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Popular Woodworking Editors’ Blog

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.
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How I Read & Write Tool Reviews, Part 4

If you haven’t figured it out, I’m wary of tool reviews in magazines or online. With rare exception they are uninformed or (worse) misguided. And believe me: I am the first to admit that I was uninformed and misguided when I started writing and editing these reviews in the 1990s. In my experience, Milquetoast...

Roubo Lathe

I Need a Lathe

I found myself reviewing future projects that I want to do and on so many I’ve found some woodturning is. That’s an issue for me, I don’t own a lathe and I’ve never turned a thing. The most sensible thing to do would be make the project anyway and ask a local tuner to...

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A Basque Planing Support

There are lots of ways to get around not having a sliding deadman – sometimes called a “board jack” – on your workbench. For the last 15 months I have been working on a bench without a deadman or a tail vise, so I am always looking out for novel solutions. This weekend a...

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Elipse P100 Respirator: First Impressions

I’ve been in the shop for about two hours this morning and the first task I faced was clearing out a jammed dust-collection pipe above the jointer. A dirty, dusty job, but it had to be done. So it was a good test of the Elipse P100 Respirator I recently bought from Highland Woodworking...

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Kansas City, Here We Come

As many of you correctly guessed, Woodworking in America 2015 will be in downtown Kansas City, Mo., Sept 25-27. The main venue is the Crown Center. Stay tuned for more! –Megan Fitzpatrick  

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How to Read & Write Tool Reviews, Part 3

For experienced woodworkers, it’s easy to ignore tool reviews and say: “I just buy the brands that have served me well.” But what if you know little about the different brands? When I was growing up, Skil made fantastic circular saws. Black & Decker made good drills. Craftsman put its name on some good...

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‘In the Shop with Roy’ (And a Close Look at Some Cool Stuff)

We’ve just put together a 10-hour collection of 17 of Roy Underhill’s shop projects from “The Woodwright’s Shop.” (“In the Shop with Roy: Workbenches, Tools, Storage & More” is available now to order on DVD; the download option will be up shortly). With this collection, you’ll get the following episodes: #402 A Spring Pole...

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How I Read Tool Reviews (And Write Them), Part 2

Most tool reviews aren’t really reviews. They’re press releases dressed up with a lab coat and a clipboard to look respectable. For experienced woodworkers, these faux-reviews are easy to spot and ignore. What are the signs? They’re missing key information about the tool’s place in the market compared to its competitors. Even more telling,...

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When the Box is the Gift

If you think about it, most woodworking is just building boxes. Chests, cabinets, drawers – all boxes. It’s one of the first things we build when we start woodworking, and a task in which we build our skills. One of my very first things I made when I started woodworking was a simple box,...