Which WW magazine subscription?

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Forum topic by DIYaholic posted 04-17-2011 06:56 AM 1967 views 1 time favorited 33 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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19623 posts in 2699 days

04-17-2011 06:56 AM

Topic tags/keywords: magazine subscription question tip

Newbie here looking for advise. Since I am new to woodworking, I’m unsure of the scope of future projects. Ok, I’m an avid DIYer, just setting up shop in which to explore the hobby of wood working. I have entry level machines, DeWalt contractors TS, Kobalt 10” SCMS, 1950’s DeWalt RAS, Ryobi 9” bandsaw, PC plunge router (with a very simple shopmade table), Ridgid 6” jointer, Delta 12” planer, Ryobi bench top drill press, bar clamps, pipe clamps, c-clamps and some BORG layout tools. I wouldn’t think FWW magazine would be an appropriate magazine for my skill set. So, my question is: If I were to only have ONE magazine subscription, what magazine do you suggest (and why)?

Thanks, in advance, for the input and advise!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

33 replies so far

View Pop's profile


427 posts in 3971 days

#1 posted 04-17-2011 07:54 AM

Try “WOOD” for 2 or 3 years. When your skill level increases switch to “FINE WOODWORKING”.


-- One who works with his hands is a laborer, his hands & head A craftsman, his hands, head & heart a artist

View bubinga's profile


861 posts in 2692 days

#2 posted 04-17-2011 08:14 AM

WOOD is good one,I started getting them with #1 issue
Popular woodworking is good for beginning
There is no ,one best,get two or three if u can, or u could buy WOOD DVD with all years
I have built some nice projects from Woodworkers Journal,and WOOD ,and others
Subscribe to news letters ,from all ,and get some good info free, and the news letters could help you decide
Oh ya forgot about this site,—Start Woodworking,—

-- E J ------- Always Keep a Firm Grip on Your Tool

View pintodeluxe's profile


5705 posts in 2838 days

#3 posted 04-17-2011 08:24 AM

I get WOOD, WOODWORKERS JOURNAL, and WOODSMITH SHOP. The only reason I don’t get FINE WOODWORKING is because my library gets it. Fine WW has very intricate projects with vaneer inlays etc. My favorite is WOODSMITH SHOP because it focuses on skill building and shows you multiple ways to achieve the same end result. IE: mortising with a drill press or a mortiser.
But alas, ordering only one magazine subscription is like having only one router… not going to happen.

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

View bluekingfisher's profile


1250 posts in 3004 days

#4 posted 04-17-2011 11:25 AM

Defo, Woodsmith is good for beginners as is WOOD magazine. Fine WW is a fab mag to browse through, there are always hints, tips and projects to tackle but would agree the projects are generally for more accomplished woodworkers.

-- No one plans to fail, they just, just fail to plan

View amateur's profile


91 posts in 2682 days

#5 posted 04-17-2011 11:41 AM

I like getting 2. FWW keeps me inspired as to where I can someday be if I stay at it. But WOODSMITH has been the best therapy for my hyper get-it-done-right-now issues. They treat every component of the project as though it is the most important (and they are right), and they don’t assume you already know how to do stuff. Also great working drawings and no advertisements.

View bubinga's profile


861 posts in 2692 days

#6 posted 04-17-2011 01:06 PM

I agree about WoodSmith , is one of the greatest, I have many many digital copies, and I reference them often

-- E J ------- Always Keep a Firm Grip on Your Tool

View knotscott's profile


8056 posts in 3400 days

#7 posted 04-17-2011 01:16 PM

Every magazine is really only as good as their last issue….which articles have appeal to us is pretty subjective. Wood, Pop WWing, and American WWer are as good for new and intermediate wwer’s as any IMHO. FWW is a nice mag, but I think they tend to lean towards the fairly experienced crowd.

