Finally something I can be proud of, even if it isn't any kind of
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
Master Woodbutcher and seasoned termite
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