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 drunken brawl in "Tacuinum Sanitatis."

Furniture from Another Planet

A drunken brawl in “Tacuinum Sanitatis.” In our minds, we all have a good idea of what a typical chair, table, stool, desk or workbench looks like and how these pieces are built. But today I’d like to take you on a brief trip to the Middle Ages when furniture was built using different...

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Why I Love Spade Bits

Spade bits get little respect among woodworkers. They are regarded as coarse tools that tear up the work surface – good for plumbers and rough carpentry at best. Once you understand how to use them, however, you might change your mind about them because they are inexpensive and can do tricks that few other...

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Some Quality Shop Clothing

I wear clothing until it falls off my body or until my wife refuses to leave the house with me – whichever comes first. My favorite sweatshirt is one I bought my first day of college in 1986. It’s a U.S.-made Champion sweatshirt and has always served as a reminder that buying cheap clothes is...

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Revising my First Book, ‘Workbenches’

For the last month, I’ve been revising and expanding my first book “Workbenches: From Design & Theory to Construction & Use” for F+W Media. The revised book is scheduled to be out by the end of 2015 and printed in the United States. I started writing that book in 2005, and a lot has...

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Make a Revolution from a Tree

Last year while working in Maryland, I took a day to travel to Light Street in Baltimore to meet Jennie Alexander, author of the book “Make a Chair from a Tree.” Alexander is an iconic figure in woodworking and chairmaking, a term she would reject (or at least roll her eyes to when hearing)....

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Outside Your League

At this stage in my life, I cannot take woodworking classes. I have the will and the money, but I also have kids, a wife with a crazy job and my own endeavors – a publishing company, a custom furniture business and (oddly enough) a teaching schedule. So until I can make our home...

Steam Bending Video Chris Schwarz

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...

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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...