Bargain Woodworking Magazines Rock!

The day has been long, he thought to himself, and I am much too tired to go to the workshop.  Next too woodworking, reading about woodworking is a great thing to do.  It is relaxing and can be done in front of reruns of Red Dwarf on public television.   The casual flipping of a page, the jealousy one feels when they see a shop with an entire wall of clamps, the beauty of a piece of museum quality furniture, all make magazines the equivalent of cat nip for the average woodworker.

To be honest, I don’t know if everyone gets as excited as I do, when it comes to periodicals, but if they do, I have made a wonderful discovery.  Perhaps discovery is too strong a word, it isn’t as if I have recovered a sunken pirate ship full of Spanish doubloons.  I have just found the magazine section of the Half Price Book Store in Cedar Rapids.  Prior to my less than ground breaking discovery, I had just bought the latest issues, off the rack.  Each one would be read cover to cover and back again.  Usually, when I was reading backwards, it sounded like Led Zeppelin’s lesser hit, “Stairway to Heaven, Made Entirely of Mahogany”, but it was still good.  Devilishly good in fact.  The enjoyment from buying magazines was so great, it was costing me a fair amount of money to support my habit.   I have been known walk into The Woodsmith Store and blow $30.00, or sometimes as much as $70.00, when I bought entire sets of back issues.

It was becoming a serious problem and then I found the little stack of old woodworking magazines at Half Price Books.  There were 3 issues of American Woodworker from 1992,  2 issues of Woodsmith from 1994, and 5 Woodworkers Journal, including one with an article ‘Norm Unplugged’, in which Norm Abram talks about the year he toured with the Grateful Dead.  (Actually it is an interview talking about Norm using hand planes, but the other bit was funnier.)  There are articles about buying wood, making jigs, and the latest tools.

It is only the latest tool articles which are a bit dated.  The ideas for solving problems that many woodworkers have, seem to me, to be as relevant today, as they were in the early 90’s.  The best part about my find is that they mostly cost 25 cents or 50 cents, with only two of them, from 2008, commanding the unholy price of $1.00.  Total price $6.50!  This is a bargain in my book and though I will still probably buy new issues of my favorite woodworking magazines, I may not pay for their ‘boxed’ sets.

It should be noted, that yesterday’s blog ended with a query of the readers, as to what today’s topic should be.  The overwhelming vote getter, with 2, was woodworking.  Being that I am in Des Moines, went golfing (Shot a 95, which was 6 strokes better than 2 weeks ago), and am about to head out to an Iowa Cubs game, this was the best I could do today.  I am curious if any of you, the readers, have had any similar finds?  If so, feel free to share.  If not, well then you may want to poke around a Half Price Books, next time the opportunity presents itself.

6 comments
HokieMojo
HokieMojo

not sure how, but i got a 3 yr subscription to WOOD magazine for about $12.

Also, I think Norm using a handplane is funnier than him touring with the grateful dead. I can honestly say I've only seen him use a plane (a block plane) once. I know he uses planes from time to time, but I just never see it.

HokieMojo
HokieMojo

not sure how, but i got a 3 yr subscription to WOOD magazine for about $12.

Also, I think Norm using a handplane is funnier than him touring with the grateful dead. I can honestly say I've only seen him use a plane (a block plane) once. I know he uses planes from time to time, but I just never see it.

ralph
ralph

I think that you will find thats its cheaper to subscribe to most woodworking magazines that to buy them by the issue. ( and always save them, I like 3 or 4 inch 3 ring binders)

Steve
Steve

Good observation about most of the actual info is still relevant. Woodworking itself is essentially the same way. There is no reason why a guy can't buy a used power tool and do the exact same things with it that he could with a new tool. I use an antique scroll saw and lathe. The core technology hasn't changed. All tools are ultimately a motor that makes something go round and round or up and down. Newer tools basically have more bells and whistles.

Joe ledington
Joe ledington

I once found a whole plastic milk crate full of woodworking magazines at a flea market, it was closing on a Sunday afternoon, at an outside booth and the guy was loading up so I asked him how much he wanted for his whole crate of magazines, he scratched his chin, and said, well if you take the other two crates with you then you can have them all for $10 bucks, I shot him ten bucks and asked my wife to go get the car so we could load them. While she was gone we got to talking he showed me a nice #6 Stanley fore plane that he wanted 20.00 dollar for, well I gave gladly gave him the $20. We loaded the car and took my treasures home to see what I got. I was like a kid at Christmas looking thought them boxes seeing what all was in them and I ended up some of the older Woodsmith, Wood, Woodworkers Journal, And Popular Woodworker. I have woodworking magazines going back to the 70s when I went into the trade and anytime I can pick up old woodworking books or magazines I will just to add to my own collection or to replace one mine that is so dogeared from years of me reading them, and some times I pass them on to new woodworkers.
Joey

Joe ledington
Joe ledington

I once found a whole plastic milk crate full of woodworking magazines at a flea market, it was closing on a Sunday afternoon, at an outside booth and the guy was loading up so I asked him how much he wanted for his whole crate of magazines, he scratched his chin, and said, well if you take the other two crates with you then you can have them all for $10 bucks, I shot him ten bucks and asked my wife to go get the car so we could load them. While she was gone we got to talking he showed me a nice #6 Stanley fore plane that he wanted 20.00 dollar for, well I gave gladly gave him the $20. We loaded the car and took my treasures home to see what I got. I was like a kid at Christmas looking thought them boxes seeing what all was in them and I ended up some of the older Woodsmith, Wood, Woodworkers Journal, And Popular Woodworker. I have woodworking magazines going back to the 70s when I went into the trade and anytime I can pick up old woodworking books or magazines I will just to add to my own collection or to replace one mine that is so dogeared from years of me reading them, and some times I pass them on to new woodworkers.
Joey

Trackbacks

  1. Just check this …

    Just take a second to go to the websites we’ve linked to …