Arts & Mysteries Blog

Adam Cherubini, the well-loved (and long-time) Arts & Mysteries columnist for Popular Woodworking Magazine, shares his thoughts on 18th-century woodworking techniques, tools and projects on this blog. He’s often controversial – but never boring. Adam’s approach to the craft is entirely hand-tool oriented – and he also reproduces period hand tools for use in his shop. You’ll read about his research into period shops and practices, and find out more about his tools and thoughts on “modern” woodworking and more, here.

Rust Prevention for Woodworkers

Just got this month’s PW and in it was a letter to the editor about preventing rust. Megan answered saying use was an excellent means of rust prevention, regular oiling, and for long term storage, petroleum jelly is a good idea. All good answers, but in my opinion, missing a few details: Climate control:...

Woodworking Fundamentals

I’m focusing on basic skills in PW. Know that this isn’t news from the mountain top, but rather my very real commitment to fundamentals in my own shop. “Fundamentals” could mean different things to different people. Here’s what the word means to me: My goal is to: 1) Be able to measure and mark...

Still learning

The day I stop learning how to work wood is the day I hang up my saws for the last time. After more years than I care to admit, I’m still making mistakes and learning new things about wood, my tools and myself. This past weekend, I was preparing 1/2″ stock for the sides...

Starrett414

Old-school Rule

Starrett 414 Ruler Review I recently bought myself this Starrett 414 ruler on a whim. Maybe I was smitten by its name: “English Pattern Utility Rule.” Just sounds 18th century, doesn’t it? I also liked the hardware store wooden yardstick-style hash marks. Rulers divided into 64ths or 50ths may be impressive in their accuracy,...

end_grain_plane

Secret to planing end grain?

Is there a secret to planing end grain? Is a low-angle block plane required? I don’t think so. My trusty wooden smoother does a good enough job for me. What you need to plane end grain is a SHARP plane. If that’s your block plane, use that. If I had to come up with...

Wmsburg Conference Wrap up

My coverage of the conference was hampered by CW’s policy of photography for “Personal Use Only.” I understand why they are doing this. They don’t want the presenters, who may be working on books or videos, to complain about having their content raided by the woodworking paparazzi. On the flip side (my side), attendance...

Day 2 of the Wmsburg Conference

Tuesday morning saw the continuation of the bureau table by Kaare. He assembled the drawer dividers, with the case together added the feet and a few nailed on parts and then started adding the moldings across the bottom. After Kaare, Dan Faia from the N. Bennett St. school looked at stringing and banding, as...