Do you have a DW746 hybrid saw or one of the DW portable jobsite saws? AFAIK, they never made a contractor saw.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View ellen35's profile


2738 posts in 3457 days

#8 posted 04-17-2011 01:40 PM

try the “search” feature here… you’ll get a ton of information on woodworking magazines… it has been covered extensively

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View bubinga's profile


861 posts in 2692 days

#9 posted 04-17-2011 01:46 PM


I guess they call it contractor grade type, maybe that is part of the confusion, here is part of a description from Amazon
The DEWALT DW746 is a must have to anyone in need of a contractor grade stationary table saw with only a small space to store it

-- E J ------- Always Keep a Firm Grip on Your Tool

View helluvawreck's profile


31378 posts in 2891 days

#10 posted 04-17-2011 02:03 PM

I like Wood, Fine Woodworking, Carving, and Carving Illustrated.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View ScottN's profile


261 posts in 2704 days

#11 posted 04-17-2011 03:09 PM

another vote for woodsmith. Everything pintodeluxe said plus no advertising. You’ll be amazed at how much good info is in each magazine.

Here’s a sample:

-- New Auburn,WI

View rmoore's profile


325 posts in 2659 days

#12 posted 04-17-2011 03:51 PM

I would have to vote for Woodsmith or Shopnotes ( both printed by the same company). I bought the book “Table Saw Secrets” which is great. It is published by Woodsmith. Through it you can go online and read more tips and tricks. Even if you don’t subscribe to either magazine, sign up for their e-tips. I have learned a lot just by reading these tips and tricks.

-- The more I learn, the more I realize I don't know. Ron, Crossville Tn

View DIYaholic's profile


19623 posts in 2699 days

#13 posted 04-17-2011 03:59 PM

Thank you ALL, for the input.
I forgot about how valuable the library can be. I will utilize their supply and supplement with a subscription to any deficiency. I do subscribe to a couple of eNewsletters, (Woodsmith Tips, Wood).
I’m one of those people that over analyses/researches every purchase, hate to waste my money! So again, thanks for enabling my OCD researching!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View Uncle_Salty's profile


183 posts in 3097 days

#14 posted 04-17-2011 04:07 PM

I still get Woodsmith, Shopnotes, and Popular Woodworking. I used to get Wood, Woodworker’s Journal, American Woodworker, and FWW at various times.

I have stuck with the first three mentioned because I think the overall information is best suited for my personal library of resource information. When my sub with Popular Woodworking expires, I’ll probably dump it. I don’t like the new format and they seem to have less information (shorter and fewer articles) and even more ads than before.

I refer to older mags frequently; especially when my students are doing project research or when I am commissioned to build a project.

The beauty of Woodsmith and Shopnotes: No ads!

View bunkie's profile


412 posts in 3171 days

#15 posted 04-17-2011 04:25 PM

As I see it, woodworking magazines fall into one of three categories.

They are WoodSmith/ShopNotes (no advertising, intensive from a detailed “how-to-do-it” perspective), High-end techniques (Fine Woodworking occasionally other magazines that aspire to this space) and the general-purpose magazines (Wood, Popular Woodworking, etc.)

Of the last, Wood is probably the most consistent. Eventually, they all duplicate content, so over time, it may only pay to subscribe to one.

I find that Fine Woodworking is my favorite because I’ve been reading the others for so long that it’s like perpetual rerun season. FW showcases some incredible work and has the most challenging projects. I’m not there yet skill wise, but it’s what I aspire to.

I no longer get WoodSmith because I guess I just felt that I had seen it all before. I kept getting ShopNotes up until recently as I love articles about jigs but they jumped the shark with the jig to make fancy spindles using a router. That was a real Rube Goldberg contraption.

There’s one other important consideration. WoodSmith seems to be in bed with Rockler and Lee Valley. A lot of their projects use items or tools from these suppliers. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it must be kept in mind. On a related front, there’s Woodcraft which is published by Woodcraft stores. Reviews therein need to be taken with a grain of salt as they have an obvious bias. However, I do find it to be a good magazine.

I’m something of a magazine junkie. I currently subscribe to about 10 or 11 different special interest magazines across my various interests (woodworking, aviation, motorcycling and astronomy).

-- Altruism is, ultimately, self-serving

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