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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.


In Praise of Knots, the Defect that is Watching You

When I went to the lumberyard to buy the stock for my first project of my own design I picked through the store’s entire stack of 1x12s to find the boards with the most attractive constellation of knots. I wasn’t trying to be cheeky or make a statement (other than “I like knots”). I...

Video: How to Reduce Planer Snipe

Nearly every time that I approach the planer, I think to myself, how am I going to avoid snipe this time? Without fail, I end up with snipe at the leading or trailing edge at some point in the process to a varying degree. It has been rumored that some have totally mitigated the issue...

Big Panels? Don’t Tarry

Gluing up narrow boards into big panels stresses out many beginning woodworkers. Sorry to say it, but I have another stressor to put on your shoulders: Don’t tarry. Schnell. Andele. Large panels are like manicured lawns. Right after you mow and trim your yard, it looks like a golf course or a military haircut....

Mushroom Your Drawbore Gaps

It’s a shame customers don’t know as much about woodworking as woodworkers. They run their hands over your work and if it’s smooth they think it’s good – whereas you know that’s just the temporary wax on top. It shows the customer nothing about the weeks you spent oiling it daily or the high...

greene and greene pantry sheld

Creativity Step by Step: Furniture Design

Design has always been one of my biggest challenges in woodworking. To be frank, I didn’t know how to create my own designs. I’m always amazed by the innovative designs of other woodworkers, but aside from copying, creating my own seemed beyond my capacity. How would I begin to create a vision? Where would...

How to Remove Crayon and Candle Wax

Want to be a hero with friends and relatives? Here are two tricks that are surprisingly little known but are worth a lot to your reputation: how to remove crayon and candle wax. Crayons are made of wax, of course, and wax dissolves in turpentine, mineral spirits (paint thinner) and naphtha. None of these...

Practical Workshop

Book Giveaway: The Practical Workshop

Thanks for all the great comments! Congratulations to tsharp9164, the winner of this book giveaway. Stay tuned for more exciting book giveaways and if you’re interested in a copy of “The Practical Workshop,” it is currently available at ShopWoodworking.com.  Shop set up is always a popular topic of discussion among woodworkers. We have a book coming...