Schwarz on Workbenches

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Authentic Holdfasts from Peter Ross

The first time I taught at Roy Underhill’s school in Pittsboro, N.C., Roy made sure that I met Peter Ross, a blacksmith who worked at Colonial Williamsburg for 25 years. We all ate dinner at gas station in Saxapawhaw – probably the best gas station food ever made on this planet. Seriously. Check this...

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How to Make ‘Condor Tails’

An ingenious way to combine routers, a band saw and hand tools for big dovetails. By Jameel Abraham Pages: 48-53 I know what you’re thinking: “Another opinion on how to cut dovetails.” I hear you. But this one’s different. I promise. No back and forth over pins or tails first. No Rob Cosman vs. Frank Klausz. Well,...

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A Few of My Favorite Holes

One of the questions that every student asked during my bench-building class last week at Kelly Mehler’s School of Woodworking was: Where should I put my holes? It sounds like a deeply personal question (one you should discuss with your doctor). And it is indeed a personal question. Here’s how I feel about my...

French Workbench Class – Day 5

Installing vises in workbenches is always a finicky process – unless you go for a super-simple setup like the one I prefer: A quick-release vise for the end vise and a simple leg vise for the face vise. We have 10 benches being built in this class at Kelly Mehler’s School of Woodworking, and...

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French Workbench Class – Day 4

When I walked into the shop at Kelly Mehler’s School of Woodworking this morning at 8:24 a.m., the place was a wreck. The students were fitting their joints among piles of shavings and sawdust and joking with one another. The radio was on (they have a radio?) and playing a Bob Marley tune. This,...