Woodworking Blogs

Popular Woodworking Editors
Editors' Blog RSS FeedRead PWM Shop Blog »

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
Chris Schwarz RSS FeedRead Chris’ Blog »

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
Bob Flexner RSS FeedRead Bob’s Blog »

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.


hook_IMG_6076

Tip: Wipe it Where You Store it

I know a woodworker who said he saved himself hundreds of steps a day merely by moving his pencil sharpener so it is under his table saw. I had a similar “duh” moment today when I was wiping down a handsaw to put it in my tool chest. For the last 15 years I’ve...

To test whether a finish is shellac or lacquer, dab alcohol or lacquer thinner onto the finish to see if the solvent makes the finish sticky or removes it

Stripping with Only Solvent

With shellac and lacquer finishes, which are the finishes used on almost all old furniture and woodwork, you can use their solvent for stripping instead of a paint-and-varnish remover. Depending on the object being stripped, I often find this method easier in the sense of spending less total time. It’s also less messy. Use...

International Woodworking Fair

IWF is HUGE

On Tuesday online editor Jon Russelburg and I piled into a rented red Ford and drove from Cincinnati, OH, to Atlanta, GA, for the 2016 International Woodworking Fair at the Georgia World Congress Center. If you’ve never been (and this was a first for both Jon and me), let me summarize the event for...

cork_wedges_IMG_6039

How to Start a Woodworking Myth

There are so many old wives’ tales in our craft that you could write an entire book that lists and debunks them. Students constantly bombard me with them, and it makes me wonder: How do these begin? After a slip of the tongue the other day, I think I have a good idea. This...

Outlining the parameter of the excavation with a marking knife.

Live Edge Class at Peters Valley Part 3: Christina’s Butterflies

Live edge boards, like so many other organisms, can also suffer from stress. And while stress in humans can be mitigated with a moderate consumption of alcohol or a visit to the shrink (or both), inner-stresses in wood, which manifests themselves among other ways (cracks or splitting), need a mechanical remedy from a woodworker. My...

Marc Spagnuolo

Hybrid Woodworking: What Hand Tool Should You Buy First?

The world of hand tools can be a bit daunting at first. If you like the idea of a hybrid approach to woodworking and want to add hand tools to your arsenal, you may find yourself not knowing where to start. Fortunately Internet woodworking star Marc Spagnuolo (a.k.a. The Wood Whisperer) has a few words of advice to...

Furniture-Repairs

“10 Essential Furniture Repairs” with Joshua Klein

In a lot of woodshops, the easiest way to fix a mistake is to simply start over. Didn’t account for the tenon in your drawings and cut the stretcher too short? Cut a new board and start from scratch. In the old shop I used to work at, the boards with mistakes were destined to a new...

The area just left of center shows what a sand through looks like. The grain and figure disappear and look more like a smudge

Sanding Through Veneer

You may be aware that I’m not a big advocate of random orbit sanders. I prefer to sand by hand most of the time. I think it’s faster, and it’s for sure safer, especially on veneer. If you’re gluing down the veneer yourself (maybe using a vacuum press), the veneer you’re using is usually...

gummy_glue_IMG_5969

Gummy Bear Glue

Hide glue is one of those simple and natural products that is intertwined with our lives in many ways, much like shellac is. The core ingredient in hide glue will gross out your children: it’s the cartilage, connective tissue and bones of cattle or other animals. When cooked down, the resulting product makes the...