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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.


woodturning techniques for furniture makers

Book Giveaway: Woodturning Techniques for Furniture & Cabinetmaking

One of our newest books comes from Windsor chair expert Mike Dunbar. The book is a reprint of a classic text on woodturning from a furniture and cabinetmaking perspective. If you’d prefer to make your own furniture components rather than buy mass-produced factory-made parts, then “Woodturning Techniques: Furniture & Cabinetmaking” may be of interest to you. You’ll...

Video: ‘Anne of All Trades’

You might know Anne Briggs Bohnett from her website, Anne of All Trades, or perhaps through Instagram, where she’s quickly racked up more than 60,000 followers (with a mix of photos featuring woodworking, farming and unbelievably adorable animals), or perhaps you’ve met her at Woodworking in America or a Lie-Nielsen Hand Tool Event…or maybe...

Lacquer is Easy to Clean from a Spray Gun

Lacquer is such a wonderful and versatile finish. I think every professional I’ve talked to who has used lacquer and other finishes (with good exhaust, of course) loves lacquer. There are lots of reasons for this, including reduced runs and sags, relative ease of control in different weather conditions with the solvents available, relative ease...

router table

One-weekend Router Table

Router table cabinets can be a waste of space. This compact, vise-mounted unit stores easily and is just the right size. by David Thiel April 2005 Popular Woodworking Magazine I think it might have been seeing a $1,000 router table setup at a recent woodworking show (it’s very cool, but $1,000?). Or maybe it...

Elia Bizzarri

Elia Bizzarri: Multi-talented Woodworker

It won’t come as much of a surprise that woodworkers are frequently good at more than one thing. Sometimes it’s necessary, other times it’s just for fun. I was in Hillsborough, N.C., last week working with Elia Bizzarri on two new videos and we started talking about what music to use. He asked if...

Dutch Boxwood Bead Boxes

On my first visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art (Met) in New York I saw, among the monumental and famous pieces, a small item that captured my eye. It was so impressive that I even decided to buy a postcard with a picture of it. This was a spherical shaped miniature wooden box...

Call it Done (For Now)

After the worst Thursday on record, I awoke the next morning and resolved to sort out this stool. I needed more maple, so I headed to Frank Paxton Hardwoods and found the perfect board waiting for me. Straight. Clear. Flat. Reasonably priced. So I assumed I’d get into a car accident on the way...

Rubbing Out a Finish: The Plastic Spreader Trick

Rubbing out a finish to achieve a perfectly flat surface on porous woods such as mahogany and walnut is a lot of work, so it’s usually reserved for tabletops. Using a film-building finish (not oil), the first step is to sand the finish back, or level it, to leave the pores filled in. You...