A lesson from the Royal Melbourne Show

Every few years I head along to the Royal Melb Show, and have a look at what is on offer there. Know what I see? Variety, entertainment, and SHOWBAGS! I keep looking each time for a bag orientated more towards me (yeah, chocolate etc are still interesting), and I’m not talking of the Ralph showbag, or some other version of a male-orientated equivalent of the Cleo bag or all the others geared towards the fairer sex, and nor am I looking for a Men’s Health bag, or Beyond Blue bag (not like they are going to include Prozac or little blue pills marked with a V, or something useful anyway!) but what I’m looking for is a woodies showbag, something actually geared towards what we’d really want.

Fast forward to the Working with Wood show, and what is missing? Showbags!

Imagine a Dovetail showbag, including some instructions, a japanese saw, setting gauge (a cheaper bag having the still very nice gauge from Wood Review and a clutch pencil, a more expensive bag having a Colen Clenton gauge and a Chris Vesper marking knife), and some timber to practice on.

Or a pen turning bag, with pen blanks, some pen kits, a lathe mandrel, instructions etc.

You could have a lot of fun coming up with some differnt bag concepts, and each costing between $50, $100 and $200 or so. Some filler material to flesh it out a bit (stubby holders, the obligatory chocolate, etc!)

I’m working on the concept of having a genuine Stu’s Shed stand at the next show in Melbourne- and am looking at the way to take the online stusshed.com and create a real version of the online experience. And I’d love that to include a showbag (not specifically something for sale, a giveaway but still with useful things inside (stubby holder, pens, timber etc)). So now I have 12 months to plan, come up with some concepts, a schedule of demos etc, and see if the concept can fly.

So over the next few months I will be looking to you, my constant readers, for your input into what you’d like to see, what you’d like to do (having some genuine “come and try” experiences), and what could be included in some sort of showbag thingie.

Thinking too of some sort of woodworking Olympics event or two (say a dovetail olympics as some US shows do), with a dovetail saw as a prize. All just vague ideas at the moment, but 12 months will fly by!

3 Responses

  1. lol 1.678% Kiwi visitors to ya site. Is that a prime number?

    My prime number currently is a Veritas spoke shave. Lovely number.

  2. Hi Stuart,Good idea,small items such as thick superglue which I recently discovered.By the way how did you get on with your “shocking” lathe.I am interested in getting one,but can do without the side effects! Cheers….Graham

    • Hi Graham,

      There is all sorts of things we ‘discover’ along the way, and often think “if only I had known about that earlier”, which in part is what I try to do with this site, and would be good content for the show.

      As to the lathe, it seems to be a symptom of high humidity, and if the lathe is used regularly / the shed isn’t regularly subjected to flooding (rolling eyes), then it isn’t an issue.

      Mine stopped for a while there – when we had a dry spell, and I haven’t recently been able to make regular use of it, neither being ideal for what appears to be a DVR idiosyncracy.

      Not shocking enough to do something about, bit of a pain (heh) that it sometimes happens at all. Not enough for me to be dissuaded from recommending the lathe either!

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