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The Editors Mailbox

UPDDATE: Shop Improvements: Outstanding ideas from the world's finest woodworkers from Fine Woodworking magazine

comments (142) July 6th, 2011 in blogs

BetsyE Betsy Engel, contributor
thumbs up 8 users recommend

 - CLICK TO ENLARGE Photo: Matt Berger

Shop Improvements
Taunton Press, 2007
$19.95; 224 pp.

This book is a collection of articles from past issues of Fine Woodworking covering all sorts of things for the shop. There are lots of jig articles for the tablesaw, bandsaw, planer, router and the drill press. Also included are smart storage solutions and improvements to workstations and shop aids, like a tilt-top shop cart that handles plywood and a rock-solid plywood bench. Like Fine Woodworking articles over the years, these articles include detailed drawings and photos to help with step-by-step instruction. Quite simply, Shop Improvments is full of great ideas and would be a great help to just about all woodworkers.

Lucky Grabel is the winner. His comment was chosen at random.

Check back later for more giveaways.

posted in: blogs, workshop, giveaway, book review

Comments (142)

clay6878 clay6878 writes: I want that.
Posted: 10:08 am on July 11th

BA3 BA3 writes: I'm always looking for ways to improve my shop -- in fact, sometimes I think I spend more time working on my shop than working on projects. This would be a great addition to my thinking process!
Posted: 9:24 am on July 6th

brownwood1536 brownwood1536 writes: Every shop can be improved, mine especially. Enter me in the drawing.

Posted: 8:41 pm on July 5th

TNakr TNakr writes: This book looks like a fine addition to anyone's library. I'd love to have this book, too. Thanks!
Posted: 7:54 pm on July 5th

JohnOSeattle JohnOSeattle writes: Who doesn't want Improvements?
Posted: 7:41 pm on July 5th

geppetto425 geppetto425 writes: I love these books! Makes it easier to find stuff instead ol looking through my old issues. This one sounds like a great way to look around your shop and make it better!
Posted: 6:46 pm on July 5th

CooneyHoser CooneyHoser writes: I am interested in winning the Shop Improvements book. I am back to woodworking now that I can afford to buy the dust control equipment to make it fun again. It would be helpful to see how the experts do it!

Eric Jensen

Posted: 3:09 pm on July 5th

pabull pabull writes: Did I show up too late for the party?
Posted: 12:10 pm on July 5th

grin grin writes: Sure could use a book like this. thanks for the chance to get one for free.
Posted: 1:24 am on July 5th

don_tw don_tw writes: Excellent!
Posted: 11:45 pm on July 4th

mwalter mwalter writes: Storage solutions sound wonderful!
Posted: 10:08 pm on July 4th

carpentarius carpentarius writes: Thanks for the give away! My shop burnt in July of 09' and I'm just this week end building my first project. All my books were lost in the fire, so I sure could this one.
Posted: 9:36 pm on July 4th

mclark561 mclark561 writes: Setting up a new shop and I could really use some good ideas.
Posted: 9:07 pm on July 4th

cwcarronsr cwcarronsr writes: Looks like a great book. Please add me for consideration. As an old timer, I could use a book like this
Posted: 7:55 pm on July 4th

bruwno bruwno writes: I am just starting to get my garage/work shop together, this book would be a great tool to guide me as I layout the plans for my workshop and save time on future projects.
Posted: 7:31 pm on July 4th

bigcu bigcu writes: Although my shop is also my mancave, I need all the help I can get to get to the point where I can spend less time cleaning up to have more time to build things.
Posted: 5:49 pm on July 4th

jbh1010 jbh1010 writes: What a great idea to share. We are a small company doing work work for individuals with disabilities and therefore anything we can get to improve our layouts, methods, procedures and or safety would be put to good and timely use. We download the free project all the time, use the to study methods, procedures and other method.
Thank you for the opportunity to have one of your great books.
Posted: 11:30 am on July 4th

s_dor s_dor writes: Just the book I need!!!
Posted: 6:45 am on July 4th

DWats DWats writes: This would be great addition to my library. I have very few about the shop itself
Posted: 6:03 am on July 4th

luckyboy luckyboy writes:
I may need it more that all of you, just about to launch into the big new shop, the 2 car garage is going (along with the house) for a new 4 car space monster (and a new house) so at last I'll have space for all the toys AND room to move.

