Trip

FWW DVD Archive

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Like many, I’ve got FWW’s DVD Archive. For those who don't know, it’s every issue of FWW in PDF format from 1975 forward... The issues are indexed and searchable... BTW: you can install it on your hard drive for faster access...

Also like many, I use the archive as a searchable database of techniques/projects... Say I’m making a Federal Period piece with hand-hammered drawer facings, cock beading and inlay (typical for the period). I’ll search the DVD archive for “Federal Period, hand-hammered veneer, cock beading” and find articles from 1979 and 2006 – perfect... I've had the archive for years and this is how I've traditionally used it...

I'm sure there have been reviews of the DVD, so there's not much new...

But.... I’ve found some new value: when I’m winding down for the day (wine glass in hand), I’ll start at issue number one and work forward reading every article that piques my interest... You notice a couple of thing right away. First, the early articles had a much higher information density than those currently published (and require some time/knowledge to unpack) --- it’s kind of like FWW went visual and dummied-down the content... And second, you notice just how much you missed the first time around... After you’ve got some experience, it’s amazing to note the articles that now interest you (skipped completely the first time around) and how much more you understand when you re-read them. Many of the early articles were written by Tage Frid, Hoadley, Marks, Watts, et al. Classic...

The archive’s about $150 with a yearly maintenance fee to keep the database current... While this is not exactly cheap, it’s a good resource to progress the beginner (with some reasonable project experience beyond ‘Shaker Side Table’) up the learning curve...

Cautionary note: As mentioned above, the early articles can be dense and require patience, some experience, etc to unpack. Some of the early articles (especially from TF) contained sarcasm, snark and reading-between the lines. This style of writing is harder to digest and may not be to everyone's taste... The current visual format makes for much easier reading... So YMMV.

 

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...the early articles had a much higher information density than those currently published (and require some time/knowledge to unpack) --- it’s kind of like FWW went visual and dummied-down the content...

 

Big surprise.  They have to keep up with their audience after all.  Bunch of mouth breathers occupying the planet in 2015.

Good review Trip.  I've been debating a long time whether or not to get the archive.  I just bought the entire set of FWW design books and I love the old ones.

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I have the archive as well - frankly I think it's a steal at $150.  I've already used it a ton for my actual projects, and like Trip I often refer back to old issues just to check them out.  

After you’ve got some experience, it’s amazing to note the articles that now interest you (skipped completely the first time around) and how much more you understand when you re-read them. Many of the early articles were written by Tage Frid, Hoadley, Marks, Watts, et al. Classic...

This really hit home for me.  Even just referring back to my FWW hard copies, it's amazing the articles that interest me now that I've got some experience under my belt even though I completely skipped or glossed over them when I was a complete newbie.  

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==> Some of the early articles (especially from TF) contained sarcasm, snark and reading-between the lines.

I have his three book set and recently had the opportunity to see couple of videos with him and I love his humor.  If your not paying full attention it can fly by you at the speed of light.

 

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That's the one... It's a good price -- sure less than I paid some years ago...

Edited by hhh

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==>I've been debating a long time whether or not to get the archive

If you have an on-line membership, you may want to kick the tires before buying... On the other hand, Matt found the archive for $69 at Highland Woodworking -- that's kind of hard to pass-up...

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Matt found the archive for $69 at Highland Woodworking -- that's kind of hard to pass-up...

It is.  But I'm feeling a bit cheap this morning though.  And I have my finger hovering over the Resaw King Buy Button at the moment.  Plus I spent $100 on a can of Arm-R-Seal yesterday.  Love how that happens.

I let my FWW online sub lapse because their site is just too buggy and terrible to make going there a pleasurable experience.  But with the archive that wouldn't be an issue.  My main concern is that I would buy it and never use it.  I know me.  I do that kind of thing.

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Hartville Tool had it last December for $60 and free shipping. Maybe they'll do the same again this year. 

Since I have the 2014 version is there any way to get the 2015 update without buying a whole new DVD?

I had a FWW subscription also and let it lapse. When you're paying for something and there are more adds on the page than content, that rubs me wrong. 

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