In Featured Article

We may receive a commission when you use our affiliate links. However, this does not impact our recommendations.

Have you ever read a magazine article that piqued your interest and then a few years later you wanted to find it but didn’t know where to start looking amongst the issues in your library? Well for 25 years, the Woodworking Magazine Index has been the solution to this problem. The index is online and continually updated with each new issue. With the index you can search over 34,000 magazine article listings and 6,000 project images using a variety of filters and keywords. We checked in with Rick Van Schoick, a woodworker and publisher of the index.

Hi Rick. Tell us how you got into woodworking. Well, my father was always building things in the workshop, so I had early exposure to the craft. I also built simple projects in woodshop in high school. Once I married, I thought it would be fun to take up the craft more seriously and gradually built out a small woodshop. I’ve built a variety of things from a rocking horse to a mailbox, and refinished / rebuilt some furniture. And of course, I spend a fair amount of time keeping the index up to date.

Tell us about the start of the magazine index. Back in the late 1990’s, having subscribed to a few woodworking magazines, there would be times when I would recall an article and I wouldn’t know exactly where to find it. So I started to keep track of the articles in an Excel spreadsheet. (My personality is very tilted towards details and organization, so it was a good fit). I would add to the spreadsheet with each new issue and keep it for handy reference. Not long after this I started offering the spreadsheet to anyone that wanted to make a small donation to my woodworking addiction. After a couple years of that I decided to create a website that would enable my fellow woodworkers to easily take advantage of the fruits of my labor. And that is how came to be. I’d already been online with my general woodworking site, and that’s a good place to go to see more about my projects, an early version of the index, my woodshop, and my life in general.

Who can take the most advantage of the index? The index is really helpful to anyone that has a large library of woodworking magazines and really want to fully take advantage of their investment there. Certainly, individual woodworkers are my most frequent customer. However, woodworking schools and woodworking clubs are a great fit because they too have large libraries that their librarians maintain for their members. The question they have to ask is, are we making the most use of our library? If a member wants to review blanket chest projects, how are they going to do that efficiently amongst 500 issues of woodworking magazines in their library? With the Woodworking Magazine Index, it’s a 30 second exercise. At a glance see all of the images for the various blanket chest projects, and then pick the ones you think you might want to build.

Is there much competition in this space? Back in the 2000’s there was a CD-ROM based index that I competed with. They would send you updated discs every 6 months and they would charge over $60/year for the service. I think I put them out of business (sorry). With the Woodworking Magazine Index, you don’t have to wait 6 months for an update. The index is updated within a day or two once I receive a new issue. Also, you don’t have to worry about loading CD-ROMs. Because the index is online, it is available to you anywhere in the world from any computer that has an Internet connection. Finally, an individual woodworker doesn’t need to spend $60/year. The Woodworking Magazine Index is only $9.95/year for access. For woodworking clubs and schools, there is special pricing that is dependent upon the number of members. Everything is on the honor system. The index is more of a labor of love for me and I appreciate the opportunity to get the word out. 

COST: $9.95/year for individuals $29.95/year to $169.95/year for clubs & schools

Editor’s Note: I’ve had access to the Woodworking Magazine Index for several years now. Internally, we have a database of all of our woodworking brand content for internal use (Popular Woodworking, American Woodworker, Woodworking, Woodsmith, ShopNotes, Workbench, and Fine Woodworking). However, the level at which Rick classifies and categorizes articles from the 35+ titles is unparalleled. Being able to search out projects for inspiration, techniques, or simply to browse is a fantastic resource. Being able to utilize a resource built by someone within the community is something that I’ll always jump at the chance to support.–Logan Wittmer (Editor-in-Chief)

Product Recommendations

Here are some supplies and tools we find essential in our everyday work around the shop. We may receive a commission from sales referred by our links; however, we have carefully selected these products for their usefulness and quality.

Recommended Posts

Leave a Comment

Start typing and press Enter to search