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Thread: What to do with woodworking magazines - Decided!

  1. #1
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    What to do with woodworking magazines - Decided!

    I've been collecting woodworking magazines for a very long time. How long? I'm a charter subscriber to WOOD and have every issue from number 1 on. I also have dozens of others like AW, FWW, WJ, etc.

    Here's the problem. They take up space - lots of space. The LOML and I are trying to reduce the amount of 'stuff' we have and the magazines seem like a good place to start.
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    Here's my problem. I seem to have become quite attached to them. Hundreds of plans and articles I want to be able to refer back to "someday". How do others do this? I'm looking at two possibilities right now. Perhaps you know of a third?

    First, I'm thinking of going through them all and tearing out the pages that interest me or might be of interest in the future. Then I would put them in some order of topic and place them in a file drawer. It pains me to cut them up, but judging by the response Mr. Stats got on his trying to sell his magazines I think I just place too much value on the.

    Second choice would be to scan the pages that I want and file them on a CD. This would take longer, but would take up less room and be faster to search. My fear is that 10 years from now CD's might be obsolete or the file format might be. Also, I've heard the CD's have a life span. Paper never goes out of style.

    So. Any suggestions? How do you all handle this problem?
    Last edited by Rennie Heuer; 12-29-2008 at 09:01 PM. Reason: Add picture
    Host of the 2017 Family Woodworking Gathering - Sunken Wood

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  2. #2
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    I haven't finished mine yet but here is what I did. I have a big old 4 drawer file cabinet. I made a box with no bottom 1/2" ends & 1/4" sides with the sides top edges cut on a bevel from the outside up & toward the inside this fits the drawer tight & file folders hang on the beveled edges ( this will handle the weight of all the magazine folders you can hang in the drawer) & a years magazines fit in one hanging folder. I list the projects on the front of the hanging folder & which magazine they are in.
    Last edited by Bart Leetch; 07-12-2008 at 10:35 PM.
    "Forget the flat stuff slap something on the spinny thing and lets go, we're burning daylight" Bart Leetch
    "If it ain't round you may be a knuckle dragger""Turners drag their nuckles too, they just do it at a higher RPM"Bart

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bart Leetch View Post
    a years magazines fit in one hanging folder.
    Tempting, but I have 24 years of WOOD magazine alone!

    The ones in the picture are most of my collection. In total I think all my magazines would stack nearly 20' high. That's 3 four-drawer file cabinets should I decide to keep the entire magazine. Well, that would at least get them off of the shelves.
    Host of the 2017 Family Woodworking Gathering - Sunken Wood

    “We all die. The goal isn't to live forever; the goal is to create something that will.” - Chuck Palahniuk
    www.wrworkshop.com

  4. #4
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    Rennie....as you may have seen, I tried to sell a 18 year collection, not only here but on C/L. I've tried different pricing etc. Called all of the used book/magazine folks here and Seattle. Called the local library. Even called a Woodworking club....no interest.

    I think the file cabinet is the easiest way to deal with them, I like the idea of hanging each issue on it's own bar. I think if you try to tear them up to save articles, you will miss one or two down the road, and scanning and saving to cd would be almost a life time endeavor.

    I know now that as my subscriptions for all of the different mags run out, I won't be renewing...it will either be view on the computer or I don't need it.

    Doug

    Unfortunately, it looks like my book list is going the same way...to the landfill if I don't find a buyer soon.

  5. #5
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    A community college or woodworking school might like to add your magazines to their library collection. Just a thought.
    ________

    Ron

    "Individual commitment to a group effort--that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work."
    Vince Lombardi

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Douglas Jones View Post
    I tried to sell a 18 year collection, not only here but on C/L. I've tried different pricing etc. Called all of the used book/magazine folks here and Seattle. Called the local library. Even called a Woodworking club....no interest.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Jones View Post
    A community college or woodworking school might like to add your magazines to their library collection. Just a thought.
    You guys aren't related, are you?

    The file cabinet idea is a sound one, except for the shear volume of magazines I have. The shelves in the picture are each 8' long, and there's another shelf, not as long, in another room that is also full to overflowing.

    I agree, I'm liable to miss something cutting things out. That just might be the price I have to pay for the space. Thinking more about the scanning - you're right. Way too much time.

