Is it just me or the woodworking magazines didn't come up with
anything interesting in the last few months? I suscribe to Wood
Magazine and Fine Woodworking and I buy several others at the newstand
but didn't find anything really exciting lately.
It's really depressing to see the Mission style bedroom set that Wood
Magazine will come up in the upcoming issues.
What kind of wood furniture you guys like?
Do the Mission, Shaker and Arts & Crafts style are the bulk of the
projects you're doing most of the time? I have the feeling that those
style have been around for hundreds of years and that every single
woodworking magazine offered many version of them in the past few
years. You'll never find that kind of furniture in Fine Woodworking.
Thanks for sharing your design opinions and appreciations.
I don't subscribe to any magazine. They are too expensive (I save my
$ for quality tools). I buy books instead, mostly Taunton. I like
all types of furniture, but my favorite is Shaker which has been
around since about 1850. I suggest buying books on furniture styles
you like most, or like to build. The construction methods are very
Mission and A&C for the most part. ;>)
Could it be that you've outgrown the mags like Wood with your skill level?
It happens to most who stick with it sooner or later.
Like hell you won't!... take a CLOSE look at the outside back cover of the
August FWW. Study the detail of the piece ("acoustic armoire") carefully,
then run over in your mind what steps, and what joinery methods, you would
take to duplicate that piece without plans. What you see is an absolute
masterful execution of A&C craftsmanship that most any woodworker worth the
moniker would be proud to have the skill to accomplish.
Much of the furniture I see in the "Current Works" section of FWW, while
impressive for it's artistic craftsmanship, is NOT something I would want to
build for my own consumption ... and another reason why all cars aren't
Not really... Usually when I flip through magazine pages, I see many
articles of a certain interest for me on topics like tool tests,
woodworking projects, finishing products + techniques, wood
characteristics, new techniques or/and fields I didn't started yet
(carving or turning for that matter), etc...
It just happens that I didn't see anything interesting since around
I think it's because they start to repeat themselves... I've heard
once that readership has an 18 months turnover... So you can start
repeating articles after 2 years and the vast majority of your
suscribers will see the "repeated" articles for the first time... Not
only that, I flipped through some books and realized that projects
that was once featured in a magazine were all grouped in a book...
When you have all the magazines, you don't want to spend 30$ to get
the book version...
Anyway, I've already about a dozen projects that I need to complete
before looking for something else. I should have for a year or two at
the speed I work... Then I should be ready to design my own stuff
That's about right. The repetitive nature of the mags is what stopped me a
few years back. FWW is about the only one I pick up at the news stand
anymore, and that just when something in it interests me.
There are a couple of books on design, while not the cat's meow, are worth
reading at the library, or over coffee at Barnes and Nobles. One that comes
immediately to mind is "Furniture Design" by Graham Blackburn. I've read it
cover to cover a couple of times in the last couple of years and get
something out of it every time.
Although I don't think I will ever be very good at design, I rarely use
plans and almost always design custom pieces these days. I still pay
attention to all the furniture I see, analyze the design elements of each
piece, keep notes, and critique and try to learn from my design mistakes ...
it is an apparently never ending learning process.
Why copy any style at all? Design your own. Through a more-or-less
random method (What can I make out of the stock at hand?), I've
developed my own style, which magazines like Popular Woodworking and
Wood will be publishing plans for long after I'm dead.
Woodwork came in today's mail. Once again, it's well worth the time and
the money. Jon Arno had an excellent, well-researched article on various
types of walnut. Michael Cullen did a great article on how to use knife
hinges, which I've only skimmed so far. Someone else wrote an article I
have yet to digest on making and using magnetic switches for various power
tools. I'll look more closely at that one, since I determined by accident
that my bandsaw doesn't have one. An article on a Greene & Greene inspired
lamp that actually looks like a work of art. Building a harp. A review of
a major museum show on modern furniture. A presentation on a Japanese wood
sculptor. A couple of other how to articles, well illustrated. A letter
and response on sustainable bubinga and other 'exotic' woods, and
understanding the influences on their uses and misuses. Lists of clubs and
classes and shows.
$4.99 on the newstand. More inspiration than I can use in a year or two.
And an excellent counter balance to the ShopNotes/Woodworker's Journal
publications, to which I also subscribe.
Raise your sights, once in a while. Do something artsy. Worst case, it
becomes firewood, and no one will know.
Magazines tend to run in cycles. FWW got way too mecahnical some years ago. I
remember an article on making your own table saw fence that required the
machine ability of Boeing.
However, when you think about it, styles like Mission will always be published,
because most woodworkers are either beginners or some form of intermediate. You
can make mission furniture with a table saw and router. Krenov type stuff tends
to be more specialized. FWW and Woodwork have more of those; consequently their
readership will be lower, since they appeal to a smaller area of interest. They
will rarely run a "How to make a great hall bookcase" type of feature.
I used to get Woodsmith and ShopNotes every month. I stopped them for two
reasons: The projects repeated with different features, and my method of work
(more hand work, or whatever was needed to work swiftly) began to vary from
theirs. I frankly think some of their machine operations run a bit too
dangerous for me, and I can now do many things by hand faster and better.
I thought the "glue testing" review was pretty interesting. Wood mag I
Shocked and confused that the polyurethane glues are weaker than yellow glue
except when submerged under water for 24 hours.
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