Woodworking Magazines Subscriptions

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Forum topic by DamnYankee posted 01-20-2012 01:35 AM 1893 views 0 times favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3301 posts in 2557 days

01-20-2012 01:35 AM

Topic tags/keywords: resource humor question

So based on a post I saw several months ago alcombined with several different subscription renewal notifications I recently reviewed each of my woodworking magazine subscriptions and called each one to determine when they actually ran out. The two renewal notices were on time (sort of..if you call two more issues left on a bi-monthly periodical on time). But it did get me to thinking about 1- do I really need them all (actually my wife asked that one), 2 – which ones I like more than the others and why and 3 – what phases and thoughts concerning woodworking magazines my fellow LJ have.
I’ll go first…
I subscribe to Wood, Woodcraft, Fine Woodworking, Woodsmith, and American Woodworker. At this point I like Woodcraft and Fine Woodworking the best. Woodcraft seems to offer a wide range of content while FWW offers content that helps me expand my capabilities. I think I generally like Wood the least. That all said I am becoming increasingly less enthralled with them as they each seem designed around a skill level either just below mine or repeat a lot of the same stuff. I am increasingly liking them for reference ie for finishing or projects (the necessarily the whole project shown but how that project does something like a joint or assembly).

Ok now it’s your turn…discuss

-- Shameless - Winner of two Stumpy Nubs Awards

21 replies so far

View crank49's profile


4030 posts in 2965 days

#1 posted 01-20-2012 02:01 AM

I subscribe to Wood, Popular Woodworking, Fine Woodworking, ShopNotes.

I hate to, but either FWW or Wood will probably have to go because I can’t afford to keep them both. I’d keep FWW if I could get a deal because I like it the best.

Popular Woodworking I have a very special professional courtesy rate, almost free, and renewed it for 2 years.

I just love ShopNotes because of all the neat shop projects they have.

View Pop's profile


427 posts in 3941 days

#2 posted 01-20-2012 02:13 AM

Do you remember the way the old picture show worked? You came in anywhere in the film and when you got to the part were you came in you got up and left. This gives rise to the old saying “this is were I came in.” Way back when I was deep in photography and now when I’m deep into woodworking the magazines start repeating themselves. Let’s face it there’s only so much information on a given subject. You’ve got to start over sometime or other.

On the subject of “WOOD” magazine: Last year several of my woodworking buddies had lunch with the editor of “WOOD”. One of the guys made the statement that their information was on an advanced level while their projects seem to be entry level. His final thought was, how does this magazine fit?

To be honest the only woodworking magazine I receive is “WOODSHOP NEWS”. It keeps me up to speed on wood prices, new equipment and the current goings on in the industry. I can read it cover to cover in around an hour and that’s about all the time I have to spend.

I get far more technical information and project ideas from the 2 woodworking clubs I belong to than any of the magazines I was subscribing to.

Bill “Pop” Golden

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

View bench_dogg's profile


63 posts in 3132 days

#3 posted 01-20-2012 02:36 AM

I’m kind of in the same position, my subscription to FWW expired and I am not sure if I am going to renew or not. I think with the loss of Krenov and Maloof last few years they have lost their way in finding the top of the craft and are on the way to becoming a lifestyle magazine for high end tool collectors.

View Howie's profile


2656 posts in 2918 days

#4 posted 01-20-2012 03:11 AM

At one time I had subs to all of the mags listed above. When they started wanting me to renew when I had 2 years left on the sub I started thinking.I really got tired of envelopes that said”final notice” crap like that sunk their subscription. I pay my bills and don’t need garbage like that. In other words they pretty much screwed themselves.
One other thing(and I wrote about this here) One month there was an article about “woodworking and TaiChi. I do TaiChi but I don’t need a woodworking magazine to try and compare the two.(They obviously ran out of something to write about)
Bottom line, I let them all expire. I check the newstand issues and if I like the articles I buy it. If it’s full of stuff I’ve been reading for ten years I put it back.

-- Life is good.

