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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.

My W. Butcher gouge and its handle. Notice how elegant does the tang look

Restore a Gouge Handle, Part 2

Re-setting a tang into a loose handle is a challenge I take often, but in the case of my newly acquired W. Butcher gouge, I wanted to do the job with extra reverence. I was so impressed by the quality of my new – but actually very old – gouge, that I was willing...


A Tale of Two Hand Drills

Buying vintage tools through the mail can be frustrating – and expensive if the seller does not allow you to return the item. My favorite way to buy old tools is – hands down – in person and at a meeting of the Mid-West Tool Collectors Association. If you need tools and cannot buy...

Thread Chest

Award-winning Woodworking from PWM Readers

I announced the winners during the keynote session at Woodworking in America last Saturday, and the digital version of the November 2015 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine e-mailed late yesterday (check your in-box if you’re a susbcriber). So forthwith I give you the winners of the 2015 PWM Excellence Awards. Please join me in...

Crackle Paint board

Learn to Finish Wood

As I get more experienced with woodworking, I find finishing to be one of the most intimidating topics. How am I, or anyone for that matter, supposed to be comfortable with finishing when there are so many choices? How to acquire the knowledge and skills to know the proper ways to finish a project,...


‘Marking & Measuring’

You’ve been there before – a gap in a mitered frame, an expensive board cut a fraction too short, maybe even chopped a mortise on the wrong side. You might have even measured twice…but good intentions aren’t going to save that piece of expensive lumber. In “Marking & Measuring: 11 Articles to Help You Zero In on Perfect Work,”...

This is the lot of five chisels and three gouges that I won on eBay. At a cost of $34 I think it was a very good deal.

Restore a Gouge Handle, Part 1

For me, as well as for many other woodworkers (see Graham Haydon’s recent entry on his chisel), eBay is a great resource for good-quality tools. When an item is well described, correctly identified and accurately photographed, the risk we take by bidding is small – yet it is very likely that the bidding war...

Wooden Try Squares (2)

Make Wooden Try Squares

I had fancied making some wooden try squares for a while and reading Joshua Klein’s post on Romanticizing Tools was a final nudge to get them done. Before embarking upon making them I also made the time to catch up with Roy Underhill & Chris Schwarz on the Woodright’s Shop where Chris demonstrates how he makes...


Vintage Steel at the Hand Tool Olympics

This week, at Woodworking in America in Kansas City, Mo., a saw almost a century old will find a new home with the winner of the Crosscuts Event at the Hand Tool Olympics (HTO). The HTO events – held in the WIA Marketplace at the Sheraton Crown Center, 2345 McGee Street in Kansas City...

Frank Lloyd Wright Furniture, a Documentary

Frank Lloyd Wright is possibly the most famous American architect of all time. On top of creating the most iconic buildings of the modern era, he is perhaps less known as an important furniture designer of the 20th Century. My friend, design historian Daniella Ohad Smith, just released a documentary about Wright’s furniture and interiors. The film is...