| Dear Customer,
Air Force One may be the most famous "office in the sky"
but, as most seasoned voyagers know, a surprising amount of work
can be done by anyone travelling by air – while in the terminal,
on the tarmac, or in between the almost constant in-flight interruptions.
A long flight can clean up a correspondence backlog, provide an
uninterrupted block of time to compose that inspirational memo
or even yield the nugget of inspiration for a new product.
The roller stand on the facing page is partially the result of
one such trip. Part of its lineage can be traced to watching handlers
rapidly load containers of baggage, using flat-bed equipment with
an omnidirectional pallet-drive system. Applied to woodworking,
the inverted swivelcasters elegantly solve the issue of feed bias
inherent in freestanding roller systems, while providing more
contact area than roller balls. Adding a tilting head, a fine
height-adjust mechanism, a levelling foot, and an infeed ramp
simply completed the solution.
This year's woodworking and gardening calendars have also undergone
travel-inspired changes. The world has long needed a more rational
calendar since, for many, January actually marks more of a mid-point
than a start point. Our new extended calendars now span a full
16 months, from September 2004 to December 2005. Not only will
they simplify vacation and travel planning, they cover a regular
calendar year, an entire school year, a woodworking catalog cycle,
or even a full hockey season (should there be one). Best of all,
the design allows us to offer it for an extended period, which
ensures that the benefiting charities* (who get 100% of all proceeds)
will gather a greater windfall.
Of the more traditionally inspired new products there are numerous
stand-outs – the Veritas® router table insert system,
the long-awaited large shoulder plane, the steel and aluminum
straightedges, and our fourth new spokeshave – just a few
of the dozens of new products waiting to be discovered in this
Robin C. Lee
* The Nature Conservancy and The United Way