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OPEN HOUSE (4 part series)

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  • OPEN HOUSE (4 part series)

    Chapter 1
    Ok, since you all missed out, Ill give you a somewhat detailed story of the trip to PA. So have your significant other pop you some corn and bring you something to wash it down with, and read on:
    Started out great, got to the airport (Chicago) in good time, and our flight was right on time for departure, sort of a rarity from my past experiences.Other then a non-stop crying kid on the flight, it went rather well, and we arrived in Philly 10 minutes early! Baggage claiming was a breeze, and even flagging down the Budget rental shuttle went pretty good, and the driver was a master at packing people in! I think he once worked for Acme Sardines by the way he fit us in.Excitedly, we headed into Budget with our confirmation number in hand, ready to drive off in our economy sized car that we reserved almost 2 months ago.Well, things took an ugly twist,it seems our credit card wasnt good enough because it draws off a checking account, and can be used as a debit card or something. At any rate, confirmation numbers and prebooking using that very card mean absolutely nothing when you actually get in front of the counter, a few states away, with your luggage and hopes.And, I'll have you know, the lady behind the counter, she really isnt sorry when she says "Theres nothing I can do, its our policy, I'm sorry". Dont believe her, she doesnt care, I can just tell.So, on our footmobiles, we headed walking to the next rental outfit.YES!!! They would accept our card, and give us a vehicle. Ahh, but not an economy car, only a van.Linda phoned every other rental place there, and we ended up with the van. So,like a happy soccer mom, I finally pulled out of Dollar rental in the van (which by the way, was a pleasure to drive, and I am happy we had that instead of the economy car).
    We got to our hotel later then expected, but they did save us a room, so all was good. Bill walker phoned about us meeting up for dinner, and we discussed waiting for Bob to call. Luckily we didnt wait any longer, and around the time a tornado was going through the area (and thats no lie either!), he met us at our hotel and we went for dinner.We didnt eat any stuff from a kleenex box, and didnt eat any tofu,and I didnt eat any raw fish, although the shrimp on my wifes plate looked raw to me, I didnt eat any of those.We had great food, and excellant company. Thanks for venturing out on such a stormy night Bill, Linda and I enjoyed meeting you and your wife very much.
    well back at the hotel, it was bedtime.With the anticipation of the coming events making it hard to sleep, nothing was harder then the bed I was about to lay on. I considered calling the front desk to request a mattress , thinking they forgot to put one on the box spring, when I realized there was nothing springy about that either! Did you ever sleep in a granite bed? Try it someday, and think of my bed at econolodge.
    (to be continued)
    Dale w/ yella saws

  • #2
    Chapter 2
    Well, after a sleepless night, it was time to go! We went to a small local restaurant for a great breakfast, then headed for the shindig.Luckily we landed a great parking spot, because we made many trips to the van with books.There was a chainsaw carver set up outside doing demos, then the registration table, all outside the entrance. Inside were a great deal of vendors, from seyco, to eclipse, and carving stuff to SAW. Oh, and who could ever forget Jooltool! Their display was simply mouthwatering!!!! That booth alone was worth the flight out there! Along the whole back wall were books deeply discounted from Fox Chapel. It was almost impossible to get at the tables at the time because of the crowd, but we bought so many books we had to buy another suitcase to haul them all home, and thats the truth! In a room in the back was the donated items for charity.When I first saw the quilt, I was somewhat disappointed that it wasnt finished yet, but Bob explained to me the troubles, and assured me it would be done Friday night, so that was a good thing. There were so many items in there, both carvings and scrollings, and although my wife and I had bids on many things, the only thing we ended up getting was a neat carved pin .I do regret that I lost out on the quilt by $2 to someone, but as the class schedule worked out for me, I missed the bid deadline, but it went to a great guy, which I explained in another thread. also, I was reuntied with Lucy Brooks again, as well as Jeannie and Billy Aldous, Ray and Cindy Seyco, and a few others I've met throughout the years. Its so nice meeting everyone again.Before heading to a class, I did meet Shannon again, which is always a highlight of any event. And, as long as I'm rambling on this topic... The whole Fox Chapel family is made up of kind, friendly, just wonderful people, a first class group all the way. Fox Chapel .
    My first class I chose was by Neal Moore. After I chose my seat, I grabbed my book, and took it up, introduced myself, and asked Neal for his autograph.As I turned around to head back to my seat, I met Betty, still smiling about her lost job! What a wonderful person she is! Neal explained how he came about doing the class, and seemed a bit nervous at first, but took off nicely. I will say Neals class was the most interesting, and the most informative seminar that I attended.Thank you Neal !
    The next class was Kathy Wise. Having met her before, I knew her class would be first rate, as she is about as talented as they come! Her intro alone shows the determination she has to be a success, and shes got the talent to back it up. This class was "beginning intarsia", and I learned a lot, as expected ! Thank you Kathy.
    We managed to make it to John Nelsons clockmaking class , which mainly was teaching about clocks from way back in the beginning, to present, and how timepieces evolved throughout the centuries.Attendees recieved a couple great sources to acquire hard to find clockmaking parts, and a 15% discount card for a major clock supplier, which I know I will get a lot of use out of, since Klockit is only minutes away from me! Thanks John.
    Next seminar chosen was Kathy Wise, Sanding and Shaping. Like I already said,Kathy is remarkable woman, so I knew it would be great, and it was.
    Kathy ended her class a little early, which allowed us to squeeze in Gary MacKays boxmaking class, which we were planning on doing Saturday. Well, Gary was having a bear of a time with that saw he was using, so he was quite nervous, but he held together to teach a few tips anyhow. And, Betty, this is where somebody was talking to you about your camera and a charger. That guy was Bill Walker, so he will be easy to find if you still havent found your charger.
    Somewhere in the mix of these classes I met up with Mac Simmons, a long time friend, and an expert at finishing.Also, once again I met up with Dale Wistler. If you have never met Dale Wistler, you just wouldnt understand, but he is the most friendly guy that ever walked this earth.He always is smiling, and yes, a smile is contagiuos, nobody ever walks away from him without a smile! There he was, on a pedal scrollsaw just cutting away. He scrollsaws much better then he grows hair (sorry Dale, I had to say that!), but what e does best is touches the heart of everyone he comes in contact with. Thank you Dale W for being such a great person, if I ever grow up, I want to be like you!
    Well, as the day was closing, I did meet Wytyger . Sandy, it was truly my pleasure meeting you. Later that night I met Bob's wife, and Shannons husband, as well as Sandys husband.Its no wonder Fox Chapel is so great, its all the people involved. One terriffic family!
    (Grab another drink, and more snacks, chapter 3 is coming)
    to be continued....
    Dale w/ yella saws


