Say Hello to Chuck Bender, Senior Editor, Popular Woodworking Magazine

Chuck Bender, Senior Editor, Popular Woodworking Magazine

 In Shop Blog, Woodworking Blogs

ChuckI am beyond delighted to announce that Charles “Chuck” Bender is Popular Woodworking Magazine’s new senior editor. He’ll be writing project and technique articles (lots of articles) for the magazine and web site, serving as one of our a technical editors, handling tool reviews and Tricks of the Trade, answering e-mails from you on all things woodworking (you’ll be able to reach him at, sharing his three decades of furniture knowledge on the blog, recording videos and online classes, sweeping the shop floor (as do we all) and lots more – in short, contributing on a daily basis his expertise to everything that we do.

Reproduction of a Hollingsworth highboy.

Reproduction of a Hollingsworth highboy.

You’re no doubt familiar with Chuck’s work, whether it’s through seeing his incredible period reproductions, meeting him at Woodworking in America, learning from his many magazine articles, taking classes at Acanthus Workshop, watching him on the PBS television show “Rough Cut – Woodworking with Tommy Mac,” subscribing to his “No BS Woodworking”…in other words, Chuck is ubiquitous in the world of woodworking. And now – though he’s been writing for us for years – he’s moving into our shop and office full time.

Chuck joins PWM June 3, and will be working from his Pennsylvania-based shop through the summer as he wraps up classes at his school, Acanthus Workshop, before moving to Cincinnati with his wife, Lorraine, this fall. Don’t worry though – like all of us on the editorial staff, Chuck will be teaching at woodworking schools and guilds all over the country; you’ll still have a chance to take a class with him. Plus, he’ll be teaching at Woodworking in America (if you’ve looked at the schedule, you’ve perhaps noticed that one class doesn’t have the instructor listed and a couple sessions read “TBD”…because we weren’t ready to make this announcement when the site went live – we’ll have that updated with his classes in a few weeks).

Tiger maple slant-front desk.

Tiger maple slant-front desk.

And on the off chance you don’t know Chuck and his work, here’s a little more about him:

Chuck began woodworking seriously at the age of 12, when he built a skateboard in a woodworking class. In his teens he studied under a German Master, Werner Duerr, at his local vocational technical school. He credits Duerr with teaching him how to use hand tools (though Chuck also uses power tools for much of his work, when appropriate).

Newport corner chair.

Newport corner chair.

Since completing his apprenticeship and starting his own period-furniture business in 1991, Chuck has become recognized as one of America’s top traditional craftsmen (he’s honed his skills over more than three decades of creating masterpieces for clients throughout the country). His work is in private collections, museums and some of the best juried craft shows in the country. (He also owned a bookstore for 10 years that specialized in rare books and manuscripts on art, architecture and decorative arts – I was unaware of this until I read his resume; now I know the secret behind his incredible library of woodworking titles.) In 2007, Chuck opened The Acanthus Workshop, a school outside Philadelphia, to pass his woodworking knowledge on to others.

And, as of June 2013, he is senior editor of Popular Woodworking Magazine. Please join Bob Lang, Glen Huey, Kevin Ireland, me, David Thiel, Tom Nunlist, Dan Farnbach and everyone else at F+W Media in giving Chuck and Lorraine a warm welcome to the PWM family.

— Megan Fitzpatrick

See more of Chuck work on his web site.
Take a video tour of one of Chuck’s slant-lid desks.
Learn how Chuck carves a ball-and-claw foot on this DVD.
Read “It’s a Secret” – Chuck’s first article for PWM on secret drawers (look for a follow-up on the subject in an upcoming issue).
Read Chuck’s post on his blog, Parings – A woodworker’s journal, to find out more about his move.

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Showing 18 comments
  • Steve Shanesy
    Steve Shanesy

    Hi, Chuck, and a big congratulations on the new position. I’m certain you’ll be a significant new contributor in the long tradition of important team members on the editorial team. You have the key ingredient — first and foremost, the woodworking chops. The editorial stuff can be learned in time. Best of luck. And what they hey, Cincinnati ain’t so bad even if you are a Chester County boy. You’ll soon get accustomed to our our back woods ways. The Reds, Cincinnati Chili, terrific ice cream– what’s not to like? When you have time to look into it, there’s a rich woodworking history here, too!

