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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New 16 oz. Indestructible Mallet from Blue Spruce

Blue Spruce Toolworks has just introduced a new 16 oz. square-head joiner’s mallet with a resin-impregnated head, which makes the mallet nigh-indestructible. This little guy ($95) is similar to the 24 oz. version ($115) introduced at Woodworking in America, which I own, use and adore. Thanks to the heft and one leather-covered face of...

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Leg Vise with No Parallel Guide or Garter

Last summer I built a workbench that was as close to the bench shown in A.-J. Roubo’s plate 11 as I could manage. While I still have three details to add to my bench (a drawer, a tool rack and a grease pot), the rest of the bench has been up and running since...

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Kansas City Woodworkers Guild. Wow.

I have visited a lot of woodworking clubs in North America since 1996, and I thought I had seen it all until I stepped into the Kansas City Woodworkers Guild’s enormous facility today. Perched on top of a cave (Kansas City is full of caves), the club has more than 10,000 square feet of...

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Get a Groat in Your Throat

When it comes to pushing our handplanes, I think we are candy-bottomed wussies compared to the joiners of the 17th century. We are obsessed with how thin a shaving we can make. Early joiners, however, wanted to take the thickest, gnarliest shaving possible for the tool, the bench and his or her arms. For...

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Book Review: ‘Woods in British Furniture-Making’

I try to keep Adam Bowett’s book “Woods in British Furniture-Making 1400-1900” closed tight as much as possible. That’s because every time I open it, I lose at least an hour of my day reading a section of the book that I hadn’t yet discovered. “Woods in British Furniture-Making 1400-1900” (Oblong Creative, 2012) is...

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The Roorkee Bed?

With my latest book, “Campaign Furniture,” I’m at the very titillating stage of processing several gigabytes of scanned images of furniture that I’ve gathered from musty British catalogs. Many of these high-resolution images take several minutes to process, and so I abuse my friends with annoying text messages about Pepsi Max and acorns as...