In Chris Schwarz Blog

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A few weeks ago I made some people upset by hitting some handplanes with a hammer in this video to see what they were made of. In the “test” I destroyed a junky Stanley No. 3.

Today I had to settle up in the karma department.

I was installing drawer dividers in a cabinet and was using a combination square to position a vertical divider just so. I put the combination square on my benchtop and reached for another part when my General square fell to the floor. Its 12″ rule leaped out of the head and hopped under my bench.

I picked up the pieces and put them back together. The head wouldn’t grab the blade. I adjusted the locking nut and tried again. No joy. Then I noticed that the fall to the floor caused the square’s locking tab to snap off.

So now I’m out of a square until I can get a new part ordered. The only other combination squares I can find in our shop today are the “loaner” ones. The good ones are are pulling an Anne Frank, apparently.

I swear I’ll never pummel a plane again. OK, are we even now?

–  Christopher Schwarz

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Showing 7 comments
  • Bob Dow

    Thats what happens when you deal in negativity. This is a positive hobby /occupation. Payback is a mother.

  • Jonas H. Jensen

    Since I was one of the people who got upset, it makes me happy that you wont bash another plane again. But I do feel sorry for you that the square is incomplete.

    Actually I have never thought about if hand tools have a soul or karma. But I am convinced that some of the bigger pieces of machinery has. So maybe it was your own workbench that pushed the square to the ground to punish you. Afterall, it did witness the hammer-smashing affair.

    Take care


  • Charles Davis

    If you’re going the floor mat route, let me recommend horse stall mats. These things are PERFECT. Super comfortable to stand on for prolonged periods. They come in roughly 4’x6′ sheets and an inch thick. They weigh about 100 lbs each (and are as unwieldy to carry as your average dead body) and ran about $40 each from my local Agway ( If you don’t have an Agway nearby check for local farm/tractor supply stores.

    They also look very nice… here’s a random pic I found on the web:

    They cut easy enough with a good box cutter or even better with a linoleum knife.

    Check them out… your joints will thank you (bodily joints that is… does nothing for woodworking joints)… and you prepared to entertain horses at moments notice.

  • Christopher Schwarz

    When we moved into this new shop years ago we were promised wood floors. So we threw out our rubber mats from our old shop. I guess I should just face facts that those wood floors are never coming and buy new mats.


  • Barry Johnson

    Karma my WW butt, that was the distortion in the magnetic field of the earth created by workbench placement without insulating material present. Eventually all tools place on workbenchs will succumb to the magnet field and seek its rightful place in the universe on the floor, usually edge first or whichever way guarentees damage of some sort.

    My solution was the $10 mats that HF sells, disrupts the field enough to limit the attraction and minimize damage when the force is just too strong, or we are too clumsy.

    Marc was right, you should keep smashing stuff. I like to watch the videos, and reading the stupid fallout on all the forums. With football season still so far away I need something to read about online when I should be working, help the cause out.

    Keep blogging, and keep smashing stuff!!!!


  • marc spagnuolo

    No no. Please, keep smashing things! In fact, I think you need to smash the heck out of that square just to teach it a lesson! lol

  • Charles Davis

    Even if you are even with Karma, it has a funny way of "paying it forward" at times so stay alert. Now that I think of it, are you even sure that the square "fell"? Perhaps unable to deal with the shock and awe of what it had just witnessed, it leapt?

    I had read the post about the plane abuse test but hadn’t seen the video till now. Was very entertaining although I cringed when the Veritas was brought to the gallows. Have to say that I could definitely detect some glee as you indulged your hammer fetish. I think your next t-shirt should picture you with hammer in hand, in hulk-style rage, with "Schwarz Smash!"

    Maybe this Schwarz Smash thing could have legs as a regular segment. You do so much creating of things maybe you should effort to bring some balance to your universe and destroy stuff. Sort of a woodworking Shiva (the Hindu god responsible for both destruction and creation).

    I ramble.


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