Chris Schwarz Blog

Chris Schwarz's Blog

Christopher Schwarz (the long-time editor and now contributing editor to Popular Woodworking) has been writing this woodworking blog continually since 2005. He covers the world of hand work, plus he writes about building furniture, visiting tool makers, and his travels. Long a woodworker of traditional techniques, Schwarz is dedicated to restoring the fine hand woodworking skills that have slowly disappeared from woodshops in the latter half of the 20th century. He is a firm believer in the role traditional tools play in the modern shop.

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A Simple Steam-bending Setup

Once you set up a steambox, bending furniture parts is almost too easy. I’ve been bending wood using a variety of methods for the last 11 years. When I use steam, here is my current rig. The steambox can be almost any box. You want it to leak steam and water so it doesn’t...

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5 Good Articles for $3.99

The Popular Woodworking Magazine editors have assembled a short “e-mag” of five of my most popular articles from the magazine that you can download for $3.99 from ShopWoodworking.com. Titled “The Best of Christopher Schwarz,” here’s what you get: The Dutch Tool Chest (small and large versions) This is a fantastic tool chest that I’ve...

Centering-tool

A Home Made Centreing Tool

Author’s note: No, I haven’t gone all English or Canadian on you. The above headline is from the April 1925 edition of The Woodworker, my favorite old woodworking magazine. I enjoy reading magazines that were printed when hand tools still held sway in the home workshop. Below is a fantastic little centreing jig you...

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The Best Tool Roll Yet from Texas Heritage

I have more than a dozen tool rolls I’ve bought over the years to store rasps, wrenches, auger bits, carving tools and so on. They are my favorite way to protect edge tools in a tool chest – and they are essential for traveling and site work. I’ve never bought the same brand of...

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Galbert Drawsharp in Use

Before you read beyond the first few sentences of this blog entry, there a couple things you should know: I have no problems sharpening a drawknife. Never have (except that time in the 1990s where I ended in the ER for seven stitches). One of the first tools I inherited from my grandfather was...

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The Modern High-traction Doe’s Foot

The notched batten – also called a “doe’s foot” – is a great way to restrain your work on the bench without a tail vise. With a holdfast and a doe’s foot, you can even work across the grain aggressively and the work will stay in place. During the last couple years of using...

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Improve Your Tool Chest Hinges

Old tool chests typically have two weak spots: the bottom and the hinges. The bottom gets rotted out because tool chests end up in unfriendly, poorly drained areas. That’s why many tool chest bottoms are merely nailed on – so they can easily be replaced. The hinges usually fail because the screws come loose....

Delta 14" band saw

Band Saw Buying Advice (Cheap & Easy)

When the history of 20th-century woodworking machinery is written, someone will compose a poem, ode or opera to the Delta 14” band saw that was made in the United States. There are many flavors of this band saw depending on who owned Delta at the time the machine was made, and machinery collectors make...

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Scoop a Chair Seat Without Specialty Tools

One of the barriers to making a Windsor chair are all the specialty tools, including the adze, scorp and travisher to scoop out the seat. Though I own all these tools and have used them for more than a decade, I sometimes wonder if they are all necessary. How would you make a comfortable...