Most times when my cabinetmaking mentor, Peter Greig, left me and a stack of wood alone at the jointer or the 7-horsepower sliding table saw, the last thing he’d say – in his wonderful Bahamian accent – was, “One more thing, Dan. Don’t cut off ya finga.”
Peter was the veteran of veterans at this fast-paced Miami shop where the most consistently utilized safety device was the Cuban coffee machine, which would give us all a jolt of mental acuity and motor skills at 10 a.m. daily. I had a lot of fun there, I learned a ton and I didn’t cut off any fingers. But then something else happened. I had the chance to move to D.C. and refocus on my goal of becoming a writer. Being pretty naïve about our nation’s capital, I assumed I’d fit in better there than I did in the subtropics. I also banked on the idea that by working more hours on literary novels, I’d have some money for them in a matter of short months. Oops!
Through a seven-year, convoluted series of events that’s largely irrelevant to this little story, I’ve landed back in woodworking on a full-time basis. As many of you have heard via social media, I’m the new online editor for Popular Woodworking Magazine. This well-loved magazine gives so much to our craft. It’s an honor to be here and it’s a superlative honor to be in dialogue with tens of thousands of hobbyists and professionals who, like me, are passionate about works in wood.
So, what are you going to see out of this? The biggest part of my job is delivering articles of the highest quality (blog and e-mail newsletter) to you on a thrice-weekly basis, which is a couple more than you’ve been receiving so far. And, as Megan Fitzpatrick advised me the other day, I’d better do it with a strong, personal and compelling voice – one that fits with the other voices here.
The job at hand, like milling big, expensive hardwood, requires focus, care, strength, awareness and possibly some teamwork. Ultimately I see you, the readers, as my teammates. You’ll either share these articles with friends, or boo them off the blog. I assume that in some way, shape or form, you’ll tell me what information is useful to you, what’s entertaining – and what isn’t.
I also assume you’ll tell me when it’s time for a cafecito.
My e-mail address is: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please use it. I’d love to hear from you.