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Popular Woodworking Editors’ Blog

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
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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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Woodworking in America ’15 Registration is Now Open

Registration is now open for Woodworking in America 2015. I hope to see you in Kansas City, Mo., Sept. 25-27, along with speakers Roy Underhill, Christopher Schwarz, Alf Sharp, Will Neptune, Phil Lowe, David Marks, Vic Tesolin, Marc Adams, Kevin Drake, Patrick Edwards, Tom Fidgen, James Hamilton, Mark Harrell, Donna Hill, Dave Jeske, Scott...

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Prevent a Cut Nail Explosion Disaster

The only downside to using cut nails is they can split the work, especially when used near the ends of boards. While a properly sized pilot hole will usually prevent splits, there are times when the gnarly grain of the wood wants to split anyway. Cut nails also will split your work if you...

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Traveling Tool Chest with a Marquetry Lid

My favorite project from 2014 is one I haven’t been able to talk much about, until now. Jameel Abraham of Benchcrafted and I collaborated on building a tool chest for a two-article series in Popular Woodworking Magazine. My article on building the chest will be in the August 2015 issue; Jameel’s article on the...

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Dovetails: A Knife, a Jig & Expert Instruction

After workbenches and finishing, the questions we get asked most often are about hand-cut dovetails. So, we’ve put together a kit that includes the Woodjoy Precision Dovetail Template (the brass and black oxide one you’ve perhaps seen me use in the magazine and on the blog), an inexpensive but excellent marking knife from Lee...

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Happy Birthday William Morris (& a Free Download)

In honor of designer, poet, novelist and social activist William Morris, who was born on this day in 1834 (d. 1896), I give you this Shop of the Crafters Morris Chair article, by Christopher Schwarz. “Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” —...

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Traveling Tool Chest: Simply Stunning

Last week, we shot the cover photo for the August issue. It’s a classic English tool chest sized for travel (though it holds almost a full complement of furniture making tools, sans moulding planes). The build was a collaboration between Christopher Schwarz, who designed and built the chest, and Jameel Abraham, who made the...

Outdoor Furniture, Christopher Schwarz, woodworking, home improvement, gardening, garden bench, garden swing, picnic table

It’s Spring! Time to Make Outdoor Furniture!

I am eagerly awaiting 6:45 p.m. today, March 20. Yes, because it’s a Friday, but for a more important reason: at that moment, spring officially arrives in the northern hemisphere. Right now my backyard is a soggy, muddy mess, with everything that was hidden under the snow finally revealed. There are sticks and branches,...

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‘Workshop Companion’ Series Available Again

In the early 1990s, Nick Engler and a team of woodworkers and designers took on an incredibly ambitious task: Create a series of how-to books that encompass all of woodworking, from the router to the router plane, table saw to scroll saw. Called the “Workshop Companion” series and first published by Rodale Press, the...

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Float Expectations

I never thought a float would provoke the level of interest it did when I mentioned in my last post that I would need to sharpen it. I was interested to note how different people had contrasting opinions on how they would expect it to arrive. So here’s what you can expect: “Additional sharpening...