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Some new additions better Woodshop News

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This has been a crazy and proud month for me. First, I’d like share the news that my son, William Thomas Riggio, was born at 12:05 a.m. Oct. 3. As a first-time father, I’m learning that sleep is now a thing of the past and babies, unlike tools, don’t come with an instruction manual. But, oh my, is he an absolute delight to sit and hold in the middle of the night.

My other “baby” is this magazine, which has spawned a new and improved Web site. Guess that makes me a grandfather, too. The site,, was conceived by our in-house team — led by Ian C. Bowen, Kelly Leach, Jason Johnson, Bob Cortellino, Mike Trocchi, Scott Kolp and Paul Erickson — who put in countless hours building it from the ground up. In woodworking terms, they’ve managed to master both form and function, creating a site that works as well as it looks.

The site is updated throughout the week with stories from the magazine and blog posts by A.J. Hamler and David DeCristoforo. Lately, A.J. has been sharing his experience building a backyard shed, where he’ll set up his new shop, in his “Over the Workbench” blog. David, never one to be shy about offering an opinion, has taken on “American” tool manufacturers, the lumber supply industry and table-saw safety in his blog, “This Business about Woodworking.”

The site also offers a search feature to find past articles, our complete calendar listings of classes and events, “60 Grit” cartoons by Steve Spiro, and a forum to post your questions about woodworking, running a business, finishing and more.

We’re excited about our latest addition and hope you’ll visit the site often. The best thing about it, in my opinion, is that it doesn’t need to be fed, burped and changed.

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We’ve tweaked the magazine’s print schedule, which will change the date when subscribers receive their copy in the mail. Traditionally, Woodshop News has reached subscribers on or about the 10th of the month. But beginning with the January 2008 issue, it will arrive closer to the 25th.

That means you’ll get next month’s issue about two weeks later than usual. It will be a one-time only delay. We’ll continue to publish 12 issues a year; you’ll just get it toward the end of the month rather than at the beginning.

We’re also bringing back a digital edition of Woodshop News. What’s a digital edition, you ask? It’s an electronic version of the magazine that you can read on your computer and is identical to our print publication. Subscribers will be given the choice between receiving a print or digital version.

For any questions or concerns about your subscription, please call our Customer Service department at 800-243-9177.

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As reported in the October issue, attendance was down at IWF 2008 compared to the prior show in 2006. But the trade show’s owners and sponsors, which include the American Home Furnishings Alliance, the Wood Machinery Manufacturers of America and the Woodworking Machinery Industry Association, are stressing that serious buyers came from 80 countries and all 50 states determined to find solutions for their business and manufacturing processes.

“It’s tough out there and we all know it, but even during difficult times a show like IWF can find a way to turn a negative into a positive and propel the industry into new, uncharted waters for economic growth, stability and expansion,” says Tommy Tompkins, IWF 2008 chairman, and president of Cresent Fine Furniture Co. in Gallatin, Tenn.

“We are still going though the attendance verification process,” says Patrick LaFramboise, president and CEO of IWF 2008. “We know our registration numbers were down compared to our 2006 show, which was one of our best-attended shows in our history. Initial counts indicate IWF 2008 had 18,992 buyers, 39,893 total visitors, 1,324 exhibitors and 813,521 net square feet of exhibit space. But IWF didn’t disappoint in terms of quality buyers. From a qualified buyer standpoint, IWF 2008 could prove to be one of the best ever.”

As a reminder, the next huge U.S. woodworking and machinery show is the Association of Woodworking & Furnishings Suppliers Fair, also know as AWFS Vegas. It is scheduled for July 15-18, 2009 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

This article originally appeared in the December 2008 issue.

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