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Here’s to 25 great years and a world of change

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It’s a milestone moment for Woodshop News as we’ve now published for more than a quarter of a century.

We’re entering our 26th year of publication, having debuted in December 1986. It’s an accomplishment that I get to boast about, but the credit needs to be shared with the editors who came before me — Ian Bowen, Tom Clark and A.J. Hamler — founder Jack Turner, former ad director and publisher Glenn Mallory, and the rest of the team at Sounding Publications. Congratulations to everyone.

I wasn’t here for the launch, having joined the staff in 1997, but the stories have become legendary. Turner, a woodworking enthusiast, forging the concept of Woodshop News; Bowen arriving from Washington, D.C., to start something from nothing, and the almost-immediate acceptance from readers and advertisers.

No doubt, 25 years has brought incredible change. What started as a tabloid printed on newsprint with five regional editions has morphed into a full-gloss print product, digital version, website, weekly e-newsletter, online resource guide, blogs, social media sites and custom publications.

To be sure, we’ll continue to change with the times. But first let me thank you, the readers, for making the last 25 years possible. And here’s to 25 more.

* * *

Now, for some insightful thoughts from two readers:

“I just thumbed through the November issue and had a comment regarding Ralph Bagnall’s article (“Lean techniques start with traffic flow,” Page 26). In his sketch showing a shop floor layout, he turns the table saw so that the operator has their back to the planer. While this might increase workflow, it puts anyone using the planer right in the path of any kickbacks. Common sense should tell you this is a really bad idea, but as they say, ‘Common sense is very uncommon.’ ”

Nicholas Rege-Colt

Northampton, Mass.

Thanks for pointing out the gaffe, Nicholas. This is what happens when you try to prove a point and neglect the consequences. Increased workflow should never compromise safety. We provided a bad example, so please disregard.

“Oh, what a quagmire! I agree that table saws should have a SawStop device. I also believe that dadoing should be done on a panel router. But making something mandatory by the government just goes against the grain. Making something mandatory under the disguise of ‘making it safer’ is just another way to take away our right to choose. I would find it more suitable that a SawStop device be available as an accessory. This way the purchasing party not only learns about the device; it’s available with the purchase. People tend to feel better about what they purchase when given the opportunity to make choices.”

Linda Wyant

Vice President, Safranek Enterprises

Great suggestion. As a reminder, the Consumer Product Safety Commission deadline for public comment (see November’s “Taking Stock”) is Dec. 12.

This article originally appeared in the December 2011 issue.

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