PWM Shop Blog

The PWM Shop Blog (formerly called the Editors’ Blog) is your reliable source of woodworking information, videos and advice from seasoned woodworkers, and the best place to learn the latest happenings in the woodworking industry and the woodworking online community.

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Carl ‘Mr. Wonderful’ Bilderback

I’m sad to report that this evening, Carl Bilderback passed away. I’m so glad to have had him as a friend. The below is bumped up from October. If you’re among the following, move along…nothing new to see here: • Members of the Mid-West Tool Collectors Association • Longtime readers of this blog and...


Swords, Shields & Polar Bears

My school is throwing its annual Fall Fair this Saturday (Nov. 21). It’s a one-day open-house extravaganza where we open our doors to all to show our students’ achievements both in academics and the arts. At the Fair we offer artisan workshops in fabric, clay and candle making, and we sell handmade craft work...

Sharpening a chisel on a sandpaper plate

Sandpaper Sharpening & Honing, Part 2

In my last post, I showed how I use adhesive-backed sandpaper as a sharpening medium in our school classroom. Although adhesive-backed sandpapers have become the gold standard in tool sharpening, I find that in many cases conventional sandpapers will do a good job, too. There are a few ways you can build a sharpening...

Shaker Firewood Box

Make a Shaker Firewood Box, Part 1

With winter approaching, we’ve had a new wood burning stove fitted at home. Our joinery workshop (G.S. Haydon & Son) provides ample fuel and it’s a great way to save on the utilities bill and have that unique and comforting sight of a fire during the dark and cold months. My indoor firewood box...

Secretary SketchUp

Why Woodworkers Should Use SketchUp

So what is SketchUp and why should woodworkers use it? Simply put, SketchUp is a 3D sketching, modeling, rendering and design documentation tool. However, SketchUp is much more powerful than this simple description implies. SketchUp derives its name for a task it does quite well, drawing sketches. SketchUp comes in two versions: SketchUp Pro...


Standing Desk Build on Deck

Clearly, Jim Tolpin has let a lot of folks know that he’s writing about his standing desk (perhaps you’ve seen it on his Instagram feed?) for an upcoming issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine. I know this, because a lot of folks have emailed to ask when it will appear. The answer is: In the...


Looking to the Past: Time-Tested Woodworking Techniques

Woodworking is a craft steeped in knowledge handed down through generations. The techniques have been tested and rethought and retested time and time again. While experimentation is a wonderful thing for the craft, there is simultaneously a good deal of importance in attention to detail and being exact. Learning the old ways and time-tested woodworking...

My sandpaper plate sharpening system is made of two plates and a  piece of 600 grit sandpaper.

Sandpaper Sharpening & Honing, Part 1

In my last post, I showed how I made a dedicated slip form (a slipstone made of wood) for one of my gouges. This week, I’ll explain how to make a complementary sandpaper sharpening stone that is surprisingly effective and inexpensive to build. First, let me explain why I began using this sandpaper technique...