Fine Woodworking Review: Project & Plans, Subscriptions

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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. 

FineWoodworking

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:  

Joinery

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. 

Hand Tools

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. 

hand tools

Shop Machines

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. 

Workbenches

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

work bench

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. 

Built Ins

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.

Desks

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. 

desk

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.

Cabinets

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. 

tool wall

Chairs

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.  

Tables

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.

wooden tool chest

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 [1] drawings are curated by craft masters. 

Featured Digital Libraries

Garden Chair

With the help of renowned craftsman Michael Fortune and his detailed blueprint, you can recreate the distinctive design of the classic Adirondack chair.  

Gate-Leg Table

This project suits experienced woodworkers familiar with spindle-turning, dovetailing, rule joints, finger joints, and mortise-and-tenon joinery. 

Stickley-Inspired Bed

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.

Mortise and Tenon Joint

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

FAQ

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

Conclusion

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.

robert headshot

Robert Johnson is a passionate furniture maker & carpenter, sought after for his knowledge on the craft.
You’ve probably seen his down-to-earth wisdom in USA Today, Bobvila, Family Handyman, and The Spruce, where he has shared commentary and guidance on various woodworking topics.

Robert is the brain behind Sawinery, where he aims to share tips, tricks, and a passion for all things carpentry.

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