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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.

Finish for Maloof-style chair

I got a call from a fellow who made a Sam Maloof-style chair and screwed up the finish using Maloof’s formula. I thought, how can you screw up a Maloof finish? Maloof combined three products – polyurethane, linseed oil and tung oil – to give him the look he liked on his chairs. Then...

sharpen a scraper

Sharpen a Scraper – Ron Hock Shows You How

Sometimes, a smoothing plane just can’t get things smooth enough (think reversing grain) – and if you’re a handplane user, you probably prefer not to pick up the sandpaper (thought it’s sometimes unavoidable). In that case, you turn to the handy card scraper. A scraper can perform miracles that a plane cannot…except that Ron...

2-Day Contest: Wall Shelf Build-Off from Chris Wong

Chris Wong of Flair Woodworks has set up another fun 2-day “build-off” for January 28 & 29 – and this time, it’s for a wall shelf. The idea is to have all participants simultaneously build a piece over a 48-hour period and share pictures along the way. A similar contest in 2013 – the...

Traditional Danish Workbench

I was thrilled to see the article by Bill Rainford in the current issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine in which he gives directions for making a traditional Danish workbench. It’s been a long time (more than three decades) since Tage Frid provided these directions, and lots of new people have taken up woodworking in...

The Best Way to Stamp Your Work or Tools

A name stamp is a great investment to mark your tools as your own, especially if you attend woodworking classes or work in a shop with others. It’s also a good way to stamp your finished workpieces for posterity. Most woodworkers, however, approach the task like Thor might. They raise their hammer high and...

So Long, and Thanks for all the Fish

I was cooking breakfast for a few friends at my family’s house on Lake Barkley when I received the call offering me the online editor position for Popular Woodworking Magazine. I was beyond ecstatic. My friends woke up, we hugged long enough to feel uncomfortable and celebrated that night. After years of working hard...

Woodworking in America 2018

The title above is not a typo. May of this year marks the third bi-annual Handworks, an event that draws more than 2,000 woodworkers to Iowa every two years for two fun days of trying out the best in hand tools and hanging out with like-minded folks (I’ll be one of them). I know...

Use Hardboard Templates Instead of Prototypes

If I had the extra time and material, I’d build a full-blown prototype of every new design I create. Prototypes let you see in three-dimensions all the mistakes and awkwardness you cannot see on a two-dimensional plan. And fixing the design is usually obvious when you have a prototype on your workbench. As much...