View Manitario's profile


2630 posts in 2878 days

#5 posted 01-20-2012 03:17 AM

Wood, Woodcraft, Shopnotes and Canadian Woodworker. I haven’t been woodworking that long, but it already seems like I’m seeing some of the same stuff over and over again in the mags. The projects or tips that interest me get flagged (I actually scan them into my computer). I guess after awhile, how many new shop tips can you come up with? I learn far more on LJ’s than I do from the mags.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View BentheViking's profile


1782 posts in 2559 days

#6 posted 01-20-2012 03:55 AM

I recently subscribed to my first WW mag. PWW. can’t wait to get the first issue

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

View NelsonP's profile


12 posts in 2314 days

#7 posted 01-20-2012 04:14 AM

ShopNotes for me (and of course LJ)

-- -- Nelson

View ChuckM's profile


608 posts in 3661 days

#8 posted 01-20-2012 04:46 AM

WOOD – mostly for their shop tips and techniques
PWW – Got a good discount offer (61% off) and signed up for two years recently
FW is available from the library
American Woodturner – Online edition
Have access to SN, WS and AW at workplace
WC – subscription just discontinued.
WWJ – purchased on an issue-by-issue basis from newsstand

FW would be my top pick since it covers both hand tools and power tools and its printing quality and photographs are the best.

-- The time I enjoy wasting is not time wasted

View Scud's profile


3 posts in 2627 days

#9 posted 01-20-2012 05:26 AM

FWW, Woodcraft, Shopnotes, Woodsmith, American Woodworker.
FWW is my best pick, with Shopnotes not far behind.
I may stop getting all of them but Shopnotes.
FWW is too expensive and have to buy their cd in order to research past issues.
I tried to figure out a way to index the FWW issues on my own, not worth all the trouble.
My problem is I cant ever figure out which issue I saw a particular article.

View jusfine's profile


2422 posts in 2920 days

#10 posted 01-20-2012 05:41 AM

I subscribe to Shopnotes and Finewoodworking.

I also pick up a number of magazines depending on content every couple of months.

Used to get American Woodworker and Wood, but lost interest in those.

Sometimes I buy the identical magazine two or three times, forgetting that I have the same issue on my desk…

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

View ShaneA's profile


6928 posts in 2593 days

#11 posted 01-20-2012 06:20 AM

Wood, FWW, american woodworker, and maybe one other. I think I prefer Wood. FWW is kinda spendy compared to others. I agree they all get kind of repetitive, but I figure if there is one idea, project, review or tip per issue that helps “make it worth it”. However, sometimes I read them and dont really take anything away from it.

View David Grimes's profile

David Grimes

2078 posts in 2634 days

#12 posted 01-20-2012 06:34 AM

FWW and Architectural Digest. Internet, forums and common sense does well enough outside of those.

-- If you're going to stir the pot, think BIG spoon or SMALL boat paddle. David Grimes, Georgia

View DamnYankee's profile


3301 posts in 2557 days

#13 posted 01-20-2012 01:39 PM

Oh yeah….has anyone else noticed they seem to cover the same major topic at about the same time? Like …. Dovetails will get specific coverage by all of them over say a two month period

-- Shameless - Winner of two Stumpy Nubs Awards

View Schwieb's profile


1857 posts in 3456 days

#14 posted 01-20-2012 01:55 PM

I cancelled Fine WW, Fine Home Building, Woodsmith, PW, and a gift subscription to Woodturning design, after getting some of them for over 25 years. All I really had was boxes full of old magazines. Now only get American Woodturner and then only because it comes with my membership to AAW. I never build things from someone else’s plans and find buying books on the subject I am interested in more useful and serves as a better reference for me.

-- Dr. Ken, Florida - Durch harte arbeit werden Träume wahr.

View BinghamtonEd's profile


2298 posts in 2364 days

#15 posted 01-20-2012 02:51 PM

I am a novice woodworker (started about 1.5 years ago), and I subscribe to Wood.

Wood – I actually just renewed my subscription last night for $25.81 for two years. I figured at that price, and considering the shelf price of buying it at the store, it was worth it. I’m not at the “this is where I came in” stage yet. Being a novice, I like Wood magazine because it gives me tips and techniques that I may not already know, and projects I can do. I can see, however, that for someone who has been at it a long time, they may read it and say “Well, duh, that’s common sense.”

ShopNotes – I am strongly considering getting a subscription to this one. I’ve picked up about 3 off the shelf, and I like them. One of the things I can appreciate about it is that I’ve found a few jigs and tool add-ons that are very usable. A couple months ago they had a bandsaw adjustable fence system, it’s on my to-do list.

I’ve thumbed through a couple finer woodworking magazines, and skill-wise I don’t feel like I’m there yet, but I’m working on it. I recently finished an entertainment center and that’s got my wife to the point where she thinks I can build anything (uh oh) so now my short-term focus is reorganizing to get the most out of my small space. I think for a lot of people, some of the magazines you read will change with time, experience level, and what you happen to be interested in for the time period.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

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