Posted: 5:59 am on July 4th

nznix nznix writes: just what I need
Posted: 11:20 pm on July 3rd

lovewoodwork lovewoodwork writes: I would love to have it since I want to get my shop in order.
Posted: 6:57 pm on July 3rd

Dean7 Dean7 writes: I would like a copy of this book.
Posted: 6:08 pm on July 3rd

Brock  Carlson Brock Carlson writes: if it is as good as the other books i have from taunton press it would be a nice addition to any library

Posted: 5:47 pm on July 3rd

Robbie2527 Robbie2527 writes: I would love to have this book to add to my library of woodworking books. I truly love the ideas that Finewoodworking shares with it readers. This book sounds like it would be another great tool to have in my tool box of knowledge. Thanks for the opportunity to enter for the book. Stay safe and lets make some sawdust.

Posted: 1:05 pm on July 3rd

Kitfox Kitfox writes: This book sure would like nice next to my other books from Taunton Press in my Fine Woodworking bookcase plans made.
Posted: 10:09 am on July 3rd

Jasper_50 Jasper_50 writes: Hey Guys

This book sounds exactly what I need more than ever.
Posted: 9:27 am on July 3rd

partner1 partner1 writes: Sure hope I win a free copy!
Posted: 5:56 am on July 3rd

woodenhat woodenhat writes: One who works in a 12' x 24' shop can certainly use all of the storage and practical methodologies for generating more uses for the tools that we can currently afford.
So, how did I do?

Posted: 12:50 am on July 3rd

Timfsmith Timfsmith writes: Getting new ideas and tips on improving techniques is a big part of developing better skills,greater knowledge of the craft and a deeper ENJOYMENT of woodworking .This book is just the ticket
Posted: 12:17 am on July 3rd

bill117 bill117 writes: When I cut, I cut too short

Or cut too long, it's close enough

If I would mark or measure right

My finished joints would fit quite tight

I've been to school and worked a lot

I've used the books like I've been taught

But still my work dissatisfies

Most people always criticize

If I could win just one more book

To read the text and pictures look

Maybe I would find the way

To do things right, the Fine Woodworking way

Posted: 11:16 pm on July 2nd

Blackdart1966 Blackdart1966 writes: I always look forward to receivng the next eletter. Thanks for all of the great tips.
Posted: 10:07 pm on July 2nd

MJJoiner MJJoiner writes: Love to have this one in my library! I share BTW with others in the attempt to lure others into wood working!
Posted: 8:39 pm on July 2nd

ronberneburg ronberneburg writes: I have been working in a 10 x 14 foot plastic enclosed shop for over a year. Well I just built a very nice 20 x 40 foot shop with the electrical outlets dedicated. This is perfect timming as now I must start on my benches , tables, cabinets , etc.... This book would be helpfull !!!!!
Posted: 7:20 pm on July 2nd

gbear1 gbear1 writes: pick me...thank you.
Posted: 6:50 pm on July 2nd

Bradleyman Bradleyman writes: Man i sure could use any help i can get to improve my shop abilities !!
Posted: 6:34 pm on July 2nd

Morbius_Of_Oz Morbius_Of_Oz writes: I love Taunton's books, and am in the process of setting up a new workshop. I'd love a copy of this book!
Posted: 5:39 pm on July 2nd

SarazWork SarazWork writes: Can you EVER have enough reference books in your library? Especially if they are from Taunton Press. This would be a wonderful addition to any library. Books are like tools, there is always one that is just right and you have to have it. This is one of those. Count me in!
Posted: 5:08 pm on July 2nd

Ron_C Ron_C writes: As a beginner outfitting my shop piece by piece as finances allow, this book would be of great help to me. Thanks for the chance to win a free copy!
Posted: 5:02 pm on July 2nd

MUCHBETTER MUCHBETTER writes: It's a real testament to the character and diversity of woodworkers that an article on simpler construction of a crosscut sled can introduce bloggers and blog readers to remarkable ideas and techniques. Some bloggers respond with humility, others with bravado, some with greatly expanded ideas, others with 'gotcha' or false photos criticisms. I'm just beginning to get back to woodworking after a reluctant 20 year break. The dynamic interaction offered by online articles and blogs is a feast from a mind-active community, striving to do common things better, and stretching to do the extraordinary when possible. I'm thankful for your collective influence, a usually unconscious support, suddenly felt quite deeply. THANKS !!
Posted: 4:20 pm on July 2nd

sailed sailed writes: Any Taunton Press book would be a welcomed addtion to my library, but this on will do nicely !

