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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.

woodworking in america 2016

Popular Woodworking in America 2016 Photos

I had an excellent time at Popular Woodworking in America, and hope everyone else who was there did, too! It was such fun to catch up with woodworking friends new and old – particularly those I “knew” only through Instagram, Twitter and the like (nice to finally meet in person!). And though I didn’t...


Introduction to Restoring Furniture

It has been my intention from the beginning of this blog to include postings about furniture restoration. By restoration I mean wood repair (including regluing), finish repair and refinishing. For twenty years, from 1976 to 1995 I ran a one-man (me) furniture making and restoration shop. I opened the shop with the intention of...


Roman Workbenches High And Low

When researching Roman workbenches, one of the things that leaped out at me was how low many of them were low, knee-high like a sawbench. After building a low bench based on drawings from Pompeii and Herculaneum, most visitors to my shop had one question: Were the Romans really short? The answer is: no....

Most of my patterns are made by outside CNC services.

Going Digital

How I Started in Digital Woodworking I had a long career as a designer. Long enough that I started out using traditional design tools, techniques and methods. So, when digital tools for designers first became available in the early 80’s, I jumped in. Even though the first design and publishing software programs were pretty basic,...

Popular Woodworking in America

Popular Woodworking in America Recap

I’ve just gotten caught up on work (and made a dent in my Dutch tool chest build) after Popular Woodworking in America last weekend, and I wanted to recap my experience at the conference. With so many great speakers and a marketplace that begged to empty my wallet, it’s hard to pick my favorite aspects...


Another 511-year-old Woodworking Vise

Screw-driven vises are not modern inventions. The earliest screw-driven vise that I know of is this Italian vise that is circa 1300. I am always looking for earlier vises because the screw mechanism has been around since Archimedes, though his screw was originally used for irrigation. This year I have been delving deep into...


Hand Tool Olympics: Post-Game Wrap-Up

Well, another Popular Woodworking in America has come and gone. It was a fine time indeed, meeting and greeting our readers and contributors, but, like all good things, the end (alas) was inevitable. As attendees returned to their homes and shops to recover, our staff headed back to the office to work on new...


Brush Lifts Stain While Brushing Finish

This may have happened to you. It’s surely happened to me. When you’re brushing a finish, the brush picks up some of the stain and lightens the wood. It’s even worse when the brush picks up so much stain that it leaves streaks. The first solution to try is to let the stain dry...