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Thread: I just received my first copy of a new subscription

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    I just received my first copy of a new subscription

    To Popular Woodworking. It left me a little cold I hope the subject matter picks up in the future.

    The magazine is just not the same without Swarz and Megan.
    Last edited by lowell holmes; 12-25-2018 at 12:21 PM.

  2. #2
    I was surprised to see the credenza project when I flipped through the latest issue that belongs to the club. A decent furniture build and my only complaint was I couldn't tell from its drawings or photos if the doors are sliding or hinged. I saw neither hinges nor tracks (I had only a minute or two to go through the issue). I saw a new contributor there Amy something, which is refreshing as I did not like what I saw before I unsubscribed: almost the same three or four writers were featured in every issue. You don't listen to the same song, or eat the same dinner everyday, do you?

    Why would a publisher think the same small crop of writers could inject freshness year after year? Even with its hundreds of contributors, we still see recycled materials now and then in Fine Woodworking. That is why the both defunct Woodwork and
    American Woodworker (the older issues) still command my interest when I check them out.

    Simon
    Last edited by Simon MacGowen; 12-25-2018 at 12:38 PM.

  3. #3
    Even Fine Woodworking is going downhill, and they were my favorite. I especially hate the articles that give you 1/4 in the mag, then say, see the rest online. If I wanted to go online, I wouldn't get a print magazine. Most magazines have free content online if you subscribe to the magazine, not FWW. They charge $$ to see online what one pays for when you get the printed magazine. Nope the old days of sitting in one's recliner with a great reading light are gone.
    Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the ground each morning, the devil says, "oh crap she's up!"


    Tolerance is giving every other human being every right that you claim for yourself.

    "What is man without the beasts? If all the beasts are gone, men would die from great loneliness of spirit. For whatever happens to the beasts will happen to man. All things are connected. " Chief Seattle Duwamish Tribe

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Michelle Rich View Post
    Even Fine Woodworking is going downhill, and they were my favorite. I especially hate the articles that give you 1/4 in the mag, then say, see the rest online.
    Agreed. Won't be renewing my FW sub. due to expire in 6 or 7 months.

    FW has departed from its founders' principles and turned 100% marketing oriented. I received a promo material about its best 2018 video selections (or something like that), but as you pointed out, nothing is really free even though I am a long-time subscriber; only the preview or first or two episodes are free content. I did not even bother to click on those free stuff. The latest issue has the Adirondack chair project which we all have watched on PBS. So I was already like paying twice to see the same project, and they had the guts to tell me to pay more to view....Good luck to their business model. I couldn't but wonder if their database might have misspelled my last name as Sucker.


    Simon
    Last edited by Simon MacGowen; 12-25-2018 at 2:27 PM.

  5. #5
    I reluctantly agree that FWW has slipped a lot lately. They seem more focused on growing their online subscriptions than on magazine quality.

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    No excuses for any magazines, but all print periodicals are struggling to determine what to do about internet access. I personally only read thoroughly about half of any woodworking magazines anyway. I just read those articles that I either think might suggest a project or improve my technique. Problem is that there are very few topics, techniques, or projects that haven't been covered by more than one magazine after all the years woodworking magazines have been around. Most of them have been out there since the 70's or 80's. Woodsmith, for example, used to be great. Either I have evolved or they have covered everything multiple times. It just doesn't provide anything useful these days.

    Popular WW really caters mostly to hand tool work which, while they do provide some useful techniques, I am not just a hand tool woodworker.

    While I hate to spend the money for FWW all access subscription, it does provide a lot of flexibility. Since you get access to all of their past magazines and other publications, I tend to use it as a reference quite a bit whenever I have a question. Since the current magazines are also included in the subscription it gives me what Ineed when I need it. However, given the current price and the variability of people's needs, it obviously isn't for everyone.

    I find Woodworker's Journal is good sometimes, but, again, not always.

    These days, you just have to find what is useful. I'm always glad I have choices, including no subscriptions at all.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Heinemann View Post

    While I hate to spend the money for FWW all access subscription, it does provide a lot of flexibility. Since you get access to all of their past magazines and other publications, I tend to use it as a reference quite a bit whenever I have a question. Since the current magazines are also included in the subscription it gives me what Ineed when I need it. However, given the current price and the variability of people's needs, it obviously isn't for everyone.

    I find Woodworker's Journal is good sometimes, but, again, not always.
    I don't know how much FW charges for access to its premium content, I have the whole paper collection from #1, but also the digital archive (you can easily buy second-hand FW archive disc (usb now?) at half price and usually much much less).

    Woodworker's Journal has a resourceful website full of free hands-on videos (not the cowboy kind seen on youtube). Their projects may not be as grand as FW's, but the magazine is heavy on techniques. The old issues (penned by Ian Kirby) cover hand tool topics.

    Simon
    Last edited by Simon MacGowen; 12-26-2018 at 1:12 PM.

  8. #8
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    The one that saddens me is how WoodSmith seems to be losing it's way. Since the company was sold, the new owners seem to be in search of any new ways they can repackage old content into 'special' topical books and videos.

    The situation reminds me of the classic 80's Wall Street corporate takeovers followed by sell offs of profitable parts, and then dumping the shell that is left.

    Their TV show really took a dive last year, while they changed the format, but kept the original presenters, and went away from the one show/one project concept to one that pushed you to go online for the rest of the story. Now that the transition is complete, with new presenters, the concept has improved a bit. I sure hope they work it out. It was my favorite show since Norm.

    Of course, this is only my opinion.
    Rick Potter

    DIY journeyman,
    FWW wannabe.
    AKA Village Idiot.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simon MacGowen View Post
    I don't know how much FW charges for access to its premium content, I have the whole paper collection from #1, but also the digital archive (you can easily buy second-hand FW archive disc (usb now?) at half price and usually much much less).

