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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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...

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CMT’s Inexpensive Moisture Meter

by Christopher Schwarz page 14 If you ever work with wood from unreliable or unusual sources, such as one-person sawmills, it pays to own a moisture meter. I slip mine into my pocket whenever I head to the lumberyard and it has saved my skin several times in the last 20 years. But not...

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Small Changes to my Moxon Vises

Since I began making Moxon-style vises in 2010, I’m made several dozens for students customers and have made some small changes to the way I build them. Above all, I try to keep my Moxon vises as simple and compact as possible, which is why I haven’t added tables or other gizmos. Here is...

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New DVD on Bookcases now Available

My latest DVD with Popular Woodworking, “Build a Hand-Crafted Bookcase“ is expected to ship this week. It’s a 126-minute exploration of building the bookcase from “The Anarchist’s Design Book” entirely by hand using surfaced home-center pine. The DVD begins by throwing out the modern idea of using adjustable shelves and discusses how the design...