Tool Review Challenge #1: Announcement

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Blog entry by Martin Sojka posted 01-19-2008 04:19 PM 5101 reads 1 time favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Tool Review Challenge series Part 2: Winners... »

”Reviews By Users” and ”Users You Can Trust”

Wow! What a wonderful response we’ve had to the newest addition to our site – the Reviews!

In less than 24 hours, we already had 10 reviews posted and they are still coming in. This feature is going to be a real benefit to those looking at a new purchase. According to the comments posted, the success of the new Reviews feature has been attributed partly to the fact that they are “reviews by users” and they are “users you can trust”. This resource is a great tool for those researching a product prior to making a purchase.

The Wood Whisperer

To celebrate the success, we are once again partnering with Marc Spagnuolo, The Wood Whisperer, to offer a new challenge to the LumberJocks.

The Challenge: Post a review of your tool(s)!

Each product you review earns you one ballot for the draw! The more products you review, the greater your chances to win. At the end of the challenge (the end of January 2008), 4 random selections will be made and each of the winners will receive a T-shirt. Two of the t-shirts will be from and two will be from The Wood Whisperer.


Simply post a review of a tool or resource that you have personally used. Reviews must be posted by January 31, 2008.

Pictures: if you include a picture taken by someone else, please honor copyright rules and provide the appropriate credits. Also, we’d like to see YOUR tool in YOUR shop, so get those cameras out!

Re-Posting Previous Reviews: Yes, you can enter a review that you had previously in your blog or the forums. Simply transfer the information over to the new Reviews format and you have an entry into the challenge! (Please don’t simply link the review to previous postings. Copy/paste will work and you can update it as you see fit.)

Your experience with a tool or resource can aid others in their research of future purchases!

Have fun!

14 comments so far

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4799 days

#1 posted 01-19-2008 06:13 PM

Sounds great Martin!

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 4972 days

#2 posted 01-19-2008 06:14 PM

it’s been fun watching how fast the reviews have stacked up!!

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 4685 days

#3 posted 01-19-2008 06:34 PM

This can only benefit the community. Great idea.

View Hawgnutz's profile


526 posts in 4887 days

#4 posted 01-19-2008 07:32 PM

Great idea! Now we have someplace for unbiased opinions and reviews of tools BEFORE we buy them!

God Bless,

-- Saving barnwood from the scrapyards

View ben's profile


158 posts in 4681 days

#5 posted 01-19-2008 08:05 PM

Sorry if it’s been covered elsewhere, but I have 2 questions wrt the tool reviews:

1. when browsing the current reviews, and looking at adding a new review, I didn’t see the ability to write another review for the same product in a way that they’re co-located. Am I missing the place to do this, or did I just not go far enough?

2. Glancing around, the majority of reviews are 4 or 5 stars—how will we get the community to put in reviews for the awful things too? It makes sense that everybody wants to talk about their cool stuff, not the garbage or even average stuff, but it’s far more useful if we get coverage.

It’s a GREAT start, and I plan to add several DVD and tool reviews this weekend! Thanks.


View Martin Sojka's profile

Martin Sojka

1893 posts in 5283 days

#6 posted 01-19-2008 08:19 PM

Hey Ben,

here are answers to your Qs:

You have 2 options to write the review for the same product to make them as you say co-located or connected to that same product (and make the system automatically calculate average score etc.):

  1. Browse to the existing review of the product you want to review and click on the Add my review button
  2. Go to Post new review screen, select the product category, then brand and the system will automatically list all of the previously reviewed products matching your category and brand. If your product was already reviewed you should see it in the list – just click on it to proceed.

BTW this was the most tricky thing to do and will be the essential part of the reviews’ success ;)

There are already few negative reviews posted and I believe more will come in the future. There are no restrictions and coverage of worse products will be important as you said.

View ben's profile


158 posts in 4681 days

#7 posted 01-19-2008 08:41 PM

Martin—Thanks for the explanation!


