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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.


Chinese Workbenches – a Little Bit Roman?

When you start studying ancient woodworking tools, it’s the similarities that are most striking – not the differences. Saws, chisels and planes – the core tools of the furniture maker – are only mildly different in the East and West. While some people amplify those differences – pushing a saw vs. pulling it is...

Vintage Chisel

Vintage Chisel Bliss

I can’t help it. And I don’t want to help it. Between projects, I really enjoy getting to know different tools and discovering what I like and why I like them. It’s good fun and this vintage chisel is no exception. I don’t think I’ve ever had that freedom within my job as a joiner,...


Cheap, Simple & Portable (Yes, Another Workbench)

Though I find it darn-near impossible to believe, it has been more than five years since we published plans for a full-sized workbench. That was Christopher Schwarz’s “Return of Roubo,” the cherry-topped bench he built using mostly hand tools (you’ll find it in the August 2010 issue as well as on a  download, “Build...

small tool organization

Small Tool Organization

Shop organization is likely a recurring topic throughout anyone’s woodworking career. That’s why we devoted several articles to the topic in our Woodworking Essentials column in Popular Woodworking Magazine back in 2007. The column has returned as a new book compiling those articles into one handy volume, “Woodworking Essentials: Timeless Techniques for Woodworkers.” While some...

Elia Bizzari works on a shaving horse.

The Apprentice

Persistence (and a crazy mother) can help. by Elia Bizzarri page 64 from the November 2011 issue I slept on a cot in the loft of the shop, cooked on a portable burner, and walked my dirty dishes through the garden to the basement sink. Curtis Buchanan walked in at seven one morning to...

On Cabinetmakers’ Hammers & Where to Buy Them

I’ll begin with the top-notch U.S.-made hammers that were introduced to the market in recent years.  Kings County Cabinetmaker’s  Hammer At the top of the list stands the Gramercy Tools “Kings County” hammer. This is a 9.5 oz tool that looks like the Victorian ancestor of both the French/German and the Warrington hammers (that...


A Furniture Show, Vandals & a Mystery

Two weeks ago I managed to spend a few hours at the Celebration of Craftsmanship & Design in Cheltenham, an impressive display of bespoke furniture makers both young and seasoned. Contemporary English furniture always makes my head shift gears. Most of the stuff I see in America has roots in traditional design. But in...

David Savage in his personal shop at Rowden.

A Tour of David Savage’s Workshop and School

For the last two weeks I’ve been teaching a course and taking a class in veneering at David Savage’s school and workshop, which sits on a farm in rural Devon. It is an inspiring place where amateurs and professionals hone their skills to the highest level – piston-fit drawers, London-pattern dovetails, drawing, design, veneering...