    Best to you,


    • Chuck Bender


      Thanks so much for the words of encouragement. Thanks to everyone but they are of particular importance coming from you. As the PopWood Pioneer, it’s truly an honor to know you think I have something to contribute to such a great magazine.

      Lorraine and I are looking forward to the move primarily for Graeters but the other stuff you mentioned isn’t bad either. I would love to get a tour of your shop once the dust settles.

      Thanks for pulling together an amazing team that brought Popular Woodworking to the forefront. Without your vision and leadership the magazine might not have reached the height it has. Enjoy your retirement and, when I get to town on a permanent basis, the first round of drinks is on me. I wish you smooth roads and bug free, sunny days (unless you have a windshield on that bike…then it doesn’t matter as much)

  • Steve Branam

    Wow, that’s awesome news! Congratulations to Chuck! That’s a big change, but I’m sure it will be a great one.

  • aeichorn

    Congratulations to both Chuck and Popular Woodworking! I have read his articles, taken classes from him and met him at woodworking shows. He is the real deal and always willing to share and teach just like his No BS woodworking. He is a great addition to PW. I wish he and Lorraine the very best!

  • knothole

    Congratulations, Chuck! I will be looking forward to your contributions. You have created many masterpieces and I look forward to gaining more of your knowledge.

  • JKC

    What a coup for PW!

  • Joel Jacobson

    Congratulations! Chuck, besides being an extremely nice guy, is one of the most versatile and knowledgeable cabinet makers we have. I look forward to his articles.

  • pvanderlugt

    Is every employee at a magazine, an “editor”? I thought senior editor was the position they just announced that you had been promoted too. What they heck is the hierarchy at the magazine?

    • Megan Fitzpatrick
      Megan Fitzpatrick

      Editor/Content Director (me)
      Executive Editor (Bob Lang)
      Senior Editor (Chuck Bender)
      Managing Editor (Glen Huey)
      and that’s it for full-time magazine editorial staff; lean and mean, we are. And while on paper there’s a hierarchy, in truth it’s a flat organization, with everyone contributing on all fronts.

      (Of course, we have a lot of other people working full and part-time on PWM, too, including the ones you sometimes hear from online: our publisher, Kevin Ireland, our online community editor, Tom Nunlist, David Thiel, manager of online content development, and Dan Farnbach, online editor (newsletters and SEO stuff).

      • sqmorgan

        Yikes! That small number probably makes it hard to sneak into work a little later than everyone else! 🙂 Thanks for your work.

  • oakripper

    A great addition to one of the best woodworking mags on the market, looking forward to his input.

  • bbrown

    I took a few classes with Chuck. His method is truly “No BS Woodworking”. I saved a lot of money by learning how few tools I needed to do the job well. Popular Woodworking will be benefiting immensely from Chucks years of experience, his remarkable skill, and no-nonsense approach. I was planning to come back for more classes back in my Chester County home area, and will miss that opportunity, but Pop Wood is gaining a great asset for sure.
    Good luck in the move Chuck and Lorraine!

  • Sawduster

    Congratulations! I’m so glad to receive the news of your decision to join the finest woodworking magazine on the stands. I certainly look forward to the tutlege you’ll provide me as an advanced novice/hobbist through the magazine articles and blogs on the net.

  • Bill Lattanzio

    Congratulations to both Chuck and PW! On a personal note, Chuck taught me to woodwork in just a few weekend classes. He is the best woodworker I know and also a fine writer. It’s great to see him as part of the staff, and at the same time I had planned on taking a class with him in November, so that I will miss.

  • thomaswhoyt

    Great Choice. ( and Megan can get a bit more time to finish her AB… )

  • allenworb

    Congratulations Chuck. A great addition to the team at PWW.
    Welcome to Cincinnati, you’ve moved here at a great time, as there is lots going on that’s great in Cincinnati.

    We will also have to introduce you to the endless supply of wood from MidWest Woodworking.


  • Periodcraftsmen

    Chuck will be missed in the east coast. I only hope for the best to him and his family.


  • zdillinger

    So thrilled for everyone involved! What a great hire!!

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