John Forney

Sawdust & WoodChips, Ltd., Marion, OH

Longtime ShopBotter John Forney writes from the perspective of practical woodworking with CNC in the shop in Notes from Forney’s Workshop.

About John

forney_fullI have been building cabinets, furniture and doing general woodworking for the last 30 plus years. I worked in California for approximately the first 16 years of my woodworking career and here in Ohio for the balance of that time. I have run shops with as many as nine employees and a partner to my present single employee (me) shop. I have concentrated on making quality products, in a workman-like manner, at a profit. The fact that I have had to include making a profit in my business plan (not to say that I always have or always will make a profit) has necessitated that I have a decidedly different philosophy than say, Fine Woodworking Magazine. I have had to concentrate on getting the work done on schedule (I now have to ask myself why I am currently finishing work I took deposits on 14 months ago and why am I using excuses like “I’m running a little behind”). While there are many talented woodworkers better than I, both professionals and amateurs, staying in business for over 30 years requires that an overall profit be made. The profit kicker has forced me to make certain concessions in my work. Remember: quality work, in a workman-like manner – not perfect work, no matter what. That is what I will be discussing in my future columns.

Plans for this WebColumn

Tips, tricks, jigs, fixtures, techniques, and answers to specific questions, from you the readers. The first ShopBot file will be for a screw/misc. container that will hold 6 one pound coffee cans and have label holders and an overhead handle. Other columns will include some ShopBot files and some non-CNC cabinets or furniture items with drawings, pictures, bills of materials and assembly steps. I will share with you the tools I own and use and discuss the tools I wish I could talk Renee’ into letting me buy. For those of you that don’t know St. Renee’, she is my Sainted wife, beloved companion and my best friend (particularly when she lets me buy something).


Throughout these columns I will sprinkle safety messages or lectures in if I feel strongly about them. I have an overriding feeling that woodworkers should have all their fingers and they should be different lengths. Woodworkers that have saw shortened fingers can get along in mittens, but I prefer gloves.