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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Shaker Workbench No. 2 at Pleasant Hill

The first workbench I encountered at Pleasant Hill was a little non-standard by Shaker standards, but the second workbench was unusual by most any measuring stick for modern workbenches. It is a bit Roman, a bit English and has a lot of other interesting details worth thinking about. Let’s take a look at some...

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Shaker Workbench No. 1 at Pleasant Hill

When most people discuss Shaker workbenches, they conjure up images of massive cabinets with drawers and doors that are topped by a workbench top – plus a tail vise, leg vise and probably a sliding deadman. This form of workbench shows up in many of the East Coast Shaker communities, but in the Western...

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You Can Own the Rulers of the Ancient World

How we measure the world around us is a reflection of how our society interacts with the world. To wit: The metric system is, in my opinion, the most efficient way to gauge everything around us. And that is exactly why I dislike it so. It is a system based on base-10 efficiency and...

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The Amazing Finger-jointed Block System

As a kid I had every manner of toys that allowed me to build stuff, from my grandfather’s set of wooden blocks to Lincoln Logs, LEGO, Spinwelder, Girder and Panel, Erector sets and on and on. But I never had Crandall’s Improved Building Blocks for Children. This fascinating system of components is based on...

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A Quick Hold-open Lid Stay for a Tool Chest

In two weeks I’m moving to a new workshop (ground-floor storefront, yay!). But last night as I was trying to get to sleep I realized that I wasn’t going to be able to prop the lid of my tool chest open against a wall. Most old tool chests that I have seen don’t have...

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Different Campaign Furniture (Different Campaign)

Though I’ve been building campaign furniture pieces for five years, my focus has been on British pieces from the 18th and 19th centuries. There are definitely other traditions in campaign furniture. They just don’t appeal as much to me as a woodworker. North American campaign furniture – mostly from our Revolution and Civil wars...

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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...