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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.


Furniture Fundamentals: Casework

Book Giveaway: Furniture Fundamentals—Casework

When I joined the woodworking team a couple of years ago I found myself thumbing through a couple of our newest books at the time to get the lay of the land. Those two books,“Chairs & Benches” and “Tables,” are part of our Furniture Fundamentals series and cover some of the most commonly built furniture...

The old Goof Off with xylene (left) and the new Goof Off with acetone

Goof Off has Changed

When you roll latex paint onto walls and ceilings, some of the paint comes off the roller as spatter and lands on, and sticks to, furniture and other objects. All of us “old timers” know that if you want to remove this spatter without harming the finish, you get some Goof Off and rub...

Nicky's bench

Live Edge Class at Peters Valley Part 1: Nicky’s Bench

In early July I had the pleasure of returning to Peters Valley School of Craft in New Jersey to teach a class on live edge furniture. Live edge furniture, also known as natural edge furniture is furniture that celebrates wood in its most dramatic, organic and irregular way — by showing off bark, spalted areas and...

ZehJ

Woodworking in America: An Interview with Joe Zeh

Joe Zeh is a lifelong woodworker and an engineer with experience in the computer and graphics industry. He is author of “SketchUp: A Design Guide for Woodworkers” and also teaches SketchUp in video and live courses. This September Woodworking in America will feature two sessions by Zeh on the program and how to utilize it...

lever-cap_screwdriver_IMG_5786

The Lever Cap Isn’t a Screwdriver (Or is it?)

When I bought my first Stanley No. 5 in the mid-1990s, I regularly used the lever cap as a screwdriver to adjust the tension screw in the center of the frog and to tighten and loosen the cap iron screw. Then one of my fellow employees dressed me down. You should never do that,...

The lower left corner shows a Roman workbench; this form was used for thousands of years.

Christopher Schwarz on Roman Workbenches

I recently stopped by the Lost Art Press shop to chat with Christopher Schwarz for a few minutes about Roman workbenches. He’s in the midst of building two of these in preparation for his talk on that subject at Popular Woodworking in America 2016 (Sept. 16-18 at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center). I was...

opener_imperfect_surface_IMG_2928

An Imperfect Surface

For those of you who think that sanding and abrasive technology is a fairly new thing, I have news. Sanding is older than handplaning. As Geoffrey Killen points out in “Egyptian Woodworking and Furniture” (Shire, 1994), Egyptians did not use handplanes. Those tools were invented by the Romans or Greeks. Instead, Egyptian woodworkers used...

Bleached Walnut

Bleaching the Color Out of Wood

Sometimes you want to make wood lighter than it is in its raw state. This is common when trying to match the wood to something that already exists. The way to do it is to first bleach out the color of the wood, then apply a stain, if necessary, to achieve the match. You...

Dovetail-Marked

Dutch Tool Chest Dovetails

I’m pressing pause on my saw restoration for a bit because I realized that once it’s refurbished, I will have no place to put it. I have a few hand tools that I’ve accumulated over the years, but they’ve mostly been subjected to the lonely life of storage boxes…until now. I decided to build the Dutch...