Feature Articles

Below, you’ll find the full text and images of free articles from past issues of Popular Woodworking Magazine – step-by-step project plans, how-to articles on hand tools and power tools, shop techniques, hand- and power-tool reviews, visits to incredible workshops, shop layout ideas and more. Plus, you’ll find free articles and videos our editors and contributing editors have written and filmed for our woodworking blogs on all things woodworking. Scroll down below to browse.

This small stool, designed by eye and built by hand, satisfies my four criteria: Sized to fit my foot and step; stable for all potential foot positions; durable and strong enough to support more than my weight; and offering a non-slip step surface.

Designing by Foot, Hand & Eye

Empirical, not Imperial, is the measure of the pre-industrial maker. by Jim Tolpin pages 46-51 August 2010, Issue #184 In this article I’m going to show how I design a simple piece of furniture whilst immersed in the mindset of the pre-industrial, hand-tool artisan. Because I’m not going to use power tools to build...

The most efficient method of applying stain is to wipe it on using a soaking-wet cloth. Notice on this stereo cabinet, which was made without a back, I’m not having any problem getting the stain into the inside corners.

Wipe, Don’t Brush Stain

Wiping is the efficient way to apply stain. The purpose of this article is to emphasize what I’ve said in passing many times: It’s much more efficient to wipe stain onto wood with a rag than to brush it. Wiping is fast, almost as fast as spraying (without the downside of having to clean...

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What I Don’t Know About Veneering

I’ve been woodworking for a little over thirty-five years (I was barely out of diapers…I swear!), and in all that time I’ve done just enough veneering to know that there is a lot more about veneering that I don’t know. It’s one of those specialty woodworking areas that has it’s own set of tools, expectations and...

Wooden Try Squares (2)

Make Wooden Try Squares

I had fancied making some wooden try squares for a while and reading Joshua Klein’s post on Romanticizing Tools was a final nudge to get them done. Before embarking upon making them I also made the time to catch up with Roy Underhill & Chris Schwarz on the Woodright’s Shop where Chris demonstrates how he makes...

Elia Bizzari works on a shaving horse.

The Apprentice

Persistence (and a crazy mother) can help. by Elia Bizzarri page 64 from the November 2011 issue I slept on a cot in the loft of the shop, cooked on a portable burner, and walked my dirty dishes through the garden to the basement sink. Curtis Buchanan walked in at seven one morning to...

The fund walnut scrap

Carving a Long Walnut Bowl from ‘Scrap’

I recently returned home from teaching a woodworking class at Peters Valley. During the five days that I spent there, I had some time to work on a few new projects. One of them was a walnut bowl. In my work I often get inspired by an abandoned block of wood, a tossed-away furniture piece or a found...

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Flexner on Finishing: Application Problems

Solutions to a baker’s dozen of common finishing difficulties. by Bob Flexner It’s easy enough to provide instructions for applying finishes. But in the real world, things go wrong; problems occur that you have to deal with. With the combined goals of defining the problems, providing ways to avoid them, then fixing them after...

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Patterns for a Simple Camp Stool Seat

The most difficult part of making a folding camp stool (for woodworkers) is the leather or fabric seat. Getting the right shape for the seat and the three pockets for the legs has vexed many people who aren’t accustomed to a material that bends with hand pressure. These patterns are based on a few...

The entrance to Toshio Odate’s studio is a kōshi-do – traditional Japanese lattice-work panels of the same form that he made as an apprentice in the 1950s.

Kōshi-do

A new entrance to a master’s studio comes from the beginning of his career. by Toshio Odate The kōshi-do form (a latticed door) has existed since ancient times in Japanese temples, and has long been used to divide the exterior and interior, and sometimes as a room divider. In the last century, the use...