The Expo centre near my house in Greater Noida has become a world class trade fair venue where a number of major exhibitions are held every year. My interest naturally was in DelhiWood 2013 (31 Janaury-3 February).
Sadly there was very little in the show for small furniture makers and hobbyists; this year’s exhibition was dominated by the big machinery makers. There were large displays by makers of huge woodworking machines such as automated panel saws, sanders, edge banders, cnc machines and so on. There were also machines for producing engineered panels, laminated woods, laminations and large scale construction solutions. A large number of companies from Germany seemed to dominate the show.
Most of the stalls were aimed at the big guys, woodworking factories, plywood manufacturing plants and the like. The hundreds of small furniture makers looking for affordable solutions, innovative products and power tools looked distinctly disappointed as they wandered around. This year there were far fewer small suppliers, retailers and tool makers attending the show as compared to DelhiWood 2011. There was much less variety as compared to last time and very little that was new.
Only three power tool makers were visible this time: Festool (Germany), Endico (India) and Virutex (Spain). The biggies like Bosch, Hitachi, Makita, Skil and so on did not show up. I gave Festool with its ridiculously high prices a miss and homed on to the other two.
I had not heard of Virutex earlier but was impressed by their large range of power tools which included the usual routers, dust extractors, plunge saws and so on. Apart from these standard tools, the company also makes a whole bunch of specialised tools including edge trimmers, portable edge banders, trimmers and mortisers of all kinds. In fact, their range of power tools is much wider than that of the other big hand tool makers if one leaves out drill machines. The Indian distributors of Virutex had unfortunately not fixed local prices or decided which products they would sell in India. But if the marketing is good, this could be a product range worth looking out for.
Endico, a Ludhiana based power tools manufacturer (www.endicopowertools.com), had set up a small stall that attracted many visitors. Manned by a number of extremely clued up and enthusiastic Sikh gentlemen, the Endico stall made for an interesting experience, especially since I found they were selling rather nice looking routers. What was interesting about the Endico routers were their many ingenious attachment and features. The routers came with a LED light, precision height adjuster, an easy to grip horizontal handle and a flat top which allows it to be seated upside down. The attachments include edge guides, circle cutters, and an edge guide with bearings. I particularly liked the 1300 watt machine which costs about six thousand rupees. Very good value for money I would think. Endico also was promoting a small hand held saw and some grinders. Hobbyists could give their tools a try.
The other two stalls of interest were of Mumbai-based Total Tools (www.totaltools.in), who are perhaps the country’s largest stockist of imported router (mainly CMT) and drill bits, and TimberMate, the Australian wood putty maker. Both these stalls were crowded with inquisitive visitors wanting to buy their products. TimberMate is a pretty amazing putty of which I will write later but the great thing about it is that it is soluble in tap water, easy to use and dries really hard - a boon for woodworkers. Total Tools, from whom I have purchased router bits in the past, was very helpful as usual and had a large range of bits on show.
There were a couple of abrasive and adhesive makers of interest but little else. This exhibition was for the big daddies and it left me cold.
1 February 2013
1 February 2013