It’s Not Easy Being Green

A New Hero?

“I want to thank you for making an impression on my son at the woodworking show in Saint Paul, Minnesota last week. My son is nine years old and is turning towards the woodshop with more interest. His two heroes are Roy Underhill and Norm, but since the woodworking show there is now a third. At the opening of the show, he heard a man making a comment about being old and, looking up, he saw the guy whose picture is on the e-mail we get every month. He proceeded to tell you that you do not look that old. You were flattered, told him how smart he was and gave him two collector’s editions of the Woodworker’s Journal. I am sure he will not forget the generosity. ‘This important writer spoke to me and gave me two magazines!’ he said to his classmates in school on Monday. With Daylight Savings Time, I now get an extra hour of watching my son practice mortise and tenon joints from boards out of the scrap box. It does not get any better than this.” – David Hebert

Out of the mouths of babes, eh? Of course, we’ve always regarded Rob as our own personal hero, but it is nice to know that others are catching on. – Editor

He Seems to Like It

Fortunately, not everyone agrees with the writer in the last issue. In fact some are downright complimentary about us. – Editor

“I subscribe to several woodworking magazines as well as online woodworking newsletters. Of the online newsletters, the Woodworker’s Journal eZine is by far the best. I enjoy the articles, I keep current on new products, I learn new and recommended techniques, and I laugh my butt off in the typo corner. The other online newsletters tend to focus more on pushing products or plans or books. I’m actually a few years (yes, years) behind on reading my woodworking magazines (they keep stacking up), but it is so much easier to read my eZine. I guess what I’m saying is that I’m too lazy to read a complete woodworking magazine at one sitting, but I can always read the entire eZine, from Rob Johnstone’s editorial all the way through the ‘also’ section. Thanks for a great, concise, compact, to-the-point publication.” – David MacPherson

It’s Not Easy Being Green

One of the comments in the last issue about ecological wood usage was, “For humans to think that they could impact an ecosystem as strong and resilient as the earth’s is an absurd exercise in naiveté and narcissism.” Several folks had comments about that comment. – Editor

“It’s very true that Mother Nature will correct and adjust for any insult we mere humans may lay upon her. She may kill 6 billion of us in the process, but the Earth and its self sustaining ecosystem will continue on.” – Henry Rowe

“Improper farming techniques through the early 20th century led to the 1930s ‘dust bowl,’ leaving up to half a million Midwesterners homeless. All done by humans. In retrospect, all avoidable as well.” – Devon C Miller

One reader with a last name eerily appropriate to his sentiment addressed the comment that vendors will say they are selling green wood just to make a buck. – Editor

“Yes, some will try to scam us over green wood, but that’s no reason not to think about it a bit. A few years ago, I started collecting small fallen branches and such from trees in my yard instead of raking them into the trash. I cut them into very small pieces and left them on the concrete patio over the winter. In the spring, birds removed almost all of it for their nests. The amount they use each spring is at least equivalent to two large trash bags. It’s a little bit, but if woodworkers are encouraged to think about solutions, I am sure they will come up with amazing ideas because woodworkers are among the most creative people on the planet.” – Wayne M. Hope

Is it just us or is there some odd connection between last names and this topic? This writer tried to get to the root of the problem, so to speak. – Editor

“If it is true that construction and demolition accounts for about 40% of the waste, then we woodworkers wouldn’t have much of an impact, except by possibly making businesses more aware of the problem.” – John T. Root, Jr.

Others, like the next writer, pointed out that there is more than one issue being discussed. – Editor

“We are talking about two different things here. ‘Green’ or eco-friendly means harvesting wood in a way as to create a minimal impact to the environment. Some see it as not creating soil erosion, others as harvest without disturbance of threatened or endangered species, and some consider the ‘human environment.’ Sustainable harvest is vastly different and means the wood harvested is replaced by more of the same species. In the United States, sustainability and environmentally sound forestry practices are alive and well. Most timber companies practice some form of sustainable forestry, but private landowners often do not. For example, since St. Joe Paper Company closed their mill, millions of acres of once pristine longleaf pine forest in Florida are now being developed. My advice is buy what you need, stick to North American species if possible, and enjoy woodworking.” – Timothy C. Knight

Inevitably, no matter what we print, someone will be annoyed by it. – Editor

“I am canceling my eZine subscription. I thought you were a woodworking magazine, not a political magazine.” – Bill Kilishek

We’re not sure how concern for wood availability constitutes a political topic, but we’re fairly certain that woodworkers, most of whom have a vested interest in making sure wood is available for a long while, span the range of political affiliations. – Editor

Typo Corner

And in this corner, weighing in at least once a day, we celebrate how easy it is to inadvertently change a meaning with but a single keystroke. – Editor

“I tried glue and braids on the corners of picture frames.”

Interesting idea, but we think we’ll stick to the more traditional brads. – Editor

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