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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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Pocket Screws: The Mightiest Little Clamp

I don’t have enough elitism in my bloodstream to poop on pocket screws too much. For starters, they are incredibly ingenious and allow people to build things with only a handful of tools and almost no clamps. And they have been around for a long time – I’ve seen pocket screws in many piece...

Try cleaning first, with water, soap and water or mineral spirits.

Rejuvenating Old Finishes

Editors note: Bob Flexner’s blog will move to the Flexner on Finishing Blog at the end of April. You can find it here. Just because a finish is old and deteriorated, you don’t necessarily have to strip it and apply a new finish. You may be able to rejuvenate the finish so it looks...

Workbench Build

Making a Workbench – Part 1

I am really pleased to have this workbench project done. As I’m not a avid SketchUp user and my drawing skills are not like Yoav’s, I felt the only sensible way to share a project was to get it done and then discuss the process. It’s the first time I’ve done a longer video series. I...

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Woodworking Advice from the Food Industry

Making good food is a lot like making good furniture – you need good raw materials, skill and a decent set of basic tools. Last weekend I was talking to my brother-in-law about his job, which is supplying high-quality ingredients to restaurants. He’s been in the business long enough that he ends up mentoring...

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Dumb Woodworking Mistakes

A friend was recently making a rolling cart for his kitchen using a slab of butcherblock and an industrial metal cart on wheels. But he ran into trouble. Instead of measuring from center to center for the hole locations, he was measuring from the edge of the uprights – first from the inside, then...

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Sawing Curves with a Straight Blade Saw

Is it possible to make an arched rabbet, dado or a groove without an electric router? Well.. two years ago I experimented with a hand tool technique that allowed me to create all the above and more. I discovered (although I speculate that others might have figured this out too) that by using a flexible...

Early 19th-century pie-crust table

Lacquer for Antiques and Reproductions

It’s widely believed and promoted that the proper finish for 18th and 19th-century antique furniture and reproductions is shellac. The reason is that shellac was the finish that was most likely used in that time period. I have no problem with this, but I want to make the case that nitrocellulose lacquer is also appropriate....

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See-through Furniture?

Gizmodo posted this morning about a new “transparent wood” that is ready for mass production, developed at Sweden’s KTH Royal Institute of Technology. The post notes that it can be veneered into panels strong enough for construction purpose; it’s a nifty thought to replace windows with walls that let in light…but what about for...