Personal Favorites

When we like something – a tool, a book or a web site – we tag it as one of our “Personal Favorites.” That’s what you’ll find here. Whether it’s from our Editor’s Blog or a woodworking article from the magazine, you’ll find it here. We may rant about a sandpaper that really is worth twice the price of any other, a piece of furniture that strikes us piece of furniture that in just the right way, or a great price on one of our favorite books500 Year Old Shaving Horses , you’ll find it here.


James Krenov in the 1990s

When James Krenov died in late 2009 (wow, has it been that long?) I wondered at great length what would happen to his reputation. For some undefinable reason, when some influential woodworkers die, their legacy seems to fade with each passing year. See Tage Frid and Alan Peters for examples of this. And others...


Woodworking Advice from the Food Industry

Making good food is a lot like making good furniture – you need good raw materials, skill and a decent set of basic tools. Last weekend I was talking to my brother-in-law about his job, which is supplying high-quality ingredients to restaurants. He’s been in the business long enough that he ends up mentoring...


The Amazing Finger-jointed Block System

As a kid I had every manner of toys that allowed me to build stuff, from my grandfather’s set of wooden blocks to Lincoln Logs, LEGO, Spinwelder, Girder and Panel, Erector sets and on and on. But I never had Crandall’s Improved Building Blocks for Children. This fascinating system of components is based on...


Anarchist’s 2015 Gift Guide, Day 10: Abranet

I do almost no power sanding. But I do use abrasives in my work. And the only abrasive I use is Abranet. I hesitate to call it “sandpaper” because it is absolutely nothing like sandpaper. There’s no paper – it’s a woven mesh. And the abrasive is nothing like sand. But it lasts forever,...


Anarchist’s 2015 Gift Guide, Day 8: Better Beeswax

During the last few years as I have turned my back on finishes with lots of volatile organic compounds, I’ve begun looking for traditional high-quality finishes that won’t shorten my lifespan. I’ve bought a lot of beeswax from a lot of different sources, from national manufacturers to the individual beekeeper. They all work, but...


Anarchist’s 2015 Gift Guide, Day 6: Soap Finish

This year I have experimented a lot with using a soap finish on chairs and tables. Soap is a traditional Danish finish used on furniture and floors. It’s easy to apply, easy to renew, low on the toxicity scale and leaves a delightful low-sheen finish that is remarkably soft to the touch. The downside?...