Irons, Plans and Some Very Puzzling Letters

Figure Eight 

After we sent a reader to Rockler to find the figure eight fasteners he was seeking, this reader from Down Under told us where to find them in his neck of the woods. – Editor

“Having just built a dining table, I can reliably inform your reader that in Australia those fasteners are available at Bunnings Warehouse. Great magazine; keep up the good work.” – Jerry Everard, Canberra, Australia

“Perhaps the reader would have had more luck finding them if he knew their proper name. According to the book Making Authentic Craftsman Furniture, they are called table irons.” – Rann Fox

We doubt it. A search for “table irons” online yielded several sites that sold a special rectangular iron used for smoothing the cloth on snooker tables, but not one figure eight shaped fastener. – Editor

The Best Laid Plans

“There used to be two free plans in the eZine each time. Why is there now only one?” – Johnny Swafford

There are still two free plans. In issue 183, they were a stool and a rocking horse. They were divided by an ad, so you had to keep scrolling down below the ad to find the second one, but it was there. Incidentally, there is also a third, more complex plan offered in the Premium edition of the eZine. – Editor

New Format 

“I have been an eager and avid reader of the eZine for a couple of years now, and I applaud your effort to update the format to be more contemporary. However, the dark gray background has made it very hard to read, especially the blue and light gray lettering. Even the regular text is somewhat of a strain. Please lighten up the background or even revert back to white.” – Bob Korpi

We’re a bit puzzled. The eZine pages show up on our computer as white with black printing, while the headings show up as white printing on either green or orange backgrounds. This sounds like an issue with an individual’s computer settings.– Editor 

More Puzzling Than the Story Itself

Our story about the rise and fall of Puzzlecraft, the business created and then folded by Steve Strickland, drew some very unusual comments. – Editor

“If you want to let that guy pretend Iraq affected his business, you need to give equal time to the reverse political opinion.” – Ken Sternberg

We doubt Steve was pretending. It is not in his nature, and he certainly had nothing to gain by it. Nor did he, or we, espouse any particular political opinion. The curious thing is that even those who saw a political message were not in agreement about which side was being presented, leaving us wondering just exactly what the reverse political opinion would be. – Editor

“I’m not sure if you were just trying to be politically correct, but I think the lesson to be learned is if a country decides to be a bully, no matter what the justification, the rest of the world will see the behavior for what it is: bullying.” – Mark Evan Slafkes

Others, for no apparent reason, simply refused to believe what Steve said. – Editor

“Strickland’s assertion that Iraq is to blame for the decline of his business is not supported by the facts he presents.” – Dale Nichols

We thought it was, and were certainly willing to believe him when he told us it was. After all, he was there; we weren’t. – Editor

“I read Woodworker’s Journal to learn about woodworking, not to be preached to about U.S. policy. The U.S. economy is and has been thriving in all market areas.” – Bob Morrison

We agree that the Journal is about woodworking, and saw nothing but a woodworking business story in Steve’s tale. And while the economy may be thriving, that does not mean this one business was not affected. In fact, this sort of thing happens more than we might think. Read on, and you will see what we mean. – Editor

“I read with interest your story about your puzzle business. Just to let you know how strange this phenomenon can be, I’ll relate my story. For years. I have operated a publishing business creating and selling teaching manuals used at the technical and university levels. Though operating from Canada, I sold books to about 50 universities in the U.S .and had been doing this for about seven years. Then 9/11 happened, and all the orders from the U.S. just stopped cold with the exception of just one university in Arizona, which still continues to order regularly. I often wonder at how many other stories there are like this one. I know of several other Canadian business that lost all of their U.S. sales overnight after 9/11. By the way, your puzzles are marvelous.” – Wayne M. Hope

Just to make sure we were not missing something, we checked with Steve to get his take on this.  We’ll give him the last word. – Editor 

“My interview with Michael Dresdner concerned the loss of my small woodworking business due to an unexpected event, exactly like a fire, tornado or flood. It shows how events in far-off places can cost you your job. I fail to see how reporting this story meant supporting or opposing any political stance.” – Steve Strickland

Typo Corner

Our lighthearted homage to keyboard foibles sometimes leaves us wondering if what we see as a typing error is actually a commentary on our wisdom, or lack thereof. – Editor

“I hope that you could help us with more of your sagged advice.”

While many of our parts are indeed starting to sag, we were hoping our advice was still holding up. Apparently not. – Editor

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