    • #3
      Chapter 3
      After another night on a harder than rock bed, we headed off again for breakfast, before sliding back into our nice parking spot for Saturdays show.When we left Friday night, I was the top bidder on the "work in progress" quilt, with a bid of $100 I think. It was more then I could afford, especially after spending so much on books.Much to my surprise, Bob stayed really late Friday night to get the quilt finished as promised, which made me feel a lot better about the whole quilt thing.Not long after that, I was outbid by a dollar or two, so I upped my bid again before heading to the Fox Chapel readers feedback thing. It was nice getting to add individual comments on upcoming titles and books, both in the works now, and ones still in the early stages of if they even will be books.This was held by one from the books acquisition, or marketing staff from Fox Chapel.A chance to win a $25 Fox Chapel gift cert. at the end of the thing didnt produce me any more book money, but I was glad I attended this one.
      Next was Gary Browning. I will admit, most of it was way to technical for my feeble mind, but luckily Linda took many notes, so it should pay off sometime.He discussed how to make good crisp patterns from photos, and what tools to look for in a pattern making program, as well as how to use these features.
      Between all these classes, I mingled in the big group in the main warehouse,and did the scrolling speed contest , and was top cutter for the rest of the day , until the finals, which I already explained in another thread.Also, we bought another pile of books again since we got another suitcase, and just couldnt pass up the great deals. Before heading off to the next seminar, I checked my bid on the quilt, and was outbid again, so I upped my bid a little more, to $108.
      I now ventured on the other side of life a bit, and went to a cariciatures carving class.Let me just say, Peter Ortel is an awesome carver, and a fun instructor as well. I blame him on my next purchase, a small set of Flexcut carving tools that we picked up from a vendor there. If I get addicted to carving now, you know who to blame!
      After the carving seminar, we headed to Meet The Editors seminar. Well, I have met both Bob and Shannon a few times now,and now I have met the folks behind the books as well. This was a great seminar, to learn what all goes into prepping a magazine or book, to marketing strategies, and the flow of putting together each issue, and how articals are chosen.For the small amount of employees at Fox Chapel, I will have to say everyone must be busy busy busy all the time, and they do an outstanding job of producing products that are of the highest quality.Once again, a first class company filled with first class people!
      (I may have mixed the orders up on the classes on Saturday, time flew by so fast, I cant remember which we did first)
      I missed the finishing class I wanted so badly to see, but I feel I made the best choices to get the most info I could, but I heard many great comments about Teri's finishing class. The rest of the day was spent shopping in the warehouse, where I bought the carving tools, talked to Lucy Brooks, Billy and Jeannie, Ray and Cindy, and all the others (I am sure I forgot many), as well as many of the Fox team. The auction results were out, and I wasnt the proud owner of the quilt.Yes, I was very disappointed that either I didnt win that quilt, knowing its from my online family here on the forum, and I was so hoping a miracle would happen and someone would toss in a healthy bid, it was for charity after all. It sucks being outbid on such an awesome piece of art that we all worked so hard on.And, Im not going into the scroll-off contest, I touched on that already in the bragging thread.
      yes... you guessed be continued!
      Dale w/ yella saws


