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View roofner's profile

Frustrated with wood working magazines

by roofner
posted 636 days ago


42 replies so far

View paratrooper34's profile

paratrooper34

760 posts in 1583 days


#1 posted 636 days ago

I really like Popular Woodworking. I subscribe to that and Shopnotes. I occasionally purchase FineWoodworking from time to time.

There are a few out there that I won’t subscribe to, but I think they each have some value. I have been inspired from time to time by looking at some of the projects, but I do not get them for inspiration. If that’s what you are looking for, maybe you can switch what you receive now to ones that more inspire you. Barnes and Nobles has a very large selection of woodworking magazines which would give you a chance to see a bunch of different ones.

Good Luck.

-- Mike

View b2rtch's profile

b2rtch

4318 posts in 1680 days


#2 posted 636 days ago

I am in the same boat.These magazines are mostly full of advertisements and little else. (sorry for those who I am sure try very hard to make these magazines attractive and interesting)
I shall keep Fine Woodworking as it is my favorite and a friend of mine writes in it.

-- Bert

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

1728 posts in 1124 days


#3 posted 636 days ago

I think what happens is that you get tired reading the same stuff over and over…common with any of them. I also subscribed to several hunting/shooting magazines and ran into the same. stuff. Now, if you’ve just started woodworking (or any other hobby) they would have what is new/fresh info (maybe). To be honest, some of them are so bad, I wouldn’t subscribe if it was free (in my case, that would be WWJ). But last year I was getting probably 5, and I’ve let all of them but one expire, and recently I re-subscribed to one of them. Even the “shop tips” start getting repeated after you’ve subscribed for a few years. The projects sometimes look like they one the published last year, made with a different wood. Now, if I get a killer deal I’ll pick it up…otherwise, I’ll set back a few years and wait.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, we sent 'em to Washington.

View mloy365's profile

mloy365

433 posts in 1761 days


#4 posted 636 days ago

I like subscribing to FWW “online” because of the achieve option.

-- Mike - Northern Upper Michigan

View Don W's profile

Don W

14870 posts in 1199 days


#5 posted 636 days ago

I’ve noticed its about a 2 year cycle. This goes for any kind of magazine(woodworking, hunting, fishing, archery etc), not just woodworking. After 2 years its time to try a different subscription. In a few years, (maybe 4) you can circle back around and get something out of it again.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View jdmaher's profile

jdmaher

279 posts in 1211 days


#6 posted 636 days ago

I get most of them, and they are all occasionally useful, but only occasionally. My two favorites are Fine Woodworking and Popular Woodworking.

Inevitably, most articles are about something I’m not interested in or will never try. Sometimes, though, even a “miss” gets me thinking. For example, I don’t think I’m up for chairs, but the recent PW article on a stool got me thinking. Problem was, it was by the Schwarz and a little too much “all hand work”. Still, I did think “maybe if I Google how to taper those octagonal legs on the tablesaw . . .”

Like Fred, I get tired of the “same old stuff” – especially since basic advice is often insufficient and conficting (from one article to another). An example, sharpening. I still don’t feel confident I know how long it takes (how many strokes on a 1000 grit? 6000 grit?) or how to tell when its done (big burr? little burr?). And I’ve read dozens of those articles.

I need dead-reliable, idiot-proof, “just do THIS” information – about exactly what I’m interested in at the moment. Can’t these guys just read my mind?

-- Jim Maher, Illinois

View Kreegan's profile

Kreegan

1452 posts in 778 days


#7 posted 636 days ago

I subscribe to Shop Notes and Fine Woodworking online. I like the signal to noise ratio in Shop Notes and always find at least 2 or 3 good ideas in every issue. FWW is largely for the archive and I’m most likely going to cancel soon, as I’ve consumed most of what I’m interested in. Popular Woodworking just doesn’t appeal to me. Too much fluff, not enough stuff. I pick up the occasional single issue of Wood magazine if it has a project that appeals to me.

I don’t envy the woodworking magazine publishers these days. So much free content online that, quite honestly, is better than what they have. If you were to tell me I had a choice between paying 5 bucks a month for all the current woodworking magazines, but not use Lumberjocks and Youtube, or use Lumberjocks and Youtube and not be allowed to subscribe, I’d laugh at you because that’s no choice at all.

