ISKA and WSFEA Meetings

ISKA and WSFEA Meetings

ISKA, International Saw and Knife Association, will have their annual meeting Friday evening during the AWFS show, American Woodworking and Finishing show, in Las Vegas this July.  It is scheduled to start at seven o’clock. They are still finalizing the location.  The vendors will be paying for food during the meeting. Based on times past they put out a pretty good spread of food.

WSFEA, Western Saw Filer Educational Association, will have its annual meeting the end of September in Portland, Oregon. There will be the social get-together Friday evening with free food paid for by the vendors. The vendors will be also be handing out free drink tickets. The Saturday training session is going to be All Band Saws All Day.  They’re going to be several truly excellent speakers, people who are real bandsaw experts. There’ll also be lots of opportunities for you to present your situation to a couple dozen expert saw filers.

ISKA is primarily for people who run saw shops where they build and repair a wide variety of saws and knives. Some of these are little, one-man shops running manual equipment. Some of these have 20 or 30 people working in them with several million dollars worth of equipment. However, there is no prejudice no matter what size you are. There seems to be a real willingness to trade information and to help each other out. In case you haven’t realized it, different saw shops tend to specialize in different areas. They also swap work back and forth depending on who has the best equipment and expertise.

WSFEA is primarily saw filers from sawmills and manufacturing plants with in-house saw shops.  There is a real mix of people who are just starting in filing rooms and people who have been in filing rooms for decades.  I have a memory of an incident the best typifies the attitude at the WSFEA. I had just finished giving a speech when a young saw filer came up to me with a technical question. I’m an expert on some things but this wasn’t one of them. And then I saw Al Bouchard across the room. How Bouchard is retired now but he was an incredible saw filer. Al had one of those minds where he had to dig down and dig down and dig down to find out what was really going on. Once he had it all analyzed then he started experimenting to find the very best way to do it. Anyway, I was able to introduce the new filer with the big problem to one of the very best filers in the country. Al was an incredible gentleman and was always ready to help. Al started explaining things, the new filer looks sort of stunned at the quantity and quality of the information he was getting so I quietly wandered off.

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