Father’s Day Giveaway From WJ!

We’re taking a little break from our regular routine here at the Woodworker’s Journal Blog to shake things up a bit. We’re adding some great new authors to the blog, bloggers who’ll be enlightening you on a regular basis about topics like wood finishing, wood species and wood, well, in general.

If you’re a reader of the Woodworker’s Journal print magazine, you’ll likely recognize the names of our newest blog contributors: finishing expert Michael Dresdner, silviculturist (that’s a tree scientist) Tim Knight, and woodworking and tool expert Sandor Nagyszalanczy.

If you’re not a reader of the print issue — well, you’ve got a great chance to check it out! One commenter on this blog post will win a free one-year subscription to Woodworker’s Journal. (Don’t worry, current subscribers: if you’re picked as the winner, you’ll get a free year added to your current subscription.)

So, while our Father’s Day offering is not a cheesy card implying that you, your dad, your brother, or anybody else you might happen to know would be likely to nail your thumbs together in the shop, we still hope you’ll appreciate our effort to celebrate the big day all the same. (And if you’re the wrong gender to be a father; that’s A-OK with us. Hey, you had a father somewhere along the line, right? It’s all good.)

How do you qualify to win this giveaway? It’s so simple! Just leave a comment on this blog post, telling us your favorite part of woodworking. If you haven’t posted on our blog before, you’ll be asked to enter your email — which won’t be published, but will be how we’ll contact you if you’re the winner. We’ll use a random number generator to choose the winning comment after the giveaway closes at midnight Central Daylight Time on June 29. We’ll contact the winner by email, and they’ll have 72 hours to respond, or another winner will be selected. We’ll let everybody know who won in another post on this blog.

You can keep coming back here to check us out, or you can sign up to receive blog entries by email or RSS feed by clicking here. We’re a friendly bunch here at the Woodworker’s Journal Blog — editor in chief Rob Johnstone shares tales like how a simple idea to plant some spring seedlings led to him building a full-fledged garden cart; field editor Chris Marshall has shared more than once about his super-popular miter saw station; and we even showcase projects readers like you have built, like this nifty apothecary cabinet. Sometimes, our staff does things like participate in a Guitars for Vets guitar build, and we share that experience here, too. All of that, plus our new regular blog columnists, add up to some great woodworking reading.

Whether you win this giveaway or not, we hope to see you around!

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  • ben

    my favorite part of woodworking is finishing a project and all the lines are as square (or at least line up as planned) and the piece just looks great because of all the TLC put into it.

  • I love the moment when I realize that the pile of parts and pieces I have so diligently been working on have come together as something that was only seen in my minds eye.

  • daniel

    one of my favorite things to do is making my on moldings no mater how simple or complicated it’s just knowing i made every piece of my project

  • Karl_S

    My favorite part of woodworking has to be the use of my senses. The feel of the wood, the smell of the various pieces (especially cherry) when worked, and the pleasure putting together nice pieces brings to my eyes. then again, the noise can be a bit much, so maybe it is that I can make my father a gift instead of giving him a tie…

  • Ted

    The look and comments when other people see what I have made.

  • Dave

    For me the best parts of woodworking are the beginning and end of a project. In the beginning I enjoy (usually) the surprises I find when I start milling rough lumber. A board that was ugly in the rough often reveals more beauty than anticipated when the outer layer is removed. At the end of a project it’s the looks on the faces of the recipients knowing that my creation has brought them that joy. I never get tired of hearing “Wow, you made that?!”.

  • Geoff

    I enjoy the process of planning out the project. The vision of what is to come and then comparing it to the finished product to see the dream come to life

  • Vinnie

    “Our Father was a Carpenter, and a Woodworker,and he left a trail of sawdust allowing us to create Footprints there in our own way”

  • Louis

    My favourite part of woodworking is to make something out of the ordinary from a plain peace of wood and convincing my family and friends that it can be done if you just think creative,out of the box.Seeing your project come alive is pure enjoyment!!