Rich;)

View Cosmicsniper's profile

Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1790 days


#8 posted 636 days ago

Woodsmith has always been my favorite because of the good S/N ratio, the projects that fall in line with my tastes, and the overall usefulness. I get WS from my Dad after he finishes it. Same with Wood magazine, though I don’t enjoy it as much because of the poor S/N ratio. I subscribe to FWW, print and online, because I think it’s well put together and the content seem a little more meaty.

But I think for inspiration, Lumberjocks project section is the place to go…and as you get more experienced, the more that you have the capability of turning those ideas at LJ (or even the magazines) into something actualized. Once I got good enough to no longer need plans and cut-lists, that’s when it transformed the way I read those magazines, looking at them for what they taught as opposed to what I can make directly from them.

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

View Greg..the Cajun  Box Sculptor's profile

Greg..the Cajun Box Sculptor

5010 posts in 1940 days


#9 posted 636 days ago

For years I subscribed to several woodworking magazines and kept every issue thinking I would refer back to them at some future time. A few weeks ago I realized that they were just taking up space on my shelves and I had not even re-read a single issue..especially with the fact that finding whatever article I might have been interested in during the original reading would be like looking for a needle in a haystack.

They were good reading at the time but not good enough to save.

I threw out a huge stack of these after filling my trash can and will most likely throw out the remaining ones soon.

-- If retiring is having the time to be able to do what you enjoy then I have always been retired.

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

15688 posts in 2850 days


#10 posted 636 days ago

I think we all pretty much agree…. When you are new to woodworking, the magazines are great. After a while, though, you just start seeing the same thing rehashed over and over.

Like others have mentioned, I like having the FWW online subscription because I can look up specific information when I need it. Apart from that, I’m in the process of letting all my print subscriptions expire.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View crank49's profile

crank49

3373 posts in 1602 days


#11 posted 636 days ago

I’m a Shop Notes subscriber and I like Fine Woodworking, but I can’t afford it. I will buy an occasional issue off the stand.
I like and subscribe to Popular Woodworking for the historic and philosophical content, but it’s just not a project oriented magazine.

-- Michael :-{| “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.” ― A H

View roofner's profile

roofner

96 posts in 914 days


#12 posted 636 days ago

What is FWW magazine?

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

1728 posts in 1124 days


#13 posted 636 days ago

Fine Woodworking…..you guys tossing those things out should consider trying to sell them. At one time they were in demand on e-bay.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, we sent 'em to Washington.

View tenontim's profile

tenontim

2131 posts in 2376 days


#14 posted 636 days ago

Like Charlie, I just keep finewoodworking.com to retrieve info, but the most of the mags just seem to rehash the same thing. I like just surfing the web for photos, to get my inspiration, and it can come from anywhere. Architecture styles have inspired furniture designs or details that I’ve used in the past. If you need to find out about historical woodworking, I read woodworkinghistory.com, which is written by a fellow lumberjock.

View Biff's profile

Biff

126 posts in 645 days


#15 posted 636 days ago

I finally ditched all my subscriptions for the same reason. I keep Family Handyman because it is cheap and has great tips and tricks. Other than that, I find more valuable info and ideas on the ‘net. Besides, that money spent on magazines can now go to tools!

-- Interested in Oregon property? Visit me at http://www.willamettepropertiesgroup.com

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

15623 posts in 1498 days


#16 posted 636 days ago

I get just enough out of most of them to keep me subscribing.

helluvawreck aka Charles
http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View Surfside's profile

Surfside

3085 posts in 805 days


#17 posted 636 days ago

If you really wanna get inspired, Fine Woodworking magazine would be the best (imho).

-- "someone has to be wounded for others to be saved, someone has to sacrifice for others to feel happiness, someone has to die so others could live"

View TeamTurpin's profile

TeamTurpin

85 posts in 692 days


#18 posted 636 days ago

I like Shop Notes and it’s format makes it easy to keep/store. I read and toss others that I pick up occasionally from newstands. I do, however, tear out specific articles from them and they go into a binder. I go back to my ‘articles’ binder on a regular basis.

