Woodworking Magazine - A Review

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Blog entry by Eric posted 05-26-2009 04:22 PM 1409 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Until last week, I had never read Woodworking Magazine. It first hit the press when I was already in Malaysia, and I never ran across it during my time in the States in 2006-7.

But when my Shortcut on cutting curves without a bandsaw got accepted for the Spring 2009 issue, I got a free one-year subscription. I got my first issue – along with Winter 2008 – the other day.


I had read woodworking magazines before, but as a neanderthal was always put off by the powertoolcenteredness of the articles. The team of editors over at WM (not just Chris Schwarz!) have clearly decided to give the hand tools enthusiasts a bit more to work with, while still letting the majority of you know how to tackle the project with power tools as well.

Literally every single article (of the two issues I have seen) are either directly relevant or at least informative to me. Recently I went through all the woodworking magazines I had, and found myself saving one or two articles out of each – throwing the rest away. Not with WM!

I’d be curious to know how you blended or power tool woodworkers feel about WM. I admit that my enthusiasm for it stems mostly from the fact that I’m a neanderthal apprentice hungry for instruction, tips, techniques, etc. from any source I can find. And I’ve been plenty frustrated in the past by magazines and books that don’t even seem to know people like me exist.

-- Eric at

8 comments so far

View patron's profile


13606 posts in 3364 days

#1 posted 05-26-2009 05:49 PM

i dont know much about the mags , as im allways to busy at work .
and i live out in the boonies so have trouble geting my mail .
i used to get fine wood working as it was a xmas present ,
but got tired of seeing guys work that had dad pay for 7 years of college classes
and then bought them a hundred thou shop so they could take two years to build a stool !
thanks for the heads up on w.m. ill check it out
enjoy the wood .
cant wait to see your version of the exotic electric tennis raquet !

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View skeeter's profile


233 posts in 3364 days

#2 posted 05-26-2009 06:09 PM

Patron, please elaborate! I get FW and have never thought about it like that. I think that is very narrow thinking. Are you talking about the section for readers work? Well what does that occupy, four pages? I wouldn’t discount an entire magazine, I swear that has taught me more than anyone or thing else, for a couple of objectional pages.

-- My philosophy: Somewhere between Norm and Roy

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3358 days

#3 posted 05-26-2009 06:10 PM

Well Eric, my experience is that most of these magazines get pretty repetitive with regards to article content. It is true that there usually aren’t many articles a person will be interested in in each issue, but I have found over the years that eventually you will be interested in many old articles as your woodworking needs and interests develops. I am constantly digging through old magazine issues and books to find articles that addresses any problems of the moment. Practically everything I’ve learned has been from these magazines. I don’t like it that most magazines give you the impression that you need a bunch of expensive machines to do woodworking, but I know better, so I just overlook it.The best magazine is the one that inspires you the most at any given time.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View BobLang's profile


155 posts in 3424 days

#4 posted 05-26-2009 07:04 PM

In case there’s anyone else who hasn’t seen Woodworking Magazine, you can download an issue for free from the magazines home page:

Bob Lang

-- Bob Lang,

View willy3486's profile


77 posts in 3421 days

#5 posted 05-26-2009 07:41 PM

I use to get a few magazines through the years, wood mag published one of my hints. And I buy some on newsstands. I don’t get any now . One reason was cutting back a few years ago when I got laid off. I never resubscribed to any. I also got away from woodworking but in the last few months I am back into it. There are a few reasons I have not rejoined. One is cost, I saw a few mags in a local store and the price for most was between 6.99 and 9.99. For the price of 3-4 of them I can get a hardbound book in a bookstore with no ads. The other thing is many magazines are flooded with ads. Car mags are the worst. Now some are not flooded with ads, a couple of woodworking mags out there are not flooded with ads but most I see are where I live. And I have quite a few magazines I have gotten through the years and I can usually thumb through them to see something I want to build. And the internet, I can find a lot out there I am looking to build all in the comfort of my chair at home. I do like getting them but for some reason when I look nothing seems to jump out at me that makes me want it. Maybe someday I will find one that gets me to getting them again .

View kiwi1969's profile


608 posts in 3465 days

#6 posted 05-27-2009 12:22 AM

THE Bob Lang is a member of this site? Mate I love your work . Got plenty of your books on my xmas wish. As for woodworking mag, i,ve only seen it twice here in the philippines and will grab it whenever I get the rare oppurtunity to, it,s top quality. Actually I grab any mag I can get as they are so rare here. Still prize my FWW mags from the early eighties. Thanks for the link Bob.

-- if the hand is not working it is not a pure hand

View cpollock's profile


34 posts in 3437 days

#7 posted 05-27-2009 04:07 AM

I recently started a subscription to Woodworking Magazine, and really enjoy it, for many of the same reasons Eric mentioned. The articles are fairly deep and insightful, and they are pretty good at conveying some of the better hand tool techniques for building. They shoot it in black and white, which gives it a old time edginess – you think you are getting advice from wise old “Grandpa Woodworker”. There are no adds, so its obvious they are not pushing any products. Plus, I’m really into Arts and Crafts, and it just so happened the first issue of Woodworking that I picked up had a nice Stickley table plan in it. I guess it hit a resonance. I get FWW too, and usually find one or two articles in that magazine that are useful. Like Stefang said, I’ve found them more useful as a reference when I eventually need to try something in a project. I for one will keep my subscriptions going for awhile.

View a1Jim's profile


117115 posts in 3600 days

#8 posted 05-27-2009 04:18 AM

I have a collection of 8 different magazines I prefer Finewoodworking (sorry Dave) but many of the others have good advise also like Wood, American woodworker, shopsmith. woodshop news and more. You can get a lot of the same information on line at or

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

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