This posting may be useful to some and old hat to others. For long
time subscribers to Fine Woodworking, for example ( or other mags as
well) the web sites provide an index which if you have collected enough
back issues can provide a useful source of reference information.
They just came out with their second edition of the best from their
past issues. It comes as a CD and will set you back $125. I guess
that is cheaper than buying an entire collection from No. 1 through
current issue for $600+ from some collector, except I would really
like to have some of those silly things from the very first issues
(How to build your own spindle shaper, planer, etc). I would be
willing to pay $250 or so to have everything they ever published in
DVD form. Do not know why they didn't do that instead of their
limited 2nd edition. I received their issue No. 1 unsolicited with an
invitation to subscribe. A few months later I subscribed and except
for a brief interruption I have been a subscriber ever since. Problem
is I probably have saved less than 1/3 of the issues.
Curiously, there have been a lot of complaints about their 2nd edition
CD and they are coming out with a revision which will be sent out to
past purchasers free of charge. I hope the revision is an improvement
because their CD is very hard to search and the pages, at least on my
computer, do not come up right.
I know that FWW has a lot of detractors and I agree that criticism is
probably healthy but I remember the quality (and quantity) of
woodworking magazines published before FWW appeared on the scene. They
has been a revolution in ww tools and equipment since they appeared.
I think FWW spawned a renaissance in craftsmanship and that there are
so many excellent woodworkers around today who would have never been
drawn to the craft were it not for the interest FWW created.
Pre FWW there was not a single magazine that ever ran anything much
beyond building birdhouses and Adarondack chairs with an occasional
"telephone table" thrown in.
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