Posted: 2:46 pm on July 2nd

casaheil casaheil writes: This book looks like it would be a great addition to my shop library.
Posted: 1:43 pm on July 2nd

samjoe samjoe writes: The sled article is just the push I needed to get around to building one. I really enjoy the email as well as the magazine. I like the "how to" articles more than the project articles.

I really would like to win the book.

Posted: 1:33 pm on July 2nd

Redguy Redguy writes: This book would make a great addition to my library; the tips and improvements in this book would certainly add to attaining higher and more consistently professional shop results, not to mention improved efficiency. I hope I win the copy but blessing to all hopefuls.
Posted: 1:21 pm on July 2nd

icomba icomba writes: I want this book to not only help me improve my shop but also help improve my mind for woodworking. THANKS!
Posted: 1:06 pm on July 2nd

wilderness1989 wilderness1989 writes: Great looking book....hope the inside is as good!!!!
Posted: 12:33 pm on July 2nd

sdicenso sdicenso writes: I would love to have this book but actually I need it. I have a small shop in the back of the garage. It desperately needs organization.
Posted: 12:30 pm on July 2nd

attentionspan1 attentionspan1 writes: I am building my first no-compromise workbench thanks to Tauntons great books. Now this offer! wow! Thank you for the book.
Posted: 12:13 pm on July 2nd

pabull pabull writes: Thanks for the opportunity to participate with this give away.
Posted: 11:42 am on July 2nd

Lutro Lutro writes: Currently combining and consolidating two workshops into one. We are out of space and looking for ideas.
Posted: 11:18 am on July 2nd

DAVE_RSA DAVE_RSA writes: great book i wonder how many great ideas it has that i could use
Posted: 11:16 am on July 2nd

Boyscout13 Boyscout13 writes: Always welcome ideas on improving my shop. I think I work more on my shop then on my projects :)
Posted: 10:51 am on July 2nd

TurnII TurnII writes: My interest in woodworking started a few years ago while watching TV programs like "New Yankee Workshop". But after a while seeing reruns got a little old and frustrating. Like most serious endeavors, you end up researching info in books and now the internet. I have several recommended books on woodworking, shops and woodworking tools. There is always some duplication in each one. But even more important there is always something new. Books will never go out of style.
Posted: 10:39 am on July 2nd

franco88 franco88 writes: The idea of improvement is always on my mind even though I have been working wood most of my life. I still find lots and lots of room for improvement. My education is so far incomplete - adequate, but incomplete. I would not mind, in the least, adding the wisdom of this book to my knowledge base.
Posted: 10:35 am on July 2nd

vltrnjd vltrnjd writes: I started out in woodworking by gutting my garage and building my own shop benches and cabinets. I love tips on making it more efficient. Here is one that I used: I like having my hand tools hanging on peg board but they get too dusty and covered with spider webs. I made vertical sliding boards (think of a sideways drawer) to put in one wall cabinet. The boards are framed peg board. I labeled the forward edge - now I can just pull out the slide and find what I need, neat and clean inside of the cabinet. I have slides for hammers, cutters, wrenches, pliers, phillips, flats, and specialty tools. Works great!
Posted: 10:21 am on July 2nd

Irene_Onderweegs Irene_Onderweegs writes: I love your books and the magazine FW, it is such an eye opener for my dh, a carpenter with over 40 yrs experience. In the Netherlands where we live, it is hardly possible to have good books on woodworking, and Fine Woodworking is the best reading stuff he ever layed hands on. He even reads it in bed to calm down and feel good before going to sleep =^}
And tells me afterwards ( i.e. in the morning) what's so great about it!
It makes woodworking fun again, a learning experience!
Forever young, he will be happy to give a review!

