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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.


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Get Four Feet Flat on the Floor

Getting all four feet of a chair or table in the same plane can be a challenge. What makes the task more difficult is that it can be difficult to figure out when you are done with the job of leveling the feet. After all, your shop floor, your workbench or your table saw...

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2 More Ways to Improve your Vise’s Grip

We’re always looking for ways to improve the grip of the vises on our workbenches. During the last decade I’ve discussed how to use suede or adhesive-backed cork to improve a vise’s gripping power. Benchcrafted recommends “Crubber” (which I haven’t tried yet) and many woodworkers simply use adhesive-backed sandpaper. Last year, Jennie Alexander sent...

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Aerosol Finishing Products

It took me a long time to realize the full value of finishing products in aerosol cans. Not only can you finish an entire object with these aerosols, especially if the object isn’t large, you can also use them as an easy barrier coat when the finish you’re brushing has the chance of lifting...

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Why Handmade Chairs are Better: Tension & Imperfection

There are many reasons that factory-made chairs fall apart, but I think the biggest reason is they lack what handmade chairs have in droves: tension in their assemblies due to imperfections in the angles. If you’ve ever had to repair a factory chair you might have noticed this: All the parts fit perfectly –...

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A Conversation with Garry Knox Bennett

Garry Knox Bennett is among the most unconventional and irreverent artists working today. He’s an internationally known furniture maker (and jewelry maker, sculptor, painter and roach-clip inventor) whose work is represented in many of the world’s most important collections. He’s also hilarious and opinionated…as you’ll see below. We went to Oakland to film a...

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Popular Woodworking Magazine, December 2016

The December issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine (#229) just mailed to print subscribers, will be emailed to digital subscribers late today or tomorrow, and is now live in our online store. There are a lot of great features in this issue, including plans for the first-ever accurate reproduction of the little candle stand at...

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A Trick to Sawing Compound Angles & Odd Shapes

The trickiest cut when building a chair or stool is leveling the feet. This cut is always a wacky compound angle. And when you combine a compound angle with a foot that is an odd shape, such as the octagon shown here, it can be difficult to keep your saw in the right plane....