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).

Managing Editor Brendan Gaffney studied fine woodworking at The Krenov School (formerly College of the Redwoods) and worked as a furniture and toolmaker before joining the staff at Popular Woodworking Magazine. After a stint in music and sound research, during which he earned a master’s degree in computer music, he has pursued woodworking full time, both in his capacity as a craftsperson and a writer, but also as a researcher and lifelong student. He is a fan of early Shaker furniture, Scandinavian design, building his own tools and the intersections of modern fabrication techniques and traditional handwork. He cuts his dovetails pins first, and you should, too, unless you prefer to do it the other way.

Online Content Director David Lyell studied Industrial Technology at Ohio University and has run a photography business with his wife since 2009. He grew up in his family’s machine shop – working his way up from shoveling chips as a teenager, to fabrication and assembly before he took on a new career in christian ministry. Once he discovered the world of woodworking, there was no turning back. David coordinates all of our online content, please contact him if you have any questions regarding articles, social media or video on our site.

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).

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.