|by the Editors of Popular Woodworking Magazine
F + W Publications: 2007
CD, 7 issues, $22.95
This one is not a DVD, but a CD for your computer, and well worth mentioning. 'Woodworking' is a fairly new sister publication to Popular Woodworking magazine, and is being sold only on newstands or through their website. To view the CD you'll need Adobe Acrobat Reader 5.0 or better. It's good on both Windows and Mac.
Having the first seven issues all on one CD is a handy way to page through all the information, but what makes this CD different is, the staff has imbedded special features that go beyond what is included in the magazine. If you are viewing a well-illustrated plan on a cabinet or drawer-building techniuqes, you may come across small yellow balloons linking to websites where you can acquire hardware, read others' new blog comments about the project, or find a nearby distributor for the recommended wood used. It makes the whole magazine continually up to date and interactive, which is one of the best blendings of magazine publishing and Internet resources I've seen. I should say, too, the links are not disappointing self-promotions, but useful links to things a reader might not otherwise find. One link is to the Sears website for punches and alignment tools.
Also included is a link to a free download for e-drawings, a program to view nine three-dimensional project plans, all included in a separate file on the disc. This I have not seen, as my operating system is too old and I don't have 256 MB of RAM (yes, I know.) It says this feature allows 3-D rotating views and zooming inside a drawing. I'm sure it is a valuable add-on, but the disc is worth its price even without it.
Besides essay articles, letters from readers, tips and techniques, I viewed articles on better dadoes for casework, choosing plywood, glue-ups, sharpening, mortising, and workbenches. Projects included a magazine stand, a four-hour bookcase, a Craftsman hall mirror and an Enfield Shaker cabinet, among others. Projects feature web links to sources of supply, updated weblog discussions, and additional articles on the techniques used.
If you already own the first seven issues of Woodworking magazine, all the interactive links included makes the CD a real bonus. If, like me, your local magazine supplier always seemed to be out of the current issue, owning them on CD is a hassle-free way to save storage space.
. . . Barb Siddiqui