Talking in the Virtual Shop

I can almost hear you thinking … this guy again; back so soon? This is the third issue of the Woodworker’s Journal eZine, and by now, those of you who have been with us from the beginning are getting the feel of how often you’ll be finding good woodworking information in your e-mail box. And for those of you who haven’t met me on the “print” side of things, I’d like to take a moment to introduce myself. My name is Rob Johnstone and I am the editor of both the print edition and this electronic ‘zine as well. I’ve been a woodworker for more than 20 years. My father and uncle owned a cabinet shop and I started working summers there while still in junior high. At first, because I was but a callow youth, it was just a way to make money; but then I was bitten by the woodworking bug. I became infatuated with the power and creativity of woodworking. It was pretty much over for me from then on. I’ve been woodworking in one form or another ever since, and I must say, I’ve heard many other woodworkers talk about that same experience. I’ve built cabinets, guitars, restaurant interiors, trade show displays, chairs, tables, dressers, rocking horses, beds, desks (computer and traditional) … well you get the idea: all for money or fun, and all because I’m a woodworker.

More recently, I’ve turned to writing about woodworking (I waited until spell-check programs attained a suitable level of sophistication). It’s a lot of fun, but a little one sided. I miss the shop talk, comparing notes, sharing ideas and braggin’ to my uncle. Woodworkers, as you all know, like to talk about woodworking almost as much as they like to do it. That’s why I pushed to start this eZine. This is much more like talking with woodworkers than writing to them. For instance, in three short days we received more than 20 pictures of the most god-awful messy shops I’ve ever seen (you’ll see the winners in the next issue). It warmed my heart to know that we’re not alone when it comes to searching for missing tools.

So, I’m trying to reestablish a network of electronic shop buddies. A little back and forth, a few arguments about the best technique or the most appropriate tool. And guess what? It’s working. Believe it or not, our eZine community has grown to about 100,000 woodworkers! Just remember, this is the first woodworker’s eZine on the planet. Your input is critical to creating the right environment. See you in the shop.

Rob Johnstone, Woodworker’s Journal

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