Sometimes I forget the unwritten rule of woodworking blogging: If you don’t show the finished project then everyone assumes you failed and threw the thing in the trash.
Earlier this year I wrote about some Japanese sliding-lid boxes I was building for a forthcoming article in Popular Woodworking Magazine that were based on a 20th-century example I’d found in Australia.
I wrote about the box design, the wood and some difficulties I had finding the right dome-head nails. And then, nothing more.
No, I didn’t burn them. I finished them up, wrote the article and shipped them off. One went to my dad; the other to one of my favorite customers. And then I dove back into “The Furniture of Necessity.”
Above is the photo that Al Parrish took of the finished boxes. Look for the plans in an upcoming issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine (and stop spreading those nasty rumors).
This fall, Lost Art Press will add a discussion forum. The “digital pub” will be a space for readers to converse, share photographs of LAP-inspired builds and ask questions related to hand-tool skills, books and life in the craft.
But the forum is also an idea that John and Chris have been thinking about for a while. Over the years, they’ve received a steady stream of questions, along with suggestions for what they “NEED” to add to the web site. When Chris decided to give up e-mail, pesky readers like myself lost the capacity to ask those questions. And Chris lost one of the most treasured aspects of being an author – the pleasure of receiving feedback from engaged readers.
So the forum fills gaps on both sides. For readers, it will be a virtual pub. For authors, it revives a digital means of receiving feedback, questions and criticisms.
At this point, I bet you’re asking two questions: (1) “Who is this guy?” and (2) “What’s he got to do with the blog?” Although I hate writing about myself, here are some quick answers.
(1) I’m a woodworking nerd. I have more experience reading about wood than building furniture. But that is about to change. For the past decade, I’ve been a professional professor and a hobby woodworker. This fall, I’m reversing those roles. While being an adjunct professor of American religious history has been a fulfilling vocation, it hasn’t paid the bills. I’ve yet to find that coveted tenure-track job, and I’m fed up with the corporatization of higher education. Inspired by authors like Chris, Robert Pirsig, and Matt Crawford – and encouraged by my wife and many of our university colleagues – I’m taking the plunge into anarchy. I’m building my own furniture designs. Valuating my own labor. Refusing to accept the Ikea-fication of our world. And narrowing the gap between what I do and what I love.
(2) I’m going to moderate the forum. While I encourage constructive criticism, this won’t be a space for hate. (And I will have a really low threshold for any posts derogatory of other readers.) We want this to be a friendly pub where the whole family can enjoy bratwurst and beers, not that bar down the street where every Saturday night someone gets their head bashed in with a cue ball. (I actually love those bars – this just isn’t going to be one of them.) In addition to moderating posts, its my job to keep other blog readers and LAP authors up to date. Each Monday, I’ll write about what’s trending in the forum, including links to conversations and photographs. As the discussions build, I’ll solicit comments and responses from LAP authors.
We anticipate we’ll be ready to launch the forum by mid-September. Until then, you’ll have to keep using the lame “comments” function to tell us what you think!