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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.


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...

Protect Your Work and Tools

Pressed Paper Pulp to Protect Your Work and Tools

All of our vises at school have cast iron jaws that can damage work and tools. So, I am in the process of lining them with wood inserts to save our rasps and gouges from damage. This also allows our students to have a better grip on the curved and rounded objects that we...

jack_plane_IMG_4949

Hand Tools: What is Most Common is Most Precious

At the beginning of a hand tool class at the Marc Adams School of Woodworking, one of the students stopped me as I was passing by his bench. “I have a question for you,” he said. “What is this plane for?” He held up a chisel plane. “I thought it looked really useful,” he...

Workbench Build

String Theory

I’m nearly done with my workbench project, I promise! I’ll break down the build soon with plenty of videos and explanations as to the whys and wherefores. I wanted to get the project done before I start sharing it because I hope it will enhance things a bit, seeing the finished article at the start...

porch-swing

Outdoor Projects

For me, nothing says summer like a porch swing. As a kid I would spend hours reading on my parents front porch swing, with my over-sized Labrador sitting next to me.  I would hold the swing still so he could jump into it and then I would sit next to him.  He was definitely...

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Woodworking in America 2016: Registration Now Open

We’ve just launched the full website for Woodworking in America 2016, September 16-18 in Northern Kentucky/Cincinnati, and registration is now open (early bird rates through June 10). This year, we’re delighted to welcome back some familiar faces (Roy Underhill, Mary May, Alf Sharp, Christopher Schwarz, Marc Adams, Wilbur Pan, Freddy Roman, James Hamilton, George...

scratch disappears under UV light

Smart Coatings

It seems like everything is becoming smart these days: smart phones, smart watches, smart cars, smart drugs. There are even smart coatings (paints and finishes). I’ve blogged about one already, a coating that uses nanotechnology to create an air barrier that causes liquids such as pee to bounce off walls and cover the perpetrator’s...