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Is The Woodsmith Offer For Total Online Access To All Their Issues Worthwhile?

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Forum topic by Targa posted 296 days ago 1318 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Targa

98 posts in 363 days


296 days ago

I hope this is the right forum to ask this question.

I’m just getting started in woodworking and recently received an email offer from Woodsmith to have online access to their complete “back issue library” which includes every back issue and every page ever printed since 1979. The cost is $99.

On the surface this has a lot of appeal because the issues would have numerous plans, tips, jigs etc which would be especially helpful to someone just starting out.

Since I only have a very limited exposure to Woodsmith magazine I thought I would ask the members here if you are familiar with this offer and if you think this offer has much real value?

Thank you

-- Dom


15 replies so far

View sras's profile

sras

3813 posts in 1753 days


#1 posted 296 days ago

I have been a suscriber for nearly 30 years. Their issues have well laid out plans and instructions. If you are one who likes a plan to guide you, they do a good job. Each year they have one or two gift project issues that are smaller projects. There are plenty of tips, trick and jigs to read through as well.

What I have found out over the years is there have been only a handful of projects that matched my needs. Part of the reason is having limited shop time which forces me to be picky about what I build. Even so I have learned a lot from reading them and still read every one cover to cover.

I often end up with ideas that I incorporate into my projects.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View yrob's profile

yrob

340 posts in 2276 days


#2 posted 296 days ago

I would second that. Their magazine is one of the best out there when it comes to simple, no nonsense plans. Shopnotes is always full of tips and articles with a very small amount of ads. I often will pick up a pile of those and sit in a confortable chair and read them to get inspiration.

-- Yves

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

2476 posts in 975 days


#3 posted 296 days ago

Woodsmith makes the best plans, easy to follow, almost never a mistake, very clear drawings and some great projects, well worth it.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View NiteWalker's profile

NiteWalker

2709 posts in 1201 days


#4 posted 296 days ago

It’s worth it.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View TheDane's profile

TheDane

3715 posts in 2287 days


#5 posted 296 days ago

Yes!

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5077 posts in 2336 days


#6 posted 296 days ago

Thank you for posting this as I have been wondering the same thing. The responses are very interesting.

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View tefinn's profile

tefinn

1207 posts in 1061 days


#7 posted 296 days ago

If it’s the same deal that came in my mail you get the DVD of the library as well. Good deal to me.

-- Tom Finnigan - Measures? We don't need no stinking measures! - Hmm, maybe thats why my project pieces don't fit.

View EEngineer's profile

EEngineer

887 posts in 2237 days


#8 posted 295 days ago

If it was only online access, I would say absolutely not!

Alice said it best and it certainly applies to the Internet: “People come and go so quickly here!”

If it includes the DVD, go for it! I just bought all the backissues of Shopnotes on DVD. Like sras above, I rarely build anything exactly like it is in Shopnotes but I find ideas that I am constantly using in the shop. If it is indexed as well as the Shopnotes DVD, finding specific topics as they come up in the shop is so much easier!

-- "Find out what you cannot do and then go do it!"

View EEngineer's profile

EEngineer

887 posts in 2237 days


#9 posted 295 days ago

You know, this thread gave me an idea.

I just bought one of the new Nexus 7’s when they came out. I have been using it in the shop to stream music to a Bluetooth stereo I constructed (see it here). I wonder if the Shopnotes (or the Woodsmith) DVD can be installed on the tablet to allow bringing the entire library to the shop?

Has anyone already done this? Are the DVD’s DRMed?

Online access and a wireless connection should certainly get this without eating storage on the tablet, but I don’t have wireless out to my shop.

-- "Find out what you cannot do and then go do it!"

View NiteWalker's profile

NiteWalker

2709 posts in 1201 days


#10 posted 295 days ago

IIRC, the files are pdf’s and can be copied to mobile devices.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View Scomel Basses's profile

Scomel Basses

157 posts in 621 days


#11 posted 295 days ago

Definitely worth it! I have the DVD and look through the mags all the time. And while I’ve only built a couple things from their plans, I’ve gotten tons of ideas for jigs, fixtures, and construction.

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

6923 posts in 1538 days


#12 posted 295 days ago

”...If it was only online access, I would say absolutely not!...”

Absolutely! Just wait until it will be a fee EACH YEAR. Some magazines are doing this already, even to only have access to their INDEX! In other words, they try to make it as hard to look up past articles, that you own, as possible(greed factor kicking in). I won’t name them, but they are there, so beware.

I recommend hard copies, but a DVD would do in a pinch. Advantage of hard copies, they work when the power goes out or the CPU dies.

I have hard copy issues:
Shop Notes: # 1-60
Woodsmith: #36-88
Wood Magazine: Issues # 1—201(only missing #1) collection from Dec.1984—Dec 2010
and others…

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

View TheDane's profile

TheDane

3715 posts in 2287 days


#13 posted 295 days ago

FWIW, I bought the WoodSmith and ShopNotes DVD services a couple of years ago when they were first offered.

Since then, I get an updated DVD each year at a cost of $9.99, which basically covers production, shipping, and handling costs.

It frees up shelf space as I put the paper issues on the ‘take one’ table at our woodworkers guild spring craft show.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View TaybulSawz's profile

TaybulSawz

133 posts in 306 days


#14 posted 295 days ago

Uhmmm with a little Googlin, you can usually find a pdf to download for free if you know the Magazine and issue #.

-- Still got all my Fingers!!!

View YanktonSD's profile

YanktonSD

189 posts in 1156 days


#15 posted 295 days ago

I don’t subscribe but I do buy the back issues and pick up new issues occasionally but I think it is hands down the best woodworking plan magazine out there. I usually buy back issues on ebay. I have found that I like to have the plan next to me instead a laptop full of dust.

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