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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.


Live Edge Waterfall Coffee Table: Conclusion

Drilling a mortise, gluing and finishing a live-edge waterfall coffee table. A few months ago I began telling you stories of the furniture built in the live-edge class that I taught at Peters Valley this past summer. Among the furniture created there was a waterfall mitered coffee table that my assistant, Anneloes, and I...

The Shaper Tools Origin is a Different Kind of CNC

The Shaper Tools Origin: A Hand-held CNC Designed for Woodworkers Last week I took a trip to California to check out the latest in digital woodworking tools: the Shaper Tools Origin. Essentially, the Origin is a very high-tech router. It uses a touch screen to guide you through a cut and CNC motion for accuracy....

Workshop Wish List: 1996 vs. Now

I was looking through vintage issues of the magazine this morning and stumbled upon “A Workshop Wish List” from 1996 wherein we randomly selected 500 subscribers to tell us the tools and equipment they wanted in seven price categories, chosen from a list that we provided. I don’t know what all the choices were;...

Get a Perfect Finish Every Time

There’s probably no phrase in finishing that irritates me more than this one: Get a perfect finish every time. It’s commonly used by editors and publishers to title articles, sub-title books, and in general to promote information they want you to look at. You rarely see this type of phrase in reference to woodworking:...

Early English Manual Training Workbench

While at Bloodline Merchants we also investigated this English workbench, which is almost certainly an early manual training bench. The face vise is a Parkinsons Perfect Vise (and yes, it is spelled “vise” not “vice” on the casting). Parkinsons were made in the 1880s and this example features early metal screw threads that are...

Antique Lefty Workbench in the Wild

Until yesterday, I’d not seen a left-handed antique workbench in the wild. While I’m sure there are some out there, the historical record suggests that left-handed woodworkers usually made do with right-handed benches and learned to plane with their dominant hand on the toe of a handplane. While poking around Bloodline Merchants, a delightful...

Reinforcing & Gluing a Waterfall Miter Joint

Once you finish creating a nice miter joint, then comes the time to think about making the joint stronger. As glue alone will not suffice, adding splines or keys in between the two banks of the miter can ensure a long lasting joint. If you have a Festool Domino this is going to be...