Posting blogs became a daily ritual for Woodworking Network editors and contributors, and a favorite feature for readers in 2011.

Many of the best-read blogs were spin-offs of hot woodworking issues, led by the drama surrounding Gibson Guitar's alleged violation of the Lacey Act through, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission's controversial move to develop a table saw safety rule.

Readers also took a strong fondness to reading Wood & Wood Products Editor Karen Koenig's chronicles of her visits to Chinese wood products factories and Editorial Director Bill Esler's ode to giant wood blimp hangers.

Blogs by contributing editors Rick Hill on rousting up more woodworking sales and Bernie Botten on wood finishing also garnered a lot of readership.

Following are the 20 most popular blogs posted on in 2011.


Lacey Act Strikes Sour Note with Gibson Guitar

By Rich Christianson | Updated: 08/28/2011 12:00:00 AM
The U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife Service seems intent on making the famed guitar maker the high-profile example of its efforts to enforce the Lacey Act as amended in 2008 to encompass illegally sourced wood.
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Related: Gibson Guitar Raid: The Lacey Act Runs Amok

Gibson Guitar Raid Stirs Media Hornet's Nest


Giant Wood Blimp Hangars: Once That Was Us

By Bill Esler | Updated: 11/02/2011 10:30:00 AM
Wood structures 1,000 feet long and 140 feet high were built along the U.S. East and West Coasts during World War II. Home to blimps hunting German U-boats, the soaring wooden structures saved precious steel for armaments, and required advances in engineering.
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U.S. Furniture Industry Can Rebound, but Who Will Do the Work?

By Rich Christianson | Updated: 11/18/2011 12:32:00 PM
A Tale of Two Studies: One recent survey identifies U.S. furniture manufacturing as an industry poised to benefit from rising costs in China while a second one notes U.S. manufacturing growth is being seriously hampered by a worrisome shortage of skilled workers.
Read more


Inside Two Mega Chinese Wood Plants

By Karen Koenig | Updated: 03/01/2011 12:00:00 AM
“Impressed,” best sums up my thoughts of the plant visits from day one of the Tour of Technology to China, sponsored by Stiles Machinery in conjunction with Homag China Golden Field Ltd.
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Related: Furniture Manufacturing in China: Royal & Sogal

China's Factory of the Future: MingZhu

Scenes from China


Requiring Unionization Posters Violates Employer Rights

By Rich Christianson | Updated: 10/07/2011 9:44:00 AM
I don’t have a problem with government protecting the rights of workers to unionize but I do have a problem with the feds requiring businesses to promote unionization.
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Table Saw Safety: How Safe Is Safe Enough?

By Rich Christianson | Updated: 09/30/2011 10:15:00 AM
Woodworking Network readers chime in about the possibility of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission requiring table saw manufacturers to incorporate the SawStop safety device in their products.
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Battle Lines Drawn for Amending Lacey Act

By Rich Christianson | Updated: 11/04/2011 9:37:00 AM
What started out as a battle pitting the U.S. Government vs. Gibson Guitar has rapidly spiraled into a multi-front, war over what if anything should be done to change the Lacey Act.
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OSHA 's Top 10 Safety Violations: Is Your Shop Compliant?

By Rich Christianson | Updated: 10/21/2011 9:41:00 AM
How many of these Top 10 OSHA safety sins has your wood products company violated?
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Wood Chips to Gasoline Gain Ground

By Bill Esler | Updated: 01/13/2011 12:00:00 AM
Video shows wood chips and saw dust converted to gasoline, with projects progressing at KiOR and Annellotech, is still a work in progress.
Read more


Wood Ceilings & Walls: Better Than Plasterboard?

By Bill Esler | Updated: 09/28/2011 1:12:00 PM
A wood-based contemporary room - ceiling, floors, and walls - that eliminates drywall grows more practical with two recent innovations from manufacturers Sauder and DIRRT.
Read more


Slimy Sales Tricks

By Rick Hill | Updated: 08/31/2011 8:00:00 AM
When creating a sales program for your woodworking shop, base it on your company, products and unique strength.
Read more


Road Trip: Wood Products Made in America

By Rick Hill | Updated: 11/15/2011 1:38:00 PM
Searching for wood products made in America, Rick Hill recently took a recent 1,500 mile, 3-day sales trip in Ohio and IL.
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The Great Berkline Furniture Train Wreck

By Rich Christianson | Updated: 05/01/2011 12:00:00 AM
Fall-out from the abrupt closing of Berkline Furniture continues to mount. Already facing three class action lawsuits related to putting 500 people out of work, a U.S. court just took the extreme measure of ordering the seizure of 16 containers loaded with the company's furniture in response to the shipper's complaint that it is owed $193,000.
Read more

 Vincent Barraza, Architectural Woodworking Co.  

Architectural Woodworker Says Buy American Needs Reform

By Vincent Barraza | Updated: 09/23/2011 1:00:00 PM
The CEO of California-based AWC tells how the current Buy American Act has failed his company, and why it needs to be amended.
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Training Future Woodworkers in Antigo, WI

By Marcus McGuire | Updated: 12/01/2011 5:00:00 PM
Antigo High School operates its WoodLINKS-affiliated wood education program in an excellent facility geared toward the design and production of cabinetry using modern machining technologies.
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Lacquer Thinner Is Lacquer Thinner…Right?

By Bernie Bottens | Updated: 03/18/2011 12:00:00 AM
Lacquer thinner is lacquer thinner...right? In the 21st Century when lacquer coatings are very high tech, the answer is almost always a resounding no.
Read more


Major Wow Color Factor!

By Bernie Bottens | Updated: 10/27/2011 11:06:00 AM
Recently, I decided to “put some color” in clear lacquer. The idea is to not have to stain the wood and to put the color and the finish on at the same time - “kill two birds with one stone.”
Read more


Congress Cracks Down on China's Currency Manipulation

By Karen Koeing | Updated: 09/26/2011 1:26:00 PM
A bipartisan group of senators has introduced legislation that it says will crack down on China’s artificial under-valuation of its currency and attempt to level the playing field for U.S. importers and exporters.
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Your Sales Program Sucks

Updated: 10/11/2011 11:57:00 AM
Regional sales promotions do not have the same impact as they did a decade ago as a result of increased market knowledge.
Read more


'How Do I Get In The Cabinet Industry?'

Updated: 08/03/2011 12:00:00 AM
Woodworkers as a whole are the same as many craftspeople. We focus on the craft and forget we are running a business. I feel that it is more profitable to be a business person who runs a woodworking shop than a woodworker who has a business.
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