This week marks four years since I left Popular Woodworking Magazine, and today the mailman delivered the August 2015 issue, which features a tool chest on the cover that I helped build.
Some think it’s peculiar that I still write for the magazine, and that the magazine still prints my stuff. I guess things always look different from the inside of a relationship.
As I’ve said many times before, editing that magazine was the best job I’ve ever had. They paid me well. They trained me. They gave me the keys to a fully equipped workshop. I worked as hard as possible to turn a struggling, third-tier craft magazine into something profitable, stable and competitive.
When I made the decision to leave, it had little to do with the magazine. It had more to do with my desires as a writer and the death of my uncle in the spring of 2011.
So if you like what we do here at Lost Art Press, you can thank Popular Woodworking in general and, specifically, former editor Steve Shanesy, who took a huge chance when he hired me in the fall of 1996.
People tell me all the time that magazines are dead. But I can think of one magazine that I’ll do anything to save until I put down my tools and my keyboard for the last time.
— Christopher Schwarz
27 thoughts on “August 2015 is Early This Year”
I love PWW, it took up the mantle where FWW fell off and lost its way after issue #100. Chris in my opinion you have kept the type of writing we loved from Tage Frid, Hank Gilpin, David Powell, Frank Klausz and the like alive. I look forward to all that you and your crew produces.
It’s nice when a relationship that was beneficial for all can change as yours has. All too often it doesn’t turn out that way.
Also, your address is published on the cover (if you are sensitive to that).
It’s on every book we publish, too. I pity the fool that tries to tangle with my wife.
Working as a Union Steamfitter and repairing aging power stations across our great country, I had little time for reading magazines. When I did have downtime, I always purchased a Popular Woodworking copy somewhere. Now that I am retired and put down my welding leads and pipe wrench for my Stanley #5 and Record plough I subscribe to print and digital versions of PW and will do so until I am gone. I enjoy every facet of this magazine and it has served as inspiration in my building. Great magazine, and great people who work to put it out for our enjoyment! Thank you. I would however, enjoy twelve issues instead of seven. I would gladly pay the extra freight, and I think there is still plenty to write about. Great tool box, she’s a beauty!
Your copy of the magazine looks a lot more worn than my copy. You’ve been reading in the bathroom, haven’t you?
Actually, I think it spends at week in the bathroom of our USPS before they deliver it.
Oh! so that is why I do not have my copy yet.
I think it’s very cool that you still maintain a positive relationship with the magazine. I’m assuming the C.S. is you. Is the J.A. Jameel Abraham?
Chris, from my perspective, your left your job honorably and graciously. That is quite different than burning your bridges AND the watchtower.
Ooh, saw vise. Sorry, squirrel.
It’s interesting you picked today to publish this. In the spring of 2011 I underwent a career change as well. I read many of your posts on the transition and it helped me ensure I wasn’t the only crazy one.
I started my blog after reading one of your notes from the editor. I spent today with my local woodworking co-op hocking some cutting boards to keep the lights on. And I’m happy to report my first “official” piece of writing is appearing in this issue.
Thanks for this post and the myriad of others that inspire us to be better humans and woodworkers.
The magazine industry has certainly experienced significant change. A lot of magazines are not making it through, but a few have adapted and new ones gone into publication that are surprisingly good. I mean, before Modern Farmer was anyone that was not a farmer aware or interested interested in the fact that there exist multiple species of chickens? NO.
Can we ever expect to see a magazine akin to Modern Farmer in the woodworking trade? A high quality quarterly? Something printed on high quality stock, lengthy articles, eye catching graphics?
I can only hope my career change will work out as well. all my bridges are still in place. nice chest and on the cover no less .
I really enjoyed Woodworking Magazine! I still read my copies and wish it were still around
We all loved WM and wish we could have kept it open. Though the magazine was making money, the corporate people didn’t want to take a risk and hire a separate staff. So Steve and I pulled the plug to preserve our personal sanity.
I’m glad my uncle gave me a photocopy of an article entitled “traditional sawbench” from WM all those years ago. Who’s Chris Schwarz? Why would I need a sawbench if I have a workbench? Now I know, and have subscribed to PW ever since.
I was a Norm fan, as so many others, and the New Yankee site had several recommended links. Popular Woodworking was one, so I thought I’d give it a try. Since then, I’ve continued to subscribe, and taken up the hand tool mantra, taking several classes (including the Anarchist’s Tool Chest), as well as purchasing several books and videos. Long live PW! (and I loved Woodworking Magazine as well).
Er…anything? Want to take back over for a week or two so I can have an actual and total vacation? 🙂
Absolutely. That would be fun!
I may well take you up on it 🙂
I haven’t subscribed to a wood working magazine in 25 years, just signed up for PWW now. Telling Megan it’s all your fault Mr. Schwarz!
Thank you! We will try not to let you down!
Yes – thank you!
Good, so in a couple of weeks I can pick it up at my favorite newsstand.
Hi Chris, the travelling chest is a work of art. I am interested in where you sourced the hinges for the lid. Cheers.
From Peter Ross, a blacksmith in North Carolina.
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