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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.


Cool Nailmaking Video from Austria

Blacksmith Peter Ross recently sent me a link to the video below that shows production nailmaking of shoe nails in a town in Austria. These guys are working at breakneck speed – forget those modern videos you see of amateur smiths working in their garages. If you’ve never read about pre-industrial nail production, it...

Stop Spelching with an Unlikely Ally: Sandpaper

When you shoot end grain with a handplane, you have to be wary of spelching – when the end grain breaks off at the end of your stroke. There are several ways to avoid spelching; one of the quick ways is to use sandpaper. This trick works best when you are just trying to...

CNC Tooling Basics for Woodworkers

Part One: Questions & Answers about Mills & Bits Yes, the topic of CNC mills can be complicated. Because of the overwhelming minutiae of design detail and a bewildering number of choices, there’s more than enough to intimidate any CNC user. But, it doesn’t have to be that way. Fortunately, woodworkers have a fairly...

Finish for Maloof-style chair

I got a call from a fellow who made a Sam Maloof-style chair and screwed up the finish using Maloof’s formula. I thought, how can you screw up a Maloof finish? Maloof combined three products – polyurethane, linseed oil and tung oil – to give him the look he liked on his chairs. Then...

sharpen a scraper

Sharpen a Scraper – Ron Hock Shows You How

Sometimes, a smoothing plane just can’t get things smooth enough (think reversing grain) – and if you’re a handplane user, you probably prefer not to pick up the sandpaper (thought it’s sometimes unavoidable). In that case, you turn to the handy card scraper. A scraper can perform miracles that a plane cannot…except that Ron...

2-Day Contest: Wall Shelf Build-Off from Chris Wong

Chris Wong of Flair Woodworks has set up another fun 2-day “build-off” for January 28 & 29 – and this time, it’s for a wall shelf. The idea is to have all participants simultaneously build a piece over a 48-hour period and share pictures along the way. A similar contest in 2013 – the...

Traditional Danish Workbench

I was thrilled to see the article by Bill Rainford in the current issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine in which he gives directions for making a traditional Danish workbench. It’s been a long time (more than three decades) since Tage Frid provided these directions, and lots of new people have taken up woodworking in...

The Best Way to Stamp Your Work or Tools

A name stamp is a great investment to mark your tools as your own, especially if you attend woodworking classes or work in a shop with others. It’s also a good way to stamp your finished workpieces for posterity. Most woodworkers, however, approach the task like Thor might. They raise their hammer high and...