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It’ll be a jam-packed year centered around AWFS

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After a great holiday break — is there anything better than being a dad at Christmas with a six-year-old? — the staff at Woodshop News is rested and ready for what we hope will be a prosperous 2015 for all.

The wood industry is poised for growth and it is the magazine’s responsibility, in good times and bad, to provide content that will help shape a successful shop (borrowed that from the cover). Our editorial planning is a continuous process that picks up steam after the year’s major trade show — IWF or AWFS. It begins by writing “CNC” at the top of the page, in the margins and the other side with a permanent marker that you keep away from the kids.

This is one of six CNC-related issues, with an extensive report (“Brave new world,” Page 39) on the latest technology available. Manufacturers are releasing new machines and software at a rate not seen since before the Great Recession, so it’s a topic that will be revisited often in subsequent issues.

Here’s the rest of our 2015 editorial focus month-to-month.

March: Dust control; buying hardwoods; finishing equipment.

April: Work cells; CNC tooling; cordless and job-site tools.

May: The art of closing the deal; outsourcing options; vacuum presses.

June: Pneumatic tools; cutting tools; sanding and abrasives; CNC supplement.

July: AFWS show issue; working with non-wood materials; table saws; adhesives.

August: Finishing; working with lasers; edgebanding options.

September: AWFS post-show report; spindles and aggregate heads; engineered panels.

October: CNC for smaller shops; accounting and insurance; expanding revenue options.

November: Cabinet and furniture components; controlling waste; air compressors.

December: Servicing machinery; material handling; multi-purpose tools.

We think that’s a fairly comprehensive list of relevant topics. But if there’s a glaring omission or something in particular that you’d like to see, please contact me at

I’ll bet we haven’t published an issue without at least one reference to CNC in the last 10 years. Since I’m not about to look through 120 issues — and my guess is you won’t either — give me the benefit of the doubt.

I know for a fact that our last nine Cutting Edge columns have been devoted exclusively to understanding the mechanics and machining concepts of CNC routers. The author, R.W. Lee, is much more than a tinkerer, having built two CNC routers for his shop from the ground up. In this month’s entry, he covers tool selection and the relationship between feed and speed rates.

I’d also like to steer you to our tool coverage, starting on Page 18. Festool has come up with its version of a multitool and SawStop is set to release a portable table saw featuring the company’s finger-saving safety device.

We’ve also got some great information on incorporating veneer (Page 22) and working with ‘live edge’ stock (Page 48), tips for avoiding moisture problems with hardwoods (Pro Shop, Page 44), Bob Flexner’s advice for applying stain (Finishing, Page 30) and much more.

I’ll leave you with an important reminder about the 2015 AWFS fair in Las Vegas. It’s coming fast — July 22-25 — so start making plans to attend.

This article originally appeared in the February 2015 issue.

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