The Myth of the Self-taught Craftsman

The best source for learning is right there on your bench. At a seminar I found myself saying that I mostly taught myself woodworking. It was an easy way to get the idea across that I did not go [...]

A Shaker’s Life

Research gives names to unknown artisans. David Rowley, Freegift Wells, Amos Stewart, Orren Haskens, Eli Kidder…ever hear of these guys? They were Shaker cabinetmakers, the names behind one [...]

Why I Adore My Machines

Grab your torch and pitchfork; the hand-tool guy has a table saw. Editor’s note: this article appeared in the November 2016 issue of Popular Woodworking People react with shock and horror [...]

My Best Tools are Made of Paper

Exposure to great furniture hones the eyes for quality and proportion. Woodworking is, all at once, frustrating, elating, challenging and straightforward stupid simple. It combines the elements [...]

Lessons from a Lifetime Maker

Thoughts on Adam Savage’s Every Tool’s a Hammer Buy the book here You may recognize the man on the cover of this book, Adam Savage, as one half of the duo from TV’s “Mythbusters.” The show ran [...]

End Grain: ‘Put Yer Ass Into It’

A boring task turns into a history lesson. This article originally appeared in the April 2010 issue of Popular Woodworking One day in Williamsburg, a message reached me at the carpenter’s yard [...]

A Father’s Legacy

Christmas, 1956. I was a little fella, and my seeing the Tonka Hi-Way series display in the W.T. Grant store months earlier had captured my entire attention. In my letter to Santa, I asked for [...]

Why I Love Ikea

Lessons from a big box guide my approach to woodworking. I love Ikea. Yes, I said it. This store has provided me with an understanding of furniture design and with products I use on many of my [...]

How a Tree Became a Whale

A rescue and careful work reveal the spirit of land and sea. I have lusted for years after the wide, irregular planks used by the legendary George Nakashima to capture what he called “the soul of [...]

End Grain: Blacker House Garden Bench

A gnarly old conifer finds new life on a recognized California estate. In 1908, architects Charles and Henry Greene built one of their most famous residences, the Robert R. Blacker House. In [...]

New Names for Old Tools

Just keep saying ‘micron.’ Woodworkers who use hand tools to lay the quality touch on their work know what can be accomplished with these wonderful inventions. Along with skill, [...]

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