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New look coming soon to Woodshop News

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Charles Kettering certainly had a way with words. Among the many quotes attributed to the American inventor are:

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"If you have always done it that way, it's probably wrong."

"The world hates change, yet it is the only thing that has brought progress."

Kettering made his mark in the automotive industry, inventing the electric ignition system, leaded gasoline and the automatic transmission. Not sure if he knew much about publishing, but his words have been a source of inspiration to me lately.

We're in the midst of making some significant changes to Woodshop News. These changes will have little effect on the magazine's content - the news, columns, wood market reports, profiles and tool stories will remain as the backbone - but the format will change.

I've kept you in suspense long enough. In early 2010, Woodshop News will no longer appear in an 10-3/4" x 13-1/2" format. Otherwise know as a tabloid, Woodshop News will become a roughly 9" x 10-3/4" magazine.

There, the cat's out of the bag.

Some of you may be screaming in horror. Others may be excited about the new convenient size. Many, I suspect, are completely indifferent to the size as long as Woodshop News continues to provide the news and information you've come to expect. We will continue to do so - and that's a promise.

Along with the new size, the magazine will be completely redesigned to produce a more modern look. It will have additional pages and better quality paper. The magazine's new size should also be a better fit in your mailbox.

And while other trade publications have closed, sold or combined titles, Woodshop News is growing. We've added two monthly e-newsletters, providing breaking news and exclusive reports not found in the magazine. Our third monthly e-newsletter, "The Recession Buster," provides pertinent news to guide your business through these difficult economic times. The e-newsletters are free to all subscribers, but you must sign up at

With the January issue, subscribers will receive our new 2010 Resource Guide, helping professionals source the products and services they need, from manufacturers and dealers, at the neighborhood level. The guide will also be available online at with new resources added throughout the year.

Our Web site is also your source for archived stories, complete calendar listings and two blogs - "This Business about Woodworking" and "Over the Workbench" - that are updated with fresh posts throughout the week.

We've got other projects in the works and more major announcements will follow. It's important to note that Woodshop News is focused more than ever on small- to medium-sized professional shops, a focus we have held for more than 20 years.

Finally, your thoughts on the magazine's new size, redesign and editorial content is always welcome. I can be reached directly at

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As you savor this issue of Woodshop News, I want you to pay particular attention to the stories on Page 6, "Stanley Works joins with Black & Decker," and Page 8, "East Teak buys Thompson Mahogany Co." Stanley has now added the Delta, Porter-Cable and DeWalt brands to its already significant holdings, making the company the major player in the woodworking industry. Likewise, East Teak's purchase of Thompson Mahogany brings together two of the major importers of hardwoods.

Finishing columnist Greg Williams covers the importance of measuring viscosity for consistent results in the spray booth, while Mark E. Battersby simplifies cost accounting principals in his Pro Shop column.

This month's cover story is about a family-run business, Fehrenbacher Cabinets, in Evansville, Ind. The custom shop also offers several manufactured cabinet lines, countertop fabrication and appliances. It's a full-service approach that has worked for more than 50 years.

We also profile Jim Falk, owner of Progressive Wood Works in Port Chester, N.Y., who will start writing some of the magazine's "Cutting Edge" columns in 2010.

This article originally appeared in the December 2009 issue.

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