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Old 08-16-2008, 06:13 AM
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Default JLC Live 2007 in Seattle - A Quick Review

JLC Live 2007 Review

Hi. This is a quick review of the JLC Live 2007 on 11/2/2007. Since I only had a little over fours to spend, I didn't spend much time at anything except the Finish Carpentry clinic "Scribing and Coping" given by Gary Katz and Greg Burnet.

I got there at about 9:40 and waited outside the exhibit hall with maybe 200 or so other attendees who showed up early. It was different atmosphere from other trade shows that I've attended. Attendees seemed much more focused. I think that's because the attendees were there for the training and information, and not just gazing at new products. It was an interesting energy level!

There were a bunch of booths like any trade show, like these two (I liked the panel shingle siding):


There weren't too many general tool companies attending. Most were industry-specific. The only big tool manufacturers that I saw attending were Senco, Bosch, and Festool. I didn't stop at the Senco booth. The Festool booth only had the currently available tools so I didn't spend much time there either.

I did spend some time at the Bosch booth looking at the Bosch 4100. It's a nice looking saw with some great features. When I was there, four fellows surrounded it and pretty much took it apart:


These guys examined it very carefully for about 10 minutes and made a lot of comments - some positive, some negative. I got the impression that they liked it but one guy thought it was a little "fiddly". Also, they seemed to have problems pulling the guard off and putting it back on. Nothing big, but I caught a couple of negative comments. It's a nice saw though.

There were several trade specific tool vendors like Sawhelper and Collins there (the only ones that caught my interest. I liked the Sawhelper. In many respects, it reminded me of Festool tools - not fancy, but very solid and well built. I was VERY impressed with it:


After attending the Scribing and Coping clinic, I went over to the Collins booth and chatted with David Collins:


He's a super nice guy and (obviously) very knowledgeable. Here's a pic of David giving a demo of his Collins Coping Foot:


It's a pretty slick product. (A key trick to using one is rocking the blade gently backwards and forwards instead of pushing.) I was so impressed that I bought one for my Trion jig saw and a pack of blades to go with it. I also got a pack of the Collins Miter Clamps. All at special trade show prices (super good deal).

I spent a few minutes at some of the other clinics including Myron Ferguson's Drywall Clinic, the Component Framing Clinic, and the Business Clinic. Very good stuff. Well attended. I wanted to attend the Tiling Clinic, but there wasn?t time.

This is Myron Ferguson giving his Drywall Clinic:


It looked pretty interesting, but at that point it was getting close to 1:30 and I had to wrap up. One thing that I did notice was the green finishing knife in his hand. It turns out that he's using one of the new Sheetrock-brand knives:


Isaw a couple of their knives and their new mud pan at the USG booth a few minutes earlier and liked the quality. In fact, I liked them so much that I hunted them down locally and got a Sheetrock six inch knife, a twelve inch mud pan, and a Mud Pan Grip from Ames tools in Kirkland, WA (one of the few places that carry them).

The quality of the Sheetrock knives seems a lot higher than the Hyde knives and Marshaltown knives that I have. SHEETROCK drywall repair taping installation and finishing tools | USG. Their mud pans (SHEETROCK drywall repair taping installation and finishing tools | USG) have curved bottoms and very small, well finished welds that don?t catch and hold mud. So they are very easy to clean. However...

IMO, the nicest "tool" is the Mud Pan Grip: SHEETROCK drywall repair taping installation and finishing tools | USG. About two weeks ago, my left forearm went numb after a few minutes into my second pan of 90 minute mud. It was pretty nasty for about an hour. I've only done about six pans of mud since after switching to the new Sheetrock pan with the Mud Pan Grip, but it makes holding the pan MUCH easier. No pain and no numbness. I love it!

Back to the show...

I've saved the best for last. Two main reasons for going to the show were to attend the Finish Carpentry clinics and to get some deals on tools. I wanted to attend at least two of Gary Katz and Greg Burnet's clinics, but I only had time for the "Scribing and Coping" clinic.

Frankly, it was a very interesting experience. It looked like there were about 75-100 watching this clinic:


In case you haven't met Gary Katz and Greg Burnet, they are a couple of very interesting fellows. This is Gary (on the right) and Greg just before starting their crown molding clinic:


Gary is a finish carpenter with over 30 years of experience. While he is a very experienced carpenter, his true gift comes out when he is writing and teaching. He has several DVDs (which I bought while at the show), gives training seminars and clinics, and writes articles for the Journal of Light Construction and Fine Homebuilding magazines. He is also the moderator of the JLC-Online Finish Carpentry forum - a forum for professional Finish Carpenters. Also, if you haven't checked out his website, it's a great source of information about the art and science of Finish Carpentry: Gary Katz Online. It's an excellent resource for techniques, reviews and design drawings.

Here's a pic of Gary during the clinic. I think he's demonstrating the Kung Fu "Claw" technique :


Greg Burnet is a Carpenter and General Contractor living in the western suburbs of Chicago. I spent some time between clinics chatting with Greg about the clinics, tools, and JLC Online forums. I picked up a lot of good tips! He's a super-nice, very intelligent guy who is very knowledgeable in the art of Finish Carpentry! Here?s a shot of Greg showing how to create a toy sword for your kids (or it might be how a coped molding fits together):


What's MOST impressive is watching Gary and Greg discussing the art of coping and scribing molding - watching them talk and demonstrate at the same time. Consider the challenge of standing in front of about 100 people, giving a clear, lucid description of a complex process, and simultaneously doing it so that the audience can see quality work being created.

