In Shop Blog

We may receive a commission when you use our affiliate links. However, this does not impact our recommendations.

Tom 1Sitting down this morning to write this post is both exciting and sad in equal measure. After 18 months here at Popular Woodworking Magazine, I’m moving on to new opportunities ­– tomorrow is my final day.

First the exciting part: Through some hard work and a heaping portion of luck, I’ve won a scholarship to attend graduate school in Shanghai, China, thanks to the generosity of the Chinese government. Starting in September, I’ll embark on a four-year program studying Mandarin and modern Chinese history – quite the switch! And with the move just around the corner, I vacillate from the thrilled to terrified every day. China is a crazy place!

One thing is for sure: Only an opportunity this fantastic could pull me away from the magazine and my excellent coworkers who have given me such a fine introduction the craft – and yes, the same goes for you, our readers. It would be tough to attempt boasting past the fact that I’m still very much a novice, but with any skilled endeavor, one must remain a novice for a while. (But I sure am proud of the bookshelf/wine rack I built with the help of Bob Lang and Megan Fitzpatrick!)

What can I say? You guys gave me the woodworking bug, and I’ll be carrying it all the way to the other side of the world. There are many things to look forward to, but the chance to explore Chinese woodworking is not least among them. And hey, maybe I’ll find the time to write Popular Woodworking Magazine’s first foreign dispatch on the blog.

Thanks again, everyone, for a fantastic time!

– Tom Nunlist

P.S. In case anyone was wondering, “woodworking” in Chinese is “木工”… pronounced “mù gong.”

Product Recommendations

Here are some supplies and tools we find essential in our everyday work around the shop. We may receive a commission from sales referred by our links; however, we have carefully selected these products for their usefulness and quality.

Recent Posts
Showing 18 comments
  • GunnyGene

    Good luck. It will be a major culture shock for you.

  • SMeekWoodworks

    Good luck in China, Tom! It was great to get to meet you this week at the Pop Wood offices. Just let me know when you want one of my Jointers over there with you. 🙂

  • Wilbur

    Sounds like a fantastic opportunity! Have a great time.

    And take notes on anything you learn about Chinese woodworking. We need a lot more information on that.

  • Fred West


    Have a wonderful time with this great opportunity. Back in the dark ages, I was an Asian History/European History major and took some Mandarin as well. I remember most of the history and none of the language. I greatly envy you this but hope that you have the most incredible four years.

    Take care,


  • Tom Nunlist

    Wow guys, thanks for all the well-wishing!!! I’ll miss you!

  • Clay Dowling

    Enjoy! It will, at the very least, be exciting and new.

  • Eric R

    Good luck & farewell Tom.

  • Barquester

    I can’t keep up with all the comings and goings.

  • Bob Miller

    What an adventure! Best of luck to you Tom!

  • almartin

    Best wishes, Tom.

  • PaulJerome

    Hmmm, “thanks to the generosity of the Chinese government” Seriously! Good riddance.

  • jgjones28

    Good luck to you Tom. China can be a very cool experience. My daughter spent the last two summers there-studied at Tianjin Normal University.

  • zdillinger

    Good luck to you Tom!

  • Shawn Nichols

    Cool opportunity Tom. Best of luck.

Start typing and press Enter to search