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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.


plywood countertop

Make a Long Plywood Countertop

The most challenging part of the built-in bookcase and desk I built for my study was the 135″-long plywood countertop; most of that challenge was balancing my desire for beauty with my checkbook. A 1-1/2″-thick, 12″+ long,  25″ wide slab of walnut simply wasn’t in my budget. Nor was the butcher block I looked...

Popular Woodworking in America

Popular Woodworking in America: An Interview with Alf Sharp

After a brief tenure in law school at Vanderbilt University, Alf Sharp decided the white collar world was not for him. His woodworking career began with some simple remodeling for a landlord in lieu of rent, which led to doing interior trim work and simple cabinetry, and teaching himself fine woodworking through books and...

Shown here are three types of shellac in already dissolved form and five colors of shellac flakes for you to dissolve in denatured alcohol

Shellac is Not Bug Poop!

OK, it’s a small thing, but I still get irritated when I see or hear shellac described as bug excretion. It’s not (think of the related word “excrement.”) It’s a resinous SEcretion (big difference) from a bug that feeds off of plum trees, which are native to South Asia. The bug secretes the resin...

excellence awards

Congratulations to the 2016 PWM Excellence Awards Winners

With so many excellent entries in the 2016 PWM Excellence Awards, selecting the Editors’ Choice winners and Grand-prize winner was incredibly difficult. All the editors and contributors have different aesthetic tastes, and the excellent craftsmanship displayed in the top vote getters didn’t help settle the discussions. In several cases the winner was chosen by...

Danish-Modern-Storage

Build a Danish Modern Storage Cabinet

What comes to mind when you think of a stereotypical male in their mid-twenties? Someone who has a beard, a few tattoos and loves to collect vinyl? Well yeah, that’s me, and I’m not afraid to call myself out. Something that may set me apart from others my age is my appreciation for well-constructed...

Classic Woodworking Tools

A Classic Book About Classic Woodworking Tools

When you find an old tool, you have some work to do to get it into working condition – cleaning, sharpening, tuning and so forth. Once you’ve spent some time with it, often you’ll find that the tool is just as good (or even better) than one you could have bought new. Mike Dunbar’s original edition of...

built-in shelving, built-in desk

Built-in Shelves

I’m working on a “built-in basics” article for an upcoming issue of the magazine. For perhaps obvious reasons, I’m not focusing that article on the specific components I designed for my study, because the odds of mine fitting perfectly into someone else’s space are slim indeed. I’ve spent the last month or so digging...