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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The 9 Principles of Hand Tool Storage, Part 2

Before we launch into part 2 of this series, allow me to ask a question. Do you enjoy looking for a tool that you cannot find, but you saw just a couple days ago and you have looked for everywhere? If you answered “yes,” then you don’t need to read this article and can...

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The 9 Principles of Hand Tool Storage, Part 1

If you ever write a book on workbenches or tool chests, be prepared for this question: “Off the record and just between you and me, what’s your favorite chest or bench?” The easy way out would be to give them a direct answer: a Dutch Roubo Nicholson with Japanese planing stops and Krenov-style tills....

Saw Mill in a Forest of Pines. Illustration from Illustrated Travels edited by HW Bates (Cassell, c-1880)

On Logging and Woodworking

The first time I visited the hardwood forests of Pennsylvania I was handed a hardhat. At first I thought the loggers were just trying to get me to wear a stupid hat, but within about three minutes, I realized I was wrong. Logging is incredibly dangerous. And while I marveled at the beautiful forests...

The Epicenter of Wood – Cincinnati, Aug. 23

Without exaggeration, I have at least 10 blog entries I need to post. What with my trip to England, some new Lost Art Press products and a short journey to Charleston, S.C., I have a lot to tell you about. But before I launch into any of that, this is a news item. On...

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Campaign Furniture in Charleston, S.C.

Charleston, S.C., has always been an excellent place to study British furniture for a lot less money than a plane ticket to Heathrow. Today I spent a few hours stomping up and down King Street recording some very rare and nice examples of campaign furniture. The first stop was Golden & Associates Antiques. Andy...

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Happy Birthday, You Big French Baby

It usually takes a year for a new workbench to settle down, and for me to put enough hours at it to form a half-decent opinion. Every bench has plusses and minuses. I’ve never encountered a bench that was 100-percent perfect. And I’ve never encountered a bench that was 100-percent crap. (OK, that last...

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Coping Saw Blades from Pegas

I pretty much eat coping saw blades for breakfast. Just about every piece of casework I do involves dovetails (sometimes more than 100 in a single piece such as a tool chest), so a coping saw is almost always on the bench to remove waste. For years I have used the Olson coping saw...

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Why I Lay Out Dovetails with Dividers

Rob Cosman showed me how to lay out dovetails using dividers about 12 or 13 years ago, and I have never looked back. I’ve caught a lot of crap for using the divider method from fellow hand-tool woodworkers who say that laying them out by eye is much faster. I don’t disagree. However, there...