Required Reading

Here, you’ll find the blog posts that Christopher Schwarz (former editor of Popular Woodworking Magazine and now a contributing editor), has identified as his favorites (by some mysterious measure) and/or most important. You’ll find woodworking hand tool techniques, videos, a look at some incredible vintage tools, visits with must-know woodworkers, tool reviews, book reviews, articles, musing on old tool patents, free book chapter downloads and more. And some of these are pleasingly controversial or just dang funny – these are absolutely worth a read.

What Type of Woodworker Are You – Honestly

Years ago I was asked to judge a building contest put on by Bosch that pitted young technical students against one another for a big cash prize and a whole bunch of tools. For the contest, the students were given a plan, some wood, some tools and a certain number of...

Psst, Hey Troublemaker. Wanna Buy a Book?

I am pleased to announce that ShopWoodworking.com now sells “The Anarchist’s Tool Chest,” a book that took me two years to write. And the process of writing this book so changed my perspective on the world that I stepped down as editor of Popular Woodworking Magazine. The book has its critics,...

Time to Grow Up

“Now,” said John, “we will put the work away for today.” “Why, I am not tired,” said Benny. “Neither am I,” said John; “but uncle Edward said, that, if we meant to make a good job of it, we must always leave off our work before we began to get tired.”...

Finishing for the Rest of Us

Here’s some tough love: Most good woodworkers are terrible finishers. I know this because I have seen hundreds – probably thousands – of pieces of furniture that have been entered in competitions or in juried shows during the last 15 years. And while the design, wood selection and joinery might be...

Roy Underhill’s 3 Favorite Books

In the June 2011 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine we have a fun article that lists all of the woodworking books that the magazine’s staff consider to be “classics.” It’s a great list, but the best part of the article is that we went to many of our contributors and asked...

A Gift for My Successor

In 2006 a reader sent me a little spiral-bound black book that was filled with handwritten notecards. Graphs. Equations. Photos. It was a carefully assembled list of all my mistakes and misdeeds during the previous decade. It called me out as a fake – someone who doesn’t understand woodworking or handwork...

What We Do to Make Money

The results of last week’s survey on the occupations of woodworkers are in, and the results have a few surprises. I need to stop making fun of mechanical engineers on this blog, for one. Also, I can mock dietitians all I please. We had 1,760 people respond to the survey. That’s...