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PWM Shop Blog

Formerly called the Editors’ Blog, these articles offer hands-on advice, woodworking tips and techniques from the editors and contributing editors of Popular Woodworking Magazine

This blog includes free videos, tool reviews we didn’t have room for in the printed magazine and tidbits of the day-to-day life here at the magazine and in the world of woodworking.

Chris Schwarz
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Chris Schwarz Blog

Contributing editor Christopher Schwarz is a long-time amateur woodworker and professional journalist. He built his first workbench at age 8 and spent weekends helping his father build two houses on the family’s farm outside Hackett, Ark.— using mostly hand tools. Despite his early experience on the farm, Chris remains a hand-tool enthusiast.

Chris’s blog focuses mostly on hand tools and hand work. Chris also writes short tool reviews, book reviews and generally gets the inside scoop on new hand tool introductions before other blogs.

Chris Schwarz
Arts & Mysteries RSS FeedRead Adam’s Blog »

Arts & Mysteries with Adam Cherubini

Arts & Mysteries is one of our most-read columns in Popular Woodworking Magazine. Whether you sympathize with Adam Cherubini’s approach to working wood entirely with hand tools or think he’s simply a glutton for punishment, I think we all can agree on one thing: Adam’s column is never boring.

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...


Eleventy-hundred Benches Later, a New Glue

I know that some day I’ll perfect building these simple French workbenches, but it won’t be today. After 10 years of making benches by myself and in groups, I’m finding new strategies for making them better. The last time we built these French oak workbenches the wood was wet – sometimes out of the...


The Best Jointer Fence I’ve Used

All stock jointer fences stink. No matter how tightly you crank them down or how gingerly you treat them, they won’t remain square to the tables. Why? Because they can be adjusted off 90°. Anything that can be adjusted will eventually go out of adjustment. So today at the French Oak Roubo Project, we...


Big Workbenches Need Big Machines

This week a team of 25 woodworkers is in Barnesville, Ga., to build 17 massive French workbenches using ancient oak imported from France and every bit of machinery muscle we can get. I love hand tools, but when it comes to moving around 400-pound slabs of oak, I’m happy to see a forklift coming...

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...