Article Index Christopher Schwarz

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The Best Glue for Furniture?

Why liquid hide glue should be your first choice as an adhesive. by Christopher Schwarz pgs. 22-29 Since the beginnings of civilization up until World War II, most pieces of furniture were assembled using animal-based glues. That fact changed almost overnight in the 20th century, however, with the introduction of polyvinyl acetate (PVA), what...

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How & Why of Spring Joints

Save on clamps with this traditional technique for panel glue-ups. by Christopher Schwarz pgs. 47-49 A “spring joint” is a traditional method where you join the edges of two boards to make a wider panel and leave a tiny gap in the middle of the joint. The gap reduces the number of clamps you...

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Fall in Love with Nails

This much-maligned fastener has a place in the finest furniture. Here’s why. by Christopher Schwarz pgs. 38-43 Among furniture makers, the reputation of the simple nail is somewhere south of expired glue and tacos made from weasel knees. The following statement is one you hear all the time: The best furniture is built using...

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Beading Planes & Complex Moulders

These simple and oft-forgotten tools can make short work of mouldings. by Christopher Schwarz pgs. 50-54 Legend has it that one reason there are so few moulding planes left is that when motorized spindle moulders became common, the wooden bodies of these planes were burned for heat because they were obsolete. Is the story...

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Danish Modern Campaign Chest

Built to move (and to last), this piece blends classic proportions and clean lines. by Christopher Schwarz pags. 24-31 When the British Empire began taking over the world in the 18th century, one vexing problem at its tropical holdings was the monsoon season. When it hit, applied carvings and ornaments fell off the furniture,...

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Why I Adore my Machines

Grab your torch and pitchfork; the hand-tool guy has a table saw. by Christopher Schwarz pg. 64 People react with shock and horror when they learn I have electric machinery in my Kentucky workshop. After all, I’ve been writing almost exclusively about handwork for almost 20 years now. And yet anyone who is more...

SoapFinish

Soap: Making a Clean Finish

This traditional finish from Denmark is simple, safe and tactile. by Christopher Schwarz pgs. 34-38 When I tell fellow woodworkers and customers that I use soap as a finish on some of my tables and chairs, they think I’m joking. Then, when I pull out a Mason jar filled with soap finish to show...

blockplanes

The Real Truth About Block Planes

Armed with a little trickery, you can make the block plane perform a wide variety of tasks. by Christopher Schwarz pages 30-35 Hang around enough woodshops (or Internet discussion groups) with a block plane in your hand and you’ll eventually be derided for owning a “carpenter’s tool.” It’s a criticism that I’ve never understood....

Trestle-Tables

The First Trestle Tables

Portable, sturdy and easy to build, these were used for a variety of tasks. by Christopher Schwarz pages 38-43 Many of the fantastic furniture forms of the Middle Ages have disappeared and have been replaced by pieces that are more complex but not necessarily better. One of my favorites is the early trestle table....