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I was cooking breakfast for a few friends at my family’s house on Lake Barkley when I received the call offering me the online editor position for Popular Woodworking Magazine. I was beyond ecstatic. My friends woke up, we hugged long enough to feel uncomfortable and celebrated that night. After years of working hard and dreaming, I finally landed the job I was working for.

I’ve been rewriting this post for a few days because it is hard for me to say. So I’m just going to spit it out. I will be leaving Popular Woodworking on January 20th to become the web editor of Kayak Angler Magazine at Rapid Media.

First of all, I just want to make clear that I am leaving by my own volition. I love this job, this magazine and all of the people who work for it. There is only job one in the world (excluding shortstop for the Atlanta Braves) that could pull me away from Popular Woodworking, and a few weeks ago I was offered that job.

I read Kayak Angler Magazine religiously in college. It was the magazine that made me realize that if you worked hard enough, and got a little lucky, you could make a career out of writing about your passions. I was working in woodshops to pay my bills and loved woodworking so when I saw the job opening at Popular Woodworking, I thought it was too good to be true.

Working here has been a dream come true. I got to meet some of my woodworking heroes, I learned something new every day and I made friends that I will keep forever. I am a woodworker. That will never change. I will groan about my shoddy furniture until I have replaced every piece with something that I built, and then I will build some more.

There are so many things that I haven’t done yet. My appetite for knockdown furniture, thanks to Yoav Liberman’s class at Woodworking in America, hasn’t been satisfied. My obsession with Japanese tools and joinery will never cease. And now I have to build a house full of staked furniture thanks to Christopher Schwarz’s “The Anarchist’s Design Book.” You haven’t seen the last of me in the woodworking world. But my professional life is leading me to the water.

When I made it known at the office that I was leaving, and where I was going, David Thiel thought it appropriate to play the opening song from the movie adaptation of “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.” I think he was right. So I will leave you with this.



— Jon Russelburg

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  • Jim McConnell

    Thanks for all your hard work. It’s good to follow passion when you can!

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