Here's a pic of Greg coping a molding using a Collins Coping Foot attached it a jig saw. What's not obvious is that he's in an awkward position, facing the audience so they can see the process, and continually talking while he's coping:


After watching Greg for a minute or so, I noticed Gary in the background. Gary is as focused on the cope as Greg. What you can't see in these pics is that Gary is pursing his lips, and nodding his head up and down. He's IN the process. I'd swear he was thinking something like, "Yeah. Oh yeah. That's nice. Nice! Yessss...":



Overall, it was a very impressive and I enjoyed this clinic a lot. I brought a decent camera and big flash to take lots of pics, but sometimes I got so involved with the demo that I completely forgot photography. One pic that I wish I had gotten was late in the seminar. Gary talked to the audience about doing quality work and professionalism. He's a true believer! He said something like...

"Always do the best work possible. Leave the job-sites saying, 'I did great work today!' And you should be charging in the top 10-20%. Your customers will be saying, 'That guy is very expensive! But he's worth it!!!' ".

If you get a chance to see JLC Live, and especially Gary and Greg at the Finish Carpentry clinics, take the opportunity.

One thing I missed was Bill Neidermeyer of Festool Supply NW in Mountlake Terrace, WA (a Seattle suburb). It turns out that Bill and Festool Supply NW was at the JLC Live show and was delivering lots of nice Festools at the show. It turns out that it wasn't obvious that Festool Supply NW was at the show. But that will change...

It also turns out that Festool Supply NW sponsors Hopp Racing Team's Unlimited Hydroplane! Bill would like to see a official Festool racing team Hydro. And next year, he wants to bring the boat to the JLC Live show as a backdrop to the Festool booth. Ya think that might get some attention!?!

Here's a pic of Bill (far left in the blue shirt), the Hopp Racing Team, and the Hydro:


And here's a pic of the boat in the water:


There was one interesting postscript to the day...

My last stop of the day was at Woodcraft to pick up a small door prize. I forgot to take off my badge and two of the Woodcraft people were all over me asking questions about the show. One woman mentioned that there was a lot of discussion in the store about whether they (Woodcraft) should have been there. It seems like Woodcraft is starting to focus more on the professional customers. I mentioned that the Festool manufacturer?s reps were there, but there were NO Festool dealers. (That got their attention.)

They asked me what I thought they should bring to the next show if they got a booth. I looked down for a minute and said, "Festool of course, Fein, Kreg, maybe some routers, some jigsaws, Japanese pull saws, etc - tools that finish carpenters would buy". When I looked back at one of the women, I saw that she was furiously taking notes! She wrote down everything I said! It seems like they are serious about attracting the pros.

I hope this quick write-up gives you some of the flavor of JLC Live. If you get a chance to go to one, I think you'll find it's worth your time.

Regards,

Dan.

Last edited by DanClark; 08-16-2008 at 03:23 PM.
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Old 08-16-2008, 06:39 AM
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Default Re: JLC Live 2007 in Seattle - A Quick Review

Dan,

Thanks for posting this. It's a very good read!

I never been to a big show like this. Someday maybe.

For now it jsut the local home builder's shows.

Darrin
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Old 08-16-2008, 08:05 AM
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Default Re: JLC Live 2007 in Seattle - A Quick Review

Dan, nicely written and well-illustrated report!

About the collins coping foot, I don't have one, but I read alot about it at the JLC forums. Alltough it can be used with the trion (maybe the design has changed, but it takes a bit of fiddling, using the U-shaped piece upside down or something like that) most people end up getting a older model bosch barrel grip they use as a dedicated coping jigsaw and leave the foot on.

Frank-Jan
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Old 08-16-2008, 08:29 AM
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Default Re: JLC Live 2007 in Seattle - A Quick Review

Did a search: trion with coping foot
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Old 08-16-2008, 03:58 PM
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Default Re: JLC Live 2007 in Seattle - A Quick Review

Great review, Dan. What really impresses me is the quality of your photos. I hope I can get to that level someday soon.

I missed JLC Live in Long Beach this year. Maybe I'll head up to Seattle in November.
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Old 08-17-2008, 11:07 PM
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Default Re: JLC Live 2007 in Seattle - A Quick Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankJan View Post

About the collins coping foot, I don't have one, but I read alot about it at the JLC forums. Alltough it can be used with the trion (maybe the design has changed, but it takes a bit of fiddling, using the U-shaped piece upside down or something like that) most people end up getting a older model bosch barrel grip they use as a dedicated coping jigsaw and leave the foot on.

I just bought a Trion, and the Collins Coping Foot. No fiddling needed to install.









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Last edited by joraft; 08-17-2008 at 11:17 PM.
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Old 08-17-2008, 11:43 PM
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Default Re: JLC Live 2007 in Seattle - A Quick Review

John,

Thanks. When I bought mine, it didn't have the little slot in the back. It wasn't a biggie to cut it though.

Regards,

Dan.

p.s.

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Old 08-17-2008, 11:45 PM
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Default Re: JLC Live 2007 in Seattle - A Quick Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanClark View Post


Thanks, Dan.

My first set. I'll get better.
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