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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This Maple Eats Tools

Yesterday was the first time in 20 years I wished for an electric sander. I’m finishing up a new table design and am just about to finish all the surfaces before assembly. The only problem is that this maple trashes every plane iron after about two strokes. I’ve seen this happen with exotics such...

Skewing at the beginning of the cut can eliminate skittering.

Skew the Handplane – Sometimes

Skewing the body of the plane lowers its effective cutting angle, which can work in your favor or against you. Skewing also changes the relationship of the cutting edge to the wood fibers, which can change the surface finish of the wood. While the above two statements might seem obvious, I’ve watched a lot...

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A Tour of the Tool Chest in the August 2015 Issue

The August 2015 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine mails soon. It features the first installment of a two-part series on building a tool chest with a marquetry panel. The chest was a joint project between me and Jameel Abraham of Benchcrafted. I built the carcase; he built the carved marquetry lid, which will be...

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Cushion Your Work With Leather Battens

I’m always looking for ways to protect my pieces as I work on them at the bench. Simple things such as a moving blanket (see my entry on that here) can save you a day of clean-up on a project before you apply the finish. Now I have an additional defensive weapon. Earlier this...

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‘Mid-century Modern Furniture’ by Michael Crow

For many woodworkers, mid-century modern furniture seems a mass-manufactured mystery. We remember the excesses of the style – the kidney-shaped everything, the peg legs and the crappy dowels. But like most furniture styles, mid-century modern is far more complex, interesting and tied to the great tradition of well-built beautiful things. Michael Crow has a...

Inspector Wally wants this split closed before lunchtime!

Fixing Splits with Pocket Screws

When I have a visible split in a large slab tabletop, I’ll stabilize it with a wooden key, like I described here last week. But when it comes to the underside of a slab, I prefer to use a little pocket-hole jig to make a fast repair that is adjustable and easily removed if...

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The Dovetail Doctor: The Sterling Dovetailing Ruler

When cutting precision joinery by hand, sometimes a joint that’s off by a fraction of a degree is the difference between it seating or splitting apart. When diagnosing joinery problems of students, I use a vintage diemakers square (I wrote about this in 2013 here). It allows me to sneak into places no normal...

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Stop Splits with a Wooden Key

Most repairs to furniture during the construction process are a drag because I am kicking myself for making an error in the first place. Not so when adding wooden keys to a slab tabletop. Big wood tends to split. And left unchecked, the split can continue to open during the seasonal expansion and contraction...

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A New Trick With Alcohol (Without Jail Time)

One of the Tricks of the Trade in the June 2015 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine discusses how you can use denatured alcohol to stop crumbling end grain while chopping out dovetails. The trick states it’s best for softwoods, which is where you see the most crumbling. As my students are always worried about...