About Joanna Takes

Joanna Werch Takes has been at Woodworker's Journal since 1998. Her work includes writing and editing for many print magazine departments, among them the "Stumpers" mystery tool department. Joanna is also a frequent contributor to the Woodworker's Journal eZine. Joanna's previous experience includes work as a newspaper reporter. Her woodworking has consisted of small projects such as toys and a storage box. She is active in the Women of Today service organization.

Awards Night

MMPA AwardsGlitz and glamour is usually not part of a woodworking editor’s life — except for once a year, when the members of the MMPA (Minnesota Magazine and Publishing Association) gather for the annual Excellence Awards. Each year, in early November, we get duded up and go out on the town — and, we are proud to say, bring back some awards.

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A Nutty Way of Telling Red from White Oak

A common autumnal sight is a squirrel, busily scurrying to bury his winter food supply of nuts. Have you ever thought about how much these furry little beasts have in common with woodworkers?

For one, both share a fine appreciation for oak.

istockphoto.com

Squirrels, however, may be even more discerning than woodworkers in distinguishing between the red oak and the white oak of this species. You may recall that forester Tim Knight, in his post on this blog entitled Red Oak White Oak: Telling the Difference, mentioned the different sprouting times of red and white oak acorns. What Tim didn’t mention is the “squirrel factor.”

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AWFS Tool Show: WJ as Official Blog Partner

If it’s summer in the woodworking world, it must be time for tool shows! Last week, your intrepid Woodworker’s Journal editors were off to AWFS (the Association of Woodworking and Furnishings Suppliers) 2011  show in Vegas — for which we were the official blog partner!

Click on over to AWFSBLOG.com for new tool insights and other news from the show, with videos that make you feel like you were there along with us!

 

 

And the Winner Is …

November/December 2010 Issue CoverThank you to all who participated in our June Father’s Day Giveaway here on the Woodworker’s Journal Blog. The woodworker who won the one-year subscription to the print Woodworker’s Journal was Rich, who left the comment

“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 mind’s eye.”

We agree, that’s a pretty cool part of woodworking – and so were all the other great aspects you shared of what you like most about woodworking.

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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!

Woodworking: 60 Years Ago

old wj coverHere at Woodworker’s Journal, a staff birthday (no, it’s not Rob — as he will clearly tell you, his birthday is December 11. That’s De-cem-ber el-ev-enth.) has us looking to the past — 60 years ago, to be precise. What was happening in woodworking back in 1951?

Well, it was right in the midst of the post World War II “do-it-yourself” era, the beginning of the birth of modern hobbyist woodworking. Some of the names in woodworking tools back then are names you still see around today: In 1951, Milwaukee Tool introduced the Sawzall, the first reciprocating saw. Featured in the 1951 Delta Milwaukee Industrial Machine Tools catalog were a new Delta/Rockwell 8″ jointer, which weighed in at 400 pounds without its motor and switch. Those, said the catalog, cost extra. And, according to one source, the Shopsmith used in broadcaster Andy Rooney’s shop today is a 1951 model.

Also in 1951, Walter Durbahn, a locally famed TV woodworker of the day, published Walt’s Workshop, a woodworking manual with the same title as his Chicago-area NBC TV show. It joined the year’s other publications like Make Your Own Modern Furniture by Paul Bry, and the ongoing series of “Deltagrams,” published by Delta Machinery from 1931 to 1959.

And, in 1951, the Sauder Woodworking Company of Archbold, Ohio, made their first snap-together table, thereby, according to their website, “creating the ready-to-assemble furniture industry.”

So, Woodworker’s Journal blog readers: do any of you have memories of woodworking from 60 years ago?

Woodworking Around the House

Recently, in our Woodworker’s Journal eZine, WJ editor Rob Johnstone asked readers “which room of your home has received the most attention in your shop?” We received many, many missives from readers sharing with us the lists of projects they’d built for their homes (living rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms — shops …) — and some of them, like those featured here, sent pictures.

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Laguna Tools Starts New Relationship With Rockler

Today’s announcement from Laguna Tools and Rockler Woodworking and Hardware joins the two family-run woodworking companies into a new relationship.Laguna Band Saw — both in-store and online.

Rockler LogoStarting later this month, woodworkers will be able to purchase products like Laguna’s 14-, 16- and 18-inch band saws, 2 and 3hp cyclone dust collectors, hybrid cabinet saw and 3hp cast-iron top cabinet saw while they’re shopping for the hardware and other woodworking supplies sold through Rockler. Ann Rockler Jackson, CEO of Rockler Companies, and Catherine Helshoj, vice president of Laguna Tools, have indicated that additional products will follow throughout the year.

Both women also cited similar commitments to quality, customer service and innovation between the two companies, which have a combined 81-year history. “We are thrilled to offer the legendary quality of Laguna power tools to our woodworking customers, and to help Laguna expand their presence across the country,” said Rockler Jackson, while Helshoj’s statement was, “We’re very selective about our business alliances, and we’re proud to be affiliated with such an outstanding organization.”

Those of us here at Woodworker’s Journal are pleased to share this information with our readers. This is good news for woodworkers and good news for our industry.