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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.


Studley: The World’s Best-known Tool Cabinet

I wouldn’t typically give away free on our site an article that hasn’t yet been seen by magazine subscribers. But this is not a typical situation, and time is of the essence. Don Williams, whose latest book, “Virtuoso: The Tool Cabinet and Workbench of Henry O. Studley” (with photographs by Narayan Nayar) will shipping...


Northwest Timber Seeks Lumber Perfection

While walking through the ridiculously tidy racks at Northwest Timber in Jefferson, Ore., I realized at that moment something that hadn’t fully occurred to me during the last 20 years. I am buying, transporting and storing a lot of garbage. Not “garbage” in the sense that the wood is of poor quality. But garbage...

Alan Lacer

Alan Lacer on His New Book, Woodturning and More

Alan Lacer has been involved in the field of woodturning for almost four decades. He’s done almost anything and everything you can think involving the craft from turning to teaching to writing, and is a past president of the American Association of Woodturners. His latest book, “Alan Lacer’s Woodturning Projects & Techniques” is a collection...


Woodworking Educator Litmus Test

Litmus tests are a necessary evil in life. In the sciences they are a critical tool; in a social context they’re a justification for exclusion, and a rationale for prejudice. Having said that… Woodworking is not a science and during my time as a woodworker I’ve developed a litmus test. The longer I woodwork,...

Eraser Shield and Erasers

Furniture Design Tools: The Versatile Eraser Shield

At around $1 an eraser shield is one of the best buys in your drafting toolkit. This little bit of punched stainless steel if often in my hand when I am drawing a set of plans and is invaluable for cleaning up corners and errant lines. Most folks can intuitively figure out how to...

Japanese Saw 1

Razor Sharp

At Christmas time I was lucky enough to get a few tool vouchers that enabled me to purchase some Japanese-style saws. I had some trials runs, but had not really put them to work on a project yet. Lucky for me, I got some shop time this weekend on the proviso I make something...


A Tour of the Blue Spruce Factory

Some of my favorite tools come from Blue Spruce Toolworks outside Portland, Ore. I own three of the different mallets Dave Jeske makes, plus several of his fantastic chisels and, of course, one of his marking knives. I was one of Jeske’s early customers when he started making marking knives about 13 years ago...

SketchUp for Woodworkers

SketchUp for Woodworkers: Creating Compound Miter Joints

If you are like me – compound miter joints always make me a little nervous – your blood pressure rises a little when you have to draw or cut a compound miter joint. So I am always thankful for SketchUp, where I can build a prototype and make angle measurements to assist in setting...


And the winner of the Build It with Dad giveaway is…

Congratulations to “church_clown” (a.k.a. Don Fugitt). He’s the winner of a print copy of “Build It with Dad: Woodworking Fun for the Whole Family.” The book features 22 kid-friendly woodworking projects – a great way to teach kids about using tools and instill an early love of woodworking (see the Table of Contents below...