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 Dutch Campaign Tool Chest

This week, I built a lower cabinet for my small Dutch tool chest, a project featured in the October 2013 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine. The unit I just built sits below the tool chest proper and does a few nice things. 1. It gives me extra space for tooling and hardware that I...

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Dutch Tool Chest with a Lower Storage Unit

The Dutch Tool Chest from the October 2013 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine has proven to be a popular project – I’ve been asked to teach classes on building this chest all over the world this year. In that article, I provide plans for building two versions of the chest. The small chest has...

Workbench Day 2: The Case for Workbench Classes

Building a workbench at a school is, in my calculation, a wise investment. Good schools have huge machines – wide planers, beefy mortisers and sliding table saws – that can make difficult jobs a breeze. You also have lots of help – another 10 to 20 people who can help you muscle the stock....

Workbench Day 1: Grab the Ash With Both Hands

The hardest part about teaching a class on building a workbench isn’t the teaching part at all. It’s finding good material that makes the class a pleasure – instead of a battle against the material. This week I’m teaching a class on building a traditional French workbench at the Marc Adams School of Woodworking....

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Workbench Joinery: 10 Years of Tenons

Tomorrow morning I start a new workbench class at the Marc Adams School of Woodworking. While I’ve lost count of the number of workbenches I’ve built or midwifed into this world, I never tire of the grueling and exhilarating labor they require. For each class, I design a new workbench from scratch that is...

A late 15th-century aumbry in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Meet the Aumbry (You Know its Grandkids)

  When it comes to understanding the history of furniture, I think John Gloag put it best when he wrote: “Nearly all articles of free-standing furniture are variations on two basic shapes: a platform or a box.” (“A Social History of Furniture Design: From B.C. 1300 to A.D. 1960” pp. 3-4, Crown) Platforms include:...

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Free Plans: Ancient Squares for Ancient Scraps

I don’t turn pens much, and the word “fireplace” is a dirty word in our house (thanks to an incident involving a flaming log and full nudity). So my scrap pile is always overflowing. I give away scraps for kindling to my neighbors or I burn them in our outside firepit, but that is...

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Threadboxes: One More Song the Radio Won’t Like

Whenever I write about threadboxes, my personal blog gets swamped with spam from the Pacific Rim. So batten down the firewalls, mateys. I started writing about the Moxon double-screw vise in 2010 (original post here) and have made many of them using a threadbox and tap that you can buy from many reputable woodworking...

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About Me & Woodworking in America

It’s a strange world where I need to write a blog entry about this topic. Recently Editor Megan Fitzpatrick and I have been getting e-mails and phone calls with this basic question: “Why isn’t Schwarz going to Woodworking in America?” Then they ask: • Is it because Popular Woodworking Magazine doesn’t want him there?...