Make your magazine come to life

I’ve had a few occasions to speak to woodworking groups. Each time, I’ve asked myself how I could make the audience’s experience great. Being brutally honest, print is probably a better way to learn. You can read at your own pace. I get to choose my words carefully. The photos and graphics are carefully designed to illustrate the point. So if I was to focus solely on teaching the subject matter at hand, I could probably do a better job in print than I can in person.

Though you know me as a woodworking author, like the other woodworking authors, I’m really a woodworker first, author second. I’ve sat in those same uncomfortable church, and hotel seminar room chairs, and I know what I’ve gotten out of the experience.

If you have your wits about you, you can learn WAY more with a 5 minute conversation with the demonstrator than you ever could reading a book or magazine article. And that was certainly my experience, chatting with the likes of Roy Underrhill, Mike Dunbar, or Mack Headley. I think I’ve read everything these guys have written. Speaking with them, seeing them work, has changed my understanding of their work, approaches, and products.

In a few short weeks, authors you know and some you don’t will gather in Valley Forge PA. It will be a magazine come to life. It’s your opportunity to get eyeball to eyeball with some really great woodworkers (authors and otherwise). Its a chance for them to step out of their print and for you to see what makes them tick, and what they are really like. Think of it like a woodworking town hall meeting. Got a bone to pick? Maybe you’re fine with the Presidents’s health care plan but you’re mad as hell that I use the word “pitch” to describe the size of saw teeth. This is the place to hash it out. I can’t speak for every presenter, but I’ll be doing my darnedest to offer you something you can’t get in print. For me, that usually means audience suggested demonstrations, lots of interaction, and accessibility.

But you have to do your part too. If you come, don’t be a wall flower. Make sure you corner the presenters you’ve been wanted to interrogate. That’s what we’re there for. Woodworking In America is a magazine come to life. But don’t just turn the pages.

Adam

5 thoughts on “Make your magazine come to life

  1. Jim Paulson

    Thanks Adam. As always, I appreciate the inspiration that you continue to provide so many of us in rediscovering the blessings of using hand tools in furniture making. I hope to get to one of the WIA events when finances and work schedule permit.

    I loved the frame saw that you made for resawing and your candor about using it and your expectations for enhancing it. I have a good library of woodworking books, but I don’t have good design information for making a similar kind of frame saw (Roubo) that you illustrate here and in your latest article in PW.

    I got these dimensions so far: 4′ long, 3" deep by 0.032" thick blade, and the 2 tpi. If possible, could you give us a drawing with a bit more details in an upcoming article? I’d love to make one too. I use hand tools extensively and in terms of resawing my bandsaw doesn’t really cut it. No pun intended.

    God bless,
    Jim

  2. Herb Lapp

    I just got the 11/3 email with the question about 18th century finishing. I think the question is a metaphysical one like counting the number of angels that can stand on the head of a pin. I’ve been doing research into a n 18th century Phila Quaker four miller, Thomas Livezey (1723-1790). I even found all of his surviving papers. And writing articles on him snad his mill even with the papers is a guessing game. The 18 th century is one of the better documented times but they didn’t notate everything and not everything has survived or survived as pristine original. I think there will likely always be several hypotheses on what actually happened or was the truth. That’s the fun of it all. I’ll bet the 18th century guys are rolling in their graves laughing at us and it’s likely a total surprise anyone would be splitting hairs on their work. After all they were trying to make a living, get tot the end of the day and have enough money to live…none of them were part of the Philadelphia economic elite.

    Keep plugging along I love your articles.

    Herb

  3. Shannon Brown

    Hey Adam, I actually learn better by being shown things than reading. So I would prefer a live demo over blueprints or an article annyday. Shoot I bought plans to make a treadle lathe bench 2 years ago and still haven’t started on it yet because it all looks like Sanscript to me.

    Oh and hi to the other Shannon. I saw your post and freaked out a bit. I thought "I didn’t write that.", like I’m the only Shannon in the world. Anyway, nice to meet you. 🙂

  4. Shannon

    Don’t be a wallflower and get over to the hand tool olympics and participate. I think a lot of us woodworkers can be intimidated or too shy to step up and show off our skills with so many big names in the biz nearby. I was definitely a little hesitant to step into the ring at the design conference and cut some dovetails, but I learned a lot by watching others and listening to some of the comments on my own technique after my event. You are dead on Adam, this is a phenomenal opportunity to learn from some great woodworking minds and swap some hand tool trash talk during the olympics!

    Shannon

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