Feature Articles

Below, you’ll find the full text and images of free articles from past issues of Popular Woodworking Magazine – step-by-step project plans, how-to articles on hand tools and power tools, shop techniques, hand- and power-tool reviews, visits to incredible workshops, shop layout ideas and more. Plus, you’ll find free articles and videos our editors and contributing editors have written and filmed for our woodworking blogs on all things woodworking. Scroll down below to browse.

design value pack

One-Stop Shop for Furniture Design

All woodworkers know that improving their bench skills and learning new workshop techniques are necessary parts of becoming a better woodworker. Just as important but often overlooked, however, is developing your design skills. I’m always eager to improve my knowledge of furniture design and further develop my eye. Whether your tastes lean toward ornate...

lumber crayon and mechanical pencil

Don’t Leave Home Without Essential Layout Tools

Whenever I leave town to teach a woodworking class, I make two stops to pick up a supply of two essential things for project layout. The first stop is the office supply store for a box of Bic .5mm mechanical pencils. Next stop is the “big box home center” for a dozen lumber crayons....

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Cut Accurate and Clean Rabbets

By Christopher Schwarz From the Spring 2004 issue of Woodworking Magazine, pages 8-11 When I was taught to cut rabbets in my first woodworking class, we made them with two cuts on the table saw. You’ve probably seen this technique in books and magazines before. For the first cut, the work is flat on...

Brian Boggs Lily Chair

Brian Boggs on Furniture Design

In the November 2012 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine, a special 200th anniversary issue celebrating some of the best makers working today, I wrote a piece on chairmaker Brian Boggs. In doing so I spent a day in Brian’s shop and gallery in the Biltmore Village in Asheville, North Carolina, where we talked about...

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New Tools from IWF

I’m just back from a few days at the 2012 International Woodworking Fair at the Georgia World Conference Center in Atlanta. If you’ve never been, it’s a huge show with almost any tool manufacturer you can think of – whether they make specialized hand tools or huge industrial CNC operations – as well as...

Mixing finishes. Almost any finishing product can be applied over any other as long as the “other” is dry and the product you’re brushing doesn’t dissolve and smear the existing. I applied a water-soluble dye to this mahogany. Then I applied a thin shellac “washcoat” as a barrier so the water-based paste wood filler I used wouldn’t dissolve and smear the dye. After the filler dried, I brushed polyurethane. I alternated water-based, alcohol-based and mineral-spirits-based without any problems because each previous product was dry.

Five Furniture Finishing Tips

  Wood finishing doesn’t have to be complicated or mysterious. That’s not to say that even experienced finishers don’t run into problems from time to time; everybody does. But there are ways to make the outcome a lot more predictable and therefore less frustrating. Here are five ways to get good finishing results with...

MWA interviews Pop Wood Editor

Last night I had a great time hanging out with the crew from the Modern Woodworker’s Association. We touched on everything from the direction of the magazine to the upcoming Woodworking in America Conferences to building big boats in small workshops and possible infractions of child labor laws. I also announced our upcoming November...

Better Dado Casework

Better Dados for Casework

We wanted perfect dados: precise in size and location. All it took was a router and a simple T-square jig. By Robert Lang From the Spring 2005 issue of Woodworking Magazine, pages 25-27 Dados are a “bread and butter” kind of joint. They’re simple and strong, and a router with a straight bit and...

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Why Wood Warps

Most warp takes place as green wood dries, but the potential for movement remains after lumber is brought into your shop. By Glen D. Huey Pages 6-10 From the Summer 2009 issue of Woodworking Magazine. Buy this issue now. The quick answer to why wood warps is simple: There’s a gain or loss of...