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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Blue Spruce Joiner’s Mallets

by Christopher Schwarz page 18 For some woodworkers, building your own mallet is a rite of passage. After using dozens of student-made mallets, however, I wonder if many of us would be better off with a well-balanced, professionally made mallet. If you are a person who wants to buy a thing once and be...

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Nathaniel-Russell House’s Furniture Collection

The furniture history of Charleston, S.C., is both glorious and a bit sad. The city’s astonishing wealth fueled a top-tier level of craftsmanship before the Civil War. As the city fell on hard times, a lot of its furniture record was trucked away to other cities, losing its provenance and connection to the Holy...

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Building Roubo’s Campaign Bed at Fort Ticonderoga

Anyone who has read this blog for more than a week knows I have a thing for campaign-style furniture and the work of André Roubo, the 18th-century French woodworker and writer. Like many other 18th-century furniture writers, Roubo wrote a bit about campaign-style furniture, including beds, tables and chairs. I hope to build one...

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The Redneck Polissoir

Whenever I teach a class that involves turning, I like to show them how well the French “polissoir” can finish off your work on the lathe. A polissoir (say it poly-swaar) is a bundle of broom corn that is used to burnish a wooden surface to produce a tactile, low-lustre finish. While the polissoir...

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Work in Tight Spaces without Special Tools

When you have to work inside a carcase, there are a wide variety of specialty tools on the market – such as right-angle drills and drawer-lock chisels – to make your life easier. I try to keep a small tool kit. Not because I’m a tightwad. I’m not. But I travel a lot and...

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I Never Tire of Staring at Chests

If you are considering building a six-board chest like the ones shown in the November 2013 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine, we have a great link for you. Mark Firley of the blog The Furniture Record, has assembled a set of more than 140 photos of chests he has collected on his journeys through...

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If You Haven’t Tried Full-blind Dovetails, It’s Time

  When beginning woodworkers rank the difficulty of the different dovetail joints, they usually think of the through-dovetail as the “bunny slope.” The half-blind dovetail is the “expert slope” – perhaps a blue or a black trail if you are a snow skier. So what’s the full-blind dovetail? Or the secret-mitered dovetail? Throwing yourself...