Admit it or not, keeping up with the latest woodworking trends includes more than watching Youtube tutorials. Whether you’re a professional or a hobbyist, finding reliable sources for your craft isn’t all that easy.
In this Fine Woodworking review, I’ll explore if this platform truly offers the expert advice, project blueprints, and detailed tool suggestions that new and seasoned woodworkers are looking for.
What is Fine Woodworking?
At first glance, Fine Woodworking may seem like any other online subscription magazine. However, instead of hard-to-comprehend articles, this service gives you access to over a hundred project plans and in-depth video tutorials.
By subscribing to Fine Woodworking, you’ll also gain expert insights from craft masters with more than 45 years of experience.
Woodworking Project Guides
Upon trying out the service, the project guides I found were wide and elaborate. It includes clear step-by-step instructions, along with well-drawn illustrations and pictures.
It’s also impressive that they offer a variety of project ideas, from beginner-friendly plans to large-scale wood structures. If you don’t have the skills yet to draw plans for any woodworking project, here are the notable inclusions in these guides:
It’s no secret that most woodworking projects require extensive knowledge of handling wood joints. Fortunately, Fine Woodworking project guides include instructions on making rabbets & dadoes, mortise & tenons, dovetails, finger joints, and fasteners.
Not all projects require the same hand tools, so it’s only natural that these project guides include tips and tricks on using essential workshop tools. Their recommendations for hand-tool kits are backed by extensive industry experience.
They cover all information you’ll need, from setting up bandsaws and table saws to safety guidelines for buying pre-owned power tools.
Woodworking Projects and Plans Offered
Storage and Shelves
1. Floating display shelf
It’s a detailed guide by Mark Gardner about putting a fun spin on typical display shelves with split-turning techniques. The final output showcases a pod-like shape secured in place by a French cleat.
2. Contemporary Sideboard
If you want a more straightforward storage project, refer to the guide by Chris Gochnour. It features modern-day design without risking the sideboard’s strength and usefulness.
1. Outfeed Table Doubles as a Workbench
Through this guide, you’ll get expert insights on how to make a simple workbench. The only catch is you can also utilize it as an outfeed table.
2. Rolling Workstation
If you have old cabinets at your disposal, this is the perfect project plan to get a new rolling workbench and remove worn-out furniture at home.
Read Next: A Guide on the Right Workbench Height
Wood Turning Projects
1. Pots, Pitchers, and Piercings
You’ll find unique designs in this project plan as it features workpieces from the 2007 American Association of Woodturners Symposium.
2. Scrapwood Earrings
Turn your scrap wood pieces into perfect gifts by trimming them down to a pair of earrings. This project plan is suitable for woodworking beginners.
1. Fireplace Mantel
It’s a comprehensive guide to Mario Rodriguez’s mantel installations. The project plan covers each process thoroughly, from surveying locations to final assembly.
2. Furniture for Your Next TV
Learn efficient tips and tricks from an expert home theater designer like Steve Casey. Using simple flat wood panels and shallow boxes, you can build contemporary TV stand furniture with cabinets.
1. Shaker Lap Desk
Another unique gift idea you can create through woodworking is a shaker lap desk. It includes different joinery techniques, so you’ll definitely enhance your skills.
2. Rococo Slant-Front Desk
A project plan led by Curtis Erpelding details the process of his modern version of the Rococo slant-front desk.
Beds & Casework
1. Contemporary pencil-post bed
Unlike classic pencil-post beds, this project will take woodworkers to a different spin with tapered facets, bevel cuts, and ebonized ash finish.
2. Countertop wine rack
Making a small wine rack may not be as complex as other projects, but this workpiece involves intricate tasks like creating routing templates and bandsaw cuts.
1. Kerf-bent wall cabinet
Even though it’s just a small cabinet, trust me when I say I picked up a variety of techniques while constructing it. The project shared the kerf-bending process, which involves cutting slots, bending material, and ash veneering.
2. Mid-Century Modular Wall Unit
Through a detailed step-by-step guide by Anissa Kapsales, you’ll learn how to create a floating wall unit with a unique hanging system using angled dowels.
1. Amana Church Bench
This woodworking project typically features a minimalist aesthetic with clean lines and a smooth finish. It’s a functional and visually appealing workpiece suitable for communal settings.
2. Turned-Leg Ladderback Chair
It’s a classic dining chair design often made with a lathe, saw, and chisel. This project plan guides you in making several horizontal slats and mortise & tenon joints.
1. Round Pedestal Table
At first glance, it may seem like a simple table design. However, this plan requires you to execute straightforward joinery techniques while handling stout parts.
2. Tips for drop-leaf tables
Create the perfect drop-leaf table using rule and knuckle joinery techniques taught by woodworking expert Steve Latta.
Shop Furniture and Storage
1. Gentleman's Tool Chest
Taking inspiration from The Gent’s tool chest, this guide details the construction of a compartment where you can store your special woodworking tools.
2. Japanese Sawhorses
Japanese Sawhorses are great supporting tools in the workshop. Its construction requires basic woodworking techniques like joinery, cutting, shaping, and finishing wood.
Digital Plans Library
As soon as you subscribe with Fine Woodworking, you’ll have exclusive membership access to over a hundred digital plans on their website. These articles with scale illustrations, elaborate cut lists, and Sketchup  drawings are curated by craft masters.
Featured Digital Libraries
With the help of renowned craftsman Michael Fortune and his detailed blueprint, you can recreate the distinctive design of the classic Adirondack chair.
This project suits experienced woodworkers familiar with spindle-turning, dovetailing, rule joints, finger joints, and mortise-and-tenon joinery.
If you want to enhance your skills, I’d recommend this bed project as a perfect starter. Through this project, you’ll be able to master techniques like mortise-and-tenon joinery, bed bolts, and inlay.
Bookcase with Drawers
It’s a challenging project that requires a careful selection of wood materials. The process of making dovetails and cove moldings for this bookcase is carefully led by Mike Korsak.
Subscription/Online Membership Costs
The subscription comes with a 14-day free trial to help you assess if the service is worth your money. If you intend to choose the digital membership, one year of access will cost just under thirty-five bucks.
Meanwhile, the print and digital combo subscription does not cost more than a hundred dollars.
Check out other options here:
Who publishes Fine Woodworking?
Taunton Press publishes Fine Woodworking and other craft-related subscription magazines. Taunton Press is recognized for its high-quality publications, and “Fine Woodworking” is one of their flagship titles. It offers readers a wealth of expert advice, project ideas, and techniques for woodworking enthusiasts at all skill levels.
It’s a company with a vision to foster collaborative communities for woodworkers and creative builders in different industries.
Read Next: Best Woodworking Magazines
After reading this Fine Woodworking review, it’s undeniable how it can help woodworkers of all skill levels. Thanks to their comprehensive collection of articles, videos, and project plans, you can save time researching proper woodworking fundamentals.
For anyone eager to elevate their woodworking skills and experience, I’d wholeheartedly recommend giving Fine Woodworking a shot.
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