Photo: Chad McClung, Woodcraft Magazine Chief Editor
From professional graphic designer to chief editor of a national woodworking magazine in 10 years – that’s Chad McClung’s story. On Jan. 1, 2018, Chad took over as chief editor of Woodcraft Magazine, succeeding Tim Snyder, who decided to spend more time at home in Connecticut with his family but will continue with the magazine as a senior editor and consultant.
After graduating from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, Chad returned to his hometown, Parkersburg, where he worked first for the Parkersburg News and Sentinel, then a local advertising agency, and finally his own graphic design business, Livewire Studio, before joining the Woodcraft Magazine team.
Chad’s first connection with Woodcraft Magazine was as a freelance graphic artist, which soon led to his first full-time position as assistant art director in October 2007 when Jim Harrold was editor. Later he was promoted to art director, a position be held for several years before becoming managing editor under Snyder in 2017.
In these photos, Chad is assembling the Six-Board Blanket Chest featured in the Feb/Mar 2018 Woodcraft Magazine issue.
“I started at Woodcraft over 10 years ago as a freelance designer. I had just bought a 100-year-old house, so I needed a steady job and a discount on quality tools,” Chad said. “My limited DIY experience opened the door to woodworking, but I soon found myself surrounded by great opportunity. I learned from the magazine team and all of our regular contributors. And it didn't hurt that the magazine office is right next door to a Woodcraft store. So there was always a knowledgeable group of woodworkers at my disposal. It was a great way to get building.”
Chad's home shop was created as a magazine project in the magazine’s Issue 66.
Chad checks out the custom hand-tool cabinet in his home shop.
Continuing, Chad shared, “Woodworking became so much a part of my life, but I wanted more. It wasn’t enough to lay out articles, do photograph projects, and work with technical illustrators. I wanted to write and edit stories too. I couldn't have done it without the great guys at the mag. I’ve learned so much over the years from Tim, Joe, and Paul, the senior editors. I owe a lot to those guys, and can’t imagine doing it without them. And Bobby, the ART guy that took my place is doing a fantastic job.”
“Woodcraft Magazine views this change as a positive move forward,” publisher Gary Lombard said. “Chad has been with the magazine for 10+ years, and over that time has held various roles and truly learned the magazine business from the bottom up. His experience in all aspects of the magazine’s production is one of his greatest strengths, which has been complemented by Tim Snyder’s mentoring and the working relationship Chad has built with senior editors Paul Anthony and Joe Hurst-Wajszczuk and the rest of the staff.”
Photo: The Woodcraft Magazine Team includes: left to right, front row, senior editor Paul Anthony, new chief editor Chad McClung, senior editor and consultant Tim Snyder, and Kim McLaughlin, circulation support; back row, Stacey Bartenschlag, circulation support; office manager Connie Harmon, advertising sales manager Vic Lombard, publisher Gary Lombard, new art director Bobby Schehl, and senior editor Joe Hurst-Wajszczuk.
Snyder wrote in his final “Staying Sharp” column in the February/March 2018 issue: “This transition in leadership has actually been going on for a while. From my first day as the magazine’s chief editor over three years ago, Chad has been an able and enthusiastic partner in making all kinds of changes to improve your magazine.”
“I enjoy figuring out how to do certain things – solving problems,” Chad shared. “I like working my brain in tandem with my hands. But I’m a sucker for giving away what I build. It’s satisfying to hand over a handmade gift and hear, ‘You MADE this?’ People really do appreciate quality craftsmanship.”
“Readers should expect the same mix of fun projects, valuable techniques, and new products from the best team of woodworking publishers,” McClung said. “There are a few new things to look forward to, though. We’re working on a new section, for example, called BasicBUILDS. If you see this designation, you’ll know we’ve reworked a classic furniture piece into a buildable project for anyone with a modest set of tools. Expect, too, exclusive content coming to our website and in our social media channels, like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.”
Photo: Chad's latest project in Woodcraft Magazine introduces the new BasicBUILDS feature.
Music & Family
Before life got too busy, Chad pursued another passion – music. For many years he played drums and bass guitar with several bands, some of them while attending art school in Pittsburgh. Today his music is pretty much confined to listening and appreciating.
Chad and his wife Elizabeth and daughters, Abigail, 17, and Avery, 14, reside in Vienna. Spending time together is a priority for Chad. “As a family, we love traveling, and outdoorsy activities like hiking, biking, and kayaking.”
Congratulations, Chad. I have enjoyed working with you over the past 10 years.