-- http://www.teamturpin.org/house/shop.htm

View TroutStalker's profile

TroutStalker

28 posts in 2000 days


#19 posted 635 days ago

I subscribe to Woodsmith, ShopNotes, Wood, Woodcraft, Fine Woodworking, Woodworkers Journal and Popular Woodworking. Yes, I have a subscription problem; I really like to read.

I’ll not be renewing my subscription to Woodworkers Journal or Popular Woodworking. Woodworkere Journal just doesn’t have much that I’m interested in. I keep all the back issues to all my magazines except Woodworkers Journal. That tells me that I don’t need it. I used to like Popular Woodworking a log up until about two years ago. They merged Popular Woodworking with Woodworking magazine and changed their focus to being a multimedia company (web, dvd and print). About the same time Chris Schwarz left the magazine. Since then they seem to be focused on seperating woodworkers from their money in as many ways as possible. I’d rather spen my money on tools, wood or beer.

-- The best thing online is a fish

View bandit571's profile (online now)

bandit571

6842 posts in 1315 days


#20 posted 635 days ago

IF one has something that does interest me, I might pick it up of the shelf at the store. The one Mag I will NEVER even look through, or even pick up, let alone touch, would be anything by Meredith Prod. to include WOOD. Ain’t never going back to a place where an Editor, using an unlisted/unknown phone number will call you up and SCREAM cuss words at you, without even asking if you are you on the line. BTDT, my son handed me the phone while this “person” was still yelling.

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

6925 posts in 1545 days


#21 posted 635 days ago

I was fortunate a couple of years ago, when a friend gave me his deceased father’s WW-ing magazines and books. I only bring this up because of several comments to the effect that many of these magazines keep recycling old ideas with minor modifications. On that, I concur. The ones I use the most are Shop Notes, Woodsmith, and Wood. I do try to do my project searches online, and then pull the hard copy for reading.

A partial list includes:

  • Shop Notes: # 1-60
  • Woodsmith: #36-88
  • Fine Woodworking: # 60-109
  • Fine Woodworking Techniques: # 1-9 Hardbacks (covers issues #1-55)
  • Fine Woodworking Design Books: #2-3
  • Fine Woodworking on: Tips, Spindle and Faceplate Turning
  • Wood Magazine: Issues # 1—201(only missing #1) collection from Dec.1984—Dec 2010 (*Oldnovice helped me out with about 8yr of these as well)
  • plus many others I have not even had chance to go through…

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View Fishinbo's profile

Fishinbo

11216 posts in 807 days


#22 posted 635 days ago

Magazines do ran out of ideas. Even with reinvention, you cannot help but get bored with the same things presented through time. Take a breather for a couple of months and get back to it when you feel like they have something fresh on the table.

View MrRon's profile

MrRon

2797 posts in 1875 days


#23 posted 635 days ago

Some of the magazines seem to target beginners. Safety articles especially are repeated. That takes up content space. FWW is good, but the most expensive one on the news stands.

View Grandpa's profile

Grandpa

3094 posts in 1307 days


#24 posted 635 days ago

I was having a problem with a magazine a few years back. I kept getting the renew now notices and my wife kept renewing them so I was bought up for 5 years out. When I contacted them about another issue I told them I was good for 5 years and I wasn’t sure they would be around 5 years from now. They called me on the phone and said they toold those statements seriously and wanted to know why I felt that way. Through the conversation I said I had subscribed to their magazine for over 20 years and he said this is amazing. We hardly ever have anyone that stays for more than 4 or 5 years. He said it is difficult to keep things fresh that long. I have 1 year left on my subscription now and I will admit they have changed their format and ideas. I was tired of reading about building better garage shelves every month.
Fine Woodworking? Will never subscribe to it until the editor changes. Don’t like his articles and don’t like the way these folks jump on their readers. They use no diplomacy. NONE! I can do without their nonsense and their magazine.