  • Andy

    I love to go back to a place decades later and see something I made still there and in use. Parts of me will live long after I am gone.

  • steven franklin

    Wood turning is the greatest. The wood will tell you what it wants to be.

  • Jim Severson

    I always try to do woodworking to the best of my ability. Our nation has become a country of consumers and it makes feel better to build something from scratch. It doesn’t matter if it is from my plans or from a purchased plan, I use the best wood that I can afford at the time and do the very best I can. If I don’t do the best I can on each step, I will see the error as long as the finished project is around my house.

  • Reg

    Creativity and challenge are what I find most compelling about woodworking. A friend asked that I help with a Scout project. I had to make real trim limb legs ( with bark ) join 2″x6″ rails to support a table 32″ x 54″. I had to create a jig that would allow me to rout a haunch mortise at the top/side of each leg ( which were different diameters and not straight ) that would accept my 2″x6″ supports. I built a 3 sided jig with wood screws through the sides to hold the various shapes solid while my router rode on top of the jig. It all worked, and the smile of my neighbor added to my great satisfaction.
    That is woodworking…the joy.

  • J G

    Woodworking to me takes me back to working on projects with my Dad and watching in amazement at things my Grandfather would make with hand tools and home made power tools. Needless to say, my Grandfahter’s power tools did not have any guards or safety devices of any kind. His deep respect for his tools and his fingers kept both in great shape. Thanks for the opportunity and space to express theses thoughts.

  • Woodworking, to me, is an ongoing learning process … I love it when I learn something new, or pick up a new technique or skill, or figure out a better way to do something I have been doing for a long time.

    I recently started a podcast and finding new places for information and contributors is a very new when it comes to my woodworking. But, so far, an enjoyable endeavor with good results.

  • Sarah W

    I do woodturning, and the best part of that for me is making something beautiful and useful out of a block of wood. I enjoy the care that is put into each project and quietly working at my lathe. I also really enjoy giving my work away as gifts to family and friends and seeing the surprise on their face when they found out that i made it!

  • Pingback: Giveaways for June 22, 2011()

  • Matt C

    Sawdust – as close to potpourri as I get!

  • My husband has built so many things for our home. I’m not sure what his favorite part is probably designing and building something not done before. My favorite part is all the cool stuff he makes! 🙂

  • Ricky

    My favorite thing about woodworking is there are no screaming bosses, spouses, kids, no ticking timeclocks, no deadlines, just a perfect outlet to use to evaporate all of the stresses of our normal existance, with something nice to give away, look at, or use at the end of it all to boot!

  • Dominic Palazzola

    my favorite part of woodworking is making something for a family member, other projects can drag on for months but if its for my wife or daughter i cant stop till its finished and the joy i feel completing them is overwhelming.

  • Gordie C

    I’m relatively new to woodworking so my favorite part is doing a new technique with the tools that I have. A new joint, laminating sheets of wood, type of finish, etc.

  • chris kanda

    My favorite part is when I am fitting the pieces togather and it really looks like what I have in my mind.

  • Wes Bielinski

    I love it when I turn a piece of plain wood & and I uncover some gorgeous figure

  • DR

    I going with the post-project beer. That’s when I see how everything has come together. I tend to procrastinate on projects, so it’s great to finish one and not have the deadline pressure. It’s also great to see the looks when the intended recipient receives it.

  • Theresa

    I love woodworking with my boyfriend! It’s some together time and I get to learn new things and he gets to do what he loves!

  • Jerrie

    I like being able to make something unique and then giving it away. I have a table saw and the best thing I’ve made so far is a Buckle Display Case Table that sits behind a sofa. The table is made from weathered fence boards. My friend has an eight year old nephew who is quite a rodeo star and has won lots of trophy buckles, and now they are able to display them, without them gathering dust! They have framed photos on the shelf below. It’s great when folks love what ya made.

  • Jeff

    My favorite part is just spending time in the shop. I spend all day every day behind a desk and to simply have time to work with my hands is a joy!

  • Tom

    I love the look on the recipient’s face when I present the finished project!

