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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.


When Your Liquid Hide Glue Turns Bad

There are lots of tests for when your liquid hide glue has gone bad – the most common one that I know of is to put some glue between your index finger and thumb. Tap your finger and thumb repeatedly to see if the glue turns tacky and produces long stringy strands. If it...

Precisely cutting a narrow triangle-shaped opening with power and/or hand tools is anything but simple. Cutting parts and precise details are tasks well suited for digital woodworking and CNCs.

How I Use a CNC: Cutting Parts Using a CNC

How I use a CNC: Part Two In the previous post, I gave an overall explanation of the process that I use to make furniture parts with a combination of various power tools and hand tools. Essentially, it’s a hybrid process of power and hand tools that many other professional and hobbyist woodworkers use. The goal...

crosscut jig

Crosscut Jig for Your Circular Saw

I have an affinity for the circular saw. Perhaps it comes from building the back deck at my parents’ house with my father when I was a kid (my earliest memory of really getting to build anything). Perhaps it’s from the summers I spent remodeling houses and building fences to help pay for college. There...


Rethink the Rules of Liquid Hide Glue

I’ve just finished writing an article on liquid hide hide glue for Popular Woodworking Magazine that takes a critical look at the adhesive compared to yellow glues. My hope is that it’s a fairly dogma-free article. While liquid hide glue will probably always be my favorite adhesive for interior work, there are some cases...

Waterfall leg

Live Edge Maple and Turned Walnut Waterfall Coffee Table

While teaching at Peters Valley, my class assistant, Anneloes Van Beek, and I decided to build a live edge furniture piece for the school’s benefit auction. We chose a flamboyant piece of maple which was rich with character, spalting and even some traces of bark. We contemplated what to do with it. It did...

Benchtop slabs (6" thick) that are green and ready to use.

On Thick, Wet Slab Tops for Workbenches

During the last seven years, I’ve slowly become a fan of using a monolithic slab for the top of a workbench. And I’ve also slowly begun to ignore all the criticisms of slab tops. I built my first slab-top workbench in 2009-2010, which was published in the August 2010 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine....


Karl Holtey’s Final Plane: The 984

If you ever hear a criticism of the pioneering work of Karl Holtey it’s that his planes are “too perfect” or “lack a soul.” I’ve always been a little befuddled by these comments because I have used a good number of planes that have no soul by the likes of Harbor Freight, late-model Stanleys...


Christopher Schwarz on Roman Workbenches

Christopher Schwarz’s next book (I’ve been urging him to refer to it as a monograph, given its single subject and form – and perhaps my penchant for hyperbole) will be on two Roman workbenches – one ancient design based on an 18th-century drawing of a fresco at Herculaneum and a surviving fresco at Pompeii,...