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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.

How to Keep Kids From Wasting Sandpaper – Part 1

It seems that no other shop resource is treated with such obliviousness as sandpaper. Although sandpaper is responsible for the last steps of shaping much of our work, it doesn’t receive the same heed as hand tools, or even portable tools. And, for obvious reasons, it doesn’t have the same sex appeal as a...

Denning on Cabinet-making

Book Giveaway: Denning on Cabinet-making

Thanks for all the great comments! Congratulations to “Jeffreyi,” the winner of this book giveaway. Stay tuned for more exciting book giveaways and if you’re interested in a copy of “The Art and Craft of Cabinet-making” it is currently available at ShopWoodworking.com. After a brief lapse in book giveaways due to a bit of travel, I’m...

Frank Klausz & the Joys of Fillister Planes

If you enjoy using handplanes in your woodworking, then you may consider adding specialty planes (like a fillister) to your shop. Frank Klausz is a fan of fillister planes, and in this short video, he shows some of the details on adjusting and using a metal-bodied fillister to make a shiplapped joint. Just one more example of his...

Paste Wax for Table Saws & Machinery

In my recent postings, I’ve been writing about silicone oil and fish eye. So a few days ago I was having a deep discussion with a friend about paste wax, and it reminded me of the time I was in a friend’s shop and noticed him spraying Pledge on the top of his table...

The BARN Workbench

The BARN Workbench is named for a community group of woodworkers and other artisans. BARN is the Bainbridge Artisan Resource Network located on Bainbridge Island. The island is directly across and a 35 minute ferry ride away from Seattle. Started by a group of enthusiastic woodworkers, the group has grown to include artisans with...

Taking Credit, Giving Credit and Stealing it

On the way back from Handworks, editor Megan Fitzpatrick asked me a question I get a lot: “Does it irk you when people build your furniture designs and fail to credit you when they post them on social media?” Answer: Not at all. For me, the reward isn’t that someone praises my design. The...

The Craft Classics in Just 5′ – Must-Read Woodworking Books

Fight woodworking ignorance 15 minutes each day. Editor’s note: In the September/October 2017 issue (which mails to subscribers on Aug. 1), we have an article from up-and-coming makers on the books that have influenced their work and woodworking philosophy. Below is a similar article we ran in June 2011, asking established makers what they...

How to Make 90° Your Best Friend

One of the great things about handwork is that 90° is not the most critical angle. While absolute 90° is a holy setting on machinery, 87° or 93° is just as easy to cut with a handsaw, plane or chisel. And so sometimes hand-tool users (myself included) denigrate absolute 90° as something reserved for...

Indicating the mark for one end of the line to trim

Fitting Doors & Drawer Faces With a Router

As with most things in woodworking, there’s more than one way to fit doors and drawers. Nothing beats a handplane for precision, flexibility, and speed when you have a solid bench and vise. A table saw can also do the trick – quite well, in fact, even for tapered cuts. But what about those times when you’re...