Posted: 10:07 am on July 2nd

Dzhek Dzhek writes: At 81 years, I continue to be amazed at the steady flow of new ideas and techniques that take advantage of the progressive technologies in working with wood. "Shop Improvements" promises me assurance of learning even more than I've accumulated so far in life about the pleasures of woodworking.
Posted: 9:40 am on July 2nd

Larrydaryldaryl Larrydaryldaryl writes: A person like me can always use a good book to read and learn from. I will never be too old to learn.
Posted: 9:32 am on July 2nd

Zargon Zargon writes: As I get more distinguished, (older) some things seem to get heavier and harder to handle... I sure could use a tilt-top shop cart that handles plywood in my shop! So you know when [ I ] WIN the book... it will immediately be put to good use!!! ;-D

Which reminds me.. I used to have a book that was full of useful methods and tips and "tricks" showing you to do many 2 or more man jobs efficiently - even if you are only one. Now, I wonder where I hid that one.....????

BTW: I love the content on this site.. just today I learned a great method of making a dead on square cross cut jig... and when I'm done with the honey-DO!!! projects for the day I think I'll make one for my unisaw and not have to be paranoid about getting perfectly square cross cuts any longer. :D
Posted: 9:31 am on July 2nd

cyruswilson cyruswilson writes: hi, my name is cyrus, and i'm in need of help of any kind.
esprcially woodworking, count me in too for this book.
thanks for the chance to win!!!
Posted: 9:24 am on July 2nd

Jimmyb4848 Jimmyb4848 writes: This can give me some ideas for my two car garage shop. Norm says you can never have enough clamps. You can also never have enough shop storage.
Posted: 9:19 am on July 2nd

iroc iroc writes: I guess I'm the new guy on the block could sure use some good help on every thing.
Posted: 9:13 am on July 2nd

highlakejohn highlakejohn writes: When it comes to storage and space utilization, I need all the help I can get!!
Posted: 8:54 am on July 2nd

emptysaddle emptysaddle writes: You can never have too many books when it comes to ideas and better ways for woodworking projects and home repairs for the everyday nonprofessional handyman.
Posted: 8:50 am on July 2nd

VAbear VAbear writes: Books are fine.
The opportunity to be mindful, to focus and an uninhibited imagination make woodworking satisfying, whether I receive the book or not.
Posted: 8:43 am on July 2nd

Dadzor Dadzor writes: I am currently in the process of converting my detached garage into a woodshop. This would really come in handy.
Thanks for giving us all a shot at winning it.
Posted: 8:39 am on July 2nd

aaijr aaijr writes: Looks like a good title. Hope it has some tips on wood storage.
Posted: 7:55 am on July 2nd

darbybrown darbybrown writes: Need to give up my present shop, will come in handy for new one..
Posted: 7:54 am on July 2nd

decarlowoodworks decarlowoodworks writes: Sounds great!
Posted: 7:43 am on July 2nd

Patrick_J Patrick_J writes: Thanks for this opportunity. I'm starting the process of completely rebuilding my basement workshop. This book would definitely be a help.
Posted: 7:17 am on July 2nd

gjoverto gjoverto writes: Thanks for making this available. I'm building my first woodshop right now and could really use the advice.
Posted: 7:05 am on July 2nd

sedcokid sedcokid writes: This would be a Great addition to my shop! Lord knows I need help...
Posted: 6:52 am on July 2nd

chawig chawig writes: It got two, very thorough 5-star reviews on Amazon. Sign me up!
Posted: 6:51 am on July 2nd

sedcokid sedcokid writes: This looks like it would be a Great addition to my shop!! Lord knows I need help!
Posted: 6:50 am on July 2nd

WouldWorker WouldWorker writes: Doing major upgrades to my shop now, so this book would be very helpful.
Posted: 6:47 am on July 2nd

THelmuth THelmuth writes: This sounds like a great book. I love learning new tips and techniques.
Posted: 6:43 am on July 2nd

Edward Edward writes: Always room for Shop Improvement.
Posted: 6:41 am on July 2nd

mscolvin mscolvin writes: I'm a new woodworker, setting up my garage (french word for shop) for woodworking. This book looks like it would be very helpful to me in figuring out how to best use my limited space.
Posted: 6:31 am on July 2nd

NoelNNY NoelNNY writes: A chance to win a free book - it would be the first thing I have ever won; but I would be just as pleased to receive the digital version & save the trees for lumber woodworking.
Posted: 6:25 am on July 2nd

shedhaunter shedhaunter writes: Even here downunder we can do with all the help we can get to make our work space more efficient. Would love the book!
Posted: 6:22 am on July 2nd

