Author Archives: Christopher Schwarz

Christopher Schwarz

About Christopher Schwarz

Chris is a contributing editor to Popular Woodworking Magazine and the publisher at Lost Art Press. He's a hand-tool enthusiast (though he uses power tools, too).

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Details for a Rack in a Tool Chest

A tool rack in your chest is a nice way to keep your chisels, screwdrivers and other tools close at hand and protected from damage. After experimenting with lots of different racks, here’s how I make racks for myself and customers. I start with a length of pine that’s about 1” x 1-1/4” x...

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File a Scraper with the ‘Universal Sharpener’

In the next issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine I review the Chestnut Tools Universal Sharpener from Lee Valley Tools. I learned about this remarkable and inexpensive little tool from furniture maker Freddy Roman. I was skeptical about it until I got my hands on it. This thing is … well you’ll have to wait...

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Chestnut Tools Universal Sharpener

by Christopher Schwarz page 14 Sometimes a small advance in technology makes an enormous difference in everything. The Chestnut Tools Universal Sharpener – just $18.50 from Lee Valley Tools – will absolutely change the way you sharpen tools. It looks like a folding pocketknife, but instead of a blade the sharpener has a piece...

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CMT’s Inexpensive Moisture Meter

by Christopher Schwarz page 14 If you ever work with wood from unreliable or unusual sources, such as one-person sawmills, it pays to own a moisture meter. I slip mine into my pocket whenever I head to the lumberyard and it has saved my skin several times in the last 20 years. But not...

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Small Changes to my Moxon Vises

Since I began making Moxon-style vises in 2010, I’m made several dozens for students customers and have made some small changes to the way I build them. Above all, I try to keep my Moxon vises as simple and compact as possible, which is why I haven’t added tables or other gizmos. Here is...

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New DVD on Bookcases now Available

My latest DVD with Popular Woodworking, “Build a Hand-Crafted Bookcase“ is expected to ship this week. It’s a 126-minute exploration of building the bookcase from “The Anarchist’s Design Book” entirely by hand using surfaced home-center pine. The DVD begins by throwing out the modern idea of using adjustable shelves and discusses how the design...

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The Stupidest Glue-up Ever

If you love to read about people screwing up, this post is for you. This week I’m shooting a DVD in the Popular Woodworking studio on building a traditional 18th-century tool chest (it should be out by mid-March). Building one of these chests alone in my shop is a 40-hour sprint-a-thon. Building it along...

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I’ve Been Doing this Wrong Since 1993

I cut my first dovetail in 1993 and that was also the first day I learned to use a marking gauge. The instructor didn’t tell me how to use it, so I set it and worked things out for myself. I ended up marking my baselines by pulling the gauge toward me. And I’ve...

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Don’t Kick the Bucket (Out of the Shop)

There’s a lot going on in the photo above that’s important when making casework. I have two case sides for a chest clamped together before dovetailing them. Here is a quick summary of what I’m doing: I’m going to dovetail both pieces at once, called “gang-cutting.” This saves time and makes it easier to...