      • #4
        Chapter 4 The finale

        The return trip was pretty uneventful, but the memories will last forever. Fox Chapel for putting on a wonderful open house . Every one of you deserve a huge pat on the back for the countless hours of preparations that you must have put into planning such a great event.To those that couldnt attend, have hope that sometime soon they do it again, its one you dont want to miss. And to anyone I forgot to mention , I'm sorry.Once again.. Fox Chapel, I look forward to planning another trip to the next open house! Dale
        Dale w/ yella saws


        • #5
          Thanks for posting Dale.

          I am a little envious of all the people that got to is not my best color.
          I have to admit I knew it would be a great success. The folks at Fox Chapel are the greatest. If I were younger and lived in the States I would be banging on the door trying to get a job there

          I am glad so many scrollers were able to attend. I know there must have been hundreds of carvers there too. I havent crossed the carving line much. I really do think that carving and scrolling go hand in hand. I hope they have another open house in 2007 or 2008. I will make that one for sure.

          Great post Dale, thanks

          "proud member of the best scroll sawing forum on the net."
          Ryobi SC180VS scroll saw EX21


          • #6
            thanks Dale

            for the great report....who's next?

            Hawk G-4 Jetcraft
            Fish are food, not friends!


            • #7
              Thanks for the report Dale, sounds like it was a great time, needless to say I wish I had been there.......perhaps next year!

              DeWalt 788

              aut viam inveniam aut faciam

              God gives us only what we can handle.. Apparently God thinks I am one tough cookie.....


              • #8
                There was only one thing wrong with this event. Not Enough time to do and see everything. I Briefly met Dale and Mike and then was off to the seminars.
                I am sorry that I didn't hook up with some of the other members of this forum.
                I only saw a couple of name tags.
                RBI G4 26 Hawk, EX 16 with Pegas clamps, Nova 1624 DVR XP
                Philosophy "I don't know that I can't, therefore I can"
                Proud Member of the Long Island Woodworkers Club
                And the Long Island Scrollsaw Association


                • #9
                  Thanks for the detailed report Dale,sounds like it was a great trip. I will say since you crossed the line you will get hooked on carving.I think Carl is right carving and scrolling go hand in hand, I have not tried to put the two together yet.
                  Delta P-20


                  • #10
                    Thanks Dale for the very, detailed report. You makeme wishI had been there. Have to say, unlike the rental care lady, I AM sorry you missed out on the quilt but nodoubt the now new owner will be pretty pleased and scrollsawing will be promoted more as he shows it off to his friends and family.
                    Cheers. Teresa .


                    • #11
                      Nice report Dale,

                      Just a thought but...
                      Isn't everyone that does Intarsia already combining, in a certain way, carving to Scrolling?

                      Carving is not necessarely done with knives and gouges alone.

                      DW788. -Have fun in the shop or it isn't a hobby anymore.

                      NOTE: No trees were killed in the sending of this message, but a large number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.


                      • #12
                        To me, carving and shaping are two different worlds, but I suppose some could see it that way Marcel.Many do incorporate carving on their intarsia pieces however. I am intrigued mainly with cariciature carving, to me it looks more relaxing than doing wildlife carving. More freeformed. Dale
                        Dale w/ yella saws


                        • #13
                          Thanks for taking the time to share this info with us Dale. I really enjoyed the short story. I would love to have been there but planes, rental cars and motels can really bite. Next time I travel, I drive.

                          Making sawdust with a Dremel 1680.


                          • #14
                            I enjoyed reading your report Dale - thanks for going to so much trouble to tell us about your time at the Open House . It helped me to feel included in the event even though I wasn't able to attend.

                            And thanks to everyone who's already posted photographs - if anyone else has got more piccies lurking around waiting to be posted, now's the time!

                            There is no opinion, however absurd, which men will not readily embrace as soon as they can be brought to the conviction that it is readily adopted.
                            (Schopenhauer, Die Kunst Recht zu Behalten)


                            • #15
                              Thanks, Dale -- Good report!


                              Nice meeting you and Linda at the Open House. Great report sounds like we had fun. I really enjoyed myself and I got to meet the great man himself, John Nelson, and it was a real pleasure.

                              Neal, you did a fabulous job in your class. I now think I can do the projects in you book. Thanks for the encouragement and the autograph.

                              Rolf was right there wasn't enough time to do all that we wanted to do.

                              I put up some pictures of the quilt in the Bragging section called More Quilt Pictures. Not the best but you get the idea.

                              Thanks to all of the Fox Chaple staff they did a great job. I can't say enough.


                              My saw is a DeWalt788 Measure twice; cut once; count fingers after cut


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