is to either acquire tools to fill in a void, especially as related to specific projects underway or upcoming, or to get a tool of such a quality that it enhances dramatically my benchwork capacity.


To that end my purchases were minimal this year.  In the coming months I will be doing more toolmaking, so I went with the goal of getting one of Chris Vesper’s hyper accurate engineer’s squares, and bought this one.



A second desire was to buy a spill plane, so I did.

Miraculously I avoided the siren song of Patrick Leach and Jim Bode’s booths of vintage tools (although I was tempted mightily by the complete Emmert K2 in Patrick’s booth) so my only other Marketplace acquisitions were some new LAP/Crucible t-shirts and some historic measuring tools I will write about next time.