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PWM Shop Blog

Formerly called the Editors’ Blog, these articles offer hands-on advice, woodworking tips and techniques from the editors and contributing editors of Popular Woodworking Magazine


This blog includes free videos, tool reviews we didn’t have room for in the printed magazine and tidbits of the day-to-day life here at the magazine and in the world of woodworking.


Chris Schwarz
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Chris Schwarz Blog

Contributing editor Christopher Schwarz is a long-time amateur woodworker and professional journalist. He built his first workbench at age 8 and spent weekends helping his father build two houses on the family’s farm outside Hackett, Ark.— using mostly hand tools. Despite his early experience on the farm, Chris remains a hand-tool enthusiast.

Chris’s blog focuses mostly on hand tools and hand work. Chris also writes short tool reviews, book reviews and generally gets the inside scoop on new hand tool introductions before other blogs.


Bob flexner
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Flexner on Finishing Blog

Bob Flexner is a contributing editor to Popular Woodworking and the author of woodworking finishing books, including “Flexner on Finishing,” “Understanding Wood Finishing,” and “Wood Finishing 101,” available at ShopWoodworking.com. Bob is probably best known for defining the products used in wood finishing and organizing them into categories that make them easily understandable.


Video: Frank Klausz Finger Joint How-to

It’s hard to fathom, but finger joints are a relatively new joinery method for Frank Klausz, because why not just cut dovetails when you need a box?  In fact, when we filmed the video below (2014), he’d cut his first finger joints but two weeks before. But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t know what...

‘Houndstooth Dovetails’ – by Rob Cosman

I recently posted on our Instagram account and Twitter feed the opening image from Rob Cosman’s 2006 article “Houndstooth Dovetails,” and it proved remarkably popular – so I figured I might as well post the article. And while that “opener” certainly benefited from good lighting, and great camera and a skilled photographer (as you...

A What? A Dovetailed Dustpan?

One of the great things about working for editor Megan Fitzpatrick is that she will laugh at your face and then (usually) go along with your crazy ideas. Case in point: the dovetailed dustpan in the June 2017 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine. When I submitted my sketches of a shop-made dustpan and asked...

Insomnia – the Greatest Design Drug

For the last 20 odd years I have benefited from regular bouts of insomnia. When they happen, I’ll wake about 4 a.m., roll over and my head will spin with several conflicting images, usually relating to something on my workbench from the past, present or future. For years I tried to get back to...

Welcome, Gentles All

Below is an advance of my editor’s note from the May/June 2017 issue (which mails to subscribers April 12 and is on newsstands April 25). I want everyone (subscriber or no – but you really should subscribe!) to know that we welcome queries from any and all woodworkers, and that I’d love to see...

The Maslow $500 CNC – Beta Testing Begins

Several weeks back I reported on the Maslow CNC that costs just $500. Here’s Part One and Part Two if you missed it. This is a Kickstarter project, which means that it’s a crowd-funded product still in its development phase. Being a backer means you’re not so much a buyer as an investor enticed...

woodturning techniques for furniture makers

Book Giveaway: Woodturning Techniques for Furniture & Cabinetmaking

Thanks for all the great comments! Congratulations to forja000, the winner of this book giveaway. Stay tuned for more exciting book giveaways and if you’re interested in a copy of “Woodturning Techniques: Furniture & Cabinetmaking,” it is currently available at ShopWoodworking.com.  One of our newest books comes from Windsor chair expert Mike Dunbar. The book is a...

Video: ‘Anne of All Trades’

You might know Anne Briggs Bohnett from her website, Anne of All Trades, or perhaps through Instagram, where she’s quickly racked up more than 60,000 followers (with a mix of photos featuring woodworking, farming and unbelievably adorable animals), or perhaps you’ve met her at Woodworking in America or a Lie-Nielsen Hand Tool Event…or maybe...

Lacquer is Easy to Clean from a Spray Gun

Lacquer is such a wonderful and versatile finish. I think every professional I’ve talked to who has used lacquer and other finishes (with good exhaust, of course) loves lacquer. There are lots of reasons for this, including reduced runs and sags, relative ease of control in different weather conditions with the solvents available, relative ease...