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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.


dovetail saws

No One Right Way

There’s a thread on the “Neaderthal Haven” forum on Sawmill Creek right now that reminded me about my first editor’s note (in the June 2013 issue – my goodness; no wonder my hair is now gray!). I was going to respond thereupon, but I don’t think I have anything more to say than what...

Frame Saw

Build a Frame Saw Part 5: Wrap up

A few months ago I blogged about plans for a frame saw design that was equipped with a hack saw blade. I explained how I intended to build this saw with my seventh grade class, focusing on excavating mortises and shaping tenons, using hand tools only. Now that the school year has ended, I...

copper cat drawer pulls

Cast Your Ballots in the 2016 PWM Excellence Awards

The entry period for the 2016 PWM Excellence Awards has closed – it’s time to cast your ballots for the Readers’ Choice awards in each of the five categories (Boxes & Smalls; Seating; Tables; Casework, Cabinets & Bookshelves; Miscellaneous). Voting runs through 11:59 p.m., June 24. The Readers’ Choice winners in each category (the...

jack_jointer_IMG_5528

Yes, You Need a Jointer and a Jack

I suspect this will ruffle a few feathers, but so be it. I’ve been asked a lot lately if one really needs a jack and a jointer plane. Several well-respected woodworkers and writers now teach that you can prepare all your stock for finishing with only one bench plane, a smoothing plane, if you...

Congratulations Allen!

Congrats to Allen Moon, PWM 2016 Workshop Makeover Winner!

Congratulations to Allen Moon of Pelham AL!  Allen was chosen as the winner of the Popular Woodworking Magazine 2016 Workshop Makeover Giveaway. Allen won a new workshop stocked with more than $9,200 of tools from Jet, Bessey and Woodpeckers. Allen is retired after more than 45 years in the healthcare industry. He is also a...

Here's the black scrape early in the process of removing it.

Removing a Black Scrape on a Car

While visiting my son and daughter-in-law, I noticed that she had a pretty ugly black scrape on the side of her car. She had gotten it when she backed out of a tight parking space and rubbed up against the plastic back bumper on a truck. I decided to win points by removing it....

Finishing pad with oil 2

T-shirt “Brushes” for Shellac and Oil Finishes

Every successful project should culminate at the finish line. And in the case of our seventh, eigth and ninth grade classes the finish (line) is made mainly of shellac. I like to use shellac because it is very forgiving for students’ mistakes. It dries fast and its components are mostly (if not totally) natural....

Mylands Melamine Lacquer. This is an older label

Finish for Wooden Pens

I got a question about finishes for turned wooden pens. Full disclosure: I’ve never turned a pen. Nor have I turned a bowl. My experience with the lathe has been turning parts for furniture I’m restoring. But I know a bit about finishes, so I think I can answer the question. The pen turner...