Magazine storage, what are your solutions

  • Advertise with us

« back to Focus on the Workspace forum

Forum topic by Hopdevil posted 07-11-2017 03:29 AM 1062 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Hopdevil's profile


223 posts in 3540 days

07-11-2017 03:29 AM

Topic tags/keywords: organization

Greetings folks,
I am finally getting my shop set up after moving to Colorado. I still have about 8 boxes filled with various woodworking magazines dating back about 10 years or so.
How do you deal with them? Do you keep them all? Read em and toss em? How do you store them?
At one point I went through them and put little sticky notes on the first page of articles I was interested in. The idea was to ‘quickly’ find them if needed. Ha!
Any and all suggestions appreciated. I don’t feel like turning into a librarian (no offense) to catalog and keep them organized, but I don’t want to lose track of the good stuff!


-- Buzz ---- Of all the things I have ever lost, I miss my mind the most.

14 replies so far

View Logan Windram's profile

Logan Windram

347 posts in 2916 days

#1 posted 07-11-2017 04:21 AM

I always intended to do an Excel SS and try to catalog each issue by subject, skill, application, etc. or something like that. What frustrated me about hundreds of magazines is the information is useless per se if you can’t find it when you need it.

For example, it would be nice to search an Excel sheet for “knife hinge” when I need it, the go grab the issue. I guess these days you can just st google that info and it bring up content in FWW or PW publications, and I assume FWW may have archives that are searchable.

To date, the are sitting like books on a cabinet below my mitre saw, and I clean them off periodically with compressed air. For some reason I can’t bring myself to toss them, though I suppose I should at some point.

View Rich's profile


4701 posts in 1044 days

#2 posted 07-11-2017 04:51 AM

Pretty much every major woodworking publication’s full archive is available via bit torrents. You’ve already paid for them, so in my opinion, any ethical arguments agains downloading them goes out the window. Additionally, either they are already OCR’d or you can run OCR on them to make the library searchable.

I have a Fujitsu document scanner that can scan both sides of a page at once, and can feed about 30 sheets at a time, that I’ve been using to digitize most everything I have. It does OCR on the fly and produces searchable PDF files. It hurts sometimes to take a razor to a nice book or magazine to get individual sheets to scan, but ultimately the digitized and searchable result is far more useful than them sitting on a shelf. Unless it’s too wide to fit in the scanner, or just too beautiful of a book to cut up, it all gets scanned, and once I’ve verified I have it all, the original goes in the trash.

I’ve also switched my PW and FWW subscriptions to digital-only. Again, it’s far more useful than magazines on a shelf.

-- My grandfather always said that when one door closes, another one opens. He was a wonderful man, but a lousy cabinet maker

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5647 posts in 2948 days

#3 posted 07-11-2017 02:31 PM

I don’t keep them all, but I do keep most. They occupy a three drawer file cabinet, just stacked in there ordered by volume#. In the past 7 years I’ve moved twice, and I have to say those thumb drives are looking like a smarter choice than the paper issues. That, despite the fact that I hate reading such things on a computer screen. It’s not likely I’ll be moving again, but if I do, the magazines aren’t coming with me.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View Greg the Cajun Wood Artist's profile

Greg the Cajun Wood Artist

482 posts in 1397 days

#4 posted 07-11-2017 02:48 PM

In past years i saved piles of magazines that just took up space and were extremely time consuming, if not impossible to go back and find an article I remember reading. Finally I decided to toss them in the burn pile. Most all magazine publishers now offer an affordable disc that contains every issue they have ever printed. The only time I purchase a magazine now is to have something to read while I have time to kill and don’t have my computer…succh as the 5 hour airplane flight I have this Friday

-- Wood for projects is like a good Fart..."better when you cut it yourself"

View splintergroup's profile


2780 posts in 1677 days

#5 posted 07-11-2017 04:51 PM

I keep back issues since I have the room, but I’ve only gone back to read a hard copy after I have “found” the article by doing a search online.

My DVD copy of FWW has been extremely useful for searching. If I want to use it in the shop, I’ll either dig up the hard copy or just print out the needed pages.

Eventually I’ll probably just cut out the pages with interesting articles from old issues and then toss them.

Years of stored hard copies are basically useless without a good way to index/search.

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 4102 days

#6 posted 07-11-2017 05:06 PM

I have a bunch of woodworking books and
magazines I learned from, but I’ve barely
looked at them in recent years. These days
I can find just about any woodworking answer
I need by searching the internet.

I’ll not argue against reading magazines but
at a certain point I had learned enough
woodworking theory from reading that most
of the rest of what I needed to do was
build stuff.

View BurlyBob's profile


6390 posts in 2720 days

#7 posted 07-12-2017 04:50 AM

Honestly I have to agree with Loren. After years of reading magazines , TV shows and the rest I honestly don’t need magazines. I’ve ended almost all my subscriptions and boxed all the others to the attic.

View oldnovice's profile


7496 posts in 3822 days

#8 posted 07-12-2017 05:49 PM

I had subscription to quite a number of woodworking magazines but I am down to only two, Shop Notes and Woodsmith.

I shipped out about 8 boxes of WOOD magazine to fellow jocks as they were taking up way too much room.
If I ever get the urge/cash I would consider a searchable PDF file of WOOD, or any other decent magazine, as creating your own darabase would be very time consuming and take away from shop time.

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View Hopdevil's profile


223 posts in 3540 days

#9 posted 07-13-2017 05:14 AM

Thanks to all for your input. I see the light and will start to get rid of them.


-- Buzz ---- Of all the things I have ever lost, I miss my mind the most.

View Woodknack's profile


12877 posts in 2835 days

#10 posted 07-13-2017 05:44 AM

I had subscription to quite a number of woodworking magazines but I am down to only two, Shop Notes and Woodsmith….
- oldnovice

I think they recently merged—so you down to one now!

Are you back from your trip?

-- Rick M,

View oldnovice's profile


7496 posts in 3822 days

#11 posted 07-13-2017 08:49 PM

Rick M, yes, got back on Saturday evening; non-stop from Oslo NO to Oakland CA, flight time of 10 hours and 35 minutes. Got in 20 minutes early and had to wait to deplane due to a backup in immigration and customs.
Couldn’t ask for better weather, sunshine every day until the day we left.

Reading the Fusion 360 book, about 1/3 way through.
So far it’s OK but looking ahead I don’t see much on actual tool path creation or machining operations.
Will present a full review in a week or so.

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View SignWave's profile


472 posts in 3490 days

#12 posted 07-13-2017 09:34 PM

Just adding a voice to the choir. I recycled my magazines years ago after I realized I never accessed them and they were taking up too much space.

-- Barry,

View RDan's profile


106 posts in 2778 days

#13 posted 08-01-2017 06:59 PM

For all of you who had a Shopnotes subscription before the publication ended. You might want to check your email for the offer I had. They included with the Woodsmith subscription being extended, an online archive of all the Shopnote issues. Thought it was really great. Now I am just debating about doing it with Woodsmith. Currently you can download each month of Woodsmith to which you are subscribed for a period of time. I still like the paper copies though. Dan

View RDan's profile


106 posts in 2778 days

#14 posted 08-02-2017 03:12 AM

My email for the ShopNotes Libary.
THANK YOU from ShopNotes – the Online Library YOURS FREE! was dated 9/13/2016. For being a loyal subscriber. Dan

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

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