  • I enjoy creating something my wife appreciates. While by and large things I’ve made don’t mean much to others, they mean something special to her and that’s all that counts.
    She recently bought a distressed dresser and my first thought on seeing it was – Gee “I can fix those dings and dents”. So much for guys knowing all the meanings of distressed……

  • Kirk Olson

    My favorite part is being able to hold the project in my hands that I have thought about, designed and then built.

  • The favorite part of woodworking for me is, whether furniture or turnings, is the thrill of seeing the wood come to life when the finish is applied. I am age 75 and I have enjoyed making furniture for years, but it is woodturning that has become an obsession.

  • Paul S

    My favorite aspect of woodworking is creating beautiful objects that are unique and enjoyable by others. I especially like working with wood that still has its natural edges and/or faces.

  • Gary dunlap


  • Poppa Jim

    For me, its the whole process…from the idea that spurs the design, to the wood selection, milling, parts making, assembly and finish. Watching your creation come to fruition is so satisfying, whether you are a craftsman or just a weekend hobbiest.

  • Jack B

    My favorite part of woodworking is giving away the things I have made.

  • Favorite part of woodworking? The opportunity to get out in the shop and just enjoy a little alone time with wood and tools, creating something for that someone special to enjoy.

  • Carl van Katwijk

    I like every aspect of woodworking. I have a little sawmill, solar kiln and an adequate shop. I love the entire experience. From finding the trees, cutting the logs (we joke about this being a woodworker’s pornography as we anticipate each new board that comes off) to planning a project with the boards. I love the feel, smell, creative thrill of building something that I think is beautiful and maybe someone else will like. I get a sense of satisfaction that can rarely be experienced anywhere else.

  • Just finished two Life Saver Chairs for a friend of ours, with a removable table for food and drink connecting them. Seeing over 130 pieces of wood come together completing an idea that developed while we were all discussing what we thought would be a nice addition to their place overlooking the TN River, more enjoyable. The idea of Life Saver Type Chairs was suggested so my Son, Steve and I decided to build them. It is so satisfying taking on a project that you know will be appreciated by a friend, we find it very satisfying. They turned out perfectly and our friend saw them for the first time yesterday and loved them,. He’s picking them up Thursday and is thrilled with the chairs. That’s what I find so satisfying in woodworking.

  • Duke

    Honestly, my favorite time is during glue up. Watching pieces of wood come together to make something always gives me a sense of accomplishment!

  • Rob

    My favorite part of woodworking is the appreciation from whoever receives the final product.

  • wayne

    my favorite part of woodworking is haning out in my shop, and the smell off sawdust when i start to cut wood for my projects.

  • Donn

    My fovorite part of woodworking is the actual construction phase. I enjoy the cutting and fitting of a project as well as the assembly.

  • Robert

    I’m new to woodworking, but so far I really enjoy creating something that is functional from wood.

  • Vernon

    The thing I like best about woodworking is my wife! No, I did not hit the wrong key and no I am not nuts. My wife and I met in 2007, we are both around 60, she is an Electrical Engineer/Patent Attorney and I am a Turfgrass Agronomist. We discovered early we both had a love of woodworking. We were married in 2008 and spend as much time as we can creating, designing, or repairing pieces that have had a little to much “love”. So the best thing I like about woodworking is being able to do it with my wife. Probably a close second is the time we get to share with our grandson in the shop. He has his own work bench and tools!!

  • VWT

    I love being able to “lose” myself in the current project, concentrating on the challenges presented, and essentially shutting out the rest of the world to allow my entire focus to be in the present. It is then very rewarding to see the raw materials transform into completed (hopefully attractive and/or useful) objects.

  • Ron

    The gratification is when I finish a project that took twice as long as I planed and step back take a long look and pat myself on the back for a job well done . Of coarse other comments from friends when they say Wow you do great work . The smell of wood when I walk into my shop gives me a eurphoric sense, feeling as I’m connected with nature.

  • Mine has to be the time i spend with my grand-kids. Teaching them how to sand and mark the projects.

  • Michael Wright

    I’m new to woodworking, but I am looking forward to working on a lot of the projects I have been reading about on this ezine

  • Dave Sr

    My favorite is very simple, take a rough cut board and watch it turn into something very special. That very first pass through the planer is very exciting and it continues to build from that point forward.

  • John

    My favorite part of woodworking is creating original pieces. Knowing that it was my idea, design, and hard work that made the project a success. My favorite original was a little pink nightstand my 4 year old daughter helped me design for her room. Makes me smile everytime she uses it.

  • Mike

    My favorite part of woodworking is creating a unique design that is uniquely mine. To much of what is available doesn’t have much style or at least not the style that I like. When designing there is nothing to hold back your creative side… if you don’t know how to make it, that just leaves you the opportunity to learn a new technique or create a new solution that is all your own.

  • Ted Arrington

    My great-grandfather was a cabinet maker who came to Texas from Missouri in 1911 in a covered wagon. My grandfather was a carpenter, and my Dad was a woodcrafter. I especially enjoy woodturning and hope to build a treadle-powered lathe one day. My adult son now builds furniture, and we are beginning on a sailboat together. When I am working with wood, I like to think that I am part of a family tradition that is now five generations long.

  • Donna Siegl

    Gee! My interest is HIGH! My time is NOT! I’d love to get involved with woodworking—I love the smell of wood, and I see some really beautiful work in wood—in fact, my cousin is a master carver! So–my interest remains high—maybe I need to “carve” out some time to get involved!

  • Larry

    As an aspiring woodworker and totally amateur wood carver, I love the scent as new wood is revealed, and the emerging form begins to take shape. Creating anything from the whimsy of my mind is always the greatest creative flow, and the pleasure I get each and every time I pick up my knife or look at previous works, never fades.

  • Michael

    It’s very rewarding to see my creations used and loved. My daughters each have a cherry stump jewelry box I made them. On the back I wrote them each a little something right from the heart. It’s burned in the pieces forever. I’ve also made them each a custom wall hanging shelf they helped me design. They will cherish these for the rest of their lives! BTW, much of my inspiration comes from the mag and website. Thanks!

  • John

    The thing I enjoy the most is, the looks on the faces of the people that I give my wookworking projects to. I love the smell of the wood as I’m cutting on the saw or lathe.

  • I love the challenges involved in learning and performing all the many different facets of woodworking. The sheer volumes of information on the internet and in print has been a huge boon to this adventure and adds fuel to the fire on a daily basis. I only wish I had more time to explore it all.

  • Steve

    I really enjoy trying new techniques and creating something unique. I also like building new more efficient shop furniture and fixtures.

  • Ray Niedbalski Jr

    I’m sure that most of us would agree that there are too many things wonderful about woodworking to single out one favorite item. Foremost is the material itself, appreciating that it was once a living thing, most likely much older than yourself. Choosing from the myriad varieties for the intended result. Appreciation of the many steps needed to mold the raw material into a starting point for your project. The limitless ways you can use the material to create function, fiction or, simply, beauty. The satisfaction of arriving at either your initial vision or a surprise… rarely the same.
    I must admit that high on my list of woodworking favorites lies timber framing, a most wondrous form of woodworking requiring a high degree of skill, imagination, and great attention to detail resulting in a durable, functional, and awe inspiring product. I could go on and on…

  • First of all I am a scroller and my greatest joy is to have a customer pick up one of my pieces and say something nice about it. I don’t use plywood as I feel a nonwoodworker should know he/she has a real piece of real wood in their hands, so my medium in 5/8″ hard and exotic wood, mainly red oak. It is fun for me to do more difficult patterns to see how far I can push myself in my trade. There no doubt that once I am in my shop and cutting, I am in another world that only the smell of fresh cut wood could deliver.

