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Wednesday, March 31, 2010 | Reader Comments | How-To

Gary Katz has created a website that serves as a superb resource for carpenters and other tradespeople. We would like to invite you to check out the ThisIsCarpentry.com website and subscribe for free. Take advantage of the great articles and information available on the site to expand your knowledge and skills.

Here's what Gary had to say about what inspired him to create ThisIsCarpentry.com:

I remember vividly the first article I ever published. It was nearly 20 years ago. The story was on installing locks, and it changed my life.

Publishing an article in Fine Homebuilding magazine was worth celebrating—it was hard enough just to get an editor to return my phone calls. Writing that story forced me to concentrate on a procedure I’d been using for years but never really thought much about. By putting the step-by-step process into words, I found ways to improve the task. And the whole experience made it easier to teach new members on our crew.

Looking back on that story, and the articles, books, DVDs, JLC shows and Katz Roadshows I've done since—I think publishing is something every carpenter should do. After all, most of us end up teaching our craft to new employees. And besides, even if we work alone our entire lives, we can’t really improve unless we know what to improve.

And that brings me to THISisCarpentry.com, the e-magazine I've been publishing for the last year. We live in an extraordinary time. When I started in construction, the only instructional material I had was an old set of Audels books. Learning carpentry wasn't easy. Today is totally different. We have magazines and trade journals, we have live events, like JLC and the Katz Roadshows, but even more, we have the Internet.

I started THISisCarpentry (TiC) because a lot of Roadshow attendees were asking for ‘more:’ more than we could pack into a one-hour presentation, more than a magazine could pack into a four or six-page article.

I also started TiC because I wanted to give more carpenters the opportunity I had: to publish their stories, to learn from the experience, and to learn from each other; to share articles about their favorite techniques and their favorite tools.

Just like my first article, I learned a lot from publishing TiC the first year. We recently changed the format so that readers and authors can now interact at the end of each story: the articles have become a starting place for continued conversation. Check out this recent story "Drawing a Volute," by Jed Dixon and you'll see what I mean.

We’re building a community of craftspeople. Because of the Internet, the days of working alone, and learning everything the hard way, are over. Be sure you visit and subscribe to THISisCarpentry.com.

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