For methods & techniques, I like Fine Woodworking, and several of the
For INSPIRATION, you may want to find a couple of copies of American
Bungalow and see what they show as finished product. You're on your own as
to how to build them, however. But after reading & experimenting, you'll
likely find a way to build things that you enjoy.
And for setting the bar a little higher in your craftsmanship, I always
enjoy Woodwork magazine. Yes, they have more sculptural and turning stuff
than many of the others, but my imagination is always tickled. The feature
craftsperson article also seems to put a very human face on the folks at
the forefront of our hobby/craft/profession.
Fine Woodworking is the best of the bunch, but understand it is
oriented toward technique & design, not dimensioned project plans
(and, in recent times, it's been rather over weighted with finishing
Wood magazine is the best of the project plan magazines, to my
mind. American Woodworker has declined to the point of being
pretty much useless. Woodsmith is inconsistant, some of their
projects are very good, some use really weird techniques that
make things much more complicated than they need to be. I used
to find Popular Woodworking more oriented to beginner level
projects, but I haven't looked at it for several years.
Shopnotes is pretty good for workshop techniques and jigs,
and seems to me to be more consistant than Woodsmith.
Glad I'm not the only one to notice that. Norm must be depositing
his recent issues directly into the circular file. Break out the
saws, boys, and leave the finishing work for the womenfolk. (now
doning flame retardent suit)
Seriously, as others have said, I've really been impressed to the
improvements to Wood magazine over the last few years. The seem to
beat all in variety and content.
I really don't know, I buy them all :)
FWW is really the flagship when it comes to inspiration. But for me it's a
little like looking at a Cadillac brochure when all you can afford is a
I havent seen more than one other person mentioning Woodworking. It is one
of my favorites. More artsy than any of the other, but they show some
fantastic work, and run some darn good articles from time to time. The very
latest issue has a long article about a guy who had really made it, and who
decided to just quit and become a nurse. An eye opener to say the least.
But like FWW it is an inspiration magazine.
For projects and plans, Shop Notes, Woodsmith and Wood are pretty good.
Of course, YMMV.
I thought I subscribed to them all too until last week when I went into
a magazine store. I get ShopNotes, Woodsmith, Fine Woodworking, Wood,
American Woodworker, and I think one more. However, there were about 6
others at the magazine store that I didn't know about including
Woodwork. I'd probably be more skilled if I spent as much time doing
woodworking as I do reading about it...
Larry C in Auburn WA
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