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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Get Four Feet Flat on the Floor

Getting all four feet of a chair or table in the same plane can be a challenge. What makes the task more difficult is that it can be difficult to figure out when you are done with the job of leveling the feet. After all, your shop floor, your workbench or your table saw...

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2 More Ways to Improve your Vise’s Grip

We’re always looking for ways to improve the grip of the vises on our workbenches. During the last decade I’ve discussed how to use suede or adhesive-backed cork to improve a vise’s gripping power. Benchcrafted recommends “Crubber” (which I haven’t tried yet) and many woodworkers simply use adhesive-backed sandpaper. Last year, Jennie Alexander sent...

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Why Handmade Chairs are Better: Tension & Imperfection

There are many reasons that factory-made chairs fall apart, but I think the biggest reason is they lack what handmade chairs have in droves: tension in their assemblies due to imperfections in the angles. If you’ve ever had to repair a factory chair you might have noticed this: All the parts fit perfectly –...

Shallow kerfs laid in on all the facets.

A Trick to Sawing Compound Angles & Odd Shapes

The trickiest cut when building a chair or stool is leveling the feet. This cut is always a wacky compound angle. And when you combine a compound angle with a foot that is an odd shape, such as the octagon shown here, it can be difficult to keep your saw in the right plane....

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The Milwaukee Right-angle Attachment

I don’t like gizmos that try to make one tool (like a drill press) do the job of another tool (like a hollow-chisel mortiser). The results are usually sub-optimal. But the Milwaukee Right-angle Attachment is the grand exception. I’ve received a few questions about this tool because I am shown using it in the...

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Coming Clean About Being Clean

After working with woodworkers all over the world for short periods of time and (in some cases) many years, I can say these four words that might make your woodworking easier: Clean up your crap. I’m not a natural neatnik, but when it comes to working in the shop, every day ends up with...

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When Your Liquid Hide Glue Turns Bad

There are lots of tests for when your liquid hide glue has gone bad – the most common one that I know of is to put some glue between your index finger and thumb. Tap your finger and thumb repeatedly to see if the glue turns tacky and produces long stringy strands. If it...

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Rethink the Rules of Liquid Hide Glue

I’ve just finished writing an article on liquid hide hide glue for Popular Woodworking Magazine that takes a critical look at the adhesive compared to yellow glues. My hope is that it’s a fairly dogma-free article. While liquid hide glue will probably always be my favorite adhesive for interior work, there are some cases...

Benchtop slabs (6" thick) that are green and ready to use.

On Thick, Wet Slab Tops for Workbenches

During the last seven years, I’ve slowly become a fan of using a monolithic slab for the top of a workbench. And I’ve also slowly begun to ignore all the criticisms of slab tops. I built my first slab-top workbench in 2009-2010, which was published in the August 2010 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine....