RWW 118: An Interview with Adam Cherubini

Adam Cherubini talks about wooden hand planes

I spoke with Adam Cherubini about his return to Woodworking in America this year.  Adam is teaching 3 seminars on chisels, dados, rabbets, and grooves, and nailed furniture.  We spoke about Adam’s “experiment” in 18th century woodworking and how that translates into everything he does all the way down to the clothes he wears while working.

Personally, the nailed furniture seminar is my most anticipated as it takes a look at the majority of furniture coming out of the 18th century.  It looks to be a fascinating couple of days and I urge anyone attending to find time to talk to Adam whether during his seminars or as you bump into him around the convention center.  He is a wealth of knowledge and full of very interesting and sometimes unique ideas.

Enjoy the interview.

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11 Responses to “RWW 118: An Interview with Adam Cherubini”

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  1. Awesome interview Shannon. Adam sounds like he really knows his stuff. Im curious though he mentoined something about a jointers tool set including between 30 and 60 handplanes, Im curious as to what thouse 60 planes would be. Maybe if you talk to him again you could find out.


  2. Jeroen says:

    Good interview Shannon

  3. DonP says:

    I am loving the series of interviews. Adam is such a wealth of knowledge.

    One point- when you all are sixty something – you may feel a need for a lot more light in the shop. As you say it’s a problem to be an apprentice at the age when you would have been retired (or more likely dead).

    I have made a note to ask Adam what size chisels he thinks I need.

    Thanks DonP

    • Shannon says:

      You caught that statement about everyone having all the wrong sizes eh Don? I went back to Adam when I was editing because it didn’t register right away during recording to get clarification. His point is that in most cases bench chisels are used for dovetailing. All other joinery operations needing chisels can be done with a wide paring chisel. The way the physics of a chisel works, chopping is done best with 1/2 and under chisels so the woodworker shouldn’t really need anything above that nor below 1/4″. The smaller sizes just mangle the wood. So 1/4, 5/16, 3/8 are great then skipping up to 1.5, 1.75, and 2″ paring chisels.
      This could certainly be debated but in many ways I agree with him. Have you ever tried to chop out a wide pin using a 3/4 or 1″ chisel. It doesn’t work in anything but the softest woods and even then it tear up the end grain.

  4. Steve Branam says:

    Great interview, Shannon! Adam was truly one of my inspirations when I decided to try to do everything by hand, and is one of the reasons I subscribe to Popular Woodworking. I pay very close attention to what he has to say. It’s also great to run into him online on the woodworking forums.

  5. Matt says:


    Great interview. Due to work and family committment (namely a 2 year old and a 5 month old!) I will be unable to attend WIA this year, but I am really interested in the nailed furniture topic. Do you or Adam have any suggestions on resources-books, etc-to learn about this topic. As a beginner, so much seems like is written on the museum masterpieces, but I am not really interested in building those, nor do I have the skill. I would like to learn more about basic furniture designs and forms, so any help you or Adam can provide would be much appreciated.

  6. Brian says:

    HI – I would like to hear the interview,but I cannot play or d/l the interview. I think there is a problem with the link “″.

    Otherwise – great work on the site.


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