I’ve had the title “editor” at this magazine for about five or six years now, and I’ve found that it is mostly a toothless position. I don’t really control when your magazine arrives in your mailbox, the condition it is in or the tide chart in southern New Jersey.
But there are a few things that I can rule with an iron fist (but not when working on the powered jointer). In our woodshop here in Cincinnati, I want you to build your own workbench. I don’t care if you ignore my guidelines on the process (though you will hear about it the entire time). I don’t care if you use pine, maple, ash or even foam core.
But I want it to be your workbench. I want it to inspire you to step up to it every day and do something that will amaze me. I want it to be a reflection of you, your work and the tools you take up.
So this week has been a trying one for me. Megan Fitzpatrick has been building a workbench for her home shop, and I have tried to be helpful. I’ve offered advice on the shape of the chop of her face vice.
I offered to help her mill the complex blocks for her Benchcrafted Glide Vise.
I’ve taken photos of her working on her bench that I could sell on the Internet.
I won’t deny it. Ask me for my PayPal address.
The point here is that Megan has become more than just a managing editor at Popular Woodworking Magazine. This week she has broken free of the constraints imposed by all the other woodworkers in our shop and has become one of us.
And you should congratulate her.
It’s hard enough to earn the respect of three other grumpy guys who are set in their ways. But it is even harder when you are a woman. You might not agree with me on that point, but I believe it to be true.
So next time you see Megan (perhaps this weekend at Woodworking in America), you should know that this bench is all her doing, from the proportions to the joinery. Yeah, I got to help. But I was second fiddle to her designs and her decisions.
– Christopher Schwarz
– Our new “The Workbench Design Book” is just about to ship. Get yours now before someone on the Internet says I’m a jerkweed and a sellout. When that happens, I’m going to go cry to my mama.