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Thread: What has happened at Popular Woodworking magazine?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2004
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    N Illinois
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    4,373

    What has happened at Popular Woodworking magazine?

    I have subscribed to PW for many years and this has been a favorite of mine...They have, in past, emphasized I thought the traditional, hand tool approach to woodworking and making fine furniture...I loved many of the feature articles by people such as Chris Schwartz, Glen Huey, etc. Over the past 6-7 months i see many changes both in style, content and approach.. Glen Huey is no longer there and today's latest issue did not even List Chris Schwartz as a contributing editor...The approach seems to be changing to a DIY, garage style, handyman style..I'm disappointed but wondering if I am missing something here....Let me know your thoughts and observations...Its renewal time and I am concerned...Thank you in advance.
    Jerry

  2. #2
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    Nov 2006
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    New editor. I've been watching it, hoping Andrew, the new editor, will rev up to the kind of standards that Chris and Megan set.

  3. #3
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    Feb 2006
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    DFW, TX
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    Got an email the other day offering a one year subscription for $5. Still couldn't bring myself to do it.

    Chris
    It's never too late to have a happy childhood.

  4. #4
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    Jul 2015
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    Southwest Virginia
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    I renewed my subscription and the next issue had an article on metalwork and welding. Huh?

    Fine Woodworking also wasted many pages recently showing how to make Knapp joints, a joint that was only ever made because there was a machine that could make it. Why in the world would I want to duplicate a machine joint with that much work when a dovetail is stronger, easier, and looks better?

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Lester View Post
    I renewed my subscription and the next issue had an article on metalwork and welding. Huh?

    Fine Woodworking also wasted many pages recently showing how to make Knapp joints,
    Just like anybody else, FW is running out of materials to recycle (having recycled so much already!). It recently sent me a three-year renewal offer that looked fantastic. But I have decided to end my current subscription once it expires as the marginal value is so so little.

    Simon

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Dickinson, Texas
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    6,221
    I find that both Popular Woodworking and Fine Woodworking have slipped. I guess either the writers don't have the skills or maybe everything has been written. I still take both though.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
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    Helensburgh, Australia
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    There is only so much you can write about on any subject, I notice one of the more prominent YouTubers must be starting to run into content problems as well lately.
    Chris

    Everything I like is either illegal, immoral or fattening

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Perth, Australia
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    I may read a magazine for 5 - 10 minutes to switch off when in bed at night. Or keep a bunch on my iPad for long plane flights.

    I was extremely disappointed with the February edition. It was light years removed from the Popular Woodworking magazine under the guidance of Chris Schwarz. I read a magazine for article that make me think about what I am doing, offer a broader canvas by way of history to specific techniques, or teach/deminstrate more advanced skills. That edition was no different from Wood magazine, or something similar. I do not subscribe, or even read, magazines like that because they are for beginners.

    It is very likely that my subscription will not be renewed. I continue with Fine Woodworking as there remains a fine standard. I accept that they need to cater for a varied readership, and I think that they do this quite well.

    There are two other magazines that are worth looking at. The first is Furniture and Cabinetmaking (from the UK). It is a bit parochial, but often has interesting contemporary work as well as history and biographies. That was the fare of the late Woodwork, a magazine we all admired. The other mag is the Australian Wood Review. This has come up in recent years, and is in the FWW mold.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    N Illinois
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    You guys are noticing what I've been seeing too.....Sadly, I understand...Used to be a joy to open a new issue of a woodworking magazine...
    Jerry

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Vancouver
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    Has anyone tried Furniture and Cabinetmaking? It's a UK mag which focuses on fine furniture making.

  11. #11
    I've just let my Pop Woodworking subscription expire. I'll stay with FWW and I hope it does not slip as well. I've started to read "The Woodworker" magazine that Lost Art Press has published in book form. It's certainly dated, but I really enjoy the articles.

    https://lostartpress.com/collections...ears-vols-i-iv

    Michael

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Olexa View Post
    The approach seems to be changing to a DIY, garage style, handyman style..
    In their defense, that is what they were like 20-odd years ago, when I had a subscription (one of those $5 deals that was a flyer in the mail). Maybe that also means FWW will revert back to the good magazine they were 20 years ago (I doubt it)

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
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    Southwest Virginia
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    Does anyone get Mortise and Tenon magazine? It seems really pricey, but the previews I've seen look good.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Newburgh, Indiana
    Posts
    849
    I think the last issue almost has more ads in it than content. As I posted here before, I let FWW expire and would have done the same with PW, except for the free subscription to a friend offer that came if I re-subscribed. I agre totally with others, PW has gone down hill since Megan and Chris have left.
    Life's too short to use old sandpaper.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Lester View Post
    Does anyone get Mortise and Tenon magazine? It seems really pricey, but the previews I've seen look good.
    You have to like or do the kind of work covered in that publication to find it interesting. I flipped through pages (all issues), and decided it wasn't right for me. But I must admit I am neither a book hoarder nor a tool one.

    Simon

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