Handy resource guide is at your fingertips

todmug_newOur annual Black Book Resource Guide accompanies this issue. It’s a definite keeper, providing a handy reference for your tool, machinery, material and other supply needs.

The Black Book lists resources by product category — abrasives, fasteners and hardwoods — and vendor. So a good way to use the directory is to find a product category of interest and then look up the listed companies in the vendor directory to find detailed product and contact information.

It couldn’t be simpler, unless you happen to own a computer.

The Black Book is supported by our brand-new online resource guide at http://resourceguide.woodshopnews.com. The online guide offers:

• Regional search capabilities

• Product videos and images

• Regional event listings

• Classifieds

• Product and company articles

• A new special deals section

The online guide is a pleasure to use and has an obvious advantage over print: it will be updated throughout the year. As the participating companies come out with new products and services, they can simply add the information to the site. I hope you’ll take advantage of both products throughout 2012.

Commission extends deadline

If you haven’t weighed in on table saw safety standard under consideration by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, there’s still time.

At the request of the Power Tool Institute, whose members produce approximately 85 percent of all table saws sold in the U.S., the commission has extended the public comment deadline to Feb. 10, 2012.

The commission is considering whether a new performance safety standard is needed to address an “unreasonable risk of injury associated with table saws.” The standard could require manufacturers to put a SawStop or similar safety device on their saws.

The commission is inviting written comments concerning the risk of injury associated with table saw blade contact, regulatory alternatives and other possible means to address this issue.

The website, http://federalregister.gov/a/2011-31008, provides background documents and information on how to comment.

In this issue

Recently, we sent staff writer Jennifer Hicks to the Southwest for shop profiles. You’ve already read about Distinctive Woodworks in Flagstaff, Ariz. (October 2011 issue). She also went to Phoenix for this month’s cover story on the Handcrafted Cabinet and Furniture Co., and to the mountains of New Mexico to visit Shangri-La Woodworks (page 34). For those keeping score at home, that’s more than 500 miles one way.

Freelancer David Getts didn’t travel nearly as far, but still covered a lot of ground in is essay on the subjective nature of design (“In the eye of the beholder,” Page 30).

I’ll also point you to the conclusion of Ralph Bagnall’s four-part series on lean manufacturing for custom shops (“Employees need to see the future clearly”, Page 18); Davis Woodruff’s Pro Shop column on measuring performance (“Performance metrics can boost business”, Page 20), and Bob Flexner’s advice on finishing cutting boards and wood countertops (Finishing column, Page 14). We’re also sharing new products for measurement and layout (Page 38).

Not a bad start to a new year.

This article originally appeared in the January 2012 issue.