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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.


Upside Down Tool Usage

We have these adages in the woodworking world: Hand-tool woodworkers prefer taking the tool to the wood, power-tool users prefer taking the wood to the tool; Westerners operate on the push, Easterners on the pull. I’m here to say we need an adage for a technique I’ve been finding extremely useful. Let’s call it...


Making & Fitting Doors

Imagine walking up a path to a beautiful home, only to see that the front “door” is actually a moldy shower curtain nailed to the frame. Or compare the sound of a door closing on a 1987 Yugo versus a  2015 S550 Mercedes. A door is a first impression – so make yours a good...

James Hamilton

An Interview with James Hamilton

James Hamilton is the mastermind behind the popular Stumpy Nubs web site, which offers a range of online videos dedicated to spending some quality time in the shop, with a particular emphasis on creating homemade woodworking machines, tools and jigs. Hamilton is constantly looking for ways to streamline, organize and improve workshops – and...


Toilet Paper & Workbenches

I recently saw a post on Facebook that vindicated what I’ve been telling people for years. Seems the original 1800s patent for the toilet paper dispenser shows the roll with the paper feeding over the top. Victory! What does this have to do with woodworking? Well, one of the most common discussions I’ve been...

Wooden Tool Box

Portable Tool Box Build

After posting this image of a tool box on Facebook, I soon had many comments such as, “Made one of these 30-odd years ago at college during my apprenticeship,” and “Made one of those in 1975 before I went to uni.” Freddy Roman had also picked one up. It’s not a common design within the...


A (Still) Better Way to Plane Chair Seats

For many years I’ve used the following trick to plane irregular-shaped objects: Screw a square block to the underside of the piece and then clamp that block in my face vise. It’s a trick that I showed in my 2007 book “Workbenches: From Design & Theory to Construction & Use.” (Psst, the second edition...

what do you call a group of woodworkers contest

What Do You Call a Group of Woodworkers? A ’Grove!’

Thanks to Bill Lattanzio, we now have a collective noun to describe a gathering of woodworkers – a “grove.” Bill was the first of several readers who suggested “grove” as the most appropriate term for a group of woodworkers. The blue-ribbon task force advisory panel steering committee I chaired also selected “grove” as the winning...