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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.

Tool Lubrication & Asher’s First Eggbeater Hand Drill – Part 2

Giving a toddler an open-geared eggbeater hand drill is risky business because the gears can pinch their fingers and ultimately scare them away from woodworking tools for a while. Therefore, the logical solution is an enclosed-gear drill. Many companies used to make them (see the Stanley Continental No748A, and Stanley 610 for example) but...

CNC Tooling Basics, Part 2: End Mill & Router Bit Design

As I mentioned in my “CNC Tooling Basics for Woodworkers” post and the introduction, there are a lot of little details that go into the design of CNC end mills and router bits. Only a few are important for most digital woodworkers, so, this is a streamlined primer focused on the basic details you...

helical head cutters for a jointer

Learn About Jointer Knives From Doug Dale

In the video below, Doug Dale discusses the evolution of jointer knives, and shows how he changes the segmented cutters on a helical head.If you’ve ever been to the Marc Adams School of Woodworking outside Indianapolis, you’ If you’ve ever been to the Marc Adams School of Woodworking outside Indianapolis, you’ve surely met Doug...

Coming Soon: A Handmade Dustpan

Almost every plastic or aluminum dustpan I’ve used has been disappointing. The aluminum ones bend too easily and make it impossible to capture fine dust. And plastic ones are just that: plasticy. So like any half-decent woodworker, I set out this fall to build my own. Shopmade dustpans were once a common sight, so...

Workshop Setup & Handplanes: Two Books on the Horizon

One of my resolutions for the new year is to post more updates about our progress with book projects and share tips or ideas I learn from them … and so, a quick update from your friendly neighborhood book editor: We have a couple of great titles coming down the pike. I’m currently editing “The Practical Workshop” which...

tool box

Tommy Mac’s Toolbox

Combine power and hand tools to improve your joinery skills. by Thomas J. MacDonald first published in the December 2012 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine Building a toolbox much like this one was a real turning point in my woodworking career. It was 1999 and I had begun classes at Boston’s North Bennet Street...

Cool Nailmaking Video from Austria

Blacksmith Peter Ross recently sent me a link to the video below that shows production nailmaking of shoe nails in a town in Austria. These guys are working at breakneck speed – forget those modern videos you see of amateur smiths working in their garages. If you’ve never read about pre-industrial nail production, it...

Stop Spelching with an Unlikely Ally: Sandpaper

When you shoot end grain with a handplane, you have to be wary of spelching – when the end grain breaks off at the end of your stroke. There are several ways to avoid spelching; one of the quick ways is to use sandpaper. This trick works best when you are just trying to...

CNC Tooling Basics for Woodworkers

Part One: Questions & Answers about Mills & Bits Yes, the topic of CNC mills can be complicated. Because of the overwhelming minutiae of design detail and a bewildering number of choices, there’s more than enough to intimidate any CNC user. But, it doesn’t have to be that way. Fortunately, woodworkers have a fairly...