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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.


Using a Workbench

First Project on the Workbench

To test how effective your chosen workbench is, you’ll need to make something. Doubtless we all complete very similar tasks, but we also all have our own preferences which leads to tweaking designs. We might take a little off the leg or add an extra dog whole, whatever makes things easier. The first test for my...

The style of chair that I will hopefully replace mine with.

Simple Seating

A few months ago I was tired of running into my kitchen table while sneaking through my house to get a midnight snack. I’m not entirely sure why I chose to be sneaky considering the only other living creature in my house was the dog snoozing on the couch. So, in a rash of...

Boiled linseed oil and tung oil

Comparing Linseed Oil & Tung Oil

The two commonly available pure oil finishes that can be used on furniture and woodwork with decent results because they cure – that is, turn from a liquid to a soft solid – are linseed oil and tung oil. There are important differences between these two oils. Raw linseed oil cures much too slowly...

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The Table Saw: When Was Your First Time?

Do you remember the first time you used a table saw? Was it in shop class? Did your father, or grandfather show you how? My first time was with my father at the age of 15. But it wasn’t in our garage or basement, it was in his custom furniture shop and it was...

Reader-excellence-2015-winnner

Might Your Work be Award Winning?

From the June 2016 Issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine. The submission period opened on April 1 for the 2016 PWM Excellence Awards – but there’s still plenty of time to enter your work (and be in the running for the $1,000 Grand Prize). Submissions will be accepted at popularwoodworking.com/2016readerexcellence through June 17. This is...

Created for a small space, this floating dining server is mounted on steel rods that are attached to the wall studs.

Pattern Routing Curved Shapes

Looking for some help pattern routing curved shapes? Here’s a quick way to do it based on a wall-mounted dining server project by former Popular Woodworking publisher Steve Shanesy. The full project – as well as other great simple yet elegant furniture builds – also appears in the book “Contemporary Furniture: 17 Projects You Can Build,” now available...

New Handles For a Mid-Century Walnut Dresser B13

New Handles For a Mid-Century Walnut Dresser: Part 2

After the terraced rhombus was formed, it was time to start coving. The required radius for the coves, as dictated from the original handle was 1”.  But, since the only round plane I have produces a cove of about 1-1/2”, I had to also rely on gouges, a 1” radius scraper and a sandpaper wrapped...

3d-carving-2

3D Carvings with a CNC Router

I use my CNC router mostly to make small parts out of solid wood, MDF and plastic. Until recently, I had never done any 3D work with it. Then I saw a photo from one of the students in Build a CNC Router, and I was inspired to try something new. Randy Winn posted...

FM_oak_IMG_5133

Don’t Forget the Quality of the Kiln

While I prefer to work with air-dried lumber, that’s not always possible for woodworkers who use a lot of wood or don’t have access to a dealer who air-dries stock. One of the major problems with kiln-dried lumber is that it is sometimes rushed through the kiln to get it to market. As a...