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).

shaker_secretary_img_6329

A Shaker Failure

I’ve had bad days wrestling with my sketchbook where it was impossible for me to draw anything but junk. Junk I didn’t want to build and junk that no one would ever buy. Sometimes I leave those stepchild pages in my sketchbook as a reminder of how awful I am. Sometimes I crumple the...

pwm1016_250

Woodworking Magazines: The Real Truth

Woodworking magazines might be dying (or just shrinking), but they aren’t going down without a fight. I’ve been reading woodworking magazines since 1992 or so, and I have kept up with all the major titles since at least 1996. I know most of the writers and editors, and I think a lot about their...

dust_collector_trick_img_5526

Dumb (But Effective) Dust Collector Trick

You don’t see a lot of dust collector tricks in the woodworking magazines, but here’s my contribution. When your two-bag dust collector is too full, the usual solution is to remove the lower bag, let the chips dump all over the shop and then clean up the mess. When I foolishly let my dust...

low_roman_oil_img_3181092616

Roman Workbenches High And Low

When researching Roman workbenches, one of the things that leaped out at me was how low many of them were low, knee-high like a sawbench. After building a low bench based on drawings from Pompeii and Herculaneum, most visitors to my shop had one question: Were the Romans really short? The answer is: no....

loffelholz_hivise_

Another 511-year-old Woodworking Vise

Screw-driven vises are not modern inventions. The earliest screw-driven vise that I know of is this Italian vise that is circa 1300. I am always looking for earlier vises because the screw mechanism has been around since Archimedes, though his screw was originally used for irrigation. This year I have been delving deep into...

romanbench2_fin_img_6138

A Quick Preview of the ‘Vampire Vise’

With only six days before Woodworking in America, I’m starting to wonder if I’m going to get everything ready for the big three-day woodworking geek-fest a few blocks away from my shop. Today I’m putting the finishing touches on one of the two Roman-style workbenches I’ve built for Woodworking in America. I’ll be presenting...

grain direction

Understanding Grain Direction

I often tell people that the grain direction in a board is like the fur on a cat. Stroke the cat (or board) one way and the cat will purr, and your tool will produce a nice surface. Stroke the cat (or board) the wrong way, however, and the cat will bite you, and...