If you are considering submitting a tip or trick for our “Tricks of the Trade” column, here are some tips for a successful entry:
What Makes a Good Trick?
The best tricks are those that solve common woodworking problems by offering a better technique or jig for the job, whether routing, sawing, sanding, planing, scraping, drilling, marking out, assembly, finishing, or any number of other operations. Of course everyone loves good shop improvement tips too—anything to improve storage or efficiency in our work spaces. Keep in mind that most “tool-specific” tricks are of limited value. That clever modification that you made to your Binford model 331 router or your 1942 belt sander is likely to be of little use to your fellow woodworkers.
Don’t Worry the Words
You don’t have to be a “writer” to submit a trick. We can fix the wording. Just explain as best you can the problem you were up against and how you solved it. If your trick involves making a tool or jig, please include any helpful information such as type of materials, part sizes, and building tips. Your best bet here is to refer to past “Tricks of the Trade” columns to see how similar tips were presented.
This is a biggie: If at all possible, include photos or drawings of your tip. No matter how clearly written your description might be to you, there’s nothing like pictures to really explain matters. They also provide our artist with necessary visual reference. Digital photos can be e-mailed, but please don’t send big file versions, which can take a long time to download. Scanned drawing can also be sent by e-mail. Alternatively, you can submit your tip with conventional photos or drawings by regular mail.
Complete Contact Information
You must include a phone number and complete mailing address. If your trick is selected for publication, an editor may need to call you for further information, and we’ll need to know where to send your payment or prize. If you live in the U.S.A., be aware that Popular Woodworking will need your social security number to process payment. However, to protect that information, we suggest you do not include it with your submission. If your trick is selected for publication, we’ll ask you for it then.
We understand that some readers submit their tricks to various magazines simultaneously. That’s okay, but realize that no magazine likes to see the same trick in a competitor’s publication. To keep everyone happy, please let us know immediately when a trick you submitted to Popular Woodworking has been accepted for publication by another magazine.
To Submit Your Tricks
When submitting a trick, include your mailing address and phone number. If your trick is selected, an editor will need to contact you. All entries become the property of Popular Woodworking Magazine.
Send your trick by e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Or write to:
Tricks of the Trade
Popular Woodworking Magazine
4700 E. Galbraith Road
Cincinnati, OH 45326