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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.


PWV4FREE

Popular Woodworking Videos Free Month

In 1997 my parents built a new house. I was a rambunctious child, and my dad figured out a way to get me out of his hair for a while so he could work. He gave me a long board, a hammer and a box of nails. I spent days just hammering nails into...

overall

Show Us Your Best Dovetail Tricks

The furniture record shows us that “perfect dovetails” is a modern mania. As the photos of antiques above prove, even some of the ugliest joints will stay together for a very long time indeed (perhaps with a nail or two for good measure). But James Krenov? He ruined us. Nowadays, we strive for cutting...

Microsoft Word - feula healing 37degc ga 220216

More on Smart Coatings

Smart coatings fascinate me. In an earlier post I told you about a paint that uses nanotechnology to cause pee to bounce off walls back onto the shoes of the perp. In another post I told you about a coating that self-heals when exposed to heat or UV light. Here are a few more smart coatings...

pull2

Design Brief No. 4: The Danish Campaign Chest

Unlike other furniture designers, I have a handicap. When I design something I am burdened by 15 years of designing furniture for a magazine audience. During those years, I sought to simplify construction and ornament on every piece so that we could fit it into a six- to eight-page article in the magazine. That...

NoFear

Video: Level a Chair á la Christopher Schwarz

About a year-and-a-half ago, Christopher Schwarz got a bunch of woodworkers together for a sawbench building party at John Hoffman’s house outside Indianapolis. Chris was using us as guinea pigs for an upcoming class he was teaching on the subject, and to work out a few final explanatory notes for his “Compound Angles, No...

Pocket-Hole-Jig-Frame

Build a Pocket Hole Jig Picture Frame

A few weeks ago, I was asked to build a frame for a 36” x 40“ map of northern Kentucky. I had some leftover maple and decided to build the frame quickly with a pocket hole jig. It may not be the most sought after joint, and some woodworkers may turn their noses at pocket holes,...

collections

May ‘Kits:’ Get ’em While They’re Well-priced!

We’ve some “kits” left over from May – collections of items on like subjects offered together at an attractive price (and we typically put together only 50 to 100 of each collection…so get ’em while you can)! First up, the “Mid-Century Furniture Collection,” with the book “Mid-Century Modern Furniture: Shop Drawings & Techniques for...

Crackle Lacquer

Crackle Lacquer

A friend called me the other day with a question. He was matching a crackle-lacquer finish from the 1980s and wanted to know how this finish is made and how to apply it. Crackle lacquer is lacquer with so much solid material, usually silica, added that there isn’t enough binder (lacquer) remaining to glue...

Imagine your fingers as the grain of the wood. The cutting force, whether it is a chisel, a gouge, a rasp or a plane should act in the direction of the grain (towards the tips of your fingers in an acute angle.

Reading and Working with the Grain, a Simple Tip

Perhaps the most important characteristic of wood is its grain. And grain orientation is undoubtedly the most critical consideration for charting a plan for cutting, milling and shaping wood. Therefore, reading the grain is paramount for good woodworking. When possible, we should always strive for planing, chiseling, rasping and gouging with the grain and...