Chris Schwarz Blog

Chris Schwarz's Blog

Christopher Schwarz (the long-time editor and now contributing editor to Popular Woodworking) has been writing this woodworking blog continually since 2005. He covers the world of hand work, plus he writes about building furniture, visiting tool makers, and his travels. Long a woodworker of traditional techniques, Schwarz is dedicated to restoring the fine hand woodworking skills that have slowly disappeared from woodshops in the latter half of the 20th century. He is a firm believer in the role traditional tools play in the modern shop.

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The Artisan’s Security Blanket

Some shop practices are so obvious that they hardly merit discussion. But every time I think that about some routine I have been taught, I am stunned by the blind spots of many of my students. (I am aware that I have blind spots, as well). I’m always curious about shops that don’t have...

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Staked Sawbenches, Day 2

Building staked furniture sometimes feels a lot more like an episode of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” than a typical day in the shop. At assembly-time, the legs have to be knocked home hard to firmly seat the the conical tenon in its mortise and make a bit of a mechanical interlock. I’ve been making...

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Building Staked Sawbenches at Highland Woodworking

This weekend I am experimenting on guinea pigs. Scratch that. I’m experimenting on American pigs. Wow. That’s doesn’t sound good, either. OK, I’m teaching a new class on a new topic that has been bottled up inside me for four years now. You’ve probably never heard the term “staked furniture,” but that’s because the...

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Tools to Make a Roorkee Chair

Gathering the tools and materials necessary to make a Roorkee chair might seem intimidating because of some of the unusual operations (riveting?). I think the list of necessary tools is pretty manageable and reasonably priced – nothing too exotic. When students ask me for recommendations on what they should buy, here is my list....

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Now Available: Build a Campaign Chair Video

One of the most influential chairs of the 20th century was built and designed by an anonymous craftsman in Roorkee, India. Whoever built the first “Roorkee” chair in the late 1890s was trying to supply the military forces of the British Empire with a lightweight camp chair that could be taken to pieces in...

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Make ‘Dog Bone’ Chest Lifts

This week I am finishing up the carcase for a special tool chest for an upcoming pair of articles in Popular Woodworking Magazine and I turned my attention to the lifts – the handles you use to grab the chest when you have to move it. There are three common ways to create chest...

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The Best Defense Against Rust: Frank Klausz

I wish I could send Frank Klausz to the shop of every reader to teach you the following lesson, but I think he’s busy. The first time I met Klausz was at a woodworking show on the East Coast about 15 years ago. He was demonstrating wooden moulding planes; I was demonstrating some infill...

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Cover-worthy: Jim Leamy Plow Plane

For subscribers who have received their copy of the February 2015 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine, you are forgiven if you didn’t notice the piece of furniture on the cover and became fixated on the plow plane sitting on top of the piece of furniture. The plow is a masterpiece of ebony, brass and...

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Help the Blog; Help Yourself

I try to be transparent about my financial dealings in the woodworking world – that’s why I don’t take free tools, wood, classes or … anything. So how is this blog funded? Simple: I am paid monthly by F+W, the parent company of Popular Woodworking Magazine. Lee Valley Tools pays for advertising space –...