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PWM Shop Blog

Formerly called the Editors’ Blog, these articles offer hands-on advice, woodworking tips and techniques from the editors and contributing editors of Popular Woodworking Magazine


This blog includes free videos, tool reviews we didn’t have room for in the printed magazine and tidbits of the day-to-day life here at the magazine and in the world of woodworking.


Chris Schwarz
Chris Schwarz RSS FeedRead Chris’ Blog »

Chris Schwarz Blog

Contributing editor Christopher Schwarz is a long-time amateur woodworker and professional journalist. He built his first workbench at age 8 and spent weekends helping his father build two houses on the family’s farm outside Hackett, Ark.— using mostly hand tools. Despite his early experience on the farm, Chris remains a hand-tool enthusiast.

Chris’s blog focuses mostly on hand tools and hand work. Chris also writes short tool reviews, book reviews and generally gets the inside scoop on new hand tool introductions before other blogs.


Chris Schwarz
Arts & Mysteries RSS FeedRead Adam’s Blog »

Arts & Mysteries with Adam Cherubini

Arts & Mysteries is one of our most-read columns in Popular Woodworking Magazine. Whether you sympathize with Adam Cherubini’s approach to working wood entirely with hand tools or think he’s simply a glutton for punishment, I think we all can agree on one thing: Adam’s column is never boring.


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Details for a Rack in a Tool Chest

A tool rack in your chest is a nice way to keep your chisels, screwdrivers and other tools close at hand and protected from damage. After experimenting with lots of different racks, here’s how I make racks for myself and customers. I start with a length of pine that’s about 1” x 1-1/4” x...

Woodworking Glossary

A Community Woodworking Glossary

There is a phrase in Spanish called “media naranja,” which literally translates to “half orange.” I don’t speak Spanish, so being called this for the first time meant nothing to me. Then I found out what it really meant. It’s a colloquialism for “other half.” So instead of being referred to as someone’s “other...

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File a Scraper with the ‘Universal Sharpener’

In the next issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine I review the Chestnut Tools Universal Sharpener from Lee Valley Tools. I learned about this remarkable and inexpensive little tool from furniture maker Freddy Roman. I was skeptical about it until I got my hands on it. This thing is … well you’ll have to wait...

James Hamilton

Build Your Own Tools

Woodworkers have a reputation for taking matters into their own hands. When something doesn’t work the way you want it to, what do you do? You go to the shop and build something that will. That’s  probably why the website StumpyNubs.com is so popular. Stumpy (whose real name is James Hamilton) makes his mission to...

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Can You Draw Skippy the Turtle?

OK – I’m not really looking for someone who can draw a turtle; I need an illustrator who can take over our Tricks and Letters drawings, to develop digitally deliverable images (four to six illustrations per issue, seven issues per year) working from photos and text. And obviously, a solid understanding of woodworking is...

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Small Changes to my Moxon Vises

Since I began making Moxon-style vises in 2010, I’m made several dozens for students customers and have made some small changes to the way I build them. Above all, I try to keep my Moxon vises as simple and compact as possible, which is why I haven’t added tables or other gizmos. Here is...

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Furniture Polishes

I spent most of the decade of the ’90s trying to make sense of furniture polishes. Claims from manufacturers were (and still are) all over the map. Even worse were all the contradictory opinions of my professional-refinishing colleagues, museum conservators, furniture-store clerks and my customers. I figured out pretty quickly that furniture polishes couldn’t...

Mac McConnell’s bull is an engineering masterpiece.

‘Bench Bulls’ by Blog Readers…Very Cool Designs

A few weeks ago I blogged about a jig that I built that is intended to help in woodworking clamping tasks and, in some cases, even substitute for a work bench. I called the jig a bench bull and dedicated three blog entires to it. I was very happy to learn that the bench...

1_Lay down some finish in the middle of an intended stroke

Brush End-to-End

When brushing a large surface such as a tabletop, you want each brush stroke to go from one end to the other with the grain. If the brush can’t hold enough finish to go the entire distance, brush several partial strokes, then connect them with a long end-to-end stroke. Lay the bristles down just...