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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.

Even More on Silicone Oil & a Finishing Lesson

I’ve told you the three main ways to deal with silicone contamination in my May 10 post: clean the wood well with solvent or an alkali soap before applying the finish; seal the wood with shellac; and/or add silicone oil (fish-eye flow out, fish-eye eliminator, Smoothie) to the finish. There’s a fourth way I...

Welcome Nancy Hiller to the PW Shop Blog

I’m dead chuffed to announce that, commencing next week, the inimitable Nancy Hiller will be a regular contributor the PWM Shop Blog. She’ll be sharing techniques and tips from her more than 30 years of experience as a professional furniture maker and cabinetmaker – a journey on which she embarked (with several fascinating detours along...

Denning: Get it Before it’s Gone

Popular Woodworking Books has just reprinted the classic text “The Art and Craft of Cabinet-Making” by David Denning (1891) in a beautiful edition at a great price. If you are at all interested in historical woodworking methods, you should stop reading this blog entry and buy the book. It’s only $36 (with free domestic...

loose joint screw

How to Repair Loose Screws on a Chair

With time, furniture joints (especially in chairs) tend to loosen up a bit. It’s part of working with a material that once was alive and continues to react with the environment. Wood shrinks and expands with humidity, and the same goes for the holes that have screws in them. So before you retire a...

Brendan Bernhardt Gaffney: New PWM Managing Editor

I’m delighted to announce that Brendan Bernhardt Gaffney (whom you may know from his ancient rules, sector, calipers and other work at burnHeart) joins the Popular Woodworking team in July as managing editor. He’ll not only be handling the day to day business of running the magazine, but bringing to the job his woodworking and...


Denning’s 1891 ‘The Art and Craft of Cabinet-Making’

This reprint of David Denning’s 1891 classic “The Art and Craft of Cabinet-Making,” with a foreword by Christopher Schwarz, is a must-read for hand-tool woodworkers, and for anyone who enjoys the history of the craft. I fought long and hard for this one, insisting that it be made to last, and that it be printed...

The $500 Maslow CNC Beta Report

The Maslow is not a conventional CNC. It’s kit based, and costs less than $500. $350 if you’ve got a couple of 2” x 4”s and some plywood to throw in. If you’re new to the Maslow, here’s Part One, Two and Three. This started out as a crowd-funded Kickstarter project, which means that the...

$5 router plane

John Wilson’s ‘$5 Router Plane’

This article, by John Wilson (of The Home Shop, which offers Shaker boxes and supplies for making them) first appeared in the August 2005 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine. While we’re still calling it the “$5 Router Plane,” it’s possible it will now cost a bit more to make – but likely still less than...