Our team is working for you at IWF 2010

todmug_newIt's just not right to complain about being busy when so many small woodworking businesses are struggling for their survival. So I won't ... I can't possibly ... but I'm about to burst: this has been one hectic summer.

What with traveling to manufacturer events for the latest tool introductions, launching a new digital publication - WoodTech News - in collaboration with IWF, and increasing our e-newsletter offerings, there has been little rest for a busy Woodshop News editorial staff. But it comes with the territory. We know that you need us more than ever in these difficult economic times and we're more than willing to go the extra mile. Vacations are overrated, right?

Any plans for fun in the sun have been put on hold. Our bags are packed for a working holiday Aug. 25-28 in Atlanta, site of IWF 2010. Senior writer Brian Caldwell, staff writer Jennifer Hicks and I will be canvassing the two halls at the Georgia World Congress Center, learning about new machines, tools, accessories and supplies from the more than 800 exhibitors. And when we need a rest, we can likely be found at the Woodshop News booth (No. 4928 in Hall B). Stop by for a chat about the magazine or with a story idea.

I'll also be moderating a panel discussion on estimating. The 90-minute session is scheduled for 3 p.m. Aug. 27 and will feature Sean Benetin, owner and president of Millwork & More LLC in Bernardsville, N.J.; Greg Kasten, president of Mortensen Woodwork in Atlanta; and Ken Rolfes of KDR Associates, a management consulting and education firm in San Diego. Sean runs a nine-man shop, while Greg oversees a much larger operation, so there should be good information for everyone. After their presentations and discussion, we'll make sure to leave time for questions from the audience.

We'll see you in Atlanta.

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On the home page of our website, we have a section called "Editor's Picks," where I'm supposed to highlight stories that will be of particular interest to our readers. It's kind of like picking your favorite child, but if I can help draw attention to some of our finest work, then I'm glad to help.

So in that vein, I'd like to draw your attention to some of the highlights in this issue, starting with the feature, "You can take it to the bank," on Page 38. We explore the in-house financing options available from several manufacturers that make good business sense in today's economy. The idea is pretty simple: improve your cash flow and realize some substantial tax deductions by financing major machinery purchases now.

Our cover story on Page 34 profiles Nelson's Cabinets of Long Beach, Calif., which focuses solely on cabinetry and has relied mostly on word-of-mouth advertising for nearly 30 years. We also profile Austin Organs, a company in Hartford, Conn., that has been building church organs for 121 years, on Page 43.

This article originally appeared in the August 2010 issue.