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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.

The store's window on Warren street, Hudson NY

A Hardware Store That Will Take You Back in Time

Dennis McEvoy and Bart Slutsky of Rogerson’s Hardware in Hudson NY are doing the herculean job of keeping a great old American hardware store alive, and they are doing it well. Swimming against the stream is fraught with difficulty, but the five-story building that has housed Rogerson’s Hardware since 1830 is a testimony to McEvoy and...

Mid Century Modern

Five Lessons from Mid-Century Modern Furniture

  You can purchase Michael Crow’s DVD “Building Techniques in Mid-century Modern Furniture,” at shopwoodworking.com As a material object, a piece of furniture reflects the taste of its designer, the skill of its maker and larger cultural influences. For example, Shaker furniture shows the elegance of simplicity and the value of using local woods,...


When Rasps Aren’t Fine (or Small) Enough

For curved and sculptural work, nothing beats a good rasp. But there are many times that I need to do precise and fine work that most rasps aren’t capable of (at least the rasps I’ve seen or can afford). So I make my own custom sanding sticks using sticky-back sandpaper from the home center...


Roubo Moulding Planes with Caleb James

In the April 2016 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine, Caleb James gives us a look into his take the Roubo moulding plane. If you haven’t picked up your copy, then you are missing out on a great article. We met up with Caleb at the Lie-Nielsen Hand Tool Event at Braxton Brewing Co. in Covington, Ky., last weekend. There,...

Steve Voigt

Steve Voigt on Using Wooden Planes

Steve Voigt, a maker of superb double-iron wooden planes, was one of the many exhibitors at the Lie-Nielsen Hand Tool Event at Braxton Brewing Co. in Covington, Ky., last weekend. You can read more about him in this post on the Lost Art Press blog – but before you click through, take a few...

17th Century Carving

The Wonderful Everyday

Shop time has been limited in recent weeks, but that’s normal for most of us and perfectly fine. I’ve been keeping the house quiet during the weekends as my wife is coming to the end of a course with a final flurry of assignments. That means plenty of child-friendly activities!  I decided to take...


Shaker Workbench No. 2 at Pleasant Hill

The first workbench I encountered at Pleasant Hill was a little non-standard by Shaker standards, but the second workbench was unusual by most any measuring stick for modern workbenches. It is a bit Roman, a bit English and has a lot of other interesting details worth thinking about. Let’s take a look at some...

Analine dyes, Lockwood and Moser, which is relabled Lockwood

Synthetic Aniline Dyes: Where Did They Come From?

Before 1856 all dyeing, and for that matter, most coloring, whether on cloth or wood, was done using natural materials. Being natural materials, they varied, so it was difficult to predict the color you would get. Most of these dye colorants also faded easily. The breakthrough to a better dye was discovered accidentally by...