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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James Hamilton

An Interview with James Hamilton

James Hamilton is the mastermind behind the popular Stumpy Nubs web site, which offers a range of online videos dedicated to spending some quality time in the shop, with a particular emphasis on creating homemade woodworking machines, tools and jigs. Hamilton is constantly looking for ways to streamline, organize and improve workshops – and...


Toilet Paper & Workbenches

I recently saw a post on Facebook that vindicated what I’ve been telling people for years. Seems the original 1800s patent for the toilet paper dispenser shows the roll with the paper feeding over the top. Victory! What does this have to do with woodworking? Well, one of the most common discussions I’ve been...

Wooden Tool Box

Portable Tool Box Build

After posting this image of a tool box on Facebook, I soon had many comments such as, “Made one of these 30-odd years ago at college during my apprenticeship,” and “Made one of those in 1975 before I went to uni.” Freddy Roman had also picked one up. It’s not a common design within the...

what do you call a group of woodworkers contest

What Do You Call a Group of Woodworkers? A ’Grove!’

Thanks to Bill Lattanzio, we now have a collective noun to describe a gathering of woodworkers – a “grove.” Bill was the first of several readers who suggested “grove” as the most appropriate term for a group of woodworkers. The blue-ribbon task force advisory panel steering committee I chaired also selected “grove” as the winning...

A Veritas Bevel-up Jointer Plane, a.k.a an Olympic prize

The Hand Tool Olympics: Sawdust, Fun & $2,500 in Prizes

London, 2012 – Usain Bolt runs the 100-meter dash in 9.63 seconds. Mexico City, 1968 – Bob Beamon flies 29′, 2″ in the long jump. Berlin, 1936 – Jessie Owens wins four gold medals. Impressive Olympic feats – but can they saw straight? Cut a dovetail? Forget the runners and jumpers and gymnasts – the real...


Mutton Tallow Tool Lube – As Seen on Instagram

In case you don’t follow (also known as Travis Knapp) on Instagram, I share with you this cool (and inexpensive) tool lube solution he’s now offering: mutton tallow in a tube. For just $5, you get the convenience of keeping your hands clean while swiping greasy tallow (greasy is good!) on your plane,...

Beech mallet for a froe 3

The Best Design For a Round Mallet, Part 1

  What is the best design for a round mallet? It has to do the job, feel good in your hand and remain comfortable as you use it. Three weeks ago, while at Peters Valley, I had a chance to make a few mallets and try out their feel and comfort levels. Round mallets...

paper towel dispenser

Turn a Paper Towel Holder & More with Tim Yoder

I came to the Popular Woodworking team with an interest in woodworking, but since working here, I seem to have been drawn specifically to woodturning. I find it fascinating, and as with any craftsmanship, it is inspiring to see the passion and care someone puts into a piece, regardless of its use or size....


Romanticizing Tools (Without Shame)

I learned how to make tools from two places: 1.With Hammer in Hand (The book about the Dominy workshop) and 2. American museum tool collections. When I looked at these collections, I saw an overwhelming majority of tools in which clearly aesthetics were an afterthought. Plain grain (stability), few decorative embellishments and apathy toward...