View jeffthewoodwacker's profile


603 posts in 4615 days

#8 posted 01-19-2008 11:05 PM

Let the reviews start flowing! We are the users and sometimes abusers of tools and know first hand the great points and not so great points of the equipment that makes our work flow better.

-- Those that say it can't be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

View HandsOgold's profile


95 posts in 4815 days

#9 posted 01-20-2008 06:21 AM

While this new section should be of great benefit to members, there is another concern that i have that ive never found a place to communicate to the whole group, only responding to individual projects. It is the everpresent danger of working with toxic wood. Dozens of wood species, expecially the exotics and ALL spalted woods, can be hazardous to your health. The dusts, shavings and even the solids panels can cause skin, eye, respiratory problems including certain cancers, nee beech. Especially of concern is ubiquitous American walnut which is so toxic that its shavings shouldn’t be composted and it should NEVER come in contact with food, and yet it appears time and time again as a major component in CUTTING boards! Here is a link to a list of these woods. Please publicise this as a major button on your site, not only for the health of your members, but for all their children who run in and out of their workshops.

-- Dan

View Tony's profile


994 posts in 4841 days

#10 posted 01-20-2008 06:59 AM

A personal reply to Handsogold (Dan)

I am sure that most wood workers are aware that some species of wood and plants can be harmful to the health of some or all people and animals, this has been true from the beginning of time.

For example some people have an allegy to nuts, which can have an adverse reaction, I am lucky I do not suffer from this problem with nuts or wood, but I do suffer an acute allegy to lobster (which will kill me within 5 minutes) so I stay away from lobsters!!!!

Spated woods are not toxic, but the spores contained within some spated woods can have an affect on some, but not all people, depending upon the genus of the spores.

I personally think that we are becomming a little to paranoid in our way of life, fine, give us the facts, lets know that things can be harmful and lets us make our own informed decision. One person in a million suffering from the symptoms from a tree or plant does not make it dangerous to all of us..

PLEASE DO NOT PANIC OUR MEMBERS by placing a button to this effect. by all means provide the information, but not a panic button.

-- Tony - All things are possible, just some things are more difficult than others! - SKYPE: Heron2005 (

View ben's profile


158 posts in 4681 days

#11 posted 01-20-2008 06:12 PM

Martin—I have a follow up request for you. I did find the ‘Add Review’ button, but realized that the reason I missed it the first time is that you have to click through to the full length review to find it. Would it be easy to augment the ‘summary’ views with an ‘Add Review’ button?


(PS edit—another request—the requirement of adding a picture is both a nuisance, and unnecessary when there is already a picture present in an existing review. Could this requirement be abandoned?)

View johnt's profile


27 posts in 4846 days

#12 posted 01-20-2008 08:51 PM

Hi Martin, I agree with Ben, it’s important for me to get on a page and quickly navigate around it. Unfortunately I don’t have the time I would like on your web pages, so I have to retrain myself each time. I really like your new addition reviewing tools. Personally I am very interested in a review on a Planer/Moulder. I have a very keen interest in this tool and I would like some hands-on info before I purchase one. Thanks for your dedication to my favorite sport, JohnT

-- jft

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 5058 days

#13 posted 03-03-2008 05:06 PM

Tony I agree with you 100% that most people are not allergic to spalted woods, personally I am. And breathing any type of saw dust is going to kill you if you don’t protect yourself. Spalted wood is a fungus, my eye doctor had never heard of it either. She wrote me a script for eyedrops another oral script and told me to stay out of the shop for 2 weeks and after scratching and icthing and having swollen red eyes for 2 weeks it made a believer of me. I did’nt cry the sky is falling, but I did warn the guys on line here to let them know what happened to me, which started a whole discussion on dust collection and dust on your health. I don’t regret it. mike

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 4972 days

#14 posted 03-03-2008 05:54 PM

I remember that Mike.. and between that and Don’s discussion at the time, I was on an immediate search for a face mask!

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

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