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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Read Your Own Blog, Dummy

The alway-eagle-eyed Jeff Burks pointed out that I had already found an earlier reference to using a bow saw to saw out dovetail waste to the one I posted this morning. Back in 2010, I mentioned that Charles Holtzapffel explains the technique in “Turning and Mechanical Manipulation…” (1856). Holtzapffel writes: The wood between the...

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Sawing Out Dovetail Waste

When I teach dovetailing to a class, one of the common questions is why I saw out the majority of the waste between the tails and pins, instead of chopping with a chisel. The simple answer is: That’s how I learned to do it, I’m fast at it and coping saws are easier to...

A French bench with 8" x 8" legs and a 4"-thick top.

Can Workbench Legs be too Big?

Jacques writes: I have your workbench book, and I am currently working on my version of the French bench. I had soft maple cut down from my woods, so I had it sawn, and I am working with it for the top. For the legs, a friend of mine gave me four beams that...

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A New Cornerstone: The Bridge City TS-2v2 Try Square

Last year, I spent several weeks editing a museum book for Bridge City Tool Works: “Quality is Contagious: John Economaki & Bridge City Tool Works, 36 Years Through the Lens of Joe Felzman.” It might just be the most gorgeous woodworking book ever published – and I’ve published some pretty ones myself. As I...

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Restoring an Early Spiers Smoothing Plane

The first time someone showed me a photo of an infill handplane, it was bewilderment at first sight. “That’s a handplane?” I asked. All I could see were a bunch of odd lumps of wood and some steel. This was years before both the Internet and modern toolmakers made this form of tool a...

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Next up: The Douro Chair

You would think that after 30 months of researching and building campaign furniture, I’d be ready to build something else. Such as something that didn’t collapse, fold or have copious amounts of brass hardware. But no. I am nuts for the Douro chair. It’s a reclining chair with leather cushions, yet it pre-dates the...

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Mike Dunbar: Chairmaker and Presidential Kingmaker?

Woodworkers know Mike Dunbar as the founder of The Windsor Institute, an expert in traditional woodworking techniques and the man behind the renaissance of the Windsor chair in the 20th century. But did you know he also was the man who drafted Donald Trump into a run for the presidency? Heck, I’ve known Dunbar...