Author Archives: Christopher Schwarz

Christopher Schwarz

About Christopher Schwarz

Chris is a contributing editor to Popular Woodworking Magazine and the publisher at Lost Art Press. He's a hand-tool enthusiast (though he uses power tools, too).

The Tools in the Third Till of my Tool Chest

The bottomost till in my chest carries the heavy stuff that isn’t on the floor of the chest, and stuff that doesn’t fit in the top two tills and has migrated downward. Three of my essential planes are here, as are some of my most important measuring equipment. When you keep...

The Best Dovetail Saw for Beginners

I get asked all the time about which dovetail saw is best for a beginner. It’s a difficult question because saws now come in a crazy variety of prices and configurations, from Japanese dozukis to premium handmade Western saws to well-manufactured mid-range saws. So I usually duck the question and suggest...

The Tools in the Second Till of my Tool Chest

The second till of my tool chest sits right below the top till and is almost exactly the same size. My trips to this till are infrequent. This till holds the small items I don’t use every day, including the spare bits and blades, a few specialty chisels and a bunch...

Tools in the Top Till of my Tool Chest

I am asked on a regular basis about the hand tools I keep in my tool chest. In fact, when people visit my Covington, Ky., workshop during the days we are open to the public, some people have photographed every tool in my chest. I’m going to list brand names. But...

Reviewing Saws (and Automobiles) is Kinda Dumb

First, let me say that I am guilty of the behavior that I am discussing below. When I reviewed tools for Popular Woodworking Magazine for 20 years, I fell into the trap I’m about to describe. After decades of woodworking, I have achieved a bit of wisdom. And I think this...

bench planes

The 6 Stages of Tool Love, Hate & Obsession

Like the life cycle of a frog, woodworkers go through a predictable pattern when acquiring tools. I’ve watched it play out with thousands of readers, hundreds of students and my own tool chest. Here are the 6 stages most of us go through. Get Tools, Any Tools When I first decided...

Experiment: Plastic Rotting Strips

One of the important features on tool chests are what I call “rotting strips” – pieces of wood between the chest and floor that protect the bottom of the chest from water. And, if the chest does get wet, these strips rot before the bottom of the chest. I’m in the...

Why Build a Tool Chest?

During the last six years, I’ve built a lot of tool chests for customers. To many woodworkers, this might seem odd. Why not build one yourself? The answer is simple. Why not build your own handplanes? Your chisels? Forge the steel for your tools? Mine the iron ore and learn to...