New Popular Woodworking Magazine, what do you think?

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Jim Campbell
So, we've all had this issue in our favorite reading area for a few weeks now.

For those who aren't in the know, Popular Woodworking and Woodworking Magazine (sister publication) have merged into Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Since no one asked :gar-La;, here is my take.

My favorite parts? Longer, yet more focused articles. This month's pieces about furniture, furniture makers (yeah Jerome!), design and "what makes a table a table" were fantastic.

I also am happy with the columns they retained. A nice variety. Plus, they did not keep the "Table Saw Shoot out" or "Which cordless drill do you need" stuff. Glad to see that era in (at least this magazine) is passing.

I would drop the "Glossary" section. Its a full page that I think could be better used for expanding other content.

Sadly, I don't like the cover. It reminds me too much of Woodworking Magazine, which is now behind us. I'd like to see them drop that border/frame.

I'd also endorse dropping the word Magazine from the title. It is a tad redundant :)

In this new digital era, I also think its time to stop printing "Letters to the Editor". With email, websites and blogs, people are able to comment and share world wide opinions. That accounts for two to three full pages of content.

Like many, the tinyurl's were not something I cared for, but the publisher is working on it.

Lastly, I think they would benefit from ending "how to build a queen anne lowboy in 4 simple pages". Measure this, cut that, route this edge. Those articles, IMHO, don't belong in a magazine. Its like trying to stuff an elephant in a matchbook with a tennis racket.

I'd love to see either "we are going to take the next year, and document this project in gory detail" or focus on a specific aspect of a project. Bring some realistic perspective to these projects.

Oh, I'm also thrilled they didn't feature a story on a brand new way to magically make hand cut dovetails :)

Overall, I'm relieved. I loved both magazines and was worried. Its good to know they kept the best.

My hat's off to the whole staff, they continue to do what I think is one of the most revolutionary jobs in the woodworking publishing industry. Keep up the good work!

If this thread is popular, I'd be happy to send our thought on to the Editors.



I really like the merger as well -- I thought Glen Huey's Shaker Cupboard article was well done and had enough information that even a beginner should be able to build one, although fitting the drawer slides might give some a few head scratches... Jerome's article was a joy to read and he deserves extra NCWW kudos for it and his work in helping retell the amazing story of Thomas Day. I also liked Lang's article on How Tables Work and George Walker's Making Sense of Form because they stimulate the creative side that is so important for adding new designs versus just following a plan. I'm a firm believer in designing your own pieces wherever possible -- I have designed all seven of my commissioned cabinet/furniture projects in the past three years from scratch. The other articles were all worth reading as well -- and going back to reread again. Unlike Jim, I like the brevity of the links for added information and the consistency of having more information close at hand. The closer by Roy Underhill was a nice amusing end to this first of the new breed. Well done, Popular Woodworking Magazine!


I really don't care for the new format. Pop.Woodworking and Wood to me were the easy reading magazines of woodworking. Lots of tips, shorter articles and not to technical. If I wanted more technical, longer articles there were other mags like Fine Woodworking. Pop. Woodworking was also what I thought as as the magazine that I suggested to people getting intrested in woodworking now I would suggest Wood Magazine. I really don't think this format will hold its just a way for them to make money by not folding one of them. My opition for whats it worth!

Travis Porter

Corporate Member
I haven't read everything as I just opened it last night. From a preliminary view, it looks like the woodwhisperer articles have been eliminated. They did keep Bob Flexner which I think is a positive.

I liked the old format of each of the respective magazines. I am undecided on if I like this way better or not... Have to finish reading through the entire thing.


New User
I like the new format. I am glad they kept it closer to the Woodworking Magazine layout and style instead of the other way around. Sets the magazine apart. I could do without the ads scattered throughout ... but that is just how it goes. Hopefully we won't find this magazine full of loose inserts in the future!


According to their email newsletter today, they will be dropping the use of tinyurl [they actualyy mis-spelled it in their newsletter] for their links and are listening to their readers for other comments. Here's Chris Swartz' comments:

We're putting the June 2010 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine to bed this week (look for it in May) and I want to tell you that we have been listening attentively to your suggestions about our new merged magazine. We've made some adjustments you'll see immediately, and some other adjustments you'll see later.

Among the immediate changes: No more "tinurls." We found a more elegant way to point you to extra digital content. More projects. Yup. More jigs. Yup. Among the more gradual changes you'll see is us building a significant part of each issue around an important theme. That's something we could do easily with Woodworking Magazine, but it's something that needs even more care and planning as we bring outside authors into our pages.

For those of you who were alarmed by some of the changes, I hope you'll give us a few issues to let us all get comfortable with the new format. And most of all, thanks to all of you who care enough to send us your comments and support our work here. My paycheck might get issued by a media corporation, but I know who really foots the bill – the readers.

Christopher Schwarz, editor, Popular Woodworking Magazine



New User
Well, what the heck, my .02 worth. I don't read many magazines anymore. Not enough time left after working, gardening, internet browsing, (mostly here), trying to get in as much shop time as I can, I just don't have the time to search through the mags for something I have an interest in. I do like the "letters to the editor" sections however, as that provides me with enough feedback to know what the readership is into and thereby what the particular magazine is likely to cater to.

In the day of internet and instant gratification, it's hard for any printed media to make it. Glad to see one at least trying to make a go by combining the best of two into one.
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