Dan01 Dan01 writes: This would be a great addition to my Taunton Press library.
Posted: 6:08 am on July 2nd

Pegasus47 Pegasus47 writes: Just the picture on the cover of the book gives me ideas, imagine what the whole book could do for me. Pick me please.
Posted: 5:53 am on July 2nd writes: Books are like fine wine they get better with age.
Posted: 5:24 am on July 2nd

JustMike JustMike writes: I'm converting my small one car garage into a workshop, but right now it's just a HUGE mess full of tools and wood (my "workbench" is just a pair of sawhorses). I'm sure this book will give me the organisational ideas I need to clean it up and make it possible to work in. I've read some past issues, and missed some past issues, but what I've read has already begun to make my little lightbulb burn just a bit brighter. With this compilation, I'll be able to bring it all together to create the perfect workshop. For me, anyways.
Posted: 5:23 am on July 2nd

srathke srathke writes: I enjoy reading good woodworking resources. This book looks interesting. May I have it?
Posted: 5:17 am on July 2nd

linarestribe linarestribe writes: This would be cool!
Posted: 3:39 am on July 2nd

opie123 opie123 writes: I'm just setting up my first real shop. This book would definitely help. Thanks.
Posted: 3:14 am on July 2nd

docholladay0820 docholladay0820 writes: Help! I'm in the midst of doing a complete overhaul of my shop. I could use all of the help that I can get. Please send me a copy of this book.

Posted: 2:42 am on July 2nd

Archae Archae writes: Too bad there is just one available. So, how about a discount to all who left a comment?
Posted: 5:17 pm on July 1st

aedom1 aedom1 writes: I want a book
Posted: 4:35 pm on July 1st

mdcraver mdcraver writes: I'd also like this book.
Posted: 3:49 pm on July 1st

brian_g brian_g writes: I need all the help in making improvements...or at least that is what my wife tells me.
Posted: 3:45 pm on July 1st

RichAM RichAM writes: My shop needs any improvements it could get...
Posted: 10:27 am on June 30th

teachersteve teachersteve writes: Count me in
Posted: 1:59 pm on June 29th

GianniB GianniB writes: This is my comment.
Posted: 1:45 pm on June 29th

SoonerRon SoonerRon writes: I'm a beginner woodworker, just setting up shop in my garage. I know that the jigs, storage projects and tips and tricks in this book will help me maximize the use of my space and become more efficient in the shop. Thanks for sharing!
Posted: 1:35 pm on June 29th

jdm92562 jdm92562 writes: I think I need one
Posted: 7:24 am on June 29th

Tod_Jervey Tod_Jervey writes: I need this book. My shop is a MESS!
Posted: 11:32 pm on June 28th

routerrat routerrat writes: Throw my name in the hat.
Posted: 10:39 pm on June 28th

Tye154 Tye154 writes: this website is awesome,
book please...

Posted: 8:25 pm on June 28th

2dtenor 2dtenor writes: If I win, I promise not to cut my hand off with the tablesaw.
Posted: 7:51 pm on June 28th

SwartzWuest SwartzWuest writes: I'll try
Posted: 7:11 pm on June 28th

Grabel Grabel writes: I have some of my gear in the garage - cars and sawdust!!! eeewwww....

The rest is in the shed - have to get it out to use it and shower more sawdust over my wifes car - she doesnt seem very keen on this arrangement.

I'm certain the book would help!
Posted: 5:47 pm on June 28th

savage1 savage1 writes: Looks like a great book. I'd love to have it.
Posted: 4:16 pm on June 28th

NewGuyInMass NewGuyInMass writes: Will winning this book get my newborn to sleep through the night?
Posted: 3:50 pm on June 28th

Woody_55 Woody_55 writes: My wife keeps calling my shop a garage. Help!
Posted: 2:30 pm on June 28th

SmithWkshp SmithWkshp writes: ..putting my bid in for more shop improvement projects!
Posted: 2:23 pm on June 28th

caub caub writes: My shop could stand some improvements - would love the book!
Posted: 12:22 pm on June 28th

pdigel pdigel writes: Wife says please finish the shop. I said ok. This book would help!