  • Glenn

    I like the challenge of projects/tasks that I have never done before. Before I research how to accomplish a task, I like to sit down and think through how I would do it. What machines will I use, what jigs I need to create to accomplish the task, and how I will overcome any obstacles. Then I search out methods that others have used. I compare my idea to theirs. Sometimes I use my method, sometimes their method, and a lot of times, I will try to combine both methods to better accomplish the task. Then I like to share my ideas with others. It all comes down to continuing to learn the craft.

  • Brad Drury

    My favorite part of woodworking is the accolades I get. Weather it’s from family, or freinds, (I recently scrollsawed a desk clock as a retirement present for the vetranery Dr. I worked for, and everybody OOO’d and AHH’d! over it,) I just like the work being apreceated. (Weather I get paid or not).

  • Dan Hergott

    I love machining material through my router/shaper. A flat piece of wood is transformed to a beautiful shaped piece of material.

    Dan Hergott

  • Dick Langill

    In the course of my seventy-eight years, I’ve renovated houses, built decks and sheds, toys like rocking horses, doll houses, bird houses, nick-knacks, furniture and entertainment centers. All of it has been a lifetime of satisfying hobby type woodworking part time. But, now, I’m building a ship in an air conditioned corner of my garage!

    I retired from the US Navy on board USS Constitution in Boston in 1993, eventually also retiring from my HVAC/E business and teaching HVACR in a Massachusetts Trade High School. Since moving to Arizona I’ve continued woodworking from my garage and, eventually, in September 1999, the idea of ship modeling hit me. I laid the keel of my “scratch built” model of the USS Constitution and it has been an on-going, and probably the most satisfying, woodworking project I’ve ever attempted. Building a miniature ship (this one is about 36 inches long) takes a lot of patience and calls up most of the woodworking experience and knowledge I’ve acquired….all in miniature. Planking the decks, turning and raising masts and yards, and much more unique wood fitting than most other woodwork would present. Perfect for a small garage area.

    Once built, I plan to build and enclose the ship in an oak display cabinet along with a flag that was presented and flown from Old Ironsides. I’m a happy retired sailor and my next ship will be the US Brig Niagara which operated on Lake Erie during the 1800 era that Constitution was fighting for us on the Atlantic.

    I’d really like to hear from other model ship builders…Not many here on the desert. Thanks for giving me a little writing space.

  • Kevin

    I’m currently in Afghanistan, working as a technician for the Canadian military. In my free time here, which is scarce, is dream of getting back to Canada and getting my little 2-car garage workshop up and running again. I’m hoping that, in the next few years, I can find an enjoyable project that is worth selling, so I can retire to my shop and continue with the real joy of creation. I love getting the online updates from Woodworker’s Journal, and every chance I get, I try to apply what I’ve learned – even to basic projects here for my fellow soldiers. I’m the go-to guy for building simple projects like laptop holders for bunk spaces and fold-away work-tops for tight spaces. Thanks – and keep up the good work.

  • Mike

    My favorite part of woodworking is the feeling of accomplishment when the project is finished and enjoyed by the receiver.

  • David Haney

    My Dad called me one day 4 or 5 years ago and said “come get my tools, I just cant see good enough any more to be able to continue”. Recently after my 3rd major project, (1)bookcase,(2)amish sideboard,(3)desk, I revisited my dad and found out that my GF was a woodworker too. I had never built anything before but read every woodworking book I could get my hands on. The desk I built was a plan of my own and not without mistakes. The more I do and the more I read, the more excited I am. I built all the projects for my wife, but my freinds/family wanted to see them and now they’re on Facebook. I love the whole thing from start to finish but most of all cutting and sanding the wood. Every time I would walk by my project I would “feel the wood”. My wife made fun of me but it was more satisfaction than pleasure.

  • José Antonio Saráchaga

    Hola para mi la madera es incomparable, pues cuando veo los muebles que se an fabricado y se les da el terminado es increible pues es una experiencia especial
    admirar la cabecera ,la mesa,el tocador y todos los muebles que emos fabricado con
    poca herramienta es una gran satisfaccion. y ahora que encontre la pagina de ustedes me puse contento y espero que me sea de mucha ayuda.
    su amigo José Antonio