Old Workbench Magazines

Some of the oldest woodworking magazines I’ve ever seen. Some of these go back to 1969 for a mere $0.35.

Everybody misses “Woodworking” and “Woodwork” magazines. How come no one misses Workbench?


This must be the days when boys wanted to build something instead of playing video games.


I bet this saw still works today.


Just think, you can still buy a circular saw today for $45.00. According to an inflation calculator, $45.00 in 1969 is worth about $300 today.

6 thoughts on “Old Workbench Magazines

  1. Shel Sanders

    I’ve been making shavings for more than 60 years. I think I heard of Workbench, but not Woodwork or Woodworking so I haven’t a clue, except if they did not .draw my attention , their projects may have been too simple or repetitive. On the other hand, I have subscribed to Fine Woodworking since issue No . 1; it’s a question of whether the magazine can lift you to new heights or leave you in a ditch.


    1. “Woodworking” was owned by F+W Media and it was morphed into “Popular Woodworking” a few years ago. “Woodwork” was owned by New Track Media which also owned “American Woodworker”. New Track shelved “Woodwork” a few years ago except to publish one issue per year during the winter. A couple of years ago, F+W Media bought New Track Media and F+W Media decided to shelve “American Woodworker” and “Woodwork” altogether.

      So basically F+W Media has killed three woodworking magazines, although everyone still loves “Popular Woodworking”. Hahaha

      “Fine Woodworking” is a good magazine. I just subscribed after a five years absense. I hold “Popular Woodworking” and “Fine Woodworking” on the same level of quality. The latest issue of “Pop Wood” with Roy Underhill’s treadle lathe was fantastic. The issue was inspirational with the building of the lathe along with the turned tankereds.

      “Woodworking” magazine was mostly focused on building things with hand tools. It had very liitle ads in it and reminded me of “Woodsmith” magazine. “American Woodworker” was similar to “Wood” magazine with a lot of entry level projects. “Woodwork” had mainly studio furniture in it as well as interviews with craftsmen. It was my favorite, but it may have been a little too high brow to apeal to a wider audience.


  2. Richard

    In my book, PW and FW are not in the same class. First PW is now more a magazine by the same small circle of friends (Chris Schwarz still “owns” PW even he has left, if you know what I mean) while FW has featured hundreds of writers and most of them who make furniture for a living. PW’s regular writers are mostly teachers and writers, almost none active furniture makers.

    Apart from the breadth of experience, FW offers photographic quality PW is nowhere close to. In short, FW offers inspiration to my work. PW is more for woodworkers and beginners who are interested in hand work.

    Both magazines, however, commit the same mistake of making articles much longer than needed. FW can have an article that’s 6 pages long on a simple project that 3 or 4 will do. PW in its latest issue features a block plane article by Chris that runs 6 or 7 pages. If the author wasn’t Chris, I don’t think PW would allow such an article to be that long at all.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, you’re probably right about that. I agree with you on the contributors of the magazines. FW has articles from furnituremakers while PW is full of personalities. PW does a great job of promoting themselves by letting the subscribers feel like they know the writers on a personal level. They constantly share personal info of themselves through social media. The writers of FW I dont know on a personal level, so I can’r connect with them.


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