As our 2010 year progresses, so does LumberJocks.com!
As you can see our LJ eMag has a new look - same wonderful content (if I do say so myself) and hopefully the same "feel". Ah - changes - don't you just love it? Opening the door to new possibilities!
I hope you enjoy this issue of our eMag and as always I would love to hear your comments about the content as well as the new look. You can post your feedback here.
LumberJocks' Winter Woodworking Awards 2010
Back in December I put the challenge out to have 100 entries for our Awards event. You definitely met the challenge! 151 entries. That's an impressive number - as impressive as each of the amazing entries.
Now that the deadline for entries has come and gone, it is time to select our Award Recipients. Who gets the honour of voting in the winners? You do! As long as you have posted one project on the site you are eligible to vote for your top five favourite entries. Which of the 151 projects do you think represents the greatest creativity and sense of "Yin Yang"? Be sure to read the entrants' project description to fully understand the woodworker's "yin yang" vision.
Again we'd like to thank Rockler and The Wood Whisperer for their sponsorship of this great event.
Cast your vote now...
The voting deadline is February 7, 2010 at 3 PM CDT
For more information on the Awards, visit Martin's blog here.
Recently, we were saddened by the news of the death of one of our fellow LumberJocks, Rick (Bowyer).
Our thoughts go out to his loved ones. Rick's name has been added to our "In Memoriam" page.
Checking The Event Calendar
▪ nothing sheduled for February. Check the Event Calendar for future dates.
▪ speaking of calendars -- you might be interested in our new official "LumberJocks Calendar 2010".
The small profit goes to support our LJ site.
LumberJocks Around the World
Who's In Your Area?
▪ looking for other woodworkers in your area? Start a blog and send me a note and I'll add it to our eMag! And if some plans are confirmed for a picnic or other LJ event, send us an email with the following information for the Event Calendar: Title, Date(s), Location, Description (1 paragraph), Link to blog or forum post with more details.
▪ Northeast Ohio
A LumberJock-Initiated Fundraiser
LumberJocks are amazing people! EricFRP is organizing a fundraiser to support our site! He has generously donated this beautiful wood (you just have to see it!) and some gorgeous pen blanks for this event.
The auction will take place in early February so keep an eye on his blog series for the details. You don't want to miss out on this opportunity to score some fantastic wood as well as support our site.
Thanks to EricFRP for this generous event.
▪ The "Ultimate LumberJock Challenge" is still being formulated. Check out the latest information here.
Above & Beyond
I received an email from Grizzman a while ago and I just had to add it to the eMag: "...if you don't know some of my details, I'll tell you that I've been categorized as disabled for about 5 years now, [...]..my shop is heated with a wood stove that I found is having to be replaced..this was mentioned in my blog...not looking for anything ..I got tons of replies, all wishing me good health..well this morning I received a call from a handy man service, he has been hired by someone, who wanted to be kept anonymous, to come in and fix my wood stove ..this is one of the best gifts I've ever gotten...and from someone who is a Jock, I'm in awe over this wonderful gesture.. this has just brought me to tears..and its all because I belong to this wonderful web site" - grizzman
To the Unknown LumberJock: on behalf of grizzman and everyone touched by this story, bless your heart and thank you for your generosity!
Read more about the woodstove here...
The following in an interview with Philip Edwards. Philip is one of our longtime members here at LumberJocks.com.
1) when and how did you find LumberJocks.com? and how has the site changed since you joined?
Philip: Martin approached me when he was starting the site and asked me if I'd like to participate to get the site up and running. Lumberjocks has bloomed, and its wonderful to see so many active members here.
2) When did you get started in woodworking and why?
Philip: I was inspired by Norm Abram's "New Yankee Workshop" - after watching the show I just had to get involved. Years of tool purchases, making furniture and yet more tool purchases followed.
3) who has been your biggest influence regarding your woodworking journey?
Philip: James Krenov - he was a huge inspiration. After reading his books and seeing photo's of his work it was like having my eyes opened. To make a piece of furniture, not to a rigid plan, but to be influenced by the grain patterns and mood of the timber itself. His thoughts on hand tools and in particular, hand planes, were also very influential.
4) when I think of "Philip Edwards" I think of planes. where does your interest in planes come from and what your future goals regarding planes? (oh and how many planes do you have?)
Philip: Once I started to use hand tools I was instantly attracted to hand planes, those wonderful silky shavings. But it took a long time before I was able to tune and use a plane to my satisfaction. And this intrigued me even more - I began to research hand planes and their history and became hooked. I made a few wooden planes and was asked by the editor of "The Woodworker" magazine in England to write an article on making a Jack plane. This was well received and I was asked to write additional articles which became a series of nine projects, each month making a different plane.
After this I was regularly contacted by people wanting me to build them planes - after building a few I realized that there was potentially a business opportunity. I started up "Philly Planes", and here I am three years later, the only professional wooden plane maker in England.
As for planes - I currently have over 100 planes in the workshop. And I've made over 250 for customers to date.
5) what is your number one tip for people who are interested in restoring an old plane?
Philip: Sharpen the iron - you'd be amazed at the difference a sharp iron can make.
6) what challenges have you encountered during your woodworking journey?
