WT247 – Woodworking Magazines

On today’s Wood Talk “Weekend Edition” we’re talking about which woodworking magazines we “read” and a little about what makes each distinctive.

This topic was inspired by several emailers from the past few weeks. Apparently inquiring woodworkers want to know.

How about you?

Which woodworking magazines do you subscribe to or read and why? Have any feedback on the lesser know publications that we know nothing about? Leave your insights in the comments below.

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23 replies on “WT247 – Woodworking Magazines”

To the listener question about how to carry wood if you don’t have a truck, I built this contraption for my roof rack. I do not know the original source for it but it is very clever and I can carry several full sheets of plywood. With or without it I could carry regular lumber on roof rack with ratchet straps. Anyway, maybe someone else will find it useful. Every time I use it I get a lot of comments of awesomeness from people.


I also recently bought the folding Harbor Freight trailer. It is 4×8 and can carry full sheets of plywood, lumber, mulch or whatever. the nice thing is it folds in half and I can push (it has casters) up against the wall when i’m not using it. Very space efficient.

Awesome show thanks for producing it. I love listening.

I think ShopNotes merged with Woodsmith to form Woodsmith: Guild Edition the magazine is thicker now.

Actually Wood Smith purchased up Shop Notes and now they are all in one without the holes to put in a binder.

Woodworker’s Journal is still published, got a $10 per year subscription a couple months ago
British published ‘Furniture and Cabinetmaking’ and ‘Woodturning’ are 2 great publications, available at Barnes & Noble (not a sponsor……). Both are available Digital at about 1/3 the newsstand price

Furniture and Cabinet making is the British magazine I believe you guys were referring to. My Local B&N brings in 3 copies a month. It is a very good magazine. Sort of like the British version of Fine Woodworking. I started reading it in the mid nineties.I am really into the old industrial grade heavy cast iron machinery, and they used to have a section called “Cast in the Past”. So naturally I was hooked!I wish the three of you could some how delve into this topic once in a while. Guest host?

Thanks for a great show!


I think this episode was a fail. They barely subscribe to any of the magazines and admitted to only reading what they get periodically. Then they preceded to pontificate about the qualities of the magazines, but since they don’t read them, they got a lot of the details wrong.

This episode felt like a news story that you watch where reporters are talking about something you know intimately, and they get just about everything wrong.

Hey Dave. I think we were pretty open and honest about what we read and what we don’t read, and we did our best to describe each magazine based on our past experiences. We weren’t attempting to pull the wool over anyone’s eyes or misrepresent our experiences in any way. If you thought we sounded confident about our memories of magazines like WW’ers Journal, Woodsmith, and Shop Notes, then you weren’t listening very well. We spent most of our time talking about Pop Wood, Fine Woodworking, and WOOD magazine as those are the ones we are the most familiar with. So instead of claiming we got everything “wrong”, why not add something to the conversation and let us know your opinions on the various magazines. If you disagree, feel free to express your opinion. If we’re actually wrong about something, why not simply correct us?

Sorry, I didn’t mean to come across as a troll, but I guess I did 🙁

It’s just all three of you, by your own admission, don’t even read much of the few magazines that you do get. So maybe it wasn’t the best topic to undertake. Enough said on my part. My apologies.

I do enjoy the podcast and look forward to its weekly appearance.

No worries. But I’m genuinely interested in finding out what we got blatantly wrong. Sounds more like you didn’t necessarily agree with some of our opinions, which is perfectly fine. But that doesn’t make us inaccurate, rather we just have different impressions. 🙂

This was a topic request submitted by a listener and we actually spent some time going back and forth about whether it was something we felt we could discuss for the show and give honest feedback on.

It’s a minefield of sorts because even if all three of us had intimate knowledge of EVERY magazine available it would still fall short…because it requires an opinion that might differentiate from the listener.

Review shows of sorts are extremely difficult to pull off because what we might see as important characteristics in a publication, DVD, tool, etc. can be different from what others view as important so we’re caught between a rock and a hard place regardless of what we say or do.

I too am curious what we were so blatantly wrong on. What specific details did we get wrong? This way we know where to look for fact checking for future episodes.

