Re: The Glory Days Of "Fine Woodworking" Are Behind Us

Page 2 of 3  

[severe snippage of yet another astute observation]
The growth of FWW has been 'sideways' over the years. Once in a blue moon, the magazine shows a glimmer of its past.
It's like meeting up with an old girlfriend who has let herself go.... still has that 'look' that was so appealing years ago...but now only shows itself between beers # 6 and # 10.
But unlike that chance encounter with that old love, this one invades my house via a subscription. I read it when it shows up, but only because I paid for it. Seldom will I revisit an issue once I have scanned it for something that could have given me a woody.
Rolling Stone has changed a lot too, but it had to in order to stay abreast of the talents it covers. The industry changed, so did their coverage. That's legit, IMHO.
But FWW can't really attempt to follow that same path. It, instead, has followed trends it thinks will sell magazines. FWW tries to do the job of a Consumers Reports and in that capacity, I find it still very useful...'cept that I wish they'd get into more detail.
I like the Scientific American format. They start an article describing a discovery/event/etc. in a language most people can understand... as you read on, they change gears and become more specific to the point where they lose a certain group of readers...just to switch gears again and then REALLY get technical..they throw equations around which look like they're multiplying verbs.
I like that gradual in-depth-getting-deeper approach.
I think FWW should do some of that... aside from a certain Poly being shiny.. tell us why. They could go in-depth till they lose us... It's just too frickin' shallow these days.
But it's still a pretty nice production... and I will renew.
FHB has no equal. Period. I find that mag very useful.
But... let's face it... what has really spoiled me has been the LV catalogues...now THERE's a source for stimulation. Compared to that, FWW reminds me of a Gephardt speech.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Interesting. I used to read SciAm 20 years ago and loved it. Now it's (IMHO) total junk. Did the magazine change or did I?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I have no idea where they're at these days, Roy. I liked the format, but the content is beyond me... stuff like nano-tubes. Unless I can make those into a panel saw, I couldn't care less. *G*
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

It's become more of a social "science" publication than I care to read. Like any academic can't suggest ways to spend other peoples' money in some other forum? Editorial staff changed ~5 years ago, and printed a statement of purpose to present opinion and advocacy articles. Sawardee khrap.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Tofu-sucking tree-huggers, I dare say...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

The magazine changed. I subscribed to it about the same time ago (and read it even before then in high school and college on occasion), the articles then were exactly as the title described, "scientific", most of the articles (at least the ones that always caught my eye) were heavily weighted to the hard sciences: physics and chemistry. I quit subscribing as I noticed the "science" starting to decline and the articles becoming more slanted toward particular agendas to the point that the magazine could be more correctly described as "Politically Correct American". The content of the articles started changing as well, moving away from the hard sciences towards psychology, political science, meteorology, and other sciences for which one's conclusions could be supported by the appropriate application of the proper statistical techniques to a favored set of data. There were, of course, still a few articles geared to the earlier fare, but they were becoming too few to be worth subscribing. It's been 15 years or more since I've read it; it may have changed again, just haven't the time to find out.
+--------------------------------------------------------------------------------+ If you're gonna be dumb, you better be tough +--------------------------------------------------------------------------------+
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Mark & Juanita wrote: ...

Unfortunately, not in a direction except more of the above... :(
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

It changed twice in recent years. First one was a visual makeover and they managed to preserve the quality. Second time definitely dumbed it down. Some real muppets as celebrity columnists didn't help either.
After a sub for about 25 years, I no longer read it. I've switched to American Scientist, which is everything SciAm ought to and used to be.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I understand what Tom is saying, but I also fully agree with you, especially the Scientific American approach. FWW would be well advised to read these posts.
Mutt
Robatoy wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
...

