Hand Tools Archive

[AD] Handwork Magazine, a Brief Review *LINK* *PIC*

Ellis Walentine

Issue #2
Available August 19

Here's a salute to Salko Safic, editor and publisher of Handwork, a new online magazine exclusively about handtool woodworking. Salko has used the online format to great advantage, producing a journal that could not be easily published in print because of the economics and space constraints of traditional magazine publishing. His second issue, due out next Saturday, August 19, is free for the downloading and can be saved as PDF file for printing and future reference. (Click the link below to visit his site.)

In case you haven't checked into his premier issue published just six weeks ago, you are in for a new kind of woodworking publication. Not only is the content structured completely around handtool woodworking, but the variety and depth of the articles is richer and more enlightening than print magazines generally offer. Most of the articles in Issue #1 were written by Safic himself, evidencing a skill level and awareness that are first rate. And, unfettered by the typical editorial mindset, he writes in a style that is at once conversational and deep, punctuated everywhere with insights and asides that provide a rich and educational experience. It's not a fast read, but it's an enlightening one.

The variety of the articles in Issue#1 is delicious, ranging from pure technique articles to projects to philosophy and gallery-type articles that look at historical furniture and woodwork in a depth rarely seen other than in museum catalogs, delivered in Safic's somewhat garrulous style. Profusely illustrated with excellent and well-chosen photos, lithographs and occasional arcane clip art, the magazine works the way a magazine should, with enough detail and insight to truly instruct the reader and motivate him at the same time. There are things he could do differently, but I for one wouldn't choose to advise him.

Always self-effacing, Safic admits that he is not an experienced editor (though he definitely has the instincts) but merely a person who perceives a need for the kind of magazine he himself wants to read and is willing to produce it himself. He's done a remarkable job with Issue #1 and I can only hope that he can continue his momentum into Issue #2 and beyond. There's a ton of work in this production, and how he manages to produce it for free is beyond me, but it's a wonderful bargain that all handtool aficionados should appreciate.

Good work Salko!

Ellis Walentine, Host

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