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The Daily SkepI’m delighted to welcome to the pages of Popular Woodworking Magazine James “Jim” McConnell, whom you may know from his blog “The Daily Skep,” where he writes thoughtful and engaging posts, mostly about hand-tool woodworking.

Jim worked out of a power-tool-dominated shop for a number of years, before being seduced by a vintage Stanley jack plane, and binge-watching sessions of Roy Underhill’s “The Woodwright’s Shop.”

Now, he’s a committed hand-tool woodworker, and will be writing on that topic for our Tool Review column; his first article is on the Blue Spruce square; look for that in the August issue (it begins mailing to subscribers on June 8, and will be on newsstands on or around June 21.

I’d love to tell you more about Jim and his woodworking journey…but he’s done such a good job of it in this post, that I encourage you to simply click on that link and read. But here’s an excerpt to whet your interest:

“My primary motivator is process not product. Something in my soul finds peace and purpose in each individual stroke of the saw and pass of the plane. When I focus on the product all I can think about is getting it done, but I take far more joy in how a thing gets done than gloating over the finished product. From the cradle to the coffin, delight is found in the pieces that make up the whole. The net effect of all of this enlightenment on my craftsmanship has been measurable. The work is more meaningful and the end result is far beyond anything I had previously done. I might almost call it good.”

The only bad thing about having Jim writing for us is that as a result, I didn’t get to use Dave Jeske’s new square! And there’s another tool Jim is testing out right now (for the October issue) that I’d love to get my hands on. What was I thinking!!

Seriously though – I’m so very glad to have Jim writing for us. I encourage you to visit “The Daily Skep“; you’ll see why he’s a great addition to Popular Woodworking Magazine.

— Megan Fitzpatrick

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Showing 4 comments
  • Shawn Nichols

    That’s great news. I can’t wait to read more Jim.

  • Graham Haydon

    Very cool, look forward to reading Jim’s reviews!

  • pmac

    And that other tool would be…?

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