Thank you!
Posted: 11:17 am on June 28th

hjbdc hjbdc writes: Looks like a great book! I'm in!
Posted: 11:16 am on June 28th

Woodsmithy Woodsmithy writes: I am always open to ideas for improving, so what could be better than a free book on improvement.
Posted: 10:58 am on June 28th

harpmakerGA harpmakerGA writes: Great book! I want a copy. Count me in!
Posted: 8:38 am on June 28th

RobS123 RobS123 writes: I once had visions of a shop with wooden floors, wooden cabinets on the walls and a smell that reminded me of Colonial Williamsburg. Instead I have acres and acres of white pegboard and a cat box I have to kick out of the way to use the planer. I need help!
Posted: 10:30 pm on June 27th

cpeel cpeel writes: my motto is buy low, sale high and except all free samples ( and books)
Posted: 9:45 pm on June 27th

goodguy goodguy writes: Sure. Why not?
Posted: 9:26 pm on June 27th

Circuit Rider Circuit Rider writes: I would sure like a copy of this book,, count me in.

Posted: 8:59 pm on June 27th

Red_F Red_F writes: I'm in
Posted: 7:07 pm on June 27th

GoRedsUS GoRedsUS writes: Yep, my shop needs to be improved...count me in.
Posted: 4:06 pm on June 27th

ndreyer ndreyer writes: Count me in.
Posted: 3:39 pm on June 27th

sk2tobin sk2tobin writes: pick me please!
Posted: 2:52 pm on June 27th

Mikecorwin Mikecorwin writes: Looks like a book I should own!
Posted: 2:36 pm on June 27th

milljohnster milljohnster writes: Looks like a good book!
Posted: 2:09 pm on June 27th

krittm krittm writes: I could use the help!
Posted: 12:29 pm on June 27th

brrbtr brrbtr writes: My shop could certainly use Improvements. :)
Posted: 11:58 am on June 27th

Jerryki Jerryki writes: I can use all the help I can get!
Posted: 10:42 am on June 27th

LBF LBF writes: I really need this book.
Posted: 9:37 am on June 27th

tlpmap tlpmap writes: This one looks like a winner!
Posted: 8:03 am on June 27th

chucktown chucktown writes: Who couldn't use this? I'm in!

Posted: 7:01 am on June 27th

casaheil casaheil writes: My shop could definitely use improvement. I'd love to win this book.
Posted: 11:38 pm on June 26th

Jollyroger Jollyroger writes: Now dis shopkeeper would love some o' dat fine improvin'.
Posted: 9:37 pm on June 26th

Axion44 Axion44 writes: Could use some improvements to my garage shop.
Posted: 9:22 pm on June 26th

JeffB JeffB writes: I need that!
Posted: 8:56 pm on June 26th

mvmatt mvmatt writes: I once saw my shop as a vision of efficiency and cleanliness, a shop that needed no improvements, then I was riding a panther across the forest, then Betty White told me that she did not like it when I burned the toast, then I woke up. I really need to cut out the spicy food before bed.
Posted: 8:49 pm on June 26th

mdwatkins mdwatkins writes: What a coincidence. I'm actually building a new lumber rack to help organize my shop today. Great timing FWW, would love to see everything thats in store in the book.

Posted: 8:18 pm on June 26th

jduro jduro writes: I'd love to have it to help organize mine...
Posted: 7:47 pm on June 26th

mightywombat mightywombat writes: My shop space needs a makeover in the worst way! What can you do with a rat-infested shed whose walls are lined with four inches of styrofoam when it's just a rental?
Posted: 7:38 pm on June 26th

Antondeg Antondeg writes: Looks like what I need.
Posted: 7:31 pm on June 26th

308defense 308defense writes: This book would be something my shop needs badly. I know it needs help and this book would me get the shop working for me instead of me work the shop.
Thank you for making a copy available to all of us.
Posted: 7:25 pm on June 26th

JustinArnold JustinArnold writes: There is much room for improvement!
Posted: 5:28 pm on June 26th

AndyRey AndyRey writes: I'd love to do a 'book report' on it.
Posted: 4:49 pm on June 26th

MarkKessler MarkKessler writes: This book is just what I need to get my shop in order. Thanks for offering this up!
Posted: 4:42 pm on June 26th

JLYoung JLYoung writes: I'd love to have a copy of this book
Posted: 4:19 pm on June 26th

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