A Few Words From Rich
What's New at Micro Fence
A Few Words From Rich
I must confess that the launch of our new e-commerce website has been a fascinating and humbling experience thus far. Though I knew Micro Fence's marketing practices would have to change dramatically when I retired from the Woodworking Show circuit, I now realize I had little concept of how to go about the transformation. The building of the website itself was a daunting task that seemed to go on forever (as I'm sure it will for years to come). It's been very much akin to building a complex piece of fine furniture.
For me, the photographic content was the most enjoyable part, as it led to learning about 'stacked focus' methods and Photoshop techniques (multiple shots with different focal points that are melded to create a virtually limitless depth-of-field). The results are pictures that can be 'mouse-clicked' to be enlarged to full-monitor size, showing every detail clearly.
Then of course, there were the endless hours of creating product pages, packaging combinations, gallery entries, testimonials, downloadable instructions, video content, shipping specifications, and e-commerce forms to create accounts, e-mailings and subscriber files. I'm grateful for the help of a small company in Illinois named UndergroundWebLab (you can call me for their contact information), that helped set up the skeletal software and guided me through the process of entering all things Micro Fence into that framework. Though challenging for a senior who didn't grow up with anything digital other than his fingers, it's exciting to be learning some 'cyber-speak' and creating a virtual home for Micro Fence.
We've been up and running for a few months now and just recently finished our first month-long Thanksgiving sale, which proved to be remarkably successful. We announced our new Customer Loyalty Rewards program in an advertising campaign in Woodworker's Journal (a digital e-zine), and welcomed as many new subscribers as we used to sign up in a half-dozen trade shows. Though I miss seeing some friends out on the road, I sure like the idea of staying home and avoiding airports every week
while still being able to watch our subscriber base grow.
Our new drawing, scheduled for April 1st, will be for our original Plunge Base fitted with our Light Ring along with our Maintenance Kit, a $510 value. (See picture below). Winners are chosen using an on-line random-number selection service from our newsletter subscriber list (maintained by Mail Chimp). Be sure to update your email or account information to ensure you're included in the selection process.
Woodworkers Spotlight on Sandor Nagyszalanczy
Back in 1991, before Micro Fence was born, I remember attending the AWFS show in Anaheim, California and visiting the Fine Woodworking booth. I'd been a subscriber since their earliest black and white days (when my furniture-building business was at its peak), and something inspired me to leave a brochure/catalog of my work with one of the fellows in their booth. About a year later I received a letter from the senior editor (whose name I could neither spell or pronounce--it's 'Shawn-door Not-sa-lon-see'), asking if I'd be interested in writing an article for the magazine about tambour door making. A few months later the article was published in FWW issue #93, (the controversial issue that had Norm Abram on the cover).
In the process of writing the article, Sandor Nagyszalanczy came to my shop in North Hollywood, CA all the way from Newtown, CT, to shoot the pictures for the article. The fellow who walked in the door was much younger than I had expected, but I soon learned that this man's energy and talents were unusual to say the least. Over the last twenty-five years our friendship has grown and deepened through a variety of experiences that allowed me to meet his remarkable parents, perform music at his wedding, share reciprocal visits at each other's homes, and enjoy many a jovial phone call. If you don't already know his work, let me introduce you to him.
Sandor Nagyszalanczy of Bonny Doon, California (near Santa Cruz), is a professional furniture designer and freelance writer, photographer and consultant. With more than 35 years of experience building custom furniture, Sandor’s furniture has been featured in dozens of books and magazine articles, woodworking exhibitions and galleries throughout the west, as well as in a special collection at the Minneapolis Institute of Art. He is a former senior editor of Fine Woodworking magazine, and West-coast editor of American Woodworker. He currently serves as a contributing editor to Woodworker’s Journal magazine.
Sandor has authored and photographed more than a dozen books on woodworking, tools and home improvement, all published by the Taunton Press, including: The Art of Fine Tools, Setting Up Shop,Woodshop Dust Control, The Homeowner’s Ultimate Tool Guide,Taunton’s Complete Illustrated Guide to Jigs and Fixtures, and Power Tools; An Electric Celebration and Grounded Guide. He served on the selection committees for Taunton’s Design Book Four and Design Book Five, and was Associate Editor of Design Book Six. From 2001-2008, Sandor received eight consecutive annual NAHWW-Vaughan “Golden Hammer” first-place awards for his writing and photography.
In the past 2 decades, Sandor has presented innumerable seminars and workshops on a variety of topics at woodworking schools, exhibitions and guild meetings around the country. He has juried woodworking exhibitions in the US and Canada and appeared on numerous television shows, including The History Channel’s "Modern Marvels," ABC’s "World News Tonight" and “DIY Tools and Techniques” on HGTV. Sandor has also served as a consultant to several woodworking tool manufacturers, and contributed to the design of several lines of portable power tools.
Born in Budapest, Hungary, Sandor and his family escaped during the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 and immigrated to America. He grew up in a traditional European household filled with remarkable art work and antique furniture, which sparked his interest in woodworking. His family moved to California in the early 1960s, where he later attended the University of California, Santa Cruz, graduating with a degree in design & aesthetics. After college, he started his own business building custom furniture and cabinetry for both commercial and residential clients.
Below is an Art Deco style cabinet that Sandor designed and built for a project article in Woodworker's Journalmagazine. Made from mahogany and ebonized wood, the cabinet features a double-decker pull-out drawer.
I'm proud to say that Sandor has been a Micro Fence advocate and user ever since we began marketing our tools and honored us with his testimonial below just for this newsletter.
"Every time I use my Micro Fence, it puts a smile on my face; the precision of the parts, the smoothness of the adjustment mechanisms reminds me of the kind of quality found in my best cameras and photo gear."
What's New at Micro Fence
Our Customer Loyalty Rewards program got off to a grand beginning this last month as we worked to bring new subscribers to our newsletter. Like most folks, I try to avoid the endless emails that solicit my discretionary income, so we're dedicated to including content that's worthwhile to serious woodworkers and especially to those using our tools, (by the way, suggestions for content are always welcome).
To serve as an incentive, we decided to present various offers, sales, and free drawings exclusively to our subscribers. I guess we hit a nerve, because we've seen an impressive increase in the number of subscriptions over the last month or two.
Speaking of those incentives, the winner of our Thanksgiving drawing is Mr. Lon Frankel of Houston Texas, a customer since 2008. The prize was one of our Micro Plunge Bases fitted with our Light Ring Kit (a $380 value).
“ I am honored to receive my new, award-winning plunge base and ring from Micro Fence! Thank you Richard, keep up the great innovation.”
Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter! Please refresh your subscription if your email address changes. Throughout the year we will be conducting free drawings and offering price reductions on various components of our system (watch our 'Featured Products' section). The notification of these opportunities will be exclusive to our subscribers.