Magazine Plans – No Joking Allowed (It Seems)

My headshot from early 2005, just months before I joined the Popular Woodworking staff and before I had to explain myself to readers. Note the relative lack of wrinkles and the naturally red hair…

I’ve received a handful (a double handful, actually) of panicky e-mails in the last two days from folks who read the post on Christopher Schwarz’s personal blog about my “plans” for the magazine as we move forward. Yes, that is all a joke. Yes, I was in on it. Yes, I laughed. No, I was not offended. Yes, I will continue to be mirthful and sesquipedalian (can’t help either of those, nor do I wish to). No, we are not adding heart cut-outs to every project (and I should perhaps stipulate that we won’t be adding heart cut-outs to any project. I hate heart cut-outs. I altogether dislike decorative hearts in any form – and there’s no doubt a self-deprecating a joke in there somewhere to be made, but I won’t make it; I might be taken seriously).

So for those of you who want to know what’s really going on, the short answer is this: I have no plans (evil or otherwise) to make the magazine into something radically different. We will continue to offer solid, interesting and engaging woodworking information (from names both old and new), techniques, tools and projects, and we will continue – as we have since at least 2005 – to champion hybrid woodworking (that is, both hand tools and power tools).

Can the magazine be better? Of course it can; there is room for improvement in any publication (and, I would argue, in all things). Do I know yet what I might do to make it so? I do not. But I hope that when you get the June issue (the first on which my name will be on the masthead as editor), you won’t be able to pinpoint any changes. My goal is that you’ll read it and just think, “Wow – this is a really good magazine” – without noticing the differences that have perhaps made it better.

If you want to read and hear more, Kari Hultman has an interview with me on her blog, The Village Carpenter, and last week, I chatted with the Modern Woodworkers Association.

And to the far more of you who sent me congratulatory notes, “I can no other answer make but thanks, And thanks, and ever thanks.”*

— Megan Fitzpatrick

* And no, you won’t see an uptick in Shakespeare in our pages…other than my plan to present all articles in iambic pentameter (but really, that form belongs to Marlowe).

42 thoughts on “Magazine Plans – No Joking Allowed (It Seems)

  1. johnbrownmd

    also speaking about all things wood how about the wooden bicycles being made – a story about them would be interesting Google it they seem amazing

  2. johnbrownmd

    Megan please do us a favor and save us from outselves. My finger keeps moving to the place order button for the new Festool beefed up Domino jointer. So here is what I propose. A test to compare the long and beefed up tenon of the new festool jointer and mutiple tennon (4 in a thick piece of wood exampe rail and style of an entry or interior door using the original domino) vs. the new domino jonter.

    Help us accumulators of all things new from sinning.

  3. NoelNNY

    You could do us all a favor and ditch the preppy, exec look – IMHO – I much prefer the carpenter bib overall look – although a nice, subtle 4″ high heel would really complete the look……

    And no, I did not Google all the prolific words; if Megan wrote them, they are real words….I believe it.

    Yes, you can skip the Shakespeare – and replace it with more gorgeous images of MEGAN!!! Anyone want to second the motion?

    When do we get the calendar?

    Did you ever (you seem to be from my era) see the album cover for “Whipped Cream”, by Herb Albert and Tijuana Brass? It had a very beautiful woman who appeared to be sitting cross legged on floor and tastefully covered in whip cream to just above chest level – and spritz in her hair if I recall.

    WOW- could we sell more magazines if we offer a one time pull out pin up of Megan covered similarly in Chris Schwarz’s hand plane curls and saw dust.


    (No, I am not a sicko – TIC intended!!)

  4. robertwf

    Your star is bright, Could you please send me some sunglasses with my next issue? 🙂 as far as jokes are concerned – F$%k ’em if they cant take a joke, You do an outstanding job.

  5. sandylamovsky


    Congratulations on embarking on this new phase of your career. AS an academian myself, i really enjoy your wide vocabulary. I am a big fan of yours.

    Sandy Lamovsky

    p.s. I think you look just as good today as you did in that older photo.

  6. Chuck the Wise

    Hey Megan, sesquipedalian makes it sound like you’ve joined a cult or have seven legs, neither of which reflect in your picture. Don’t let the Boys Club get you down, you are doing (and looking) great.

  7. Jerry-S

    Chris’s post even made my wife laugh. It was great, and only made me happier that I am a subscriber. It sure as heck made it feel like you will have an excellent time as editor. I love your sense of humor. Congrats. Looking forward to the future.

    Side note, a couple of comments noted that the content has shrunk. I am not convinced. I have noticed the magazine feels “thinner”…but that is because there is way less advertising! Kudos! I love that it is like back to back articles, with very little advertising breaking them up.

    Can’t wait for my digital subscrip to start in the next issue. Paper AND e-version is the way for me. Thanks for a great woodworking resource.

  8. Milford

    Since you have begun trying to expand our vocabulary, might I point out that “sesquipedalian” is to verbiage as Shakuhachi” is to Japanese flutes, which are 1.8 shaku long. And presumably that’s the woodworker’s shaku, not the longer one used by makers of kimono (there is no separate plural form of words in Japanese).

  9. Cosmo

    Like your new photo Megan…
    Even though I was pretty sure Chris’ piece was in jest, I was still a little concerned that it might contain some grains of truth.
    There are only 2 woodworking magazines I still subscribe too; Popular Woodworking and Fine Woodworking.
    Keep up the good work and I send my wishes for continued success.

  10. Barquester

    I’m with Jon on this one, where is the rest of the magazine? Did it go to the same place the 1/32 missing from a sheet of plywood went?
    At least they are easier to burn when I’m finished with them.

    1. John Hutchinson

      The reporting of the struggles facing Bob and Steve, with regard to gender identity, was the icing on the cake. I’m sure that made them smile.

  11. John Hutchinson

    I think the bigger questions are: Were Bob Lang and Steve Shanesy in on the joke? Did they laugh? Were they offended? I enjoy office humor as much as the next guy, but I don’t feel compelled to broadcast it to the world on Facebook. Self-deprecating humor is fine, but not at the expense of others.

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