Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Fine Woodworking # 1

So like me, most have probably a number of favorite woodworking magazines. With the advent of computers and the WWW, how we consume this kind of information has changed, some magazines have not survived, others have made the switch to online quite well. At my age, I guess I would be classed as "old school" and a paper copy is still my preferred media. I have close to complete collections of "Fine Woodworking", "Wood", "Canadian Workshop", and the "Woodsmith" and "Shop Notes" magazines. Less complete collections of many others.

Metalworking home shop magazines are less abundant. My collection of "Model Engineers Workshop" is close to complete, less so is my collection of "Model Engineer" and "The Home Shop Machinist".

Older magazines like PM, PS and others covered a wide variety of subject matter, such as woodworking, metalworking, electronics and other diy home shop subjects. Seldom were they devoted to one discipline. Britain had a few exceptions such as "Woodworker" which like "Model Engineer" has been around forever.

With the advent of the 70's the North American market changed "Fine Woodworking" was one of the first, with a focus on high end woodworking. Over the next few decades they were followed by many more, covering many specific interests such as turning, carving, home shops, etc.

In the early days tool and machine manufacturers published much of this kind of instructive material, "Delta" comes to mind. With the growth of the magazine industry this activity pretty much stopped, and manufacturers started promoting their wares in the expanding magazine industry instead.

So hopefully I am not boring you here. I thought some here might be interested in seeing the first copy of "Fine Woodworking" published back in 1975. It is not rare on the internet, I have come across it a few times. If you have not found it yet, here is a nice clean copy for your enjoyment.

To download click Fine Woodworking # 1. 2.8 MB - pdf

The article "The Renwick Multiples" featured a number of examples of some of the modern work being done around the country. There must have been alot of interest in a featured high end library step because in the next issue, FW # 2, the editors ran an article on it's construction.

The step, made of laminated Oak and Rosewood, sold for $450. Mr Edward Livingston, the builder, says it took 40 hours of work to complete. When you subtract the cost of materials and workshop and equipment overhead, he probably made around $8 an hour, not much for such a beautiful piece, even by 1975 standards.

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