Woodworking Magazines

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Forum topic by wpreman posted 03-10-2009 03:41 PM 1489 views 0 times favorited 23 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View wpreman's profile


1611 posts in 3858 days

03-10-2009 03:41 PM

I know I saw that somewhere!

Each month we all receive magazines filled with great tips and projects that we say “someday I want to build that!”

When I go looking for a project that I know was in a past issue my head spins before I finally find it, if I do. Rather than place them on a shelf or in a box, how do you organize them for future reference? I want to save them all but my reference system needs some work! Any thoughts?

-- Bill, Florida

23 replies so far

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3968 days

#1 posted 03-10-2009 04:03 PM

I keep them in order by issue on a shelf in the closet (the only space that I am allowed to use). If I need a particular issue I will go on-line and do a search for the topic. My system works to a degree as long as I know, within a narrow range, the project or topic I am searching for.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View CharlieM1958's profile


16276 posts in 4364 days

#2 posted 03-10-2009 04:07 PM

I save the magazines for future reference, but a bad case of CRS means I never remember what projects I said I was going to build, thereby eliminating the need to hunt through the magazines. It’s a foolproof system.

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

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

10904 posts in 3575 days

#3 posted 03-10-2009 04:29 PM

>>I save the magazines for future reference, but a bad case of CRS means I never remember what projects I said I was going to build, thereby eliminating the need to hunt through the magazines. It’s a foolproof system.<<
Good one, Charlie!
I wish I’d seen your post before I started my system.
I cut out the projects, hints&tips that I want to save. Then I organize them by type and put them in manila folders. Then I toss the rest of the mag. Bye-bye to about 30 years of FWW!

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View PurpLev's profile


8540 posts in 3795 days

#4 posted 03-10-2009 04:38 PM

I’ll either scan projects that I wish to reference to or make in the future, or I’ll find the article online – I have a folder on my computer for future projects. I find that using the computer and the ‘search’ option on it is superior to any ‘search’ functionality I have in my brain for finding things.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 4039 days

#5 posted 03-10-2009 04:48 PM

i cut the stuff out I like and put them in a scrap book/photo album and the rest of the mag goes into the re-cycling bin

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View oldskoolmodder's profile


801 posts in 3826 days

#6 posted 03-10-2009 04:54 PM

I’d like to have time to scan each issue in to a computer for future use/reference, but as it turns out, it’s harder to find that time than I thought it would be. Right now my “system” is keeping the mags of each name together in a pile and they are stacked in boxes in most cases. If I need to reference something, I get to look through everything again until I find what I’m looking for.

-- Respect your shop tools and they will respect you - Ric

View Greg Wurst's profile

Greg Wurst

795 posts in 3978 days

#7 posted 03-10-2009 06:16 PM

I scan them to PDF files and then use OCR and bookmarks to allow searching.

-- You're a unique and special person, just like everyone else.

View dhg's profile


197 posts in 3858 days

#8 posted 03-10-2009 08:13 PM

I’ve been trying to figure out a system for quite awhile now. I can’t remember a project i wanted to make from 2 issues ago. I have started putting little sticky notes out of the top of the mags projects that i want to make and putting them in a separate pile.

Starting a thread on the subject was on my todo list also.

I’ve got my mags separated into there respective names and i wrote a list in order of which ones i have. i’ll then use there index (maybe) or web site to search for a project and see if i have the issue it’s in. if not i’ll buy the plan or design my own.,

I did start scanning them into PDF files but that takes quite a bit of time. Then trying to keep all the topics straight is another issue. Thats still an option that i’m kicking around. I have almost every issue of Workbench and that looks like a daunting task to start. Damn, i just hate to throw any of them away even if I don’t remember whats in them!

-- Talent on Loan from God - Rush Limbaugh

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4134 days

#9 posted 03-10-2009 08:19 PM

I always cut out the articles I want to keep, staple them together and organize them by type. Project, tool, reviews, tips…

I ended taking a 4 foot stack and reduced it to less than 2 inches. That’s 10+ years of magazines.

I do scan some, but I like to be able sit in the shop and look through them.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View thelt's profile


665 posts in 3526 days

#10 posted 03-10-2009 08:22 PM

I go through each one and pick out the projects I would like to do and scan them into a .pdf. Then throw the rest of the magazine out. I have four big boxes of a bunch of woodworking magazines. I’m now going through each one picking out what I want and slowly getting rid of a bunch of them. The only one I keep are Woodsmith and ShopNotes. I also have ShopNotes 1 through 96 in .pdf stored on a data DVD. At first it was hard to get rid of the mags but storage has become a big issue with the SO.

The worse of it all, I haven’t built the first thing yet from the magazines. haha

-- When asked what I did to make life worthwhile in my lifetime....I can respond with a great deal of pride and satisfaction, "I served a career in the United States Navy."

View dhg's profile


197 posts in 3858 days

#11 posted 03-10-2009 08:44 PM

Barry, I agree with you on FWW on line archives. they have it together.

I’m also to the point of not renewing my paper subscriptions and using the digital issues.

-- Talent on Loan from God - Rush Limbaugh

View juniorjock's profile


1930 posts in 3911 days

#12 posted 03-10-2009 10:19 PM

When I was working for the local newspaper, I shot, processed, printed and filed more than 5,000 rolls of film (all 36 exp.) and countless digital images. With the filing system I created, I could find any negative or image in a matter of seconds. All it takes is a word program that features a search option. Microsoft will work great. This same system could be used for your magazines. Simply type in the name, month and issue of the magazine and it’s contents. If it were me, I would enter the complete contents, just because you don’t have an interest in something now, doesn’t mean you won’t six months down the road. Then…... all you have to do is open your word file and run a search on the topic you need. You’d have it in a few seconds. It would take a while to go through all of the back issues and type them in, but it would be well worth it. Hell, when I started shooting for this paper, they didn’t even have computers. I had a decent hand written file of all the negs. but still had to go through all of them and enter them into the computer. Just to show my age, when I first started shooting for my families’ newspaper, we were still using lead type. I didn’t have a filing system then….... This system works great. It just takes time to get it going and maintain it.

View juniorjock's profile


1930 posts in 3911 days

#13 posted 03-10-2009 10:25 PM

To add a little to my previous post, I still use that same system for filing digital images of my family. I usually enter the date and then what was shot on that day. Again, going back and listing all the stuff you shot before you started using this system would be the big pain. Usually, after I dump photos from my camera to the computer, I go ahead and add the list of those images to my file. If you get too far behind it’s hard to get caught up.

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4393 days

#14 posted 03-10-2009 10:29 PM

I use little yellow sticky notes with a brief descrption on the subject and organize the magazines by mag. and sub.

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View Bureaucrat's profile


18340 posts in 3798 days

#15 posted 03-11-2009 02:33 AM

I keep the mags by Name, volume and issue # in cardboard magazine boxes. The boxes are marked with contents. For Woodsmith and Shopnotes there is an on line index of projects that I got access to with last subscription. This used to be available in print. It’s easy to go to the right box.
For Wood Magazine, though stored the same way, it’s more difficult. I have some projects sticky tabbed. I also use google to point me to an issue.

-- Gary D. Stoughton, WI

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