Woodworker's Journal: Yea or Nay?

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I already get Wood, Fine Woodworking, & American Woodworker. Is WWJ a fine addition to those, or an also-ran. I'm sure I've seen it once or twice a the newstand, but can't recall it. I'm staring at a subscription offer that came in the mail, for $12.97 for a year. Thumbs up or down?
Dave
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David wrote:

Dave I like it better than American Woodworker, which I am not going to renew in 2009 when the subscription runs out. It is about on par with Wood and at $12.97 a year . . .
Deb
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If I were going to add another magazine to that list, it would be Popular Woodworking and not WWJ. Price is higher, but worth it IMHO.
It seems to me that AWW and WWJ are written at a similar level for similar audiences, and I can't see getting both. Furthermore, the advertising density in WWJ is a bit higher than I care for.
Also, in case you don't know, it's published by Rockler. Not that that's a bad thing, you understand, but their editorial positions and tool recommendatoins are not necessarily completely objective. [Possibly those of other mags aren't either, e.g. it appears that some product reviews in a certain magazine whose name is only one WOrD long may be biased in favor of certain manufacturers who advertise therein, but that's another story.]
I wouldn't bother. I used to subscribe, but I let it run out without renewing. Ditto AWW, actually. I'm pretty happy with the mix I have now: Wood, FWW, and PWW.
-- Regards, Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
Nobody ever left footprints in the sands of time by sitting on his butt. And who wants to leave buttprints in the sands of time?
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Thanks for the heads up re: Rockler, Doug. I'd doubt they could be completely unbiased when it came to some tool reviews. I just dug up an issue (I didn't think I had any in the house when I posted the thread) from 2002. It doesn't have much in it's 94 pages. hmm...only 6 issues per year. Now it doesn't sound so great.
Let's see what others have to say about it...
Dave
Doug Miller wrote:

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I find FWW a good mag, but I did not renew AWW. I also like Workbench.
wrote:

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One positive note, when they have a project, they tell you what Rockler hardware you need so you don't have to search obscure items. I made a circle cutting jig they featured
Certainly not the best, but it has had a few good articles. More of a pinkie up than thumb up.
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I second that motion!
Ronnie Aldrich Trussville, Alabama
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Doug Miller wrote:

Over the years, I've done a LOT of tool tests for WWJ. At no time, not once, not ever, did Rob so much as suggest I should favor one tool over another.
No tool test is totally objective. If it were, no one would read it. Nothing but figures, no interpretations and feelings about how the tool handles or works or anything else. Basically, you could do that sort of thing with a spec sheet, a series of measurements (run-out, etc.) and 12 photos and let the reader do his own interpretation. That's not a bad idea for the highly experienced reader. It is pure BS for the less experienced reader.
But, in fact, I've done reviews for several magazines, and no editor has asked for a slant to one brand or another, except when I left out a manufacturer or two--and that usually occurs when the manufacturer or its rep is simply too busy or too something to respond to requests for info and tools.
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I didn't mean to suggest that there might be such flagrant bias as that. Something rather more subtle, perhaps: if WWJ runs an article comparing different brands of router bits, for instance, I imagine that Rockler's bits would be evaluated, but I very much doubt that Woodcraft's would be.
-- Regards, Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
Nobody ever left footprints in the sands of time by sitting on his butt. And who wants to leave buttprints in the sands of time?
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Doug Miller wrote:

they are usually offshore contracted tools and the purchaser has no way of knowing who made what when. The bits you get this week might be wonderful. Next week's bits may come from another small factory and be worthless or nearly so.
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Charlie,
Do you know if that's also true of LV's router bits?
Thanks, Chris
Charlie Self wrote:

