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Chris Schwarz's Pop Wood Blog

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Woodworking advice, woodworking plans, woodworking projects and woodworking blogs
Updated: 42 min 5 sec ago

Ingenious Chinese Planing Stop

Tue, 02/14/2017 - 2:58pm

There isn’t enough written in English on the woodworking of the Chinese, who have a long and amazing woodworking and technological history. But today I’ve been gobbling up “China at Work” by Rudolf P. Hommel (MIT Press, 1937), which focuses on tools used for making other tools (blacksmithing), food, clothing, shelter and transportation. Unlike other contemporary writers, Hommel lived in China for several years, had enormous respect for the culture […]

The post Ingenious Chinese Planing Stop appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: Hand Tools

When to Send a Tool Back

Mon, 02/13/2017 - 12:58pm

If you get to know some toolmakers as friends, you’re likely to hear all kinds of wild stories about people who return tools for odd or non-existent defects. Think sidewalls of a handplane that are different in thickness by a few thousandths of an inch. Or cutting bevels of a tool that are ground 1° out of square. But sometimes tools do need to go back to the manufacturer. Students […]

The post When to Send a Tool Back appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: Hand Tools

The Half-pencil: Your Layout Friend

Thu, 02/09/2017 - 12:21pm

Carpenter’s pencils have limited uses in a furniture shop, but when I encountered the “half-pencil” years ago I started hoarding carpenter’s pencils to transform them into half-pencils for my friends. The half-pencil, as its name implies, is a carpenter’s pencil that has been planed down to half its thickness. (Using a carpenter’s pencil makes it easier to plane it down and it gives you more bearing surface in use than […]

The post The Half-pencil: Your Layout Friend appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: Hand Tools

High-style, Low-style or No-style

Wed, 02/08/2017 - 10:55am

At some point in my early 20s I stopped improving as a guitar player. No matter how much I practiced or played out in bands, I couldn’t crawl to the next level of skill. I needed lessons, guidance, a push or something else. Or perhaps, I thought at the time, that was simply the best I was physically capable of: good, but certainly not great. I never found out which […]

The post High-style, Low-style or No-style appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: Hand Tools

Lay Out a D-shaped Seat

Mon, 02/06/2017 - 1:38pm

One of the classic shapes for the seats of chairs or stools is the D shape. If you make or appreciate Welsh chairs (like I do), it’s a shape you see a lot. Yet many beginning chairmakers fret over making a D-shaped seat of their own dimensions. I admit that when I started making chairs, I was similarly befuddled and preferred to trace the shapes of old seats or work […]

The post Lay Out a D-shaped Seat appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: Hand Tools

Coming Soon: Revised & Expanded ‘Handplane Essentials’

Sat, 02/04/2017 - 11:03am

Anyone who knows me personally has probably noticed the the last 12 months have been a struggle. I have been months behind on everything: delivering furniture commissions, restoring my workshop, writing magazine articles and even posting to this blog. The reason: the revised and expanded edition of “Handplane Essentials.” When I agreed to revise the 2009 book I expected it would take a couple weeks of intense work. I was […]

The post Coming Soon: Revised & Expanded ‘Handplane Essentials’ appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: Hand Tools

Coming Soon: A Handmade Dustpan

Wed, 01/25/2017 - 3:41pm

Almost every plastic or aluminum dustpan I’ve used has been disappointing. The aluminum ones bend too easily and make it impossible to capture fine dust. And plastic ones are just that: plasticy. So like any half-decent woodworker, I set out this fall to build my own. Shopmade dustpans were once a common sight, so it’s not like my idea is original. But finding plans for a rotating dustpan with a […]

The post Coming Soon: A Handmade Dustpan appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: Hand Tools

Cool Nailmaking Video from Austria

Sat, 01/21/2017 - 10:21am

Blacksmith Peter Ross recently sent me a link to the video below that shows production nailmaking of shoe nails in a town in Austria. These guys are working at breakneck speed – forget those modern videos you see of amateur smiths working in their garages. If you’ve never read about pre-industrial nail production, it was a hard life. In the United Kingdom and its colonies, nailmaking was many times a […]

The post Cool Nailmaking Video from Austria appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: Hand Tools

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