Regarding the Woodsmith Shop show… you said that the guys on there are great guys but it’s “a little tough to watch” puncutated with quite a bit of laughing and snickering — basically dismissing it. Those guys on the show are woodworkers not professional television presenters and I, for one, appreciate that. Maybe that show doesn’t offer much to you guys but not everyone who listens to Woodtalk is in the same boat as you three. I could be going out on a limb guessing that a good portion are hobbyists or part-timers. I think their show has value to those of us who don’t have the high dollar tools because they show you how you can accomplish seemingly complex tasks using tools most hobbyists would have. Not only do they give you the plans they also show the procedures and techniques. Their episode on the Demilune table was great if for notihing more than showing how to manage building a circular (actually elliptical) table with multiple radii and keeping the curves identical. I’ve built things from their show so I’m speaking from experience, not simply to be nitpicky or a troll. I’ve benefited and appreciate that I didn’t need to pay a couple of hundred dollars to do so. Normally I would just move on but I thought maybe some of the listeners might want a second opinion from someone who has benefited from the Woodsmith Shop. I’m just a part-time woodworker and I probably didn’t listen well enough; if my viewpoint doesn’t add anything I apologize for taking up your time.

I can’t speak for Shannon, but my comments stem from the WAY they present their instruction and not the instruction itself. My comment was that it’s tough to watch. And I stand by that comment. I find the way they teach eachother things they clearly already know (instead of talking to the audience) to be incredibly distracting.

DJ – I’m glad you wrote what you did. I agree with you about the Woodsmith Shop show. I’m another part-time, hobbiest woodworker who has learned a lot from it. And frankly, I, too, was surprised by the snickering dismissiveness. Just my $0.02.

Your analysis is similar to mine. Fine Woodworking scared me at first (way, way over my head), but is now my favorite (still way over my head most of the time). The magazine shows beautiful furniture, made beautifully. I also subscribe to Popular Woodworking (the price they offered was very tempting). It too, is very good. Wood Magazine appealed to me when I didn’t have many skills or tools.
The thing to keep in mind here, is that unlike tools, the magazines are fairly affordable. Buy a few, and see what you like. Later, you can change your mind. So the review isn’t critical, but interesting to hear what you like.

I liked this episode. Call me a dinosaur, but I still like reading paper magazines. I work in front of a computer all day, at night I prefer paper over screen.

Of particular value to me was learning that Pop Woodworking is branching out into new styles/authors. I gave up on it about a year ago because I was sick of tool chest and workbench projects… I think they got too deep into Schwarz’s areas of interest. Couple that with the fact that I don’t build period pieces and really it didn’t have much to offer. Now that I know they are showing some contempary pieces I will give it another look.

In response to Dave above, I think you guys engage is a little false humility sometimes. You obviously know more about the magazines than you would if you only looked at them once or twice a year. Maybe that comes from being in the woodworking content business, or from your experience years ago when you were reading everything you could. Personally, I took your disclaimer with a grain of salt, and your discussion proved to me that, at least as far as Wood, PW, and FWW are concerned, you know exactly what they are doing.

Good subject. Just wondering if any of you three subscribe to 360 woodworking. I like the all digital, and they put out articals throughout the month, not all at once. Plus they are doing beginer though holy crap how did you build that articals.

My first “woodworking” magazine was Family Handyman because I saw it in the dentist office about 8 years ago. It is not strictly woodworking but this one had as it’s featured wood project closet organizers and basement storage ideas, which is exactly what I happened to be doing at the time. The only reason I still get it is because it comes every month, unlike the other three mag’s I get that all come the same week every two months.” Wood, Woodcraft and Pop Wood”.

I too like reading the printed pages over something on the screen, I don’t know, it just seems more real. BTW, I still read the paper too.

Where do magazines go when you are done reading them? there is no one answer. If it was a boring magazine, full of stuff you already know then it might go into recycling, or off to a new woodworker. If it’s got some inspirational stuff, it might go on a shelf in the shop for the moments when you are having creative “difficulties”. And if it’s got things in it you’d like to build one day, it probably ends up in a plastic tote, milk crate, or box in the basement waiting for you to find it again when you come around to the project.

I really had thought there would be more magazines out there, but i guess the bad ones have already faded away, or merged to be more DIY or craft based.


A very good synopsis of what’s out there in print. I subscribed to FWW for years and years, and have recently switched to Pop WW. Both are good. Change is good.

FWW Web site, in my humble opinion, is not worth the time wasted on ads blocking content. I discontinued my subscription to that last year. They have no respect for the viewer.

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