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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.


Anarchist’s 2016 Gift Guide, Day 1: Clauss Scissors

Well-made high-carbon scissors are a joy to use and are indispensable in my shop for cutting paper patterns to shape, trimming veneer and 100 other tasks. For years I used junky office scissors but finally got my hands on a pair of traditional hot-forged dress makers shears from Clauss. Despite their reasonable cost (less...


Build Your Dream Home: This Book Can Help

A few years ago, we published some books to help build your dream home. We covered subjects like home construction, remodeling and backyard buildings. They didn’t really fit with the mission of Popular Woodworking Books but were great books with excellent information – and so we ended up publishing them under the Betterway Books imprint....

Digital woodworking benefits from n person training

Learning to Use Digital Woodworking Tools 

The most common questions that I hear are about how to go about learning to use digital woodworking tools? And, as woodworkers how do you use these tools to get the best out of them? In this post and the one following, I’ll point out different ways to learn how to use these tools. First...


Traveling Disaster Tool Chest: SketchUp

Now that Thanksgiving is over and all of my pants seemed to have shrunk, it’s time to get back to work. I made a quick SketchUp model of the traveling tool chest that I’ve decided to build in case of roadside emergencies. The Plan I’m going to build the disaster tool chest out of pine...


Will Paste Wax Damage a Finish?

A reader thought he remembered my cautioning against applying paste wax over water-based finish or latex paint. His memory was that I had said that paste wax could damage these coatings. This is not true, of course. There’s no problem applying most paste waxes over water-based finish or latex paint. But the source of...

If you don't have a mitering sled you can clamp down the live edge slab onto a rectangular sheet of plywood or MDF and tuck it against the fence of the miter gauges (see explanation on how to use two miter gauges and a fence in my previous post).

Cutting a Waterfall Miter on the Table Saw: Two Live Edges

When both edges of your slab are “live edge” you can’t rely on them for crosscutting or sawing off accurate miters. This is because tucking a live edge against the fence of a crosscut sled will not provide you with a stable support, nor will it ensure a miter that is perpendicular to the...

A prolific life. At almost 80 years of age, Wendell Castle’s production is still substantial. Here he works out the details for one of his recent stacked laminate pieces.

Wendell Castle: The Art of Furniture

  On the cusp of his 80s, Wendell Castle revels in the techniques that launched his career. by Scott Gibson From the November 2012 issue, a collection of features articles on woodworkers It is a cool June morning, and a light northwest breeze is clearing out yesterday’s squalls over western New York State. By...


How to Predict that a Wood will Blotch

A common question is: “How can I know if the wood I’m using is going to blotch when I apply a stain or finish?” This question comes up most often when finishing cherry, which has become a very popular wood. The solution is actually rather simple. Anytime you wet wood, you create the same...


Another Way to Drill Plumb Dog Holes

There are dozens of ways to drill dog holes that dead-nuts plumb, and I’ve written about many of them during the last 17 years. My favorites use the fewest tools and jiggery – not everyone has a big plunge router with massive bits or can clamp a drill press to the benchtop. This method...