Kansas City Woodworking Show – Finding your power starts with you

The Show Venue has changed

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The show was in previous years held at the Overland Park Convention Centre. That changed and now, starting today, the show will be held here:


January 25-27, 2013

Friday 12-6; Saturday 10-6; Sunday 10-4

Kemper Arena Grounds 
American Royal Court
Kansas City, MO 64102

Finding your power starts with you

I have always said that woodworking is a working team of hand and machine power. Finding the right balance is different for each person and so it is up to you which part invades the other to your satisfaction. Not developing skills with hand tools leaves you completely dependent on machines and therein lies a problem. Come to my Masterclasses to find out why, and of course, how you can resolve it. Bit like “choose your weapon.”

Some time back I considered where the break line was for me and decided that, because I was trained in the traditions of hand tools as well as machines, what I had to offer was perhaps more unique than most. I know that sounds arrogant but the fact is, unless you have trained, hand tools for 99.9% of people using wood rely solely on machines. I am thankful that I was raised on both the hand tool workbench you’ve seen me making and will see at the Woodworking Shows and also power machines. Regardless of what anyone tells you. fine woodworking works and always starts with your hands. When at 16 I cut through my thumb nail on a tablesaw, the foreman said put a plaster on it and get on with your work. He kindly poured hydrogen peroxide onto the wound and I continued on the same 18″ circular saw. In those days there were no dustmasks, no extraction and indeed no safety equipment at all. How I survived I do not know, but, thankfully, I did, and I am glad that that era is gone and I never made that mistake again.

DSC_0023 2 Shop safety is always to be a personal responsibility but we can look out for each other as we go. One of the things about machines of course is the inherent danger surrounding them. At the shows there is of course a wide range of safety equipment to see, try and of course buy. I bought some perfect 3M safety glasses that look like bifocals but are actually readers designed for the machine or hand tool shop. They fit close to the face and are of course as shatterproof as possible.

Apart from Lee Valley Veritas you won’t find hand tool supplies in quantity unfortunately. There was a time when there would have been many hand tool makers there but year by year they have all dropped out. Hopefully they will return again and I have to say, the show is really improving and new products seem destined to continue finding their way to the shows.
There is a jobber there called Mark who sells equipment and tools by the boxload. He rolls out thousands of items ranging from saw files to tablesaw blades and his area is always swamped with woodworkers looking for those hard to find tools. I love digging around in there and he always manages to come up with something I need.

Peachtree Woodworking is a big distributor at the shows and also has ongoing demonstrations to help you see how many products work. You can of course buy from them online but seeing helps you decide. They have the largest range of products form making jigs ranging from aluminum extruded stock to toggle clampdowns and phenolic sections for easy-slide guides and such. They take up several booths, perhaps twenty, I don;t know, but they too have thousands of items.

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Here is my Schedule of seminars but there are others demoing here who have much offer to broaden your perspectives and so on:

I carefully though through what I had to offer in my hour-plus demonstrations to make this educationally rewarding for anyone and everyone.

Friday – 12-noon, Saturday – 12-noon, Sunday – 12-noon

Finding the Power in Hand Tool Woodworking


Saturday – 10am, Sunday 10am

Minimalist Woodworker – Hand Tools that Really Work


Friday – 2pm, Saturday – 2pm

Maximising your potential – Making a Joiner’s Tool Chest

Joints, grooves, and panels made easier with ten hand tools


Friday – 4pm, Saturday – 4pm, Sunday – 2pm

Starting Out With Hand Tools – You’ll be amazed how  versatile hand tools really are so discover the art and tradition of hand tool woodworking.

I hope that you can make it to the show and I encourage you to bring the kids and grandkids too. They can gat the taste for woodworking early on and we teach you and them methods that really work.


  1. Paul I am curious about that bench in your photo. Is that your standard bench minus one half of the top? I think that is what I need because I don’t have the width for the 36″ bench you normally use. Is the rest of the construction the same?

    1. Yess this is how versatile the whole model is. To make it single sided is simply a Q of shortening the rails. You can increase the length at will and of course the height can bu cut to suit too.

  2. Paul-

    I just read in Woodworker West that the Woodworking Shows are under new ownership, and that they will be planning a show for Southern California and other points out west next year. Perhaps I will get to meet you then…


    1. If that happens I will be there and look forward to meeting my fellow woodworkers over on that side.

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