Magazines and periodicals. WHY do you read them?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Coffee Lounge forum

Forum topic by Milo posted 06-21-2010 08:36 PM 1442 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Milo's profile


869 posts in 3348 days

06-21-2010 08:36 PM

Hey Folks,

I’ll ask the question that’s been asked 1000 times on 100 boards, what magazines and periodicals do you read regularly, but more importantly, WHY? What sets what your read apart from the other magazines out there?

We’ve all seen list of magazines, usually because some new woodworker wants to know what he or she should read. I’m looking for a new magazine to read, I’ve been getting Fine Woodworking, but now I want to get something knew.

What do you read, and WHY do you read it?

Many thanks!

-- Beer, Beer, Thank God for Beer. It's my way of keeping my mind fresh and clear...

15 replies so far

View a1Jim's profile


117128 posts in 3606 days

#1 posted 06-21-2010 08:50 PM

Hey Milo
I’ve seen this question before too. I take almost all of them. why ? I think it’s like people that always buy Chevy’s or Fords or whatever. It’s because they like what has been offered before whether it’s projects, Reviews, designs or new tools . whatever one focuses on , and whoever covers that to the buyers liking best that’s who why we select the magazines that we do.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View dbhost's profile


5726 posts in 3261 days

#2 posted 06-21-2010 08:55 PM

My current subscriptions are Wood Magazine, Shop Notes, and Popular Woodworking. I had Fine Woodworking but the style of writing, and style of the projects didn’t appeal to me, and honestly, it was written for a skill level higher than mine…

I think of the 3 I subscribe to, Shop Notes is my favorite. Good projects, good notes, not swamped with a ton of advertisers hawking the same tools over and over again… Sometimes I see the projects and like them enough to actually build the project per their plans… Sometimes I use it to glean ideas for my own designs, and sometimes I just read it for entertainment. (Wood Magazine I find best for entertainment). Since the redo of Popular Woodworking Magazine, I have found it more enjoyable to read. I will probably stick with it…

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

View bobkberg's profile


439 posts in 3102 days

#3 posted 06-21-2010 09:23 PM

I keep hoping for something interesting. After a year or two, I drop the subscription, and a few years later may take up another one. The usual incentive is a booklet of shop ideas, useful tips, etc. At the moment, I’m subscribing to Wood Magazine.

From my point of view, I don’t need project ideas. My family and I can think them up far faster than they could ever be accomplished. The only projects that I’ve ever built (designed by someone else) are Norm Abram’s sawhorses, and tablesaw panel cutting jig. Those have been well worth it – but they came from a TV show, not a magazine.

Good luck with more answers – It was interesting to read those above mine. That’s why I find this site better than magazines – We can all hear from each other directly where magazines filter out most of that.

-- Bob - A sideline, not how I earn a living

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3103 days

#4 posted 06-21-2010 09:36 PM

In the world of the internet, hard copy publications are of less value except, in my case, I have no internet access when sitting in the bathroom. That’s were magazines come in handy.

I recently acquired a collection of over 200 older woodworking magazines.

I continue to subscribe to several different magazines, but they have little to offer over what I can get from my newly acquired collection of vintage magazines. I doubt that I will renew any when it comes time to renew.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Dragonsrite's profile


136 posts in 3426 days

#5 posted 06-21-2010 10:39 PM

I get whatever catches my eye when my wife drags me to the book store. I like the tips, tricks & techniques as well as browsing the projects for ideas.

-- Dragonsrite, Minnesota

View jusfine's profile


2422 posts in 2955 days

#6 posted 06-21-2010 10:41 PM

Over the years I have had Fine Woodworking, Wood, Shop Notes and Canadian Woodworker subscriptions, but they have all died out except for Fine Woodworking.

I know I will never build some of the projects that have been posted, and the majority are above my skill level or interest, but I do think there is value in still seeing how they are done, even if I learn one thing a year from the subscription, it is worth the money.

I will never paint a masterpiece, but can still appreciate it’s beauty and the effort put into it.

-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."

View uffitze's profile


199 posts in 2984 days

#7 posted 06-22-2010 01:23 AM

I was sad to see Woodwork Magazine die. The best feature of that magazine was the pieces on woodworkers, their inspirations, their art, and some fundamental bits about how they worked.

