I would hazard to say that 99.5 percent of our customers are people I get along with, enjoy hanging out with and would trust to watch my kids. But during my 20 years in the woodworking publishing business, I have encountered tens of thousands of woodworkers with questions and suggestions. So you do get some nutjobs.
Here are the craziest questions I’ve been asked while an editor at Popular Woodworking and Lost Art Press. Every one of these is 100-percent true.
I want to build this secretary but I need full-size plans. I want to be able to stick the paper to the wood and cut out every part.
Can you recommend a table saw fence that is adjustable to thousandths, or better yet, ten-thousandths?
Could you give me a list of every tool I need to start woodworking? In addition to that could you recommend your top three favorite brands for each tool and give me a little bit of your reasoning on each brand? Oh, and links to the best price for each tool would be appreciated.
I don’t have internet access, but I would like to read your blog. Could you print out all the articles you’ve written so far and mail them to me?
Could you tell me where to buy Lie-Nielsen planes at a deep discount – something like 50 percent off?
I’d like to build the project from the latest issue, but I don’t have a table saw. If I send you the wood, could you cut all the parts and mail them back to me?
I’d like a bibliography of all the woodworking books in your library.
If I send you the floor plan of my shop, could design the optimal arrangement of electrical outlets, lighting, dust collection ducts and machinery?
I’d like to start woodworking. Don’t you think it would be a great column if I came to your shop, you taught me the craft and I wrote a column about the process in every issue?
Won’t that interfere with finishing?
If I send you my tools will you grind and sharpen them?
I think your magazine should be peer reviewed like an academic journal by a panel of experts like myself. We could critique each article to produce the absolute best way to achieve each operation.
I can’t believe the terrible tricks in your Tricks of the Trade column. You should be traveling to shops all over the country to seek out the very best tips hoarded by woodworkers.
I really need a table saw. If you get extras for testing, could you send one to me?
Your cutting list has an error. I cut out all the parts to the sizes you specified, and the stiles are too short. I want you to reimburse me for the wood I wasted.
I love the project on the cover. Could you give me a list of woodworkers in my area who could build it for me?
— Christopher Schwarz