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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.

nick offerman

Nick Offerman on Woodworking, His New Book & More

A couple weeks ago – just two days after Popular Woodworking in America, in fact – I had a Skype audio chat with woodworker, author and actor Nick Offerman. His latest book, “Good Clean Fun,” will be released on October 18 (I’ve a review ready to post here when the book is available, and we’ll have...

shooting board

Shooting Boards: Must-have Appliances

Last night while drinking some wine with Christopher Schwarz (I’d stopped by to return a chair we’d borrowed for a photo shoot), we got in a semantics discussion (do we know how to have fun or what?!)*. Is a shooting board a “jig?” Not really; it’s an appliance – yet most magazines (us included...


What I Do with a CNC in My Shop

Here’s a glued up leg and apron assembly for a sofa table being milled with a CNC router. Here’s the big picture: A CNC is a digitally controlled router that cuts from its highest to its lowest point in three dimensions over the entire area of its bed. What would any woodworker do with...


Dutch Tool Chest: Tongue-and-Groove Back

  After Popular Woodworking in America, my desire to get back in the shop was insatiable. As soon as I returned to the office and caught up on work, I found my way to the shop to finish my Dutch tool chest. The first step was to create the tongue-and-groove joints for the back....

Here is the front cover of his book.

Books on Repairing Furniture

As I mentioned in a previous post, I had good woodworking skills 40 years ago when I started doing furniture restoration, including furniture repair. But repairing furniture is different than making it. So how did I learn good repair skills? I learned them from a number of excellent books, which showed me good practices...


Popular Woodworking Magazine: November 2016

The November issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine just mailed to subscribers, and it’s live now in our online store. There’s a lot of great content in this issue (the campaign Danish modern dresser is a lovely piece, and one I hope to make someday), but the article I keep thinking back to involves a...

live edge coffee table

Live Edge Class Part 5: Chad’s Coffee Table (A)

Walnut is probably my favorite wood. It is rich in color and texture, easy to work with, grows domestically and has the right density and strength to serve well in almost every woodworking deployment. So, when Chad showed me the walnut slabs that he brought over to our class I immediately developed expectations for...


You Read it Here First: Pee Back Paint

In my first blog post I told you about a new smart-coating technology that causes liquids, including pee, to bounce off surfaces. In the case of pee, it bounces back onto the perpetrator, so it’s used to discourage people (men) from peeing on walls in public places. The example I used was from the...

custom CNC

Going Digital, Part 2 – Custom CNC for Furniture Making

Part Two. Decisions to Make I’ve been using CNC services since the late ’90s to create patterns, jigs and fixture components and a few furniture parts. After years of use, the potential of a CNC as a useful tool in woodworking was obvious. But, if I was going to make the most of it,...