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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An Interview with Tom Fidgen

Woodworking author and instructor Tom Fidgen is the mastermind behind the Unplugged Woodshop web site, the online hand tool woodworking school An Unplugged Life, and author of two bestselling books: “Made by Hand” (currently available at and “The Unplugged Woodshop” (Taunton). He teaches woodworking with hand tools internationally. This September Fidgen will be teaching at Woodworking In...


Darrell Peart’s ‘Arched Aurora Nightstand’

In “Gravity by Design” (June 2015, Issue 218), Darrell Peart shares his thought on how the bottom of a piece is the most interesting and telling – how what’s at the ground level (or close to it) has a significant effect on the design as a whole. One of the furniture pieces Darrell employs...

Upset 1A

Upsetting ‘Upsets’

Wood, being a natural product, is not without its defects. Many are obvious and some (such as the upset above) can be harder to detect. I’ve always known them to be called an “upset” but “thunder shakes” and “compression failure” are also terms used to describe it. The thing I hate about upsets is...


Spaghetti, Q-Tip or Toothpick?

Last week I wrote about our baby boy’s first workbench, which is more of an amusement park than a real bench. Today I am going to show you his next bench. Soon after baby Asher got his Fisher Price bench, coincidence brought about his first semi-true workbench – a wooden one we found on...


‘I Can Do That’

For Chad Stanton, professional furniture maker and licensed contractor – and the host of the “I Can Do That” (ICDT) series – a chance encounter showed him that he was on the right track with the simple projects and techniques he teaches in these videoa. After returning to his home in Toledo after taping several ICDT...

Risom round coffee table

Risom Coffee Table

Editor’s note: The measured drawings for the Risom coffee table in this article by Michael Crow are similar to the shop drawings included in Crow’s new book, “Mid-Century Modern Furniture.” The book presents shop drawings and techniques for creating 29 projects designed by some of the era’s foremost designers, including Hans Wegner, Finn Juhl, George...

Button 2

Buttoned Up…er, Down

It’s such a proven and simple method for attaching a top to some framing: Buttons allow a solid timber top to move with the seasons, with no risk of splitting. And while it’s true some furniture is not exposed to the ravages of extreme moisture and could well survive with some skewed screws through...

Woodworking Time

5 Minutes’ Peace

After the hustle and bustle of the day, taking a few minutes out and having some quiet time can be welcome relief. Everyone had just left the workshop and I had a few short minutes before my expected arrival home for tea. There was just enough time to get to my bench  to fix...


Getting Started in Woodworking

In 1969, power tools arrived as part of my Christmas haul. Now, some might say that an 8-year-old should not be using a circular saw, jigsaw or power drill. Maybe – but times were different then. The Ideal Toy Company’s Powermite line of miniature power tools didn’t have enough power to do much damage (I...