Christopher Schwarz

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The Milkman’s Workbench (Want)

Earlier this year I wrote about a portable workbench top that went up for sale in an Australian auction. It was an ingenious solution to a problem that many woodworkers face: How do I do woodworking while watching television in the house? Well, that’s one of the problems this solves. This bench gizmo also...

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Shaker Projects & Shop Projects (& I Miss Hot Wax)

If you’ve been reading Popular Woodworking Magazine for more than a decade, two “new” products won’t be new to you: “Workbenches & Toolboxes” and “Great American Furniture.” Both are “SIPs” (special-interest publications) that we offered only on newsstands, before I joined the PWM staff (so they’re really old). But they’re chock-full of great information,...

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Cut Accurate and Clean Rabbets

By Christopher Schwarz From the Spring 2004 issue of Woodworking Magazine, pages 8-11 When I was taught to cut rabbets in my first woodworking class, we made them with two cuts on the table saw. You’ve probably seen this technique in books and magazines before. For the first cut, the work is flat on...

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A Rare Rant About Threadboxes

If I wrote about all the woodworking tools out there that stink, I wouldn’t have much time to build anything. Most of the junk out there can be avoided. You can buy better drill bits, screwdrivers and hammers than the stuff you find in the $1 bins at the home centers. But for some...

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Octagons Made Easy

When I moved from the Deep South to the Midwest, it took me awhile to realize that the word “interesting” is not always a good thing. For example, Sno-Balls have an interesting aftertaste. Another example: Woodworkers have a lot of interesting ways of laying out an equilateral octagon. Why is this important? Hand-tool woodworkers,...

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A 500-year-old Shavehorse

There are some woodworkers who say that shavehorses weren’t used in chairmaking – according to the historical record. But shavehorses were definitely used in the mining industry. Check out this 1556 illustration of a guy working at a shavehorse from the Latin text “Georgius Agricola: De Re Metallica.” The gentleman looks like he is...

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French my Bench

This summer I have made two changes to my Roubo-style workbench that I built in 2005 that have made the bench even more effective and easy to use. First up, a real-deal antique French holdfast, sent to me by a colleague in France. Clearly blacksmith made, this holdfast is sized somewhere between the monster...