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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.


Mike Siemsen is a woodworking expert set to speak at the Woodworking in America 2015 event in Kansas City.

A Boring Embarrassment from the Past

I just talked with Mike Siemsen about running the Hand Tool Olympics (HTO) at Popular Woodworking in America 2016. Once again, he’s graciously agreed to wrangle his crew of expert hand-tool woodworkers to run the competition (and teach folks who are new to the included “sports”) for the 2016 conference (in the Marketplace Sept....

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How to Sharpen Saw Blades

This article originally appeared in the December 2014 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine “Saw Sharpening 101” by Matt Cianci pages 36-39 We’ve all been there: You reach for your saw in the middle of a project, and before you start the cut, you drag your finger along the teeth and say to yourself, “Meh…they’re sharp enough.” But...

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Make a Scraper Plane

I just chatted with Linda Rosengarten of Hock Tools about Woodworking in America 2016 (Hock Tools will be in the Marketplace Sept. 16-17, along with many other top-quality makers), being too busy, and scraper planes. Linda is working on an upcoming newsletter for Hock Tools (click here, then click on “Hock Tools’ Newsletter” to...

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Teak Oil: What is it?

In the February, 2015 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine I wrote an article on teak oil. If you’re interested in a more extensive explanation than here, I encourage you to go back to that issue and read the article. I titled the article “Teak Oil: The Oil That Doesn’t Exist,” because there’s no such...

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Start Handplanes on the Skew

One of the little challenges for beginning handplane users to get a clean surface at the start of the cut, particularly with a smoothing plane. They push the tool forward and it leaves little bumpy chatter marks for about 3/8” of an inch until the plane starts to settle down and cut cleanly. The...

Paul Sellers

Paul Sellers Joinery Workshop at Gil Arad’s Woodworking School

In late June 2016 I visited Israel and attended Paul Sellers’s Fundamental Hand-Tool Joinery Workshop which took place at Gil Arad’s Woodworking School outside of Jerusalem. For Paul it was his first visit to Israel, and for Israeli woodworkers – amateurs and professional alike – it was a rare opportunity to learn from one...

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Most Common Treehouse Mistakes

If you’re someone who builds things (and as a PW reader, it’s a safe bet that you are), chances are at some point you’ve daydreamed about building a treehouse. But in order to make the dream a reality there’s a lot more to it than just nailing some boards into a tree. That’s why Django...

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About My Love of 35°

I sharpen all of my plane irons and chisels at 35°. Here’s why: I do this to keep my sharpening regimen as simple as possible. I don’t want to pick up a tool and wonder: What angle is this sharpened to? I also don’t want to sharpen a tool, discover that I used the...

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Book Giveaway: How to Build Bookcases & Bookshelves

Thanks for all the great comments! Congratulations to duckfarmer27, the winner of this book giveaway. Stay tuned for more exciting book giveaways and if you’re interested in a copy of“How to Build Bookcases & Bookshelves,” it is currently available for pre-order.  It’s always fun to see the new books show up. Popular Woodworking Books’ latest offering,...