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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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‘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,...

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Lessons From Roubo

Saturday mornings are among the best hours I get all week. My wife and daughters all like to sleep in late, but I get up early, make coffee, and use that quiet time to read, draw or write. It was a Saturday morning when I turned to Plate 280 of the new translation of...

Making Linseed Oil Paint Cover

Making Linseed Oil Paint

When I made my tool chest I opted for an-off-the-shelf powdered milk paint that you mix yourself. I was pleased with the finish once it was sealed with a couple coats of linseed oil. However one thing nagged at me. Due to the nature of powdered milk paint, it was not good fun trying...

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Why You Should Work with a Blacksmith

Up until 1999, I didn’t think it was even possible to get blacksmith-made hardware for my furniture pieces. Today I rarely build a piece that doesn’t have some part that was made by a blacksmith or whitesmith. In 1999 my then-boss Steve Shanesy took me to a blacksmith in Cold Spring, Ky., named Marsha...

I’ll often reach for my 1-1/4” or 1-1/2” bench chisel to tackle a piece of banding that is all of 3/16” wide and 1/16” thick.

Use Big Chisels for Fine Work

Though it might seem counterintuitive, sometimes bigger is better when you are doing fine work with veneer and inlays. A wide chisel provides plenty of reference surface to keep delicate cuts straight and square and plenty of heft to slice effortlessly. If you excavate for banding using a router, you will wind up with...

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Screws – A Quick Guide

I was hoping to get into the shop today to finish the assembly on my current project, a kitchen island, and post about that. But in between meetings, I’ve been (metaphorically) chained to my desk all day. So…no shop time. I’ll be using screws to secure the piece together. But because I have no...