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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
Chris Schwarz RSS FeedRead Chris’ Blog »

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.


Hand-Crafted Bookcase

Hand-Crafted Bookcase

My background is mostly based in family run businesses that depend on woodworking to put food on the table and keep the lights on. Because of this, I learned to make furniture with power tools. During my first week at Popular Woodworking Magazine, Christopher Schwarz was in the shop filming the “Build a Hand-Crafted...

Gil Arad's table

Gil Arad’s Mulberry and Ash Table

My friend Gil Arad, an Israeli woodworker who lives, works and teaches in a small village outside of Jerusalem has recently published a really cool video that depicts the kind of work that he does. More and more woodworkers are commissioning “about my work” videos as a means of promoting their work, but few...

Second story oak floor wet mopped for many years

Water Warps Wood Opposite from What You May Think

Water causes wood to swell, so most people think that wetting one side and not the other will cause the wetted side to bow – that is, increase in width so the center is higher than the edges. If the wood is thin enough, this will be the case initially. But the overall swelling...

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I’ve Been Doing this Wrong Since 1993

I cut my first dovetail in 1993 and that was also the first day I learned to use a marking gauge. The instructor didn’t tell me how to use it, so I set it and worked things out for myself. I ended up marking my baselines by pulling the gauge toward me. And I’ve...

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Brown Paper Bag Trick

A smooth feel is critical when judging the quality of a finish. It’s natural for people to run their hand over a finish, feel dust nibs and say, “This is not a great finish.” The problem is, there’s almost always a little dust that has settled on, and stuck to, the last coat of...

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Don’t Kick the Bucket (Out of the Shop)

There’s a lot going on in the photo above that’s important when making casework. I have two case sides for a chest clamped together before dovetailing them. Here is a quick summary of what I’m doing: I’m going to dovetail both pieces at once, called “gang-cutting.” This saves time and makes it easier to...

Autosave-File vom d-lab2/3 der AgfaPhoto GmbH

‘Woodworks’ Bentwood Laminated Lamp

David Marks wrote the step-by-step photo feature below detailing the build process of his bentwood laminated lamp. His “Woodworks” Seasons 4-6 Collection has just been released on shopwoodworking.com. Enjoy… — Jon Russelburg   Bentwood Laminated Lamp Phil, a student from the Sacramento, CA area, took a class with me in November 2012 on how to make a bentwood laminated...

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Coming: The Anarchist’s Tool Chest DVD

More than five years ago I built myself a full-size 18th-century style tool chest to replace the beat up blue one I’d been using since 1997 or so. That new chest was the subject of the book “The Anarchist’s Tool Chest,” and I didn’t think a single person in the world would build it....

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Felt, an Inexpensive Handle for a File or Rasp

When I first began teaching at our school, I noticed that many of the rasps and files our students were using had a gooey buildup of masking tape around their tips. This blob of glue and paper was there to protect our students’ soft skin from the coarse surfaces of the tools as they were...