Friday, April 10, 2015

While The NRA Convention Is Going

While the NRA convention is going on in Nashville this weekend, the cool place for tool geeks to hang out is the Cabin Fever Expo in York, PA.  It's generally called the biggest model engineering expo in the country.  

There are two big shows for home machine shop nerds: Cabin Fever and a show called the NAMES Expo, which will be held next weekend in Wyandotte, Michigan.  NAMES is the North American Model Engineering Society.  Mrs. Graybeard and I attended NAMES in '08, the only year I'm aware of when it was held in Toledo, Ohio, and while I meant to plan a trip to Cabin Fever a few times, I always remembered too late to do anything about it.   

Until this year, that is.  I'm in York tonight and will be at the show both days.  I've got my DSLR and a 32 gig card, so there will be lots of pictures.

Two shows in a week?  It hasn't always been this way.  A few years ago, NAMES was in April and Cabin Fever was in February.  That's a better name for a mid-winter show than one in the spring, after all.  They changed to the spring schedule in 2013.  It's probably easier on the exhibitors; most of whom are small businesses scattered across the country.  One trip to central PA followed by a couple of day drive to Detroit area is probably easier on them than two trips across country. 

So what do these shows feature?  As the name implies, they feature models.  Not models like the plastic or balsa kits we've all played with but machined engines, model ships, cars, railroads, steam engines, stirling engines, and more.  The kinds of things you see at the Craftsmanship Museum that Sherline hosts.  Guys build fully operational internal combustion engines that they run at the shows.  There were some rather amazing things to see at NAMES the year we went.  There will also be tool vendors from the big names to small, along with books, plans, you name it. 

While there will be pictures, not tonight.  I'm posting from my iPad, and Blogger isn't really full featured.  We'll see if this even works.  

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