One Stick, All the Info

Measured drawings for some, story sticks for me (and others). I once had a job making a couple of wainscot chairs and chests for the National Park Service. After barely surviving the paperwork it [...]

17th-century ‘Desk Box’

Simple joinery will keep this piece together for centuries. Books, papers, lamps, candlesticks, spoons, Legos, clothing, electronics and more all end up on top of any flat surfaces in our house. [...]

On Wood Selection

Both fast- and slow-growing wood present good opportunities. Wood selection is an important part of any woodworking project. I sometimes feel like I take it to an extreme, like I’m some kind of [...]

Wedged Sliding Mortise Gauge

Make your own copy of this precision vintage tool. Even after two years of working alone, I can still hear the visitors to my museum shop where I worked for 20 years: “My grandpa was a [...]

Work Begun

Forget the stockpile of wood; what about the stock of partial projects? When building furniture, some woodworkers keep a stockpile of lumber on hand and draw from their stacks as they begin a new [...]

Spoon Carving

This kitchen workhorse presents a surprising and rewarding challenge. A wooden spoon – you can get one for a dollar in many places. It’s just a stick with a hollow shaped at one end. Why go to [...]

Wood Too Good to Burn

Look to your firewood pile for plenty of project inspiration. I’ve been cutting up my leftover bits of green wood for firewood to use in my new workshop. It’s not going well. I have a feeling [...]

Tool & Furniture Records

Nicholas Disbrowe, Samuel Sewall and chairs as corpse transportation. Editor’s note: This article originally appeared in the August 2017 issue of Popular Woodworking. As I study [...]

Joyners vs. Carpenters, 1631

Period woodworking trades in London were strictly regulated. I’ve temporarily put down my 5⁄16” joiner’s mortising chisel in favor of a 2″ chisel for chopping carpenter’s mortises. [...]

Carpenters’ Work

Early modern records show guild regulations in London. Early 17th-century London tradesmen were protective about their work, carefully keeping an eye on any interlopers to their craft. A dispute [...]

Resawing by Hand

Strength, patience and a sharp saw turn scraps into treasure. The hardwoods I use are almost always riven or split from a log. When I need thinner pieces than usual, I split them again. But there [...]

Lighting Matters

Raking light through windows is the clear winner in a hand-tool shop. In 2007, I was a speaker at Colonial Williamsburg’s Furniture Forum, and there I met Adam Cherubini. He was in costume in the [...]

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