My opinion on two digital downloads from Popular Wodworking website

  • Advertise with us
Review by JuanGatico posted 04-10-2013 10:21 PM 4586 views 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
My opinion on two digital downloads from Popular Wodworking website My opinion on two digital downloads from Popular Wodworking website No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

Hi LJs!

Since I live in Colombia it’s rather difficult and expensive purchasing books, DVDs and tools in general to be shipped this part of the continent. For that reason I tried some digital downloads, specifically Christopher Schwarz’ video Handplane Basics – A Better Way to Use Bench Planes and Jim Tolpin’s The New Traditional Woodworker.

Handplane Basics – A Better Way to Use Bench Planes
After waiting nearly an hour I started watching the video and what a nasty surprise, it is a compressed video, so when you use Full Screen, the quality suffers. I asked Megan Fitzpatrick if it were possible to download the full DVD, I don’t care to wait because as the download progresses I can do any other thing; unfortunately is not possible to download the full thing.

CONCLUSION: If you want this video I recommend to purchase the DVD not the digital download.

The New Traditional Woodworker
OK, I have noticed that the books sold by Christopher Schwarz in his Lost Art press website are converted in .epub format, this is better than a PDF file. This is not the case in Popular Woodworking, here, many electronic books are PDFs.

First of all I must say that this download also included Tom Fidgen’s book MADE BY HAND, that is, you get two electronic books for the price of one.

I started reading The New Traditional Woodworker and it calls to my attention that this electronic PDF book was made in such a way that you see two pages at the same time , so if you are reading in your iPad and you want to read a single page you have to zoom with your fingers until you see the area of the page you are interested in, I think this is not the right way to do this. When reading the second book: MADE BY HAND you can see one single page at the time in your screen.

CONCLUSION: Again, if you want to purchase this book, go for the printed edition.

Thanks for reading.

View JuanGatico's profile


72 posts in 2987 days

7 comments so far

View cutworm's profile


1075 posts in 3594 days

#1 posted 04-10-2013 11:34 PM

Thanks. I have been less than happy with a number of digital downloads from them as well.

-- Steve - "Never Give Up"

View WhoMe's profile


1568 posts in 4044 days

#2 posted 04-11-2013 03:14 AM

I have not tried any digital downloads from them but I did download the New Traditional Woodworker for my Barnes and Nobel Nook and it was great for that. no double pages and all the graphics were clear and easy to see.

Sorry to hear some of the DDs from Popular Woodworking are not that great. IMO, anything that is a DVD source, I will get as a DVD.

-- I'm not clumsy.. It's just the floor hates me, the tables and chairs are bullies, the wall gets in the way AAANNNDDD table saws BITE my fingers!!!.. - Mike -

View Phil53's profile


90 posts in 4423 days

#3 posted 04-12-2013 05:49 PM

As for the pdf showing two pages at the same time, it is a page setting that you can change.
If you open your PDF file go to View (at the top) and then to Page Display you can change it to single page.

Hope that helps in the future.

Thanks for the reveiw.

View JuanGatico's profile


72 posts in 2987 days

#4 posted 04-12-2013 10:55 PM

Hi Phil

As a matter of fact, my Acrobat Reader is set up for: Page Presentation-Single Page, in this case the original file was made to have two pages in the screen at the same time. Thanks for the tip anyway.

View Lwin's profile


10 posts in 2664 days

#5 posted 04-22-2013 03:52 AM

Actually I have had two defective DVDs from them and gave up trying to get a replacement the third time. They make them using a plain old home Mac with iDVD, I can spot it a mile away.

They need someone as adept with electronic media as they are with hand tools.

View trophyjoe's profile


52 posts in 3048 days

#6 posted 09-08-2014 09:47 PM

My latest purchase from Lost Art Press was the downloadable “The Essential Woodworker”. It was PDF, which can be hard to read on phone or tablet. After converting with Calibre (, it seemed to be a very usable epub, which opened fine in iBooks on my ipad. Worth a try. BTW, Calibre has versions for Mac, Windows and Linux. I’ve only used the Windows version. Very good program.

PS: the PDF version opened fine on my ipad as well, using Adobe Reader. I guess your mileage will vary, depending on the quality of the file you receive. Regardless, Calibre should be on everyone’s computer, IMHO.

-- Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. Antoine de Saint-Exupery

View Gary Roberts's profile

Gary Roberts

140 posts in 3822 days

#7 posted 11-11-2014 12:41 AM

There is no reason why PWW can’t provide an ePub and PDF for the same price and the same download. Why not recommend this to Megan? I’m sure she’ll agree it makes sense.

-- Gary Roberts,

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics