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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‘Workshop Companion’ Series Available Again

In the early 1990s, Nick Engler and a team of woodworkers and designers took on an incredibly ambitious task: Create a series of how-to books that encompass all of woodworking, from the router to the router plane, table saw to scroll saw. Called the “Workshop Companion” series and first published by Rodale Press, the...

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In Defense of Splines, Grooves, Biscuits & Dominos

Woodworking opinion swings with the generations when it comes to picking tools, woods and techniques. Lately I’ve seen a lot of writing about gluing up panels that goes something like this: Because the glue bond in an edge joint is stronger than the wood itself, it’s unnecessary to use splines, biscuits or a tongue-and-groove...

A drunken brawl in "Tacuinum Sanitatis."

Furniture from Another Planet

A drunken brawl in “Tacuinum Sanitatis.” In our minds, we all have a good idea of what a typical chair, table, stool, desk or workbench looks like and how these pieces are built. But today I’d like to take you on a brief trip to the Middle Ages when furniture was built using different...

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Why I Love Spade Bits

Spade bits get little respect among woodworkers. They are regarded as coarse tools that tear up the work surface – good for plumbers and rough carpentry at best. Once you understand how to use them, however, you might change your mind about them because they are inexpensive and can do tricks that few other...

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Some Quality Shop Clothing

I wear clothing until it falls off my body or until my wife refuses to leave the house with me – whichever comes first. My favorite sweatshirt is one I bought my first day of college in 1986. It’s a U.S.-made Champion sweatshirt and has always served as a reminder that buying cheap clothes is...

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Revising my First Book, ‘Workbenches’

For the last month, I’ve been revising and expanding my first book “Workbenches: From Design & Theory to Construction & Use” for F+W Media. The revised book is scheduled to be out by the end of 2015 and printed in the United States. I started writing that book in 2005, and a lot has...

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Moravian Stool

This traditional, lightweight stool is an excellent first step toward chairmaking. (Click on the step photos to enlarge them.) by Christopher Schwarz One highlight of a visit to historic Old Salem in North Carolina is the beautiful Moravian furniture and woodwork in the village’s buildings. My favorite piece in the town is a small...

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Make a Revolution from a Tree

Last year while working in Maryland, I took a day to travel to Light Street in Baltimore to meet Jennie Alexander, author of the book “Make a Chair from a Tree.” Alexander is an iconic figure in woodworking and chairmaking, a term she would reject (or at least roll her eyes to when hearing)....

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Outside Your League

At this stage in my life, I cannot take woodworking classes. I have the will and the money, but I also have kids, a wife with a crazy job and my own endeavors – a publishing company, a custom furniture business and (oddly enough) a teaching schedule. So until I can make our home...