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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.


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...

CNCs in a Workshop

Woodworking + Digital: Tim Celeski

These Two Can Be a Great Combination For many years, Popular Woodworking has been an important resource for learning and an inspiration to many woodworkers – including myself. Whether it’s a new technique to learn, a skill to perfect, a tool to consider, a design to be inspired by or a plan to build, the...


PWIA & Cincinnati: Where to Eat; What to Do (Beyond Woodworking)

If your family is coming along with you to Woodworking in America, there’s plenty for them to do in Cincinnati while you’re at the conference. And there’s plenty of good food. The Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal (an impressive Art Deco building just west of downtown Cincinnati) houses three museums (plus an Omnimax...

Live Edge Class

Live Edge Class at Peters Valley: Colm’s “Y” Table (B)

After Colm created all the tenons, he attached a clamp to the foot of each leg and staged a few options for leg locations: closer to each other, further apart, etc. After a few trials he settled on the configuration that seemed the most compelling in terms of overall balance – both metaphorically and literally....

WIA 2013 Hand Tool Olympics

Popular Woodworking in America 2016: The Hand Tool Olympics

If you’re coming to Popular Woodworking in America this weekend…oh, what’s this “if” business? You’re definitely coming! With all the speakers, sessions and cool stuff to see, I feel safe assuming you won’t miss out on all the educational fun and inherent rowdiness that comes with this annual gathering of woodworkers and sawdust aficionados....


A Quick Preview of the ‘Vampire Vise’

With only six days before Woodworking in America, I’m starting to wonder if I’m going to get everything ready for the big three-day woodworking geek-fest a few blocks away from my shop. Today I’m putting the finishing touches on one of the two Roman-style workbenches I’ve built for Woodworking in America. I’ll be presenting...


Pictures in the Pattern: Simple Parquetry Techniques

A few years ago (okay maybe more than that) picture mosaics were all the rage. Making a single large image from lots of smaller images arranged in a planned pattern by color and “pattern”. Whenever I saw one of those images, the woodworker in me always thought of the ancient art of parquetry. Essentially...


Get to Know SketchUp

SketchUp is a fantastic design tool for woodworkers. It can also be a bit intimidating. My first time working with the program involved drawing a few odd shapes trying to get a grasp of the tools. A few clicks later I found myself wondering what on Earth was going on. My test sketch had...