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Fine Woodworking Magazine

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The Bottom Line

While there are many woodworking magazines on the newsstand, there is one undisputed leader. Taunton Press' Fine Woodworking magazine has been the undisputed leader for over 30 years. If there is only one woodworking magazine you're going to invest in, this is the one. It is published bi-monthly, with a seventh issue that focuses on tool reviews. You'll want to invest in some protective binders for Fine Woodworking, as you'll refer to them over and over.
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Pros

  • Practical woodworking tips in every issue
  • Detailed tool reviews
  • "Methods of Work" tips from readers offer unusual solutions

Cons

  • Most articles geared toward more experienced woodworkers

Description

  • The tool tests are comprehensive, and the annual Tool Guide issue is regarded as a "must read."
  • Lots of pictures of fine furniture pieces readers have sent in that can be quite inspirational.
  • A bit advanced, so a beginner can feel like a "98-pound weakling" reading "Muscle & Fitness."

Guide Review - Fine Woodworking Magazine

Every issue contains at least one furniture plan, that, while they can be rather challenging to build, are typically pieces that will be show pieces in your home. There is also some very useful finishing techniques featured in each issue. These finishing articles range from reviews of commercial finishes to mixing your own finishes.

My favorite feature in Fine Woodworking is the "Methods of Work" column. In this section, woodworkers write in and tell their favorite practical woodworking tips, most of which would definitely qualify as "off the beaten path," but always very useful.

While the trend in woodworking is toward using machines for as many tasks as possible, Fine Woodworking spends a great deal of time attempting to keep alive some of the more traditional methods of woodworking. Techniques for using old-time tools such as hand planes, chisels and back saws. While the editors certainly don't avoid pieces on power tools, its refreshing to be able to learn some more traditional methods.

Taunton's Fine Woodworking is published with six, bi-monthly issues and one special end-of-the-year issue. Price is $7.99 per issue on the newsstand, but subscriptions are substantially less expensive. Visit the website for subscription information.
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