Author Archives: Chuck Bender

Chuck Bender

About Chuck Bender

Chuck is a former senior editor of Popular Woodworking, and has 30+ years of experience as a high-end period furniture maker and woodworking teacher.


Furniture Details: Shoes

In my last “Design in Practice” post I talked about how, as furniture transitioned from William & Mary to Queen Anne, the bottom back rail moved down and became the shoe on top of the back seat rail of a chair. It occurred to me that some folks may not know what a shoe...


New Jet $50 Guarantee

If you’ve ever been frustrated by heading to your local tool dealer to get a hands-on look at the latest new tool reviewed in Popular Woodworking Magazine (or in one of our online reviews) only to find they don’t have it on the showroom floor, then Jet has the guarantee for you. As of yesterday...


Period Trippin’

I got a request recently in the comments section of my “Design in Practice:Stylin’ Too” post (read it here) about museums to visit for those interested in period furniture from Boston to Williamsburg. There’s a bunch, but I’ll list some of my favorites. Of course, by limiting my northern exposure to Boston, you’re forcing...

Newport Philly compare

Furniture Details: Philly Explained

A couple of weeks ago I posted why Philly chairs were just better (read it by clicking here). In the comments pmac mentioned including a SketchUp drawing in future posts to illustrate the joinery I discussed in the body of the post. Even though pmac understood the joinery I mentioned, I thought it would...

Photo courtesy Winterthur

Design in Practice: Stylin’ Too

Last week I started down the slippery slope of defining some of the differences between the various periods of furniture (read it here). This week, I’m just jumping off the cliff. Even if you’re not into period furniture, this series of posts can help you understand where your style of furniture came from. The...


Inlaid Dovetail Box

Boxes make great gifts and are extremely useful, but they can be decorative as well. If you’ve been reading woodworking magazines for any length of time at all you know just about everyone has a dozen articles on dovetailing. It’s a great way to make a box, and it can be a decorative focal...


Diablo General Purpose & Crosscut Finish Blades

by Chuck Bender page 16 In recent years, Freud’s Diablo brand has become synonymous with high quality, high tech, reasonably priced circular saw blades; these new blades should only enhance that reputation. The D1040X (general purpose) and D1090X (fine crosscut) blades feature unique grind angles on the teeth. Both are alternating-top-bevel blades, but they...

Photo courtesy Chipstone Foundation

Design in Practice: Stylin’

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the roots of Arts & Crafts furniture and, in the comments, reference was made to “what makes a particular furniture style?” From the first time I took a class trip to Colonial Williamsburg (it was the Bicentennial…everyone went to Williamsburg, right?) I was drawn to period furniture – I didn’t...

Photo courtesy Yale University Art Gallery

Furniture Details: Yep, Philly Wins Again

Last Friday I talked about through mortise-and-tenon joinery in 18th century chairs in my post “Furniture Details: Why Philadelphia is Just Better.” In the post I mentioned through mortises are not the only differences between Philadelphia chairs and chairs from other regions. This week I wanted to discuss another difference – seat construction. I’m not...