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.

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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...

Wmsburg Conference Day 1

Day one of the conference began at 8:30 with breakfast in the Wallace Dewitt museum cafe. At 9:00, Colonial Williamsburg cabinetmaker Kaare Loftheim took the stage to demonstrate the construction of a bureau table. It looked like a kneehole desk. After a mid morning break, FWW author Dan Faia examined the feet of a...

Introduction to Mount Vernon Furniture

I’m in colonial Williamsburg for the annual woodworking conference. This year the subject is the furniture Mount Vernon. Last night there was a short lecture on Mount Vernon furniture and architecture by staff members from Mt Vernon. This morning, Colonial Williamsburgs Craftsmen take the stage to begin reproducing furniture from Washington’s home.

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Making Stuff

Today (January 1st) is my birthday.  I’ll spend the rest of this day with beloved family and friends, smiling through their dull headaches.  My birthday (like all of you with Christmas birthdays or July 4th birthdays) gets generally forgotten.  It’s a New Years Day party, a brunch this year. So this year, I rose...

Old eyes or bad bulbs?

I’m getting older, losing my near sight, and the world is growing dim. Sounds dire. And while it may be true, I think a big part of my problem is the light bulbs in my shop.  Unlike most of you, I have a photographic record of the lighting in my shop.  I recently compared...

Comments Appreciated

I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciated all of your thoughtful comments.  They were helpful and constructive and I thank you for them all.  So helpful were they, that I may ask for help again in the near future.  We’re talking about what you want to see in YOUR Popular...

Advice on Article Sought

I’m working on an article about making nailed (boarded) furniture. The new format at the magazine has restricted columns like mine to 2 pages and I’m having trouble getting the job done in 2. It could be that I’m naturally wordy. I’ve been teased for this in the past and I’m self conscious about...