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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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...

These experts are set to speak and teach at Woodworking in America 2015.

What Do You Call a Gathering of Woodworkers?

It’s a “pride” of lions, “murder” of crows, “gaggle” of geese and “pod” of dolphins. So what, then, is the proper term for a gathering of woodworkers? We’re gearing up for the 2015 Woodworking in America conference next month, so whatever you call a group of woodworkers, you’ll find them Sept. 25-27 at the...

Round head mallets with treated handled

Improve the Comfort & Feel of Your Tool Handles

I use round-head mallets almost all of the time. I find that they are very effective in driving my gouges and chisels decisively into the wood. There are cases where I prefer to use rectangular-head hammers and mallets, but most of the time I reach for one of my “rounds.” I bought my first...

Toshio Odate discussing Japanese planes at Woodworking in America 2009, in Valley Forge, Penn. Photo my Megan Fitzpatrick

Toshio Odate: Woodworking Legend

I count myself among the luckier people in the world for having had the chance to hang out with Toshio Odate and Laure Olender for a couple of days in Connecticut. Sure, we were there to film “Woodworking Legends: An Interview with Toshio Odate” (and “Talking Japanese Tools with Toshio Odate“), but it felt...

imperfect grid

Off the Grid: Variations on a Mid-Century Modern Bookcase

There’s something very graphical about the design of the Mid-Century Modern Bookcase I built for the October 2015 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine. Viewed head on, the arrangement of dividers and shelves suggests a grid-based page layout. Although the analogy falls a bit short (the short divider is placed in such a way to...


Freddy Roman at Woodworking in America 2015

If you read Don Williams’ blog, you already know that he lost a fight with a wheelbarrow. Unfortunately, Don broke his hip last week, and while the doctors have given him every indication of a full recovery, he won’t be 100-percent healed by Woodworking in America (it is, after all, just more than a...

Stock Preparation By Hand

Stock Preparation By Hand

I decided to avoid giving a written comprehensive lesson in how to prepare stock by hand (although I did record a video for you to watch – see below). I want to instead discuss the mindset of the process and things to consider with the aim of maximising your time in the shop. If...


Get in Touch with your Woodworking Feelings

Today I want to talk about feelings. The warm fuzzies we get from our craft. The soul-lifting, Ch’i enhancing, conscious-expanding personal development we get from woodworking. How the mere act of taking what nature has provided us in the form of resources and abilities to expand the hum… <insert record scratch sound clip here>...


‘Workshop Companion’ & ‘Practical Woodworker’ Collection

In a new “mini-kit” (although with 25 books included, it’s not really so “mini”), we’re bookending the 20th century. In this kit you’ll get all four volumes of the early 20th-century book “The Practical Woodworker” edited by Bernard E. Jones (in paperback), and all 21 books (on DVD) from Nick Engler’s beloved “The Workshop...