    This is indeed a problem of immense proportions on which to probosculate.
    Host of the 2017 Family Woodworking Gathering - Sunken Wood

    “We all die. The goal isn't to live forever; the goal is to create something that will.” - Chuck Palahniuk
    www.wrworkshop.com

  7. #7
    Rennie,

    I think your first suggestion is the easiest - scanning will take a lot of time. After you've gone through them, I think you'll be surprised at how little you end up keeping.

    I've kept full issues of FWW, given away my Fine Homebuilding (to our contractor), and sliced up my car mags. The 12 year old next door reads what's left of the car magazines - which are usually full issues. Maybe a budding woodworker in your area would like the remaining magazines?

    Wes

  8. #8
    Probosculate?...wow...good word...had to look it up...thanks for that.

    I had similar thoughts...not because I wanted to get rid of my magazine stacks, but because I've grown weary of searching through them for the article I remember being there. I've let all my subscriptions lapse except Popular Woodworking, so the stacks aren't nearly as out of control as they once were, but there's still that search issue.

    I tried going through them and scanning projects that I might want to get ideas from someday, then printing them and putting them in a loose-leaf notebook. Well, I'll be 70 this year, and I'll bet that I'd likely croak before that job got done. Then to top it off as I flip through the notebook I wonder why the heck I saved that one.

    My take on this is that there isn't a solution...at least not one that's palatable. But I've also realized something else. I get more ideas about projects from the internet than from the magazines. I draw everything in AutoCad, so what I look for is an idea then I make my own drawings, modifying things as it pleases me. The sidetable for my son...I looked through all my magazines (took too much time), kept out the ones that had sidetables, then ended up making drawings based on something I saw on the internet. So I have to ask myself if I really need these bleedin things. I do see solutions to shop problems that readers write in that are interesting, but I can't remember when I last actually used one. I don't read the articles on dovetails anymore...got that figured out. Don't read the mortise & tenon articles...got that figured out. Don't particularly like Adirondack chairs. I'm happy with my jointer, planer, table saw, bandsaw, drill press, lathe and routers, so I don't read the comparisons anymore (can't be trusted anyway). I have a lot of bucks invested in Bessey clamps, so I don't really care if somebody thinks there's a better one out there...I ain't gonna buy it. I still get Popular Woodworking because I like Christopher Schwartz and his team and enjoy reading about what they're up to, but I don't really regard it as a project rag. I suppose my no-longer-growing magazine stacks will stay where they are for now, but as I regard them less and less as a valuable project resource I think one day they'll get dumped unceremoniously into the back of a closet. And now I'm hoping I don't get struck down by a thunderbolt from the god of woodworking magazines.

    Good luck with that.

    Cheers.

  9. #9
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    Rennie,

    For many years I tore out technical articles from my professional magazines. I kept them in 3 files: 1) Read as soon as convenient, 2) Read when bored on vacation or whatever, 3) Some day I am apt to need this information...I don't need it now (I did not even look at these articles, I just filed them).

    Back to the point...95% of the stuff was thrown. I eiliminated advertisements, things that did not apply to my specialty, things that were below my current level of education. Like someone said, "I know how to do mortise and tennon already." or something like that.

    Over 50 years in practice fit in one file drawer.

    I did keep a piece of cerise colored paper stuck in the drawer on end (so it would flop over when the drawer was opened or closed). If I became ill or bored I would go to this place in the drawer and pull a few folders and throw anything I had outgrown or that had become obsolete. Then the cerise paper was in a new location. Every year or three I would work my way through the entire drawer...then good old cerise (that's not Sid) would be moved back to the front of the file to start over.

    I kept lots of good info in a fairly small amount of space. Of course I did the filing a bit at a time not in one BIG humongus load...it might make you pixilated (take that probosculate).

    Enjoy and avoid paper cuts,

    Jim
    First of all you have to be smarter than the machine.
    VOTING MEMBER

  10. #10
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    I have a tiny house.
    My son hasnt thrown out a comic book or a guitar magazine since he was buying subscriptions, which was a long, long time ago. I was thin and had a full head of hair.
    Walmart solved the space problem. I bought some huge plastic bins with good covers, for 5 bucks each, stuck them in my crawl space. Still dry and in prefect condition.

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