Philip: Finding a good supply of timber. Hardwoods are difficult to obtain locally and I have to travel a fair distance to find them. I now hoard timber and have become comfortable with storing it for years before using it - the more you season the timber the more predictable it is to use.
7) what is the best/favourite project that you ever created?
Philip: I made a Krenov inspired cabinet on legs a few years ago. It was the first project I built that I had no specific use for - I just wanted to build a beautiful cabinet for the pleasure of it. The cabinet lives in the hallway of our home and every time I walk past it I remember how much I enjoyed building it, and it gives me a warm glow inside.
8) do you have a website/blog/etc?
Philip: My website is at www.phillyplanes.co.uk and my blog is at http://philsville.blogspot.com
9) any other tidbits, information, wisdom, etc you'd like to share
Philip: Learn to sharpen your tools - it doesn't matter what method you use to sharpen, practise your routine until it is a simple, quick task to transform a blunt tool to a razor edge. Sharp tools will take your woodworking to a higher level.
A big thank-you to Phillip for this interview.
The 100 Mile Diet
Our changing times has us "living" closer to home. The push is to buy local, reducing the cost of transporting goods around the world unnecessarily. One result of this is the "100 mile diet", using food that is grown locally. Looking at our world with a new perspective, seeing what we have in our own backyards, has also resulted in what is known as "Urban Logging".
As with any hot topic of the day, there are faddists who abuse a concept (ex. those who only care about the profit potential and resort to unethical tactics to cut down a healthy tree) but for the most part urban logging is about honouring the wood - putting the wood to good use after it has been cut down, blown down, or died from some other natural process.
Here, at LumberJocks.com we see many projects that have been created from that old tree in the backyard. We have also heard the stories of "drive by" finds -- wood that has been taken to the curb for garbage pickup - wood that has been given a new life, or an extended life, in the hands of a wood lover, a woodworker. And then, of course, there are the recyclers who use old crates, skids and even furniture to put the unwanted wood to good use rather than sending it to a fiery death.
Do you know where your wood is from? Are you giving local wood a renewed life? We'd love to hear your stories, the wood's story!
Be sure to tag your project or blog as "Urban Logging".
From Brazil, to Norway, to Australia.
This month I took a cyber-trip to Australia to visit Grumpy's Workshop.
Grumpy's shop is, as he puts it, "a well equipped garage sized workshop". Judging by the photos that he posted of his shop and the projects that he has shared with us, he has a creative mind, ready to build unique woodworking projects.
Grumpy's favourite tool is a toss up between his table saw, because it is "the tool he uses the most" due to its versatility, and his wood lathe, because he enjoys doing turnings when he gets a chance.
When I asked him if he had any workshop tips for new woodworkers, he said, "wear those safety glasses and & a dust mask. "
Read more about Grumpy's workshop...
Thanks to Fox Chapel Publishing for their book donations
Fox Chapel Publishing Books
Last month we had our last book review and free draw in the series provided by Fox Chapel Publishing. I, personally, have enjoyed reading and learning from the variety of books presented.
Last month's book was Carving the Human Face by Jeff Phares. We had 40 entries in the random draw and the winner of the free book is: Dick&Barb Cain
Congratulations and your free copy will be in the mail soon.
Current Site Statistics
We are 15,987 woodworkers making 706,584 comments
on 26,916 projects, 12,294 blogs, 1,189 reviews and 13,771 forum topics.
▪ 16,000 members - January 31, 2010
Feb. 2009: 7,607 woodworkers, 353,221 comments, 13,506 projects, 7,040 blogs, 590 reviews and 6,181 forum topics.
Feb. 2008: 2,876 woodworkers, 136,683 comments, 4,938 projects, 3,304 blogs, 104 reviews and 2,112 forum topics
First Year Stats for LumberJocks.com
Debbie: Martin, what are your thoughts, now, as you look at the chart you posted here, showing the stats from the first year of LumberJocks.com?
Martin: I immediately see that starting was tough but, after the initial first months, LJ started to grow rapidly in November 2006 when we added Blogs as one of the core site sections. Number of posted projects surpassed the number of members for the first time in November, too. That was a good sign that LumberJocks are actively sharing more and more work, experiences and knowledge here.
▪ more activity means more advertising potential
▪ more advertising = more "perks" and services
How To Help
▪ word of mouth: talk about the site
▪ distribute promtional material for special events
▪ use your LJ profile as part of your business website
▪ make a personal donation to the site
▪ set up a LJ booth at a local wood show (ask about our LJ banner)
▪ host a LJ picnic or other event
▪ use the badges and widgets provided, on your sites
▪ let potential advertisers know about our advertising information
▪ purchase items through the LJ Woodworking Store powered by Amazon
▪ and of course, don't forget to wear your LJ t-shirt or LJ Hat!
For Valentine's Day: consider putting on your own personal LJ Apron and cooking a meal for your special someone!
Love this web site and all it has to offer. It’s so great to come here and feel like your part of a huge family of people just like yourself. ~ woodshaver
Winter weather doesn't stop our LumberJocks from enjoying their favourite pastime and it doesn't stop our GardenTenders, either. Check out this "winter gardening" project.
Some of you may not believe this - but garages can be transformed into something other than a woodworking shop! Yes indeed - see how this garage became office space (and more).