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We’re older, wiser and ready to celebrate our 30th anniversary

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Looking back is so yesterday. Sure, it’s fun to reminisce and it’s prudent to learn from the past. But I’d rather live in the moment and be excited about the future.

January • Dust collection • Edgebanding • Air power and pneumatic tools February • CNC for larger shops • New finishing products • Wood and moisture March • Drawer slide innovations • Additive manufacturing • Sanding solutions April • Working with veneer • CNC tooling • Cordless tools May • CNC software • Aggregate heads • Jigs and cutting guides June • Outsourcing doors, drawers and more • Air compressors • Recycling wood waste July • Finishing for cabinetmakers • Cabinet hardware trends • Spindles August • Working with plastics, metal and stone • Improving the shop environment • Buying used and reconditioned machinery September • Manufacturing processes • CNC 3-axis machining • Ready-to-assemble furniture October • IWF post-show report • CNC for small shops • More dust control options • Popular finishing trends. November • Cabinet and furniture components • Portable power tools • Laser cutting and engraving December • Wood market reviews • Bits and blades • Clamping and holding devices

That said, I’m struggling with how to approach this magazine’s 30th anniversary issue. Do we look back, revisiting featured shops and stories from the past? Or do we look forward by, for example, investigating new technologies for the woodworking industry?

Fortunately, I have 12 months to decide.

Woodshop News debuted with the December 1986 issue. According to people smarter than me, that means we’re beginning our 30th year in publishing with the next issue. This is a very proud moment in our interesting history.

As some of you remember, we started as a newspaper with regional editions. We switched to a magazine look and a single national edition. The rise of the Internet brought a website, blogs, digital editions and an online resource guide.

In the beginning, Woodshop News created the necessary cash flow to keep founder Jack Turner’s boating magazine, Soundings, afloat in the winter months. At the time — and I have this on good authority — he wasn’t thinking about a 30-year run.

But here we are, having survived the Great Recession, an ever-changing publishing industry, two ownership changes and numerous other events that might have crushed a lesser magazine. To our credit, we’ve shown the ability to change with the times and remain successful. That’s something to which you longtime shop owners can relate.

Anyway, enough with the looking back. If you’ve got any suggestions for our 30th anniversary issue (December 2016), send them to me at

We’ve recently completed our editorial plans for 2016. Here’s a breakdown of upcoming topics, issue by issue:

If there are other topics of interest, let me know.

This article originally appeared in the December 2015 issue.

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