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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.

PWM June 2017 Issue ‘Extras’ – Handsaw Basics

The June 2017 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine, which features Caleb James’ homage to Hans Wegner on the cover, is in the mail right now to print subscribers (the notice for digital subscribers should go out later today – Thursday, April 13, or tomorrow). It’s also now available at ShopWoodworking.com. The Online Extras are...

Don’t Close Your Eyes to the Square

When people injure themselves in the shop, their first reaction is to grab the wound and refuse to look. Sadly, this is the same attitude many woodworkers take with the squareness of their components: They refuse to look and hope things will work out. While there are lots of areas of woodworking where squareness...

French Cleat Wine Rack

The French Cleat: A Great Way to Hang Cabinets or Shelving

You may already know about the French cleat, but if you haven’t heard of it, this neat trick is a great simple way to hang cabinets, wall racks or shelving. In this excerpt below, Popular Woodworking’s very own David Thiel explains how he used this simple yet effective method of wall-mounting to hang a wine rack  – a project...

CNC Skills: Part One – The Origin Point

CNC Skills: Part One: All about Origin Points The Origin Point is your prime reference position No matter what kind of woodworking you do, reference points and accurate measurements are critically important for woodworkers. This is particularly true when using any kind of woodworking machinery. For example, if you’re using a table saw to...

Box Made with ‘Log Cabin Dovetails’

I was hanging out at the Lost Art Press open house last weekend, and Dayton-area woodworking and tool collector Eric Brown brought down a crazy box to show Christopher Schwarz and me. It’s made with the same sort of dovetails you may have seen on the Single Brothers’ Workshop at Old Salem, or other...

Why There Are Streaks in Your Wood Stain

I’ve run into this problem often enough that I thought it worth discussion: People apply a stain and don’t have enough time to get the excess wiped off before the stain dries. The results are streaks that are difficult to remove. It used to be that all stains carried by home centers and paint stores were...

‘Making Things Work: Tales from a Cabinetmaker’s Life’

I am delighted to announce that we now offer Nancy Hiller’s hilarious, earthy – and cautionary – look at life as a custom furniture maker – “Making Things Work: Tales from a Cabinetmaker’s Life.” If you’re thinking about chucking it all, assuming “all” means a steady job with employer-sponsored health insurance and a regular...

handplane essentials

Book Giveaway: Handplane Essentials Revised & Expanded

Thanks for all the great comments – seriously some of the funniest ones I’ve gotten since I started doing these book giveaways. The winner is always chosen at random, but some of you get extra points for effort. Congratulations to mbholden, the winner of this book giveaway. Stay tuned for more exciting book giveaways...

CNCs vs Pattern Shaping

If you build furniture out of wood, you’ll find that once your design becomes more than a collection of straight lines and begins to include curves, shapes and other details – you enter the world of pattern shaping. What is pattern shaping? It is a woodworking process for accurate duplication. Instead of creating repeated parts from scratch, an...