American Magazines for Makers

So that I’d have something to read on a long flight I dropped into a Barnes and Noble store to see what magazines were available. I picked these three.

Nuts and Volts

I’d heard of Nuts and Volts via the Element14 site so thought it was a good idea to have a look at it.

Electronics magazines are typically a bit formulaic. There’s a news section, some theory, projects by other people and projects you can complete yourself. So reading Nuts and Volts seemed quite familiar. The project of the cover was very interesting and with the details of how David Goodsell had controlled the jumbo sized electromechanical seven-segment displays. The Midi Lyre project is also a good one and I’m sure I’ll borrow ideas from that for other projects. Also the theory pages were good and I revised (been a long time since my analogue circuits lectures) the topic of filters.

So I would recommend Nuts and Volts for those with an electronic interest, the main difference I found from the UK magazines I’ve seen was the variety of projects.

Digital Machinist

I fancied a bit of metal too so this one was a hard choice between Machinist’s Workshop, The Home Shop Machinist and Digital Machinist. 

This is one of the plainest magazine covers I’ve seen for a long time. Although it does a fairly good job of letting you know what it is about. A metal chassis with a stepper motor and a larger motor (turns out to be a router) in the middle. The cover article is “ArduLift – An Arduino Controlled Router Lift by Gary Liming” that pretty much sold me on the magazine. Gary’s article has a good mix of metal work and electronics and looks at issues such as the type of screw thread to use and linear bearings. There was also a interesting article on Weston Bye’s “Wow Clock”, shown below on the previous edition.

Digital Machinist is published just four times a year but I think it’s definitely worth tracking down.

Woodcraft Magazine

My final choice was WoodCraft Magazine. The American’s have a very wide selection of woodworking magazines so I was spoilt for choice. WoodCraft had a good selection of projects that I could achieve and some that would stretch my skills so that seemed my best option. The cover project by Paul Anthony is a lovely wall mounted desk for your laptop or writing. A bit too much of a challenge for me but there’s lots of techniques I can borrow such as the panelled door or drawers. The sandpaper storage is something I’m likely to make before too long as that’s a project I’ve been looking at. Currently I have a pile of sandpaper on the bench where it keeps falling of the shelf. The article on getting your handplane sharpened and in good working order is also very useful for me.

So I can also recommend WoodCraft for it’s mix of inspirational but also achievable projects.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 characters available

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.