View Danpaddles's profile

Danpaddles

534 posts in 943 days


#25 posted 635 days ago

I do better with books, than magazines. For some reason I can not shake, I love doing boxes. The Doug Stowe book keeps me interested, I may not make his boxes, but features from his boxes are showing up in my work. I have a few other “box” books to refer to, and though I almost never make one box from their plans, the choices they offer help me think up what my next project will be. And you guys also give me some ideas, for example, I intend to add wooden hinges into my designs. I have seen that here.

My other inspirations come from needs, and other hobbies. I like canoes- so I made a whilrigig canoe dude. Not high end woodworking, but everyone loves him. I came up with a canoe shaped key holder. The deck of my favorite canoe is now cherry and tiger maple combined sorta cutting board style. My kid plays cello, so I worked up a nice wooden music stand. Do we need plans for a music stand? Nah… come on, a lot of this stuff isn’t that complicated, or that fussy.

-- Dan V. in Indy

View Danpaddles's profile

Danpaddles

534 posts in 943 days


#26 posted 635 days ago

The FWW archive on DVD is floating around, I have seen it at a friends. Every issue published, thru 2011 if memory serves. Nice built in search engine for it.

Expensive as hell, but a great reference. Go halves with a neighbor maybe? I would never suggest that any LJocks go poking around usenet, but hey, you might just stumble onto it one day, if your moral compass is slightly tipped.

-- Dan V. in Indy

View BentheViking's profile

BentheViking

1752 posts in 1195 days


#27 posted 635 days ago

I have a subscription to PWW that I got a good deal on. After that I got a few issues of FWW and I like it way better. Waiting for PWW to expire so that I can get FWW subscription.

-- It's made of wood. Real sturdy.--Chubbs Peterson

View doordude's profile

doordude

1085 posts in 1614 days


#28 posted 635 days ago

i only subscribe to popular woodworking. i like the others, but i get them, at the news stand. because if i see an article or a project i like, i’ll buy, but if i don’t see anything i like, i won’t buy.

View Woodbum's profile

Woodbum

430 posts in 1697 days


#29 posted 635 days ago

Building workbenches is the current darling of all of these mags. I am so tired of articles on building workbenches FWW is a fine magazine with a great website, and my favorite. All of these publications appeal to their own niche of woodworkers. Most magazines of any subject matter have gotten carried away with product reviews. I dropped Outside Magazine and Backpacker because of all their “gear reviews”. Woodworking mags are going down the same road. Sell more stuff with less content about techniques and proper use of this “stuff” is becoming more frequent. Like a dumb s**t, I still get them all. That and supplier catalogs make great throne literature. I like to read anything and everything about our passion, good, bad or indifferent. But every once in a while I’ll find a gem of an article that I’ll actually build or buy. As they say here in Okie land “Even a blind hog can find an acorn once in a while”

-- Improvidus, Apto quod Victum-- Improvise, Adapt, Overcome

View americanwoodworker's profile

americanwoodworker

181 posts in 1005 days


#30 posted 635 days ago

My problem with them are the advertisements. There’s more advertisements then there is quality substance. Don’t get me wrong. I love searching through advertisements to learn what there is out there, but
I am not paying for them. I am paying for substance.

Just look at a popular mechanics mag. of today. Then go to google books and look at them from the 1900’s. Most of the mag. has very interesting substance and there is very little advertisements. I find that there is so much substance I can read that mag. for 30min. or more. Then have to reread it because there is so much info to digest. Today, I can read the mag in about 15min. and never pick it up again.

-- Your freedom to be you, includes my freedom to be free from you.

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

6925 posts in 1545 days


#31 posted 635 days ago

For those who have a hard copy collection of ShopNotes, It is very difficult to locate their online index without a current subscription. Talk about driving customers away! NOTE: Avid Internet searchers may find a solution to this issue/problem.

FROM SHOPNOTES MAGAZINE:
Q. How do I access the online index?

A. The online index is currently only available to subscribers, so you will need to log into your account to access this. Just click on Online Index under the “Other” tab above. Then complete the Subscriber Login information. Once you are logged into your account the link for the index can be found on the right under the photo of the current issue.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View Kreegan's profile

Kreegan

1452 posts in 778 days


#32 posted 635 days ago

That is annoying, Mike. What’s the point of restricting access to the index to subscribers?!? You’re basically turning off customers who might otherwise order a specific back issue. Dumb dumb dumb.

