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1992 IWF breaks attendance records.

Woodworkers from points across the globe began to queue up at the registration desk even before the biannual International Woodworkers Machinery & Supply Fair opened at 9 a.m. Friday, Aug. 21.

More than 23,000 woodworkers and more than 11,000 exhibitors descended upon a rainy Atlanta to take part in the largest woodworking machinery show in the Western Hemisphere. Approximately 10 million pounds of machinery and supplies were displayed during the four-day show. Booths occupied 583,000 square feet of exhibit space and stretched from one end of the exhibit halls to the other, lining the hallways and concourses and tucked away in rooms.

"This year's show is larger than ever before," said John Boardman, president of Sam Moore Furniture Industries of Bedford, Va., and the representative for show cosponsor American Furniture Manufacturers Assn. "There were more woodworking ideas here than anywhere else in the world. Every visitor left with scores of new ideas as to how he or she can increase productivity, reduce costs and increase their profits."

IWF Executive Director John Zinn said the show broke the attendance record of 21,050 set in 1990. Not only for IWF but also for the recently expanded Georgia World Congress Center. IWF was the first show to utilize the expanded exhibit space, Zinn said.

IWF draws woodworkers from custom shops as well as production shops

Recognizing the industry is made up of smaller, custom shops as well as big production plants, the show went out of its way to welcome these woodworkers. Many of the 23,000-plus attendees were representatives of smaller shops.

One such attendee was John Pestka of Valley Cabinets, Valley, Ala. Pestka made the 85-mile trip, as he has for the past six years, to learn more about the newest technology, methods, and services for his shop. While he said he did not have any specific purchases in mind for this show, he has purchased items in the past including a stand to mount his miter saw. "I just wander around," said Pestka, "I just like to see what is going on in the industry."

Also exploring the various halls was Todd Fuentes, purchasing technician for IKEA. While IKEA does not manufacture the furniture it sells, it has made a commitment to purchase a greater share of its products from American manufacturers. "I work very closely with our furniture suppliers," Fuentes said. "I am here for two days to learn specifically about boring equipment and flat-line finishing."

Challengers Award winners

On the show's first day, winners of the prestigious Challengers Award competition were announced.

In a special ceremony, Zinn presented the Challengers Awards, the "Oscars" of the woodworking industry, and applauded all the entrants who "dared to step into the future of the woodworking industry."

The seven winners were: Barr-Mullin Inc. for its Wonder Saw chop saw; Biesse America for its Selco WNA CNC panel sizing center; Karl Heesemann Machinenfabrik GmbH and Co. (distributed by European Woodworking) for its LSM 4 automatic sanding machine; Hymmen International, MTC Multi-Coater curtain coater; Modulus 2000 Machinery, removable scoring saw attachment; Swift Adhesives, 49200 water-based, solvent-free adhesive; and Timesavers Inc., for its high-efficiency dust hood.


Chances are "slim" that a pro-industry northern spotted owl bill recently introduced into the Senate by Sen. Slade Gorton (R-WA) will be passed, according to an industry spokesman.

SB 2762, the Northern Spotted Owl Preservation and Northwest Economic Stabilization Act of 1992, currently being heard in the Subcommittee on Environmental Protection, implements the alternative preservation plan announced last May by Interior Secretary Manuel Lujan. This plan would involve setting aside 2.3 million acres of forest to sustain 1,300 pair of owls at a estimated loss of 15,100 jobs.

This compares to the Northern Spotted Owl Draft Recovery Team's plan to set aside 5.4 million acres to sustain 2,300 pair of owls at a loss of an estimated 32, 1 00 jobs.

Barry Polsky, spokesman for the National Forest Products Assn., said his group is strongly supporting the bill but feels the chances of it passing are slim.

"We are in favor of the bill that would put into play Secretary Lujan's plan," said Polsky. "The plan locks up less land and keeps more people working."

The bill has the support of some labor groups, according to a recent NFPA newsletter. Michael Draper, executive secretary of the Western Council of Industrial Workers said, "We are not happy about the prospect of losing 15,000 or more jobs as a result of implementing SB 2762, but we believe that this is a better solution than doubling that level of job loss by implementing the (ESA) recovery plan or other legislative proposals currently under consideration to protect the spotted owl."


Workers who expanded the Georgia World Congress Center were honored during the International Woodworking Machinery and Furniture Supply Fair 92 for the "extra effort" they took to complete the majority of the GWCC expansion in time for IWF.

"Twelve months ago we were standing knee deep in mud with no roof over our heads," said John Zinn, executive director of IWF. "We just wanted to say thank you to all the people that worked so this completed."

The 350 to 360 employees who worked on the project "never worked less than a six-day week," said Richard Marshall, senior production manager for Hardin Construction Group of Atlanta. Hardin Construction built the original structure 15 years ago in an 18-month time span, Marshall said.
COPYRIGHT 1992 Vance Publishing Corp.
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Copyright 1992, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:Trends and News; International Woodworking Machinery and Furniture Supply Fair
Author:Adams, Larry
Publication:Wood & Wood Products
Date:Sep 1, 1992
Previous Article:Leonard J. Derda: a tribute to a friend.
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