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).


Danish Campaign Chest (The Afterword)

When I build a piece for a customer I show them the drawing and build it (mostly) to the print. But when I build a spec piece, such as this modern campaign chest, the customer is my eyeballs. And so this is the part about design that doesn’t get talked about much: If something...


Green Wood and Roubo Workbenches, Part 2

Seasoned, well-dried wood is good, but not for all things. For the last two years I’ve been editing a book called “Woodworking in Estonia,” which is about the pre-industrial woodworking cultural heritage of a small Northern European nation. The book is not a review of the historical literature sprinkled with speculation about how people...


A Roubo Workbench from Green Wood

Here is a question that has been going through my mind for more than a decade: When an 18th-century French woodworker started building a workbench, what was the moisture content of the wood? Had it been seasoned for many years? Freshly cut? Something between? Lots of modern people have speculated about the answer, but...

construction lumber for workbenches

How to Buy Lumber for Workbenches

Looking for ways to save money when building your workbench? Here’s some great advice for saving on lumber for your bench. (Excerpted from “Workbenches: From Design & Theory to Construction & Use, Revised Edition” by Christopher Schwarz). I use a lot of construction lumber in my projects – not only for workbenches but for furniture...


Yes, You Need a Jointer and a Jack

I suspect this will ruffle a few feathers, but so be it. I’ve been asked a lot lately if one really needs a jack and a jointer plane. Several well-respected woodworkers and writers now teach that you can prepare all your stock for finishing with only one bench plane, a smoothing plane, if you...


Design Brief No. 5: The Danish Campaign Chest

When you set out to design a piece of furniture, don’t be surprised if you end up designing four or five pieces in the same vein. With this campaign chest, I ended up with three separate designs: A Baltic birch plywood version with round stainless steel pulls and a base that uses 4” casters....


Design Brief No. 4: The Danish Campaign Chest

Unlike other furniture designers, I have a handicap. When I design something I am burdened by 15 years of designing furniture for a magazine audience. During those years, I sought to simplify construction and ornament on every piece so that we could fit it into a six- to eight-page article in the magazine. That...


Design Brief No. 3: The Danish Campaign Chest

A lot of Danish Modern dressers are taller than your typical campaign chest because the designers added a drawer or two. But some of them look like the pieces shown here. After staring at the 25 campaign chests from part 1 of this series I hope you can see the connection. We have an...