And, yes, I’m aware that they put out an issue earlier this year, but $20 for one issue is a little steep for me right now.

View Ger21's profile


1075 posts in 3160 days

#8 posted 06-22-2010 02:04 AM

I only subscribe to Fine Wodworking. I want to see high end high degree of difficulty projects, and imo FWW delivers this more often than any others. It still has boring issues, though.

-- Gerry,

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3363 days

#9 posted 06-23-2010 01:00 AM

I take FWW and Shop Notes. there is always something to learn from either one, but of course they are constantly doing much of the same. I think the biggest value is in the collection over time. A new issue might not have anything interesting to you at the time, but sometime in the future you might be doing something covered in an old issue that will be just the info you need. this has happened quite a bit to me. Most of what I know has been learned from FWW over the past 14 years. I don’t like to copy others work, but I do like to learn new ways to do things. I do find many issues boring and repetitious though. I just wish I had had LJ when I began because there is such a wealth of info here that you can find most anything you are interested in.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View antmjr's profile


262 posts in 3213 days

#10 posted 06-23-2010 10:25 AM

I subscribed to WoodenBoat, but frankly the main reason was emotional: I liked to receive something from usa; the magazine itself is interesting, but I must admit that it’s difficult to find something really new in every issue.
My guess is that if one needs information, it’s quicker and more useful to search the web, forums and personal sites. And if one is interested in quality publishing on the matter, the most charming and stimulating manuals were published before the last war (imo), and therefore one needs abebooks and alike.

Another amazing “place” on the web I have found some years ago is the INTERNET ARCHIVE, where I have found wonderful manuals and dictionaries of the past, one for all: the American Mechanical Dictionary by Knight. My woodworking technique is closer to those of the past after all.

-- Antonio

View Gregn's profile


1642 posts in 3012 days

#11 posted 06-23-2010 06:23 PM

Shopnotes and Woodsmith as they have the fewest advertisements in them.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

View Clarence's profile


125 posts in 3135 days

#12 posted 06-23-2010 08:07 PM

I began subscribing to four or five magazines about three years ago in anticipation of and in preparation for retirement. I have all my life had an interest in woodworking, instilled by my father and aided by a fair collection of tools he had. However, my on-and-off woodworking efforts, like those of my dad, were primitive, seat-of-the-pants productions lacking the sophistication that the term “woodworking” implies.

You’re not born knowing how to do the stuff that is displayed on this board, and unless you’re fortunate enough to grow up around or work around someone who does, the odds are against you picking it up on your own.

That’s where the magazines come in: they have opened my eyes to what woodworking is—a fortuitous convergence of materials, tools, time, knowledge, talent and energy, working together to produce something good, beautiful, useful. They’ve introduced me to tools I didn’t know existed, and how to use them. They’ve introduced me to woods I’d never heard of.
They’ve shown me joinery options I never would have figured out by myself.

I like the articles that test and compare tools; several of the tools I’ve bought have been those that came out on top in those comparisons. Unlike some, I like the ads—it’s always interesting to see what’s out there. I’m not particularly interested in the projects, other than to see how they employ the various construction techniques.

-- Getting old is a good thing, but being old kinda stinks.

View SnowyRiver's profile


51457 posts in 3509 days

#13 posted 06-23-2010 08:23 PM

I subscribe to Shop Notes, Woodsmith, and This Old House. I primarily use them to get tips on various things, and I also like to scrounge for new woodworking ideas.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View noknot's profile


548 posts in 3470 days

#14 posted 06-23-2010 09:10 PM

wood, finewoodworking,and now shopnotes thanks to pockethole 69 Why? They give me ideas and with a house full of girls no one will take them. I tried to read cosmo but no matter how hard I tried to get the tools to build one of those never could.


View Milo's profile


869 posts in 3348 days

#15 posted 06-24-2010 02:50 AM

Ha! Boy do I understand the house full of girls. I have to run the girls out when I fire up the planer and table saws all the time!

-- Beer, Beer, Thank God for Beer. It's my way of keeping my mind fresh and clear...

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics