Finishing. The project isn't finished until it is finished. Most of the tool people will sell you the mechanical end, maybe some sanding supplies. But to finish the project you have to go somewhere else.
As a beginner I'd love to see some articles like these:
- what I can do with my router (different bits, cutting techniques, etc)
- how to safely use my table saw/band saw/router/drill press
- how to maintain my table saw/band saw/router/drill press
- info on essential tools needed for beginning in wood working
- tips on purchasing tools
- other safety concerns: I wear eye protection but should I be concerned with other things too?
- usefull beginner projects that teach me essential techniques or create usefull shop tables, benches, jigs, etc
- different kinds of usefull hardware
There is just so much I don't know so anything geared at beginners would help
Maybe have a pull out section, in the middle a "Beginner's Guide" (and handy reference for the rest of us) concept.
I was thinking it might be interesting to have some stories on some of the woodworking stores we all use -- a kind of behind the scenes look. A look inside Busy bee, or lee valley. You could have an interview with the president, and so on. But not just the standard info that I could dig up on the internet if I spent enough time, but interesting little things from inside the business - like what it's like to work there, how big is the truck that LV has to use to send their stuff to canada post every day, what does Rob Lee's personal shop look like, and so on.
There are some great ideas for articles, e.g. plywood, sandpaper (there are so many kinds), etc. In particular, please consider Jake's comments, esp. re. buying plywood. If you do that article, please do a detailed list of Canadian sources - maybe have the article prompt people to go to the website - that way you can have a long and national list of sources and it gets readers to your website.
One of the comments in particular I found important - Callee's comment about the format of tool reviews. I think this also goes for articles that address of techniques. Those articles are along the lines of 'here's what I do'. The End. While that is fine, I think a good magazine can sometimes go deeper. One of the people who posted mentioned Woodworking Magazine. There is one article in that magazine that I go back to, it was about mortising by hand. The writer looked to numerous 'how to' sources over the years, and tried all of them to see which worked best. He then described that method in depth. That is good journalism - he studied the possible methods and brought the reader along. This is a lot more work than just writing a "here's what I do article" - but for a reader it was interesting. I am not saying there is not a place for articles that describe an expert's technique (e.g. one of the past threads ended up leading me to Rob Cosman's article in Popular Woodworking about houndstooth dovetails), just that there are other options.
Lastly - longer and more detailed articles please. Give the reader the benefit of the doubt. For example, Bill Perry's article on tuning and using spokeshaves was great, and went into an appropriate level of detail.
I like Mike's suggestions too. For me I would like to see a regular section on design. I have been searching for good information on design principles and guidelines. The golden ratio, graduated drawers, whole number ratios of parts, it is a huge topic. The most interesting thing about it is that a small change in some tiny detail will totally change the look of the piece.
Also I am interested in the Canadian perspective of "Period Pieces", say 1700's lower Canadian (Quebec City) pieces, 1800's upper Canadian Loyalist pieces etc. My first relative came to Canada in 1837 and settled in Innisfield. What would his furniture have looked like? There is an awful lot of stuff on early "American" period pieces, but what did we have in upper and lower Canada, with both French and English influences I bet there was a lot of interesting work and mixing of styles back in the day. I would like to see some of them, then build some new ones to honour our founders. Just think it would be interesting.
If this isn't done already, index past and future magazine articles so the magazine becomes a valuable reference. And post this on the forum so people can purchase articles if they so desire.
Paul, the site make-over currently underway will feature a digital copies of all the issues of the magazine. I'm not certain at this time what the search capabilities will be, but you will, as a subscriber, be able to browse all of them and acquire those that are of particular interest to you.