|Buyer interest remained high at 2008 IWF|
ShopBot introduced its low-priced Buddy CNC with PowerStick accessory. The four models have base prices ranging from approximately $5,000 to $10,000, with cutting areas from 24" x 32" x 5" to 24" x 48" x 5". The PowerStick provides a larger work area, allowing the user to cut, drill, and machine projects of much greater length than the standard bed size.
Onsrud Cutter, a supplier of CNC router tooling, was a Challengers Award finalist for its new Tuff Core 3/8" diameter tool that features a dual-grade carbide design. According to the company, Tuff Core allows feed rates to be increased up to 155 percent more than conventional 3/8" diameter compressions. Higher yields are also possible as standard compression tools can be replaced with the stronger 3/8" Tuff Core tool.
Amana Tool introduced its In-Groove CNC insert engraving system featuring one tool body with multiple carbide insert engraving tips for a variety of applications. The system is ideal for sign making, lettering and engraving applications in laminated materials, veneers, MDF, plastics, wood, aluminum and solid surface.
Ex-Factory presented the Cam-Wood WR 203 CNC router with a 2' x 3' table for less than $9,000; the WR 408 CNC router series available with 4' x 8', 5' x 10' and 12' table sizes; the KT2 glue-pot edgebander with a guillotine unit to cut edgebanding in coils up to 2 mm thick; and the 3200 sliding table saw.
The booth of Oneway CNC featured a Profile CNC Milling Lathe that allows the user to build complex legs and spindles without having to know anything about CAD or CAM software programs.
In the wood products sector, there were few surprises. Several companies introduced new “green” products such as Uniboard, which expanded its certified engineered wood product by offering it in colors. Certification continues to be a contentious issue among hardwood dealers who have definite opinions about sustainability, the Forest Stewardship Council and other related topics that will undoubtedly continue to be the center of major controversy.
Northland Forest Products and Lewis Lumber Products were pushing a new mahogany alternative called Eucalyptus grandis. The FSC-certified plantation-grown wood is less dense than genuine mahogany, but has a similar grain and takes an exceptional stain. Northland, Lewis and Thompson Mahogany are involved in the joint venture with Urufor of Uruguay.
The National Hardwood Lumber Association introduced a new branding initiative, which brought with it a new logo and an attempt to establish an improved global awareness. The 110-year old, 1,600-member organization says it will go forward with an emphasis on education, promotion and communication, advocacy, networking, and industry services.
There were many other manufacturers whose products attracted crowds to their booths. Some of the notables were Polhemus, a small Vermont company that displayed its FastSCAN portable 3-D laser scanning system to the woodworking industry for the first time. By simply scanning items as small as a cabriole leg or as large as a huge column, the proprietary software stitches the images together and creates a digital image of the item in almost any format. At first glance, FastSCAN appears most suited for the restoration and reproduction furniture markets.