A Note From the President

Hi Fellow Woodworkers,

Since our club has moved to using only our website and email announcements to communicate with the membership, we are working on ways to improve various features of the website.

1) We have a committee that has just started working on issues related to how we capture, project, and save audio-visual content, and we will report our progress as information becomes available.

2) We are beginning to make progress on our long-standing goal of having many months of meeting programs scheduled AND posted on the website as early as possible.  Program Directors Elmer Nahum and Ken Bayer have put together a nice collection of programs that will include: a local professional furniture-maker; dust collection; the Maloof leg-to-seat sculpted joint; workbenches and work-holding; hand-cutting mitered half-lap muntins; and resin pours for making things like “river” tables.  As soon as the speakers and dates have been finalized the website will be updated with the information.

3) We feel that the Classifieds section of our website can be a valuable tool for our members who are trying to sell or buy tools & equipment related to woodworking, and I would like to clarify a couple of things as well as seek your input on a change that we’re considering.

  • Classified ads are free to all members who are current with their dues.  It’s easy to write your own ad, and include photos, right in the Classifieds section of the website (no special skills are necessary). While we don’t have a “limit” on how long an ad can be, Ralph Sprang, our website editor, may need to occasionally ask you to limit the length of an ad if there are other restrictions that must be considered.  Ads may also be edited or removed if necessary, but usually only spam ads are affected.  Ads will be removed in 180 days, so if you want your ad to continue to run you’ll need to renew the ad after 175 days.
  • We occasionally get requests from the families of woodworkers who have become unable to continue to use their tools or have died.  These requests are often asking for help in getting the tools in front of people who might wish to purchase them.  We advise these families to simply “join” the club by paying the $25 dues and then they can have unlimited access to the Classifieds section of the website, just like any member.  If someone does not wish to join the club, the fee for an individual to run an ad for the balance of the year is $25, effectively making them a member.  Occasionally, a club member offers to help a family going through this difficult process and runs an ad in the Classifieds that lists these woodworking tools owned by a non-WPW individual; the WPW applauds this generosity of spirit and time by our members to help others in need, and considers this ability to use the Classifieds in this manner as a benefit of membership.
  • Some of our past or current members own businesses that provide products or services of interest to woodworkers.  These members are also able to run an ad for their business just like any other member (subject to the same removal time and renewal requirements) at no additional fee. Additionally, the WPW has built a nice relationship with a few other local businesses (Dante DiIanni/Back Channel Woodworking School, Rockler, and Woodcraft) which have been very generous in their support of the club through products/gift cards for our annual Show & Tell meeting and/or allowing us to use their facility for off-site meetings.  We plan to offer these select businesses the ability to run limited ads in our website Classifieds, similar to what individual members may do.  When the company is owned by an individual (as opposed to a corporate franchise store), we will also ask that person to become a dues-paying member of the WPW.
  • Ralph has informed me that he receives ~1-3 requests per month from people or businesses outside of the club (local, regional, and national) who wish to place an ad on our website or in our Classifieds. To date, he has turned them away unless it made sense for them to join the WPW as an individual in one of the scenarios presented above.  While we would not consider changing our Privacy Policy by providing names and email addresses of our members (just to be clear, no one has asked us to do this), we are beginning to consider if it makes sense to allow for a limited amount of non-member paid advertising on the website.  This might take the form of non-member listings in the Classifieds section, or an ad that would take up about 25% of the home page that you see when you go to the website (perhaps replacing the Latest Newsletter section, since we no longer have a separate newsletter), and possibly providing a link to the advertiser’s website for additional information.  We would charge these businesses a fee (amount as yet to be determined) for this access to a highly-specific group of people most likely interested in their product.

Our goal here is two-fold: Mostly, to bring in some additional revenue to the club for very little additional work, and also to put a product/service in front of our members from smaller businesses. An additional benefit of developing a paid advertising policy is that it will give Ralph an option to use for those requests that don’t fit anywhere else.  We have no intention of filling the website with annoying ads that always seem to block what you’re trying to read, and we would develop a limit for the number of these ads (we’re thinking one or two a month, if we even get that many requests!).

Please let me know how you feel, good or bad, about the WPW taking limited paid advertising (in person; by mobile, 412-612-9074; or by email, Bill@JamesWoodWorks.com) as we begin to consider if this makes sense for the club.

Work safely,

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