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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.


Shop Tour with Kerry Pierce: Part 1 – Handplanes

We are featuring a set of tables by Kerry Pierce in an upcoming issue of PWM and we needed to ship them back to his home in Lancaster, Ohio. So instead of paying over $100 for shipping, we jumped in the car to make the delivery. Kerry repaid us with a shop tour...

7 Tips for Tricky Glue-ups

Glue-ups are always a stressful moment – you have a short timeframe to correctly align the parts you’ve been working on for some time, and failure to do so can compromise your results. So, I figured I’d share some tips that I’ve learned over time, through many a stressful and suspenseful...

Meet PopWood Writers Mary May & George Walker

On December 9, two Popular Woodworking Magazine authors – woodcarver Mary May and Design Matters columnist George Walker – will be in Covington, Ky., to give presentations and sign copies of their new books, at a free event at Lost Art Press (7-10 p.m.). Don’t wait to reserve your tickets – space...

Words for Woodworking that Make me Barf

I love to look at websites of woodworkers – amateurs and professionals – and see photos of their work. But when they describe their work using the following words, I think: This person is a pompous wee-wee head with a fake underbite and who walks like they are carrying a corncob...

Mackintosh Furniture

Book Giveaway: Mackintosh Furniture

This week’s book giveaway is for a copy of “Mackintosh Furniture” by Michael Crow. Filled with shop drawings for 30 furniture designs by architect and designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh, it’s a must-have for fans of his work. Furniture forms include chairs, tables, bookcases, dressers, sideboards and more. You’ll also find 2...

Tricks of the Trade: Quick & Easy Setup for Handplaning Drawers

I recently completed a seven-drawer dresser. The drawers featured hand-cut dovetails and are of graduated heights from top to bottom. Cleaning up the drawers with my handplanes was initially tough because I couldn’t get them to remain still during planing. Fortunately, I thumbed through a Charles H. Hayward book recently and...

Video: Pattern Routing Tips

I love my routers, and if there’s one router function that saves me time and hassles it’s pattern routing. Whether it’s a repeated curve on door rails or intricate fascia work on a bookcase, pattern routing is the answer. Being able to make and refine a single pattern and then letting...

Lixie Dead Blow Mallet Test – Some Fun in the Shop

For an upcoming “Tool Test” in the February 2018 (#237) issue of the magazine, I reviewed the Lixie Dead Blow Mallet (the 30 ounce version, with 1 1/2″ diameter heads). While we’ll post the full mallet test when the magazine hits newsstands, we wanted to take the time first (before writing...

Meet Goliath — A Portable Robotic CNC

As the Chinese curse goes, “may you live in interesting times.” Sometimes, “interesting times” is actually a good thing. In the case of CNCs, there are a lot of new ideas, methods and designs appearing for those interested in digital woodworking. In a short amount of time, we’ve seen several remarkable...