Author Archives: Steve Shanesy

Steve Shanesy

About Steve Shanesy

Steve Shanesy is the former publisher (and former editor and senior editor) of Popular Woodworking Magazine. Following his retirement, he is now a contributing editor, blogging about what he's doing in his own shop.


Hand Tool Olympics at WIA Midwest

OK, here’s your German lesson for the week, and yes, it does have to do with the Hand Tool Olympics at the upcoming Woodworking in America event being held in the greater Cincinnati area this weekend. The new event added to the standard six events this year is “nagel treffen,” also known as pounding...


Help with Holiday Gift Projects

While walking around Pasadena after the Woodworking in America event last Sunday it was hot out – almost 90 degrees. But sure enough, some store windows I passed were already hinting at the coming holiday season. That hint became more a reality when I got to the office on Tuesday and found the Lee...

Cabinet saw front

Amazing Vintage Table Saw

I recently received an e-mail from reader Joe Polich seeking help to identify an old table saw he acquired. Before reading the message and looking at the photos, I was thinking it was likely a saw from the 1940s,  plus or minus ten years. Boy was I surprised with this beauty. As Executive Editor...


Hand Tool Olympics at WIA West

The always popular Hand Tool Olympics competition will be held in the Marketplace at Woodworking in America West, taking place in Pasadena, California, next weekend, Oct. 12-14 at the convention center. Four skill elements will make up the Olympics and everyone attending the event is invited to participate. The Pasadena Hand Tool Olympics is...

Shop cabinet with Rod Layout board setting atop it.

Cabinet Layout Method Reduces Errors

When working on cabinet or furniture project, most woodworkers, me included, rely on shop drawing and cutting list to guide our work. These are helpful tools but have their limitations. Drawings developed with a computer program like SketchUp can be very helpful and are well worth learning to produce. We have a great tutorial...

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...

Roy Season 4 Cover

The Woodwright’s Shop, Revisited

Now that classic episodes of Roy Underhill’s “The Woodwright’s Shop” are available I’ve been looking at some of the earliest episodes. They are fascinating for a number of reasons and I enjoy them more now than when I first saw them years ago. Now I appreciate the genius of Roy as a amazing teacher...

My Moser harvest table.

Moser Table Spared

My Thos. Moser dining table will remain as built, if unused for the foreseeable future. Some weeks ago I was considering rebuilding it so it would fit in a much smaller dining space my wife and I now have. At the time I posed that question on this blog, I had pretty much concluded...


New Yankee Workshop Adirondack Chair

In 2005 I had the good fortune to spend a couple days with Norm Abram at his New Yankee Workshop building one of the program’s most popular projects – an Adirondack chair. Norm and I each built a chair from a plan he developed that was based on a chair his father built years...