    Woodworker's Journal has a resourceful website full of free hands-on videos (not the cowboy kind seen on youtube). Their projects may not be as grand as FW's, but the magazine is heavy on techniques. The old issues (penned by Ian Kirby) cover hand tool topics.

    Simon
    Actually the usefulness of Woodworker's Journal content online is questionable. Mostly WWJ is a marketing tool for Rockler these days and a good portion of the content relates to products Rockler sells in their stores and online. Not sure where you're buying the USB for FWW "second hand" but it's usually sold for no less than $75 online by Taunton and mostly for more than that. I used to have all the print magazines but it just takes up too much space. What magazines woodworkers subscribe to and what online services they use is truly based on their needs and preferences. It does appear, though, that all are running out of topics and techniques to put in their publications and online. There maybe is just a finite number of topics and, after almost 45 years of regular publications, there just is not that much new left to write about.

  10. #10
    Just as Woodcraft magazine would use products carried by Woodcraft in its magazine, Woodworker's is expected to use Rockler's. That said, we can easily ignore brands and use competitors' products in techniques demonstrated in their videos. I did not have to buy a new tool to do what Rough Cut with Fine Woodworking may show even though certain brand names are used there.

    Owners dump their FW, WC etc discs or USBs on CL, EBAY, etc. after they install their purchases in their computers. You can buy original, second hand MS products in the same way.

    Simon

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Simon MacGowen View Post
    Just as Woodcraft magazine would use products carried by Woodcraft in its magazine, Woodworker's is expected to use Rockler's. That said, we can easily ignore brands and use competitors' products in techniques demonstrated in their videos. I did not have to buy a new tool to do what Rough Cut with Fine Woodworking may show even though certain brand names are used there.

    Owners dump their FW, WC etc discs or USBs on CL, EBAY, etc. after they install their purchases in their computers. You can buy original, second hand MS products in the same way.
    Many of which won't work when you get home. A lot of MS products get online and verify the license and if there are two licenses operating on the same product, they will shut down one or both of them for piracy, which is really what it is. That's not the case for WW magazines however, so people who do that are safe, even though ethically in the wrong.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Henderson View Post
    Many of which won't work when you get home. A lot of MS products get online and verify the license and if there are two licenses operating on the same product, they will shut down one or both of them for piracy, which is really what it is. That's not the case for WW magazines however, so people who do that are safe, even though ethically in the wrong.
    I got my MS from the UK and it gave me no issues. It came with the certificate of authenticity etc.

    Did FW sell its discs with a no resell condition attached? No duplicates is understandable, but I don't think it says you can't resell your disc. Older FW editions could be had for $10 or so. I use it mainly for searches as I have the print version.

    Simon
    Last edited by Simon MacGowen; 12-27-2018 at 1:37 PM.

  13. #13
    I've recently got back into furniture making after a long absence. I was an early subscriber to Fine Woodworking (had the first 50 issues) and finally gave it up........too "arty" for me. Last month I subscribed to the monthly subscription ($8.25/mo). I love the new format!! I not only have access to all the back issues, but also the great teaching videos. Times have changed...........now I sit in my easy chair with my laptop instead of a magazine.

    Something a lot of folks don't realize about these on-line subscriptions (which is the wave of the future) is that they can be cancelled at anytime. In my case, I subscribed in Nov. and will probably unsubscribe in March when I get busy with spring and summer activities. Then will re-subscribe next fall when I feel the need.

    Jim

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Simon MacGowen View Post
    I got my MS from the UK and it gave me no issues. It came with the certificate of authenticity etc.

    Did FW sell its discs with a no resell condition attached? No duplicates is understandable, but I don't think it says you can't resell your disc. Older FW editions could be had for $10 or so. I use it mainly for searches as I have the print version.
    Then the original user wasn't using the software anymore, otherwise the new one wouldn't function. It's perfectly legit to sell your copy of Windows to someone else if you aren't using it at all. It is not legit if you just make a copy of the original disks, then sell the original disks to someone else and continue to use it yourself. By the same token, if someone bought the FW disks, copied the contents to their own drive, then sold the disks and continued to use the copied content, that's skating on some really legally thin ice. FW has a right to control the number of copies of their content floating around out there. That's what copyright means. You can probably get away with it because you have the print version, just like I can go out and download any movie off the Internet that I own the Bluray for, but for people who are just doing it to steal from FW, that's a no go.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simon MacGowen View Post
    Just as Woodcraft magazine would use products carried by Woodcraft in its magazine, Woodworker's is expected to use Rockler's. That said, we can easily ignore brands and use competitors' products in techniques demonstrated in their videos. I did not have to buy a new tool to do what Rough Cut with Fine Woodworking may show even though certain brand names are used there.

    Owners dump their FW, WC etc discs or USBs on CL, EBAY, etc. after they install their purchases in their computers. You can buy original, second hand MS products in the same way.

    Simon
    Too bad that people do that just to make a few bucks (or save a few bucks whichever way you want to look at it). It seems to me that this probably contributes to the higher cost of the FWW USB, their online subscriptions, and other online services (certainly not the only reason, but certainly a contributing factor). By reducing demand for their products and online content, they must spread their costs over a smaller number of users. While I suppose people have always passed their bring magazines around between friends, seems to me that doing this with a disk that contains 30+ years of magazines is an escalation beyond reasonable. Just my opinion and don't really want a big discussion. I just don't feel some things are "right". It probably will contribute to the demise of some of these publications in the long run. Don't know whether that will be a significant loss or not overall. It would be to me.

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