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Oriental Hand Tools

Abstract for yesterday’s article

Giant Cypress - Thu, 02/09/2017 - 11:48am

TL;DR version of yesterday’s post:

If you’re interested in interacting with other Japanese tool fans, check out the Piedmont Japanese Carpentry Club and Japanese Woodworking Tools, Techniques, and Interests pages on Facebook. Get a Facebook account if you have to. It will be completely worth it.

Where have all the forums gone?

Giant Cypress - Wed, 02/08/2017 - 3:08am
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When I started out in woodworking, one of the resources I drew upon were woodworking forums. They were a great source of information, and I learned a lot from them. In addition, they worked well with my day job. I’m a pediatric oncologist, and checking in on a woodworking forum was a great way to fill the time between patients, or when I was up at night on call waiting for the emergency room to get back to me.

Recently, the idea that woodworking forums are dead has popped up from time to time. Fine Woodworking is closing down their woodworking forum, if it isn’t already shut down. And although I can’t quantify this, it seems that activity on the woodworking forums I usually look in on has been tailing off.

I don’t think, however, that internet discussion of woodworking is going away. Like many things on the internet, social media seems to be the place to be. First, it’s one less thing for you to do. Have a Facebook account? You can check in on an online gathering of woodworkers without having to go to another website. It will be right there in your feed.

Second, woodworking is a very visual hobby. In woodworking discussions, a picture is at least 1,000 words. It is far easier to embed a picture in a post on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Tumblr (which is the backbone of Giant Cypress), which gives these platforms a big advantage compared to woodworking forums. In the case of Instagram, photos are the raison d’être of that platform. With woodworking forums, you often had to upload photos to a hosting service, then link to that service within your forum post using BBCode. Alternatively, some woodworking forums allow you to upload photos directly to their sites, but then they might try to pull something like reselling your photos as a way of generating revenue, as Sawmill Creek tried to do several years ago.

It seems, then, that woodworking forums aren’t really dying out as much as they are moving. There was a Japanese woodworking forum that really seems to have died out. But there are two very active Japanese woodworking groups on Facebook which are well worth checking out, if you have a Facebook account: the Piedmont Japanese Carpentry Club, and the Japanese Woodworking Tools, Techniques and Interests page. If you have a Facebook account, you should definitely take a look.

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