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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
Chris Schwarz RSS FeedRead Chris’ Blog »

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.

molding plane

Heat Treating O1 Steel

The cover story for the April 2016 issue (#224) is Caleb James’s article on making matched sets of Roubo-style moulding planes (the three sizes for which he reaches the most: Nos. 4, 6 and 8). To whet your appetite (and so I can show off the gorgeous opening image shot by Daniel Dubois, whom...

Always cut downhill when turning.

How to Start a Woodturning Cut

To turn wood safely, you need to know the correct way to introduce a cutting tool to a spinning workpiece. There are different ways to start a cut, depending on the type of tool you use. Here’s a look at how to start cuts with traditional woodturning tools and carbide tools. Positioning the Tool...

Borg Wood Workbench

BORG Wood For Workbenches

With my sawhorses ready and waiting, the plan clear in my mind and hardware in place, it’s time to start progressing the workbench project. On balance, I think I’d say the U.S. has easier access to timber suitable for workbenches than we do in the U.K. I say that after enviously looking on at...


Breaking News: Mike Dunbar Retiring from Teaching

Mike Dunbar, the founder of The Windsor Institute and the leader in the renaissance in Windsor chairmaking announced today he is closing the school. According to an e-mail sent to students, Dunbar and his wife, Sue, have sold the the school’s buildings and as of March 31, will not be teaching chairmaking. The contents...


A Quick Tour of my Not-so-great Workshop

Visitors to my shop are always surprised how small my shop is – 15’ x 25’ – and that I share it with the house’s furnace (it’s a friendly relationship, I promise, with good dust collection). At the request of a reader, here are some photos of my shop and some details of why...


The New Kid in the Popular Woodworking Shop

Every morning for the past year, I would clock in at the cabinet shop where I was working and take a moment to contemplate the worn-out scribbling on the band saw. The band saw was older than I am, and had no discernible company logo. On the front, someone had written the phrase “At...

Sawhorse Design

Building Sawhorses, Part 2

Picking up after my last post on sawhorses (or sawbenches, as you might call them), the housings were all formed and ready to go. Then it’s down to cutting the legs to length: 26 1/2″ will yield a finished height or around 24″ (if you want to work it out accurately with a bit...

This Bench bull is equipped with two 1/2" pipe clamps

‘Bench Bull’ – The Jack of All Bench Jigs, Part 3

After showing you in my last post a few ways for clamping workpieces to the Bench Bull (F-style clamps, Veritas Fast-Action Hold-Downs and 3/4” pony #56 pipe clamps), I want to introduce one last way: a regular 1/2″ or 3/4″ pipe clamp that will make your Bull even more handy – practically transforming it...


The Better Way to Get a Plane to Stop Cutting

Making “stop shavings” – where the plane cuts only one part of the board – is one of the keys to better edge joints and lots of other handplane techniques. But few people in my hand-tool classes have ever been told how to do it right. Most people do it like they are taking...