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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.


Fish Eye & Silicone – or, the Problem with Furniture Polish

In my last posting on May 2, I mentioned that furniture polishes containing silicone have a bad reputation. Nevertheless, they are very popular with consumers. I thought I should go into a little more explanation for this seeming contradiction, and also address some of the questions I got. Back in the 1970s, when I...

Casework Joinery Reference Graphic

I had to duck under a retired diving flag that indicated a low beam under the oldest part of what is now our 140-year-old farmhouse, as I followed the seller during a walk-through. Lit by a couple of buzzing fluorescent fixtures, he showed me the remains of his workshop that he had mostly given away in...

Meet the ‘Jimmy Possum’ Chair

I’ve long been fascinated by legends involving old chairmakers. Here in Kentucky we had Chester Cornett, an enigmatic bearded maker of the wildest ladderbacks and rockers I’ve seen. In Indiana we had a chairmaker in the southern part of the state who in the early 20th century made ladderbacks with a woven seat that...

Beer as a Furniture Stain

Beer shows up in many accounts of early workshop life. Not only was it an important source of nutrition, it also served as payment for trespasses and a way to mark important days in the shop, such as when an apprentice was promoted to journeyman. Beer also shows up in workshop recipes and for...

Art of Concealment – A Table With Hidden Compartments

by Matthew Dworman pages 32-39 From the November 2016 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine Hidden compartments – just saying those words puts a smile on the face of most woodworkers. There is something magical about a secret space that reveals itself to only the person who knows about it. Since the origins of furniture, hidden...

woodworking projects for the kitchen

Book Giveaway: The Woodworker’s Kitchen

Thanks for all the great comments! Congratulations to “rustycolbert,” the winner of this book giveaway. Stay tuned for more exciting book giveaways and if you’re interested in a copy of“The Woodworker’s Kitchen,” it is currently available at ShopWoodworking.com. For this week’s book giveaway I’ve chosen a fun book of kitchen themed woodworking projects: A.J. Hamler’s...

VIDEO: Elia Bizzarri and the Dull Chisels

When I’m on the road filming video for Popular Woodworking, it usually means an anonymous, but increasingly familiar hotel room, a search for good food and craft beer, and spending a few days with our video host. I have begun to anticipate that I will learn more about our host than woodworking – in a...

The BARN Workbench — Part One

  I have a confession. I love workbenches. My first project as a hobbyist was a workbench and ever since, I’ve been in love with all the things a good bench can do to help you be a better woodworker.   Workbench 1.0 My first bench was Tom Caspar’s Build a Workbench in a...