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There are certain things Toolmongers can expect of a new year, and one of them is IBS. That’s right, one of the largest builder and tool expos takes place in Vegas every year around this time.

Last year over 60,000 people flooded the gates of the IBS show to get at around 1,500 exhibitors set up in the Las Vegas Convention Center and this year is set up to be around the same.

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If you are in the Austin area on January 8th and 9th, consider joining the guys from Lie Nielsen for their Hand Tool Event at Fine Lumber & Plywood Inc. It’s free admission and normally lots of fun.

The event runs Friday, noon – 6pm and Saturday, 10am – 5pm and features demos at interactive instructor-led stations that’ll help you learn how to get the most out of and take care of your tools.

Just like every other Lie Nielsen event, there will also be a bunch of tools on hand to play with and purchase, should the mood strike you.

Hand Tool Event [Lie Nielsen]

 

It’s coming. It’s coming and there’s nothing you can do to stop it. Retail chains and brick and motor establishments are gearing up this week for the single darkest shopping day of the year — Black Friday. It’s this week.

Which, other than the huge crowds and panic, means awesome savings for us in most cases. In case you need to brush up on your game plan, here are a few places to start looking for deals on tools and gear.

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For us, one of the most important tools this time of year is the BBQ lighter. It has a great way of kicking off most of the important activities that will be going on this Saturday — fireworks and steaks. Around our home town, you notice two things that mark the 4th of July season: lighters of all shapes and sizes are marked down and available everywhere (even places they aren’t normally for sale), and metal-clad stands spontaneously spring from the ground and start selling legal black-powder products.

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Here’s a free chance for anyone in the Wayne, NJ, area to drool and paw over Lie Nielsen’s finest hand tools and planes on June 26 & 27, 2009. Oh, and there’s interactive stuff there too. Did we mention the Lie-Nielson hand tools?

The LN folks have demos going all day at two interactive stations designed to help you learn sharpening and hand plane techniques while playing with the very best tools they have to offer — which as hand planes go, aren’t shabby at all. We find these demos are a great place to learn a few quick skills and pick the brains of the people in the know. It also goes without saying that at the show you will be able to purchase almost anything Lie-Nielsen makes.

Admission to the event is free, but be careful — these shows are a lot like a ghetto-style crack dealer. They entice you with the free product samples and no cover because they know once tool fanatics smell new tools they gotcha. Stay strong or leave the plastic at home if you’re weak/broke like me. 

Check the site for details and directions.

Lie-Nielsen Hand Tool Event [Site Details]

 

Milwaukee is currently offering a free tool with the purchase of some of the combo kits in their M12, M18, and V28 power tool lines. Depending on availability and the tool line you’re purchasing from, you can choose from such freebies as extra batteries, add-on wet/dry vacs, a Sawzall, and many more items.

This special rebate offer runs through June 30, 2009, and you can find more details on Milwaukee’s website.

Offer Details [Milwaukee]

 

Matco is running an online sweepstakes to promote their new line of service carts, and the grand prize is a MSC11 service cart with top chest add-on.  You can enter the sweepstakes for free — just fill out the online form and you’re entered!  Judging from the pictures on the website this cart looks pretty sweet, and it would go great in an auto shop.

Contest Info [Matco Tools]

 

Now until June 30, Makita is hosting an online Feel Innovation sweepstakes — the grand prize is a combo of motorcycles and quads, and first prize is an 18V fifteen-piece combo kit including every tool in Makita’s LXT Li-Ion line.

Just fill out the online form and you’re good to go. I didn’t see a clause that said you can only enter once, so it might be an enter-as-often-as-you-like affair.  Then again, I didn’t really spend a lot of time poring over the huge wall of sweeps rules.

Check out Makita’s site for the entry form.

Entry Form [Makita]

 
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The SHOT Show is one of the world’s largest showcases of hunting and outdoor products and firearms — if not the largest. If you want to know what’s going to be on the shelves of gun and sporting goods shops in the coming year, you want to attend this show.  Especially exciting to me, Case Knives will be releasing their new lineup.

New Case patterns like the Humpback Stockman and the Case Desk Knife will be on display for everyone to paw at and take home with them, so it should be a good time.  This year’s SHOT Show happens January 15-18, 2009 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL.  Check the site for details.

SHOT Show [Website]
Case [Website]

 

It’s officially “that time.”  If you’re reading this early enough:  Go, now, before the throng of people in the above image forms at every nearby shopping location and the carnage begins.  Today, chain stores all over the place mark down the gear you want to prices you can pull the trigger on.  It’s Black Friday.

On this day and this day only, old ladies and small children alike are imbued with superhuman strength, the ability to stiff-arm their fellow man without regard for their well-being, and an all-out sixth sense for marked-down goods.  You know — the holiday spirit.

Kidding aside, if there are any cheapskates –- like me -– out there, post up a pic or two in the Flickr pool, or let us know you scored in comments.  We always love to hear the word on the street.