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Hi Chris -
I can answer that for you...
Our house brand bits are made in a Taiwan factory - and at the factory's highest quality level. The plant can (and does) make at least 3 quality levels (the lowest is called "America style") - and has a sister plant in China...Many companies buy from them, and at differing quality levels. Sometimes - companies buy the highest quality for open stock - but use the lower quality for sets (to keep the prices competitive). The only way to tell is to ask the vendor for the country of origin, and see if they'll confirm the quality level.
We've been buying from the same place for at least a decade now...and continue be be very happy with them.
Cheers -
Rob Lee Lee Valley
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Ouch - however, stereotypes aren't made up out of thin air.
--
Owen Lowe
The Fly-by-Night Copper Company
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Hi Robin,
Thanks for the reply - duh, should have asked you to start with :)
Do you know - and can you tell us - what distinquishes the different quality levels at this factory?
Thanks, Chris
Robin Lee wrote:

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SNIP
Just out of curiosity, in a tool-review-for-magazine situation, who decides what vendors get represented? I have read reviews where I have thought "So-and-so make this as well, I wonder why their version was not tested". If it's a case that a vendor was contacted but declined to participate, then I think that should be mentioned in the review.
Thanks,
Bill Leonhardt
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<<Just out of curiosity, in a tool-review-for-magazine situation, who decides what vendors get represented? I have read reviews where I have thought "So-and-so make this as well, I wonder why their version was not tested". If it's a case that a vendor was contacted but declined to participate, then I think that should be mentioned in the review.>>
Perhaps the most important factor in determining which tools get reviewed is newness. If company "A" comes out with a new model or line of models, especially if it has some new feature or features which differentiate it from the rest of its category, it is a good candidate for review. For example, let's say company "S" has had a table saw with a special meat-cutting capability on the market for a year or two. Then, along comes company "C" with a brand new meat-cutting table saw that is the first one to come equipped with a bun storage drawer and mustard dispenser. Company "C's" tool is more likely to get some ink because of its newness and its uniqueness, while the company "S" tool was probably the beneficiary of the media attention when it was the new kid on the block.
Lee
--
To e-mail, replace "bucketofspam" with "dleegordon"



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I guess this may represent the "real world" somewhat but it doesn't address what I think the reader needs. If I'm going to buy a meat cutting tablesaw, then I'd like to know how all the models I could possibly buy compare to each other. Wishful thinking on my part, perhaps.
I do find reviews useful, though, even if they don't cover all the models I'd like them to consider. They:
1. Sometimes identify design considerations I hadn't appreciated. 2. Sometimes describe features I wasn't aware of and might find useful.
Bill
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<<I guess this may represent the "real world" somewhat but it doesn't address what I think the reader needs. If I'm going to buy a meat cutting tablesaw, then I'd like to know how all the models I could possibly buy compare to each other. Wishful thinking on my part, perhaps.>>
Sometimes you get a stand-alone review of a particular tool and sometimes you get an article comparing various similar tools. And sometimes you get a little of both. For example, in the March issue of Woodcraft Magazine, there was a review of the Delta 36-716 table saw, which is Delta's first entry into the new hybrid category of saws which have some features found in contractors saws and some features from cabinet saws. That was a full-fledged review but there was also a companion article to go with it. AJ (the editor) owns one of the Jet hybrids and he knows I have a Craftsman. So he picked my brain, spoke with someone else who has a DeWalt hybrid, and drew upon his own experience with the Jet and wrote a sidebar to go along with the Delta review. I think it provided quite a bit of useful information without turning Woodcraft into Hybrid Table Saw Monthly.
Lee
-- To e-mail, replace "bucketofspam" with "dleegordon"
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I don't know how experienced you are but for the beginner/intermediate woodworker I don't think that woodsmith can be beaten. No Ads, good plans and good tips/tricks. It is not as longs as some others but it is almost always useful stuff. Shopnotes is the same family but I haven't found it to be as good personally. W
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On 20 Apr 2005 15:22:19 -0700, "hikinandbikin"

They've got a nice "book of the month" sort of thing as well. I checked most of them out, and Woodsmith it the only one I've kept a subscription to. Couldn't see the point in having more than one- after all, a guy can only read so many articles about tuning up your hand plane or the secret to perfect mitered corners. Aut inveniam viam aut faciam
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