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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.


Martial Arts Candle Holder

File this simple project under quick things to do with a couple of offcuts. A martial artist friend of mine asked for a candle holder for the sword class she teaches at Cincinnati Taekwondo Center. Students are challenged to put out the candle flames with their sword without striking the candles....

Wood Stain is Not Wood Finish

I often come across people who are confused about the difference between a stain and a finish. They’ll use a phrase such as “I want to stain the wood,” or “would you stain the wood for me?” when what they really want is some color added to the wood and a...

Mortise and Tenon Magazine: Issue 3

It will come as no surprise that we like hand tools – we do, after all, show you how to use them in just about every issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine. But we promulgate “hybrid woodworking” – using both hand tools and power tools – depending on your preferences, and we...

Blackened Wood: Designing with Fire

Black and grays are the stars of today’s architecture and furniture design. Most of the black in today’s wood furniture and cabinetry is painted or produced by means of stains and dyes, but another way to turn a piece black is by charring. Charring involves no solvents and requires no drying...

A Lumberyard Map: Find a Lumberyard Near You!

More than a year ago, before I joined the staff, Megan Fitzpatrick and I talked about an article I wanted to write about lumberyards and the perennial discussion about domestic versus exotic lumber. At the time, I was also working on an interactive map of New York City’s neighborhoods, and I...

Hybrid Woodworking

Book Giveaway: Hybrid Woodworking

Thanks for all the great comments! Congratulations to “kevsc” the winner of this book giveaway. Stay tuned for more exciting book giveaways and if you’re interested in a copy of “Hybrid Woodworking” it is available at ShopWoodworking.com. When you hang around woodworkers there is always talk of hand tools versus power...

CAD is the Secret Sauce

The very idea of digital woodworking is something new and strange to a lot of woodworkers, so it’s only natural there are a lot of questions. For many, the big question is “where do I start?” The answer is easy. Learn to draw using Computer Aided Drawing (CAD) drawing tools. You don’t...

Witness Lines: A New Name for an Old Problem

A woodworker asked me recently, “What the heck is a witness line?” Well, this opens up an interesting discussion. One of my pet peeves since I began teaching finishing, has been people creating new terminology when quite adequate terminology already exists. There’s no better example than “witness lines,” which is a...