In Projects, Shop Blog

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

Unless you’ve been hiding in a cave, you’ve likely heard that print is dead and digital is the new reality. That may be a slight exaggeration as I, for one, still enjoy turning pages. However, there is no doubt that whatever the future holds, we will be consuming information in many new forms – and that is a good thing. Whether you’ve purchased a Kindle, I-Pad or are just using your computer to read (I’m old enough to admit that magnification on screen is handy…) digital reading is entering our world at break-neck speed.

The advantages are many: You have access to a staggering amount of immediately-available information at your fingertips. Storing all your favorite projects requires a simple folder on whatever reading device you prefer, rather than file drawers and shelves stacked with old magazines. If you’re looking to build a particular side-table project, you can buy the book or magazine the plan came from (if they are still available). Or you can log-on to a web site that has hundreds of project plans available for quick download. There’s a very good chance you can even select from a variety of side-table plans to pick the project that best suits your needs. Handy, quick and affordable.

As a company, we will be increasing our digital plans and articles extensively over the next few months, offering you a broad selection of affordable (and quick) topics and projects. If you’ve never worked from a digital plan, we’d like to give you a free $7 plan to test. It’s one of my favorites, and every shop should have one of these tool boxes for all those small items that are always getting lost. To download the plan, simply follow the link below.

If you’d like to browse our other digital products, visit and simply browse by product. Come back often, as we’ll be adding dozens of projects on a weekly basis.

Download the Free Curved-Front Toolchest Plans Here

– David Thiel, editor Popular Woodworking Books

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
Showing 16 comments
  • LanoraMayo

    Howdy just wanted to give you a quick heads up. The text in your article seem to be running off the screen in Firefox. I’m not sure if this is a format issue or something to do with web browser compatibility but I figured I’d post to let you know. The design and style look great though! Hope you get the issue fixed soon. Kudos

  • SabineBol

    Very nice article. I definitely appreciate this site. Stick with it!

  • PZZLatany

    Valuable info. Fortunate me I found your web site by chance, and I’m surprised why this accident did not happened earlier! I bookmarked it.

  • icmguy

    So here in Connecticut; I just spent a week without power and 10 days without internet. Woodstove cooking and oil lamp reading got us through. Digital is great but certainly has it’s limitations. Paper still rules when Mother Nature decides we need a little humility.
    My 11 year old son and I spent quality time reading back issues and planning our next projects. Quality time like that is hard to get, but I find him going through more of my books and back issues even though we are back to “normal”.
    I’ll download the plan( it looks wonderful ) but I’ll be certain to print it out and file it.

  • xylosapiens

    In my humble opinion, the picture on step 10 shows a very dangerous way to rout the donut feet: it are small and round pieces, difficult to be firmly gripped. There are ways to do it safely, the easiest may be using a central hole to fix the piece loosely to a ¿jig? An experienced woodworker may correctly evaluate the risk to rout it as shown in the picture. But an unexperienced hobbyist may commit a bloody mistake. I´m sure it will take least to build this jig (or any other) than waiting a new finger tip to grow if routed instead of the wood chunk. here I share for free an SU plane of a very basic jig.

  • Ralph Snyder

    After a hundred years, Chris Schwarz can still read Roubo’s plans for a bench on paper and spill beer on the pages. The “digital formats” are great for today’s technology and ease of use, but given the fragile nature of CDs, DVDs, PDF, JPEG, BMP, TIFF, Skip, CAD, hard drives, etc., and the ever changing software formats, it is very doubtful that those “digital formats” will still be available and accessible a hundred years from now, let alone 50 or even 10 years from now. I use CAD extensively in my work as an architect. That format has change / updated so extensively, that plans in early releases(prior to R9 formats) have incompatiblity problems with the newest releases. Likewise, newer plans in the latest releases are almost useless unless “saved” in the newer releases to older versions. However, not all can be had. I surmise, along with my computer geek brother, that the same can, and is, happening with other electronic / digital formats. And, if you spill beer on them, well, they are rendered for the scrap heap. Please keep and produce both the printed and digital formats!

  • Don

    When I read the description I was expecting to see a digital plan.
    The photos and description of the work are fine, but the plan?
    At the very least I thought you’d have a SketchUp model which allows one to examine every aspect of the plan, including exact demensions, and is a free download to anyone.
    I had an experience with the editor of another, unnamed, woodworking magazine who asked me to do a SketchUp model of a product and then showed his lack of understanding of the medium by using the SU model as drawings for the printed page, expecting the same features as a 2D drawing. He never did offer the .skp file to his readers, not even on his website.
    I think we should hold a seminar for editors to bring them up to speed on what the digital world has to offer and how to use it for their readership.
    Please don’t take offense at this, but accept it as encouragement to get on the digital bandwagon.

    Don “Dances With Wood” Butler

    Against popular opinion, I dare say I’m a great deal older than you and still learning things every day.

  • holland

    Really? You define “digital version” as a .pdf? How 1980’s – and a waste of your intellectual capital and, among others, the iPad’s capabilities. How can you be so far ahead in your use of videos and blogs and so far behind in content delivery?

  • Edward in Vancouver

    Uhhh—no. I’ll turn the pages manually for a while yet.

    It’s not the technology, that’s fine.

    It’s not the content, Pop Woodworking is excellent.

    Why the hesitation?

    My Dad once gave me three pieces of advice to follow:

    1)Never argue with a Cop
    2)Never buy foods with the word “chef” and/or “blend” in the product description.


    3) Never give your Visa # to a magazine or book club

    Now I know Pop Woodorking has nothing to do with the collecting of money, subscriptions, or debiting of Visa accounts. But,uh.. no thanks.

  • robert

    What book is that plan out of? I might like to buy the book (in dead tree form)?

  • Knothead

    Oh great, another attempt by a magazine to go “Digital”. Please put some actual effort into this. Digital can offer so much more than what is typically done. How about videos of the projects actually being made with voice annotation? All previous volumes of the magazine should be available via download. Ability to zoom into construction details on images. All plans in an issue available for download. Extra content is more that just a few more Jpeg images.

  • woodmagnet

    Many thanks David (and Jim),It looks
    like a really good project.

  • Dean

    Thanks for the free plan! That’s a slick looking tool box.

Start typing and press Enter to search