Hi Tom,
I'm sure FWW could be better, and I'll accept your word that it's not as good as it used to be. Still, FWW is still the only magazine I look forward to finding in the mailbox. There's always a good inspiration there; projects that are on the more unique and challenging side.
Of course I have yet to see a pukey duck plan in FWW. ;-P
Cheers, Nate
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:
[snippage]
Finally something I can be proud of, even if it isn't any kind of accomplishment.
I first subscribed to FWW somewhere around 1976 or '77; I don't recall precisely. I do remember getting a solicitation for the premiere issue before they started publication and passed on it. Don't ask me why. Probably because I just generally do ignore offers like that.
I didn't see a copy until a couple of years later when someone at work had all the issues to date on the midnight shift. I fairly gorged myself on them, copied down the pertinent address and the next day wrote a letter and a check to start my subscription. I've been a faithful subscriber since. I even bought all the back issues, so I have every single one of them (I just pulled out my Winter, 1975 issue--Checkered Bowls--to leaf through when I finish posting this)
I remember all the names, all the articles (not "remember" to the extent of recall, but experienced them). I got my router table philosophy from Tage Frid. I figured out that James Krenov makes nice cabinets but they're not my style. Sam Maloof makes nice chairs, but they're really not my style. Regardless of taste, however, I've never not enjoyed looking through a Fine Woodworking. Even fine work with nails pounded in.
I've been pissed at them a couple of times. Their review of chisels was the worst article I have seen to date (I haven't seen the finishing one yet). The router bit review was another fiasco, in my view, although interestingly, Carlo Vendetti, owner of Jesada, which took a real beating in the review, got out of the business within a couple of years after that and the company quickly went in the tank. Makes me wonder if the review wasn't more accurate than I thought.
But I'm not a subscription canceller (there's a whole type of person that the name describes). If I like a magazine, I'm pretty much "in for a penny, in for a pound." I have life subscriptions to at least four that I can think of, and if FWW had had an option in the '70s I'd have been all over it.
I don't really think about "now vs then." I just like going through the magazine. So long as it doesn't start printing on recycled paper, I'm going to stick it out. As someone said, it's still the best around.
--
LRod

Master Woodbutcher and seasoned termite
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Is this in response to the latest issue, Tom? I found this last one to be much better than some of the other recent ones. I don't ever expect 100% of the content of these magazines to pique my interest, as there are too many varying degrees of abilities/experience in the readership. Basically, I hope to learn a few things and see some projects/tools that I find interesting.
This almost always happens for me with FWW, and more so than most other publications of late. Popular Woodworking is by far my favorite at present, however, but FWW is still very good, IMO.
This last issue had a good hand tool primer for those of us like myself that could use a few reminders on how to teach oneself the basics of these methods, and hopefully train our muscles to do these tasks more accurately. I liked the coffee table design, although haven't read the article yet - but added it to my database of possible future projects. And I even found the comparison of different wipe-on finishes to be interesting. And that taper jig was a new design for me, and one that I feel could really improve the safety and ease of that particular task for me.
The only article I thought was quite a bit unneccessary was the mortising machine review - nothing new that I could see there that hasn't already been written quite recently.
On the whole, though, for myself (being of extremely less skill than you and your peers, and much less time under my belt in this craft) FWW is still doing a great job.
Just my $0.25-0.23
Mike
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tue, 21 Jun 2005 02:36:20 GMT, "Michael Gresham"

50 years ago, as a 10-year-old living in NE England, I thrilled to promises in the 'Eagle' comic that by the turn of the century, we'd all be flying around with wee helicopter back-packs.
Mine hasn't come yet. Think I ought to ask for my postal order back?
Actually - seeing how most of my neighbours drive a motor car, possibly just as well they aren't airborne <G>.....
John
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Don't forget the short-lived "Fine Furniture" too. I miss that.
What does FWW cost to you locally ? How do you regard this as value? I wince when I buy it (currently $12 local price), but at least my toolshop always apologises for it!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Have every issue of that published. That was a fine magazine and contained many inspirational articles.

+--------------------------------------------------------------------------------+ If you're gonna be dumb, you better be tough +--------------------------------------------------------------------------------+
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

It was actually called "Home Furniture" and I subscribed from #8 through #14 when they transferred the remainder of my subscription to FWW. It was a fine magazine for its short run.
--
Owen Lowe
The Fly-by-Night Copper Company
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
My oh my, first the rec has gone downhill, now FWW. What will be next?
--

Larry Wasserman Baltimore, Maryland
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Lawrence Wasserman wrote:

Youth???
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tue, 21 Jun 2005 14:19:56 GMT, the opaque snipped-for-privacy@fellspt.charm.net (Lawrence Wasserman) spake:

Television? <bseg>
-------------------------------------------- -- I'm in touch with my Inner Curmudgeon. -- http://diversify.com Comprehensive Website Development ===========================================================
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.