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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.

Woodworking Time

5 Minutes’ Peace

After the hustle and bustle of the day, taking a few minutes out and having some quiet time can be welcome relief. Everyone had just left the workshop and I had a few short minutes before my expected arrival home for tea. There was just enough time to get to my bench  to fix...


Getting Started in Woodworking

In 1969, power tools arrived as part of my Christmas haul. Now, some might say that an 8-year-old should not be using a circular saw, jigsaw or power drill. Maybe – but times were different then. The Ideal Toy Company’s Powermite line of miniature power tools didn’t have enough power to do much damage (I...


Baby Steps into Woodworking

Working wood is a labor of love for me. I admire the trees that provide this unique and ever-changing resource. I love the tools that allow us to shape lumber into objects of beauty and use. I revere the books that teach us how to make good use of the raw materials and tools....


Are You Suffering From Smoothing Plane Bloat?

Among the smoothing planes that Stanley Works made (which includes the Nos. 1 to 4), the company sold far more No. 4s than any other size, according to Stanley collectors. That was my rationale for buying a No. 4 many years ago. I still think it’s a good size for a handplane, with a...


New Tool Designs in Woodworking?

Woodworking tool design progresses slowly. While it’s easy to state that today we have some of the best woodworking tools ever, the designs haven’t changed much. I mean, when a manufacturer takes advantage of modern metallurgy and manufacturing processes you can get some exceptionally high-quality tools – but that isn’t design change. Saws still...


Fine -tune a Handplane’s Back Iron

For me, the goal with my smoothing plane is to set it up so I can ignore the grain direction of a board or a glued-up panel. There are many valid ways to do this. For most woodworkers I know, there are two ways to accomplish this goal that we all agree upon: Sharpen...


An Experiment: Changing Smoothing Planes for a Year

I’m the weirdo who counts the number of steps and hand motions it takes me to brew a cup of coffee. And I’m always looking for ways to shave away a few minutes here and there from my routine activities (for example, brushing my teeth while simultaneously fetching my clothes for the day). So...


One-stop Shop for Woodworking Information

At ShopWoodworking.com, sure, you’ll find all the woodworking magazines, books, videos and webinars we produce. But ShopWoodworking.com is also your one-stop woodworking shop for many of the best books and videos from other publishers and producers, too. I’m always on the lookout for good information that I think we should carry in our store,...

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SAPFM is More than Worth the Membership Fee

In the June 2015 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine (which should be landing in subscriber mailboxes any day now if you’ve not already received it) I chose as “highly recommended” (page 12) a membership in the Society of American Period Furniture Makers (SAPFM). Everything I had to say about SAPFM’s annual member publication, American...