Woodwork is my favourite magazine, hands down. In fact, I purchased all the back issues and now own the complete set. I am now reading my way forward from #1 released in 1989. As the magazine describes itself, Woodwork is “a magazine for all woodworkers”. Most magazines prefer to focus on the how-to side of woodworking, the same thing every other magazine, book, webpage, and workshop is teaching. The editors of Woodwork are smart – they have wandered off the beaten (albeit proven) path and found a niche for themselves which is something it seems other magazines are afraid to do. And that is a shame.
Everyone has a saturation point, where it gets boring and even painstaking to read project plan after project plan for things you would never build, yet you read them anyways because you paid for the magazine. Long ago, I began to gloss over most projects in magazines because they were things I never envisioned myself building and I already understood how to build them. However, gaining insight into the world of another human is always interesting. I find it fascinating seeing what other shops look like, what tools other woodworkers use most and how they use them, what habits and techniques they’ve developed over the years. If there is one thing Woodwork does well, it is their woodworker profiles.
Many well-known woodworkers such as Sam Maloof, Bob Stockdale, George Nakashima, James Krenov and Art Espenet Carpenter are profiled in full books. However, Woodwork takes us into the shops of woodworkers, most of whom do woodwork for a living and have figured out what they do well, but not all of them well-known to the woodworking world.
Today, there are many woodworking magazines available. Most of them are published bimonthly, or on a similarly regular basis. A couple years ago, Woodwork stopped publishing but since has begun printing one issue a year. As a take-one-day-at-a-time kind of guy, there are not many events that I look forward to, but the release of Woodwork is one of them. The latest issue should be available on magazine stands very shortly, if not already.
PS: I know that there are many, many woodworkers who loved this magazine. They were devastated when Woodwork announced that they would cease publishing but are unaware that Woodwork is now back, albeit annually. I, for one, am grateful that it continues to be published. Spread the word.