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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.

steam box

Cheap & Easy Steam Box Setup

In the recent Don Weber “Build a Welsh Stick Chair” class/video shoot, Don brought some pre-bent arms for us to use, simply to make things move along more quickly (filming a woodworking video is sometimes like filming a cooking show – some parts are prepped ahead of time). But he did bend a couple...


Laguna IQ CNC Review: Part Two

In Part One, I introduced the Laguna IQ 24″ x 36″ CNC. Below is Part Two of the video review. Conclusions I’ve had a Laguna IQ in the shop for a few weeks and put it to use on a variety of projects from part cutting to 3D carving. Like all the machines in...

Demise of U.S. Clamp Makers & A Defense of Hardware Hoarding

The topics of United States clamp manufacturing and hardware hoarding might seem unrelated, and many of you will certainly think that they deserve two separate entries. In this story, however, I will try to show you how they can be “clamped” together quite successfully. Recently I decided we needed to add a few more...

Laguna Tools IQ CNC Review: Part One

In Part One and Part Two of this series on small shop CNCs, I introduced machines in this group that are designed to perform well in home and small professional shops. What they have in common is the size range and their engineering, design, components, specifications and build. Now, it’s time for a closer...

Drill Bits for Chairs & Staked Furniture

Making large-diameter mortises for chairs or staked tables requires big drill bits and a way to drive them. Usually a drill press won’t work because the workpiece is too large and the angles are too odd. So here are some bits that work – and some to avoid. To drive big bits (1-1/4” and...

Lie-Nielsen Hand Tool Event March 10-11, Greater Cincinnati

The Popular Woodworking team is looking forward to the end of this week – instead of reporting to the office for work on Friday morning, we’ll be meeting bright and early at Braxton Brewing Co. to set up for the 2017 Greater Cincinnati Lie-Nielsen Hand Tool Event. I’ll be there Saturday as well…but perhaps...

Small Shop CNCs: Machines That Fit, Part 2

In Part One, I introduced a class of machines in this group of CNCs that fit and perform well in home and small professional shops. What they have in common is the 2’ x 3’ to 4’ size range, engineering, design, specifications and build quality. Let’s have a look at that list again. Axiom...

Brands of Dye Stain Differ

For my column in the current issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine, April, 2017 (#231), I wrote about how brands of water-soluble dye stains sold to the woodworking community differ. One of the differences is the degree to which they can be redissolved and lightened by wiping over with a wet cloth. My point was...

The One-stop Place for Saw Maintenance

When I was learning to sharpen and set saws in the 1990s, I was desperate for information. All I had was one modern book, a somewhat helpful video and the attempts I had made on my bargain basement saws. It was a slog. While today there is a lot more information available on saws...