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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.


Wonky ‘Corner Table’ Build (& Thank You SketchUp)

Believe me – I’m at least 10 times as tired of my kitchen rehab as you probably are. But there’s one last big project to tackle before I can call it (almost) done. That’s a counter-height (and counter-topped) table for a wonky curved corner to the left of the stove. Because that’s where the...


Galbert Drawsharp in Use

Before you read beyond the first few sentences of this blog entry, there a couple things you should know: I have no problems sharpening a drawknife. Never have (except that time in the 1990s where I ended in the ER for seven stitches). One of the first tools I inherited from my grandfather was...

Gothic Pattern

Architecture as Furniture Inspiration

When considering ideas and looking for inspiration, I don’t like to limit myself to just the furniture or joinery in isolation. Considering the environment around me helps me form ideas and leads off into interesting tangents of discovery. “Holistic” would be a nice term, but would likely make me sound pretentious. You see, I’m...

Use MDF or particleboard to build legs and other parts, then veneer them.

Furniture Design: Think About the Tools You Have

In our live webinar on February 18, artist and furniture designer Yoav Liberman will talk about getting design inspiration from raw materials. Here’s something that frequently inspires my furniture designs: I don’t have enough tools. Fortunately, you don’t have to have every tool in the catalog to design and build your own furniture. If you...


The Modern High-traction Doe’s Foot

The notched batten – also called a “doe’s foot” – is a great way to restrain your work on the bench without a tail vise. With a holdfast and a doe’s foot, you can even work across the grain aggressively and the work will stay in place. During the last couple years of using...

gunstock scraper 1

Grandpa’s Shop-made Gunstock Scraper

I was in Florida for a few days last week visiting my brother, niece, mom and stepfather. I stayed with my brother, Ian, who, like me (and other family members), inherited some woodworking tools from my grandfather. And as always when visiting with relatives, I pawed through the tools to see what interesting specimens...


Improve Your Tool Chest Hinges

Old tool chests typically have two weak spots: the bottom and the hinges. The bottom gets rotted out because tool chests end up in unfriendly, poorly drained areas. That’s why many tool chest bottoms are merely nailed on – so they can easily be replaced. The hinges usually fail because the screws come loose....

Stay Set Cap Iron

Two-piece Cap Irons

The two-piece cap iron a unique design and for some it’s a royal PITA; for others it’s a useful addition to a well-tuned bench plane. These days you’ll find them on the Clifton (above) range of planes but before that they were an option provided by Record on the company’s bench planes from the...

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20,000 Pages of Woodworking, One Low Price

Right now, we’re offering a “kit” that includes just about every page from every woodworking magazine in our store through 2014. In the “20,000 Pages of Woodworking Ultimate Collection,” you get the Popular Woodworking Magazine 1995-2013 DVD (which also includes a bonus video, “Finishes that Pop”), the 2014 Popular Woodworking Magazine compilation CD, the...