About Us


Popular Woodworking Magazine has delivered articles and commentary from America’s best and brightest woodworkers for more than 30 years.

The editorial focus is a committed philosophy of hybrid woodworking – blending the best of hand tool and power tool woodworking. We bring you woodworking projects for every skill level ranging from simple (but attractive) projects that use basic joinery, to complex furniture plans using advanced woodworking techniques. Nearly every project also comes with a SketchUp model. Contributors include Roy Underhill, Christopher Schwarz, Mary May, Bob Flexner, Toshio Odate, Gary Rogowski and many more.

The magazine is published seven times annually, and is available digitally as well as in print – plus back issues can be explored in our article index. We also send out a free weekly woodworking newsletter and blog regularly on our PWM Shop Blog, where you can join the conversation in the comments section.

Do you have questions regarding your subscription, problems navigating the site, or issues regarding products you purchased in our store? If so, please click here to visit our Customer Service page.

Safety Note: Safety is your responsibility. Manufacturers place safety devices on their equipment for a reason. In many photos you see in Popular Woodworking Magazine, these have been removed to provide clarity. In some cases we’ll use an awkward body position so you can better see what’s being demonstrated. Don’t copy us. Think about each procedure you’re going to perform beforehand.

Meet the Staff


Editor & Content Director Megan Fitzpatrick studied journalism as an undergraduate at the University of Cincinnati and worked at two Cincinnati newspapers after graduating. She joined the Popular Woodworking Magazine team in 2005 as managing editor, then executive editor, and was promoted to her current position in late 2012. Megan enjoys building period furniture, and she prefers hand tools for most operations simply because they’re quieter. She holds a master’s degree in English literature, and completed coursework and exams for a Ph.D. in early modern drama (yes, A.B.D….forever).

headshotManaging Editor Rodney Wilson is a 2001 graduate of Northern Kentucky University’s English program. He’s worked as a book editor, owned an independent coffee shop, managed a sustainable farm in Kentucky, written stacks of articles for a variety of publications and, most recently, completed his first novel. Rodney stumbled into woodworking a few years back when he got the itch to build his children some simple, hardwood toys…then clocks, small cabinets, beds, tables. He’s built a lot of chicken coops.


Jon Russelburg is the online editor of Popular Woodworking (so if you have questions or comments about the web site or social media, send him an email). He was a professional cabinetmaker and furniture maker before joining the team here, and is a graduate of Western Kentucky University. Jon is currently on a quest to ditch (most of) his power tools and build a record player stand in his cramped basement.

David_Thiel_Jan_16During the past 20 years, David Thiel has worn many hats with Popular Woodworking. He joined the magazine as an editor in 1994 and for 12 years he put his woodworking experience (honed in his father’s and his own custom woodworking businesses) to work building projects and working extensively with tool reviews. From 2004 to 2006 he moonlighted as host for the DIY Network’s “DIY Tools & Techniques” program – an experience that would prove valuable in another few years. In 2007 he shifted his editing skills to the Popular Woodworking books division, and in 2008 he added video production to the books role. In 2014 he moved exclusively to the video side of things as online content development manager, acquiring, producing and editing woodworking videos.


Scott Francis is the editor of Popular Woodworking Books. He is a graduate of Western Carolina University where he studied writing and editing. He has served as an editor for HOW design books and Writer’s Digest and has authored/co-authored several books including “The Monster Spotter’s Guide to North America.” While Scott has done plenty of home improvement projects, he is new to woodworking as a craft. He is currently working on a dining room table as his first true woodworking project – he thought he should start small.

JakeMotz2016Jake Motz, online content developer (which means he works with video), graduated from Northern Kentucky University, earning a B.A. in Electronic Media & Broadcasting. He continued building his craft of video production as a production intern for Lightborne, one of the most recognized production houses in Cincinnati. After his internship, he continued to freelance as a production assistant, grip, and photographer where he learned the ins and outs of set and studio shoots for both video and still photography. Jake has created content for many companies including Amazon, Procter &Gamble and CBS. He joined the Popular Woodworking team in 2015, and dived right into learning how to build furniture (in between video shoots, of course).

DanPessel2016Senior Art Director Dan Pessell is a graduate of the Graphic Design program at the University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Architecture, Art & Planning (DAAP). Before joining the Popular Woodworking team in 2012, he art-directed a number of magazines including The Artist’s Magazine and Writer’s Digest, and even designed Pop Wood’s first website back in 1998. Dan became the lead designer of Popular Woodworking Books in 2013, and designs most of the team’s book and dvd covers. His specific woodworking interest is guitar design and building, as well as vintage guitar repair; his true passion, writing, performing and recording original music, keeps him too busy to have done much building so far.

Al-Parrish2016Staff Photographer Al Parrish has been hiding behind the shutters for almost three decades. He graduated from Brooks Institute in Santa Barbara, Calif. in the mid ’70s, and spent the next 23 years in Los Angeles as a freelance commercial photographer where his clients included Cigar Aficionado magazine, Apple Computer, Toyota and the NFL. His roots drew him back to Ohio in the late ’90s, and has been with F+W Media, Inc. (our parent company) since 1999.