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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.

A Veritas Bevel-up Jointer Plane, a.k.a an Olympic prize

The Hand Tool Olympics: Sawdust, Fun & $2,500 in Prizes

London, 2012 – Usain Bolt runs the 100-meter dash in 9.63 seconds. Mexico City, 1968 – Bob Beamon flies 29′, 2″ in the long jump. Berlin, 1936 – Jessie Owens wins four gold medals. Impressive Olympic feats – but can they saw straight? Cut a dovetail? Forget the runners and jumpers and gymnasts – the real...


Mutton Tallow Tool Lube – As Seen on Instagram

In case you don’t follow rarewoods.us (also known as Travis Knapp) on Instagram, I share with you this cool (and inexpensive) tool lube solution he’s now offering: mutton tallow in a tube. For just $5, you get the convenience of keeping your hands clean while swiping greasy tallow (greasy is good!) on your plane,...

Beech mallet for a froe 3

The Best Design For a Round Mallet, Part 1

  What is the best design for a round mallet? It has to do the job, feel good in your hand and remain comfortable as you use it. Three weeks ago, while at Peters Valley, I had a chance to make a few mallets and try out their feel and comfort levels. Round mallets...


You and Your Puny Moxon Vises

We all know that Joseph Moxon didn’t invent the Moxon vise. But perhaps the Italians did? I spent a fatigue-fueled weekend researching some red herrings and stumbled on this circa 1300 hand-drawn illustration of the construction of Noah’s Ark. I found the plate in “Les Rabots,” a fantastic modern book on handplanes in French....

paper towel dispenser

Turn a Paper Towel Holder & More with Tim Yoder

I came to the Popular Woodworking team with an interest in woodworking, but since working here, I seem to have been drawn specifically to woodturning. I find it fascinating, and as with any craftsmanship, it is inspiring to see the passion and care someone puts into a piece, regardless of its use or size....


Romanticizing Tools (Without Shame)

I learned how to make tools from two places: 1.With Hammer in Hand (The book about the Dominy workshop) and 2. American museum tool collections. When I looked at these collections, I saw an overwhelming majority of tools in which clearly aesthetics were an afterthought. Plain grain (stability), few decorative embellishments and apathy toward...

These experts are set to speak and teach at Woodworking in America 2015.

What Do You Call a Gathering of Woodworkers?

It’s a “pride” of lions, “murder” of crows, “gaggle” of geese and “pod” of dolphins. So what, then, is the proper term for a gathering of woodworkers? We’re gearing up for the 2015 Woodworking in America conference next month, so whatever you call a group of woodworkers, you’ll find them Sept. 25-27 at the...

Round head mallets with treated handled

Improve the Comfort & Feel of Your Tool Handles

I use round-head mallets almost all of the time. I find that they are very effective in driving my gouges and chisels decisively into the wood. There are cases where I prefer to use rectangular-head hammers and mallets, but most of the time I reach for one of my “rounds.” I bought my first...

Toshio Odate discussing Japanese planes at Woodworking in America 2009, in Valley Forge, Penn. Photo my Megan Fitzpatrick

Toshio Odate: Woodworking Legend

I count myself among the luckier people in the world for having had the chance to hang out with Toshio Odate and Laure Olender for a couple of days in Connecticut. Sure, we were there to film “Woodworking Legends: An Interview with Toshio Odate” (and “Talking Japanese Tools with Toshio Odate“), but it felt...