Required Reading

Here, you’ll find the blog posts that Christopher Schwarz (former editor of Popular Woodworking Magazine and now a contributing editor), has identified as his favorites (by some mysterious measure) and/or most important. You’ll find woodworking hand tool techniques, videos, a look at some incredible vintage tools, visits with must-know woodworkers, tool reviews, book reviews, articles, musing on old tool patents, free book chapter downloads and more. And some of these are pleasingly controversial or just dang funny – these are absolutely worth a read.

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‘This Blather Would Not Pass a Sixth Grade Assignment’

This blather would not pass a sixth grade assignment to write a ‘theme’ on something. ‘Make me ill’ is hyperbolic and repulsive and means nothing, and ‘You owe it to yourself, the tree, and the whole of human history” is hyperbolic, stupid, and pompous. Its even punctuated incorrectly. I want a woodworking magazine and...

Surprisingly, dead mutton-chopped politicians didn't come out in force to take the survey.

What We Do to Make Money

The results of last week’s survey on the occupations of woodworkers are in, and the results have a few surprises. I need to stop making fun of mechanical engineers on this blog, for one. Also, I can mock dietitians all I please. We had 1,760 people respond to the survey. That’s not bad. But...

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Readers’ Favorite Woodworking Books

For the June 2011 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine we asked readers: “If you could own only one woodworking book, what would it be?” We are still compiling the responses (it’s time-consuming), but we wanted you to be able to see the raw results so you can draw your own conclusions. In looking at...

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Highly Recommended: ‘The Mechanic’s Companion’

Among all the important historical woodworking books out there, Peter Nicholson’s “The Mechanic’s Companion” does not get enough notice. Perhaps that’s because it wasn’t the first English-language book on joinery (Joseph Moxon was the pioneer in this field), or perhaps it’s not as well-known because original copies of the book are expensive. I paid...

SteveShanesy

Popular Woodworking’s Protector Steps Down

In the fall of 1996 I was running my own struggling newspaper with a partner in Kentucky’s capitol city. I was sleeping under my desk. I was working every weekend. I was not paying myself much. All this was fine by me. But then my wife (also a newspaper journalist) and I had a...

'The Woodwright's Shop' Renewed for 2 Years

Roy Underhill’s long-running PBS show “The Woodwright’s Shop” was renewed Wednesday for two years by its sponsor, State Farm Insurance. That means that “The Woodwright’s Shop” will be around for a 31st and 32nd season. And this is the first time that State Farm has ever renewed the show for two years. “Thanks to...

Get Started in Hand Tool Woodworking

Every week I get asked where to begin when trying to become a hand-tool woodworker. The snarky answer is, “I have no idea because I did it the wrong way.” There are as many different paths to take as there are woodworkers. So anything I write on this topic is sure to be dissected,...