Sunday, November 29, 2009

The 'Force' of Fine Woodworking Magazine

I started the blog post below in July of 2008, for some reason, leaving it then in 'draft' form. As I was categorizing some of my back posts so that they appear in the 'category' index to the left, I I stumbled across it. Since the original below was, in a way, a 'thanks' to the Taunton Press folks, I thought it might be appropriate to finish it up for the Thanksgiving weekend. I feel even more strongly about it now for a number of reasons. Since that time, their website has grown to be an amazing thing. From the readers gallery where you can post photos of your completed projects, to 'ask the experts', (which I've done with great success), to the general woodworking community and the 'This Woodworking Life Blog (I'm a contributor) it has really grown. Recently, an editor used photos from one of my blog posts to start a discussion on dovetails that has generated 102 comments since November 19th and sent hundreds of new readers to my blog. They are building a community there and a valuable resource for the future of our craft. My original words, pretty much unedited, appear below ... Enjoy ... Become a Fine Woodworking member, contribute .. comment ...

7/25/2008 the 'original' blog post ...
'I was having a conversation yesterday with a friend I hadn't seen for a while and he asked me what 'new stuff' I was doing in my business. He was particularly curious how the CNC router we bought 3 years ago was working out and 'What were we doing with it?'. Which led me to think, what were we doing with it? Coincidentally, as you can see in the posts below, along with our own work, we were doing work for other woodworkers. (See Trevor's CNC projects).
I started making custom furniture for a living full time Jaunary 1st, 1980. Seems like a long time ago and at the time there weren't many other people I knew making a living that way. There was, however, Fine Woodworking Magazine, a reader written magazine that showed the few of us there were in the area that there was a larger community of people like us out there, struggling and succeeding at what we were trying to do. And not only were they succeeding, but they were also sharing their hard earned knowledge with the rest of us (and, getting a little cash and recognition to do it). Amazing. From the Fine Woodworking Design Book Series, to the Techniques series and the Reader's Gallery the magazine has continuously raised the design and execution bar and encouraged dialog and cooperation among it's many readers. I am a member of the Guild of Vermont Furniture Makers, an association of 28 master furniture makers, and know of many other organizations both national and regional that have sprung up in recent years to unite and encourage woodworkers to share their resources and knowledge. Through their coverage of the various groups' meetings and conferences, I know Fine Woodworking has been a force in that process as well. While many other woodworking magazines have arrived on the scene in recent years, Fine Woodworking is now (once again) leading the way in widening the woodworking community through their extensive website and online searchable articles database, blog list and Knots Forum to encourage dialog, discussion and progress. I commend Paul Roman and his family and the editors and staff that have worked throughout the years to make custom woodworking (and home building and sewing and gardening) a viable, enjoyable and deeply satisfying career choice. I'm not sure we all would have made it without them. I leave you with a mission quote from their website, thank them for their efforts and encourage them ever onward.

"If you're a Taunton reader, you have a passion for creative activities that enrich your life. You search enthusiastically for information that will help you pursue your interests at a deeper level. For more than 30 years, we at The Taunton Press have made it our mission to provide such information and insight. We recognize that our greatest value is as an inspiration and a resource. For that reason, the ideas, skills, and techniques we present are communicated clearly, in an environment that is both accessible and credible."

8/4/17 ... and i have also recently been asked to become part of the 'top reveal' community, a product research and home improvement tip source ... you can find lots and lots of interesting DIY information shared there too like these simple woodworking projects you can do with a little enthusiasm and some very basic tools.

live creatively!


Larry Marshall said...

It's all true, every bit of it. Thanks for a great tribute to my favorite publishing company.

Cheers --- Larry (aka woodnbits)

Jeff Branch said...

While I don't currently have a subscription to Fine Woodworking, I have had one through the years. I always get their Tools and Shops issue as a Christmas present from my wife. I have not had time to dive into their website much, so thanks to the post - I'll have to check it out.