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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Workbench Joinery: 10 Years of Tenons

Tomorrow morning I start a new workbench class at the Marc Adams School of Woodworking. While I’ve lost count of the number of workbenches I’ve built or midwifed into this world, I never tire of the grueling and exhilarating labor they require. For each class, I design a new workbench from scratch that is...

A late 15th-century aumbry in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Meet the Aumbry (You Know its Grandkids)

  When it comes to understanding the history of furniture, I think John Gloag put it best when he wrote: “Nearly all articles of free-standing furniture are variations on two basic shapes: a platform or a box.” (“A Social History of Furniture Design: From B.C. 1300 to A.D. 1960” pp. 3-4, Crown) Platforms include:...

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Free Plans: Ancient Squares for Ancient Scraps

I don’t turn pens much, and the word “fireplace” is a dirty word in our house (thanks to an incident involving a flaming log and full nudity). So my scrap pile is always overflowing. I give away scraps for kindling to my neighbors or I burn them in our outside firepit, but that is...

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Threadboxes: One More Song the Radio Won’t Like

Whenever I write about threadboxes, my personal blog gets swamped with spam from the Pacific Rim. So batten down the firewalls, mateys. I started writing about the Moxon double-screw vise in 2010 (original post here) and have made many of them using a threadbox and tap that you can buy from many reputable woodworking...

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About Me & Woodworking in America

It’s a strange world where I need to write a blog entry about this topic. Recently Editor Megan Fitzpatrick and I have been getting e-mails and phone calls with this basic question: “Why isn’t Schwarz going to Woodworking in America?” Then they ask: • Is it because Popular Woodworking Magazine doesn’t want him there?...

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The Monogamy has Ended

When I teach people to sharpen edge tools, I am very much an “I’m OK, you’re OK” guy about the kinds of systems out there and whether you should use jigs or not. But there is one thing I’m all fire and waterstones about: Stick with one system until you know it – at...

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It Floats. It’s Full of Stars….

I have lost track of how many vises I’ve built or installed on workbenches. So my early-morning giddiness about the Benchcrafted Crisscross is worth note. This week I’m putting a leg vise on my Holtzapffel workbench that will have both the new Benchcrafted Classic vise screw and the Crisscross Retro (instead of a parallel...

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5 Mistakes Beginners Make with Block Planes

When I teach beginners, one of the most common phrases I hear is, “I cannot get this (insert tool name) to work. What’s wrong?” They hand the tool to me and the fun begins. Though block planes are dirt-simple handplanes, there are some important points about them that are rarely discussed in the literature....

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Making a Vise Chop for a Benchcrafted Classic

I started making the wooden vise chop for a new leg vise for my Holtzapffel workbench (featured in “The Workbench Design Book”) using some crazy new hardware from Benchcrafted: the Classic vise screw and the Crisscross. The only downside to the Crisscross part of the assembly is that you need a vise chop that...