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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 Bright Future of Woodworking – Jaida Waggoner

I’m happy to report that there is a bright future for woodworking. A short while ago, we had a chance to catch up with Jaida Waggoner. She stopped by our shop to show us a couple of chairs she’d recently completed and the staff was duly impressed. In fact, Jaida is...

Popular Woodworking Magazine, February 2018

The February Issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine is one of the more rewarding issues I’ve worked on in my (relatively short) time here at the magazine. In particular, two articles stand out as shining examples of the work we do here at the magazine. Ben Brunick, the talented lead at Chalkstone Woodworking in...

Hands-on With The Shaper Origin – Exclusive Review

The Shaper Origin looks like a router but acts like a CNC. Up to now, CNCs were large, heavy, complicated tools that take up a lot of space in a shop. The Shaper Origin is something quite different. It’s a hand-held, easy-to-use CNC that you take to your work instead of...

Tricks of the Trade: Adjustable Shooting Board

There’s really no substitute for a nice, dialed-in shooting board. It’s a bench appliance that every woodworker with a handplane should have for sneaking up to a line and making perfect miters. When I saw this particular trick in the archive, I thought I’d build it and see how well it...

Shut Up & Build (or Just Shut Up)

I’m not easily riled. But if you want to get me worked up, then make a casual comment on a piece of woodworking that you’ve never built or dealt with. Case-in-point: I’ve been using a metal planing stop (as shown above) for more than 12 years. It is the foundation of...

Air Movement and Heat Speed the Drying of Finishes

On Nov. 22 I posted an explanation of how cooler temperatures slow the drying of all finishes. Well, the opposite is also true. Warmer temperatures, especially with the aid of air movement, speed the drying of all finishes. The example of why this information is helpful came in the form of...

A Stroke of Luck While Refinishing a Wooden Counter

One of my current jobs involves adding some cabinets to a kitchen in a 1912 house. Luckily, the kitchen still has its original built-in, which guided the design of the new pieces. “Hang on,” you may be wondering. “What do you mean, ‘its original built-in,’ singular? Surely there would have been...

Friday Giveaway

The winner of the Lee Valley gift card is “disavowed00.” Thanks to everyone for all the great comments on our giveaway posts over this year. It’s nice to hear from everyone and I always appreciate hearing back from winners about what they think about our books. Here at Popular Woodworking we...

Close the Throat of a Plane by Shimming the Blade

Open throat planes and spokeshaves, like a scrub plane, are designed for the quick removal of thick shavings. Unfortunately, no meal comes free and the price for this quick work is an undulated and often distorted surface. You see, If the throat of the plane is large, it will leave behind...