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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 Tools in the Second Till of my Tool Chest

The second till of my tool chest sits right below the top till and is almost exactly the same size. My trips to this till are infrequent. This till holds the small items I don’t use every day, including the spare bits and blades, a few specialty chisels and a bunch...

We’re Hiring! PopWood Playback #14

Join the Popular Woodworking team! We’re looking for a Senior Editor, read the description here: http://bit.ly/2q7FIIY Check out Mortise and Tenon Magazine, Issue 4: http://bit.ly/2q7gXfV Congrats to Billy R. on winning the carving knife kit!  🎥 Kyle Toth – Maple Cabinet with TV: https://youtu.be/CUgqcZ3GmDw 🎥 Shaun Boyd – Modern Plywood Desk:  https://youtu.be/MRh4U9zEqnk...

Shop-made Jig for Trimming Laminate

When applying laminate on a narrow edge, it’s a little tricky to not tip the router and undercut the edge while trimming laminate. The surface on which the router must balance is often not wide enough to provide adequate support. I made this fixture from two pieces of plywood dadoed and...

Tools in the Top Till of my Tool Chest

I am asked on a regular basis about the hand tools I keep in my tool chest. In fact, when people visit my Covington, Ky., workshop during the days we are open to the public, some people have photographed every tool in my chest. I’m going to list brand names. But...

Creating Inlay – One Step at a Time

I know I’m not alone when I say that even as an accomplished woodworker I still look at inlay work and can’t help but be impressed. It feels like there are so many things going on in a small place that coalesce into a wonderful singularity. But when you start to think...

Tru-Oil for Finishing a Guitar: It Should Work Well

A friend called with a finish question. He had just made a guitar in a guitar-making class and wanted to know the best finish for it. He began with the statement that he didn’t have a spray gun and didn’t want to use aerosol lacquer because he didn’t want to stink...

2018 Excellence Awards Now Open!

Hot dog! Popular Woodworking’s 2018 Excellence Awards entry is now open. Submissions are accepted now through June 16, 2018. The grand prize winner, chosen by the editors, wins $1000. Top winners in five categories, as well as a reader’s choice winner, each receive $100. Start submitting your projects and pieces –...

Lumber Yard Visit: RRAW Roughcut Lumber/Davison HQS

Last week I paid a visit to RRAW Roughcut Lumber/Davison Hardwood Quality Specialist in Spencer, Indiana to see what had become of the massive oak burl they’d shown me a few months earlier. Back then they hadn’t sawn the log (beyond cutting it into two pieces – a 9’ section of...

Reviewing Saws (and Automobiles) is Kinda Dumb

First, let me say that I am guilty of the behavior that I am discussing below. When I reviewed tools for Popular Woodworking Magazine for 20 years, I fell into the trap I’m about to describe. After decades of woodworking, I have achieved a bit of wisdom. And I think this...