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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.


Tool Troubles? Get Thee to the Grinder

I’m always surprised by how many woodworkers – even experienced ones – try to avoid the grinder. They will purchase expensive diamond plates or (worse perhaps) a ream of belt sander paper and an expensive granite plate all to avoid stepping up to an electric or hand-cranked grinder. This is not...

Mackintosh Furniture

Book Giveaway: Mackintosh Furniture

Thanks for all the great comments! Congratulations to “willcee” the winner of this book giveaway. Stay tuned for more exciting book giveaways and if you’re interested in reserving a copy of “Mackintosh Furniture” you can pre-order at ShopWoodworking.com. This week I received advance copies of Michael Crow’s new “Mackintosh Furniture” book. Its a...

lumber rule photo

The Lumber Rule – How to Calculate Board Feet

A must-have tool for the lumberyard by Greg Paolini In addition to my truck and a pile of cash, there’s always one other thing I take to the lumberyard or mill – a lumber rule. Also known as a grading stick, a lumber rule is a simple tool that instantly shows how many...

Folding Campaign Bookshelves in 1 Minute

For the December 2017 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine I built a pair of folding campaign bookshelves based on a 19th-century pattern. Long-time readers of this blog know that I love mechanical furniture that folds up into tiny spaces and is durable. So 19th-century British campaign furniture is right up my...

Preview: The Shapeoko XL CNC

A Desktop size CNC at an Entry Level Price The question I’m most often asked is “would you do a review of an affordable CNC?”  Up to now, there have been few choices for woodworkers on tight budgets with small home shops. Here’s the thing: as woodworkers, we do pretty heavy...

Video: I Can Do That’s Chad Stanton – The Outtakes

“Insightful … erudite … polished … scholarly”, just a few of the words that we’d like to use when talking about the host of I Can Do That!, Chad Stanton. But seriously the words that are used are more impressive, “love your work”, “simple and thorough”, “exactly what I needed”, “all...

Disposing of Solvent Waste: How to do it Safely and Legally

Dirty solvent waste can be a problem to get rid of. Even if you use water-based finishes, you’ll probably still accumulate some dirty solvents over time, from cleaning if nothing else. The best solution is to take the waste to a local hazardous-waste collection center, but these are not always conveniently...