Rich;)

View MrRon's profile

MrRon

2797 posts in 1875 days


#33 posted 634 days ago

You quickly outgrow magazines. They start out with a wow 1st issue; then start all over again with the basics. Every NEW magazine that comes along starts out the same way. After a few years, they have to target a new audience and begin again with the basics.

View MrRon's profile

MrRon

2797 posts in 1875 days


#34 posted 634 days ago

Greg The Box Sculptor; Don’t throw them in the trash. Take them to your next doctor’s appointment and leave them there; also to the hospital. I hate reading 3 year old Times and US News Report magazines.

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

3334 posts in 1444 days


#35 posted 633 days ago

I like Fine Woodworking magazine and online subscription. It is the most detailed woodworking magazine available, and it is always the one I renew. Michael Pekovich and Greg Paolini are amazing craftsmen, and with articles and videos on nearly every topic I continue to learn with each visit.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View BerBer5985's profile

BerBer5985

420 posts in 1051 days


#36 posted 633 days ago

I subscribe to wood, popular woodworking, fww, and shop notes. I like popular woodworking and fww bevause they always seems to have slightly more hand tool content than wood and shop notes, but I like getting the mix that way. I like the magazines because they’re great for when I’m sitting in “my office” ;).eventually though there’s a lot of repetition and rehashing but for the most part I usually pick something up useful out of them.

-- Greg, Owner, Quality Carpet One, www.qualitycarpetonecrofton.com

View pierce85's profile

pierce85

508 posts in 1194 days


#37 posted 633 days ago

There isn’t much if anything out there (print, online, broadcast media, etc.) that isn’t rehashed over and over again, and this most certainly includes Lumberjocks. Forums of all stripes are places where the same questions and answers, issues and rebuttals are repeated over and over again. Welcome to the information age.

View hamburglar's profile

hamburglar

42 posts in 731 days


#38 posted 633 days ago

I’m new enough to woodworking that the magazines are fresh and exciting to me. I mainly enjoy Woodsmith and ShopNotes so far. After a real bad experience with auto renewal and the subscription company for Runners World I don’t think I will ever ‘subscribe’ to a magazine again, just have to make a trip to B+N from now on.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

14723 posts in 2307 days


#39 posted 633 days ago

I like FWW.com and Shop Notes. Most everything is covered there ;-)

As Fred said, “you get tired reading the same stuff over and over…common with any of them. I also subscribed to several hunting/shooting magazines and ran into the same stuff.”

Several years ago I had a collection of back issues of a shooting magazine. One author used the same picture of a deer with peculiar antlers over and over. If all those stories were true, that poor deer must have been shot at least 100 times ;-))

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

3322 posts in 1826 days


#40 posted 633 days ago

I think at one time I was taking about 5-6 ww magazines….I thought “you know, this is kinda dumb” .....After a while they all start repeating themselves over and over on the projects…..maybe just a little different scenario for a few, but bascially the same down through the years…..I take 2 mags now…...

-- " I started with nothing, and I've still got most of it left".......

View RonInOhio's profile

RonInOhio

720 posts in 1495 days


#41 posted 633 days ago

I had subscriptions to Woodworkers Journal, Fine Woodworking and ShopNotes.

ShopNotes is by far the most useful for me. Tons of jig and shop ideas. I Let the subscriptions run out. After a few years of subscribing there are only so many tips, plans, etc. one needs before actually moving forward and building some of those things.

Nevertheless I do like to read and browse them. Probably will be renewing Shop Notes and Journal sometime in the future.

Also bought about 20 videos on DVD from Woodworking Journal. A lot of ideas and good resources for a novice in a watchable format.

View cutworm's profile

cutworm

1064 posts in 1425 days


#42 posted 632 days ago

Just got my first Woodcraft. It’s about 50-50 as far as content-ads go. I’m a little disappointed. I get Popular Woodworking on my Kindle and so far I don’t care for it at all. I agree with most others that either Shop Notes or FWW are tops.

-- Steve - "Never Give Up"

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