Schwarz on Workbenches

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A Nicholson Workbench, Really?

This past weekend, while waiting for a store to open so I could get a quart – my favorite color of Olde Century paint – I ducked into a local antique shop to kill 15 minutes. In the front of the shop I almost walked by what appears to be some type of Nicholson...

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St. Peter’s Cross and the Ultimate Leg Vise

If a leg vise has a disadvantage – and I’m not quite willing to admit that it does – it would be its parallel guide. The parallel guide is a strip of wood at the bottom of the leg vise that prevents the vise’s chop from spinning like a propeller. It also creates the...

I really need to build some tool storage....

A Cedar Slab Conundrum

When I was planning my “petite Roubo” 18 months ago or so, the original idea that Christopher Schwarz and I cooked up was to use one slab of wood for an 18″ to 20″-wide top, because that would be historically accurate. Slabs of wood that are 4″ thick were, however, easier to find a...

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Improved Phil Koontz Holdfasts

  It seems I have more holdfasts than internal organs. And yet, when I was dropping something off at Managing Editor Megan Fitzpatrick’s house this week, I was struck by two holdfasts in her bench that were familiar and yet different – like an old friend who had lost weight or gotten implants. The...

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Finally – A Use for My Iron

The day before I started at Popular Woodworking Magazine in August of 2005 was the last day I had occasion to iron a shirt. But today, I pulled my iron out from the deep recesses of a cabinet in a little-used third-floor room that I call ‘The Room Where Everything Goes to Die” –...

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Recovering (and Repairing) After Woodworking in America

I know the exact moment that Roy Underhill cracked my workbench open during Woodworking in America last weekend. There was a disturbance in the Force. In other words, my phone went nuts with people texting me and mentioning the event on Twitter. Those first-hand reports were dire – and wrong. Roy had split the...

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Sheldon Vise Install on a Deadline

With less than a week before Woodworking in America commences, I’ve been scrambling to gather enough benches for all the classrooms – and I thought I had them covered without hauling my “Petite Roubo” back downstairs from my study. But no. My little bench will now be making the trip across the river. And...