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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Medieval Method Can Improve a Modern Design

I recently finished building an Enzo Mari table from the 1970s as part of an article for Popular Woodworking Magazine, and I have only one worry about the project. It looks great. It feels stout. But I’m worried that the joinery might not last forever. The joinery? Lots of properly installed...

An Enzo Mari Table – and a Puzzle

“Mari is right, everyone should have a project: after all it is the best way to avoid being designed yourself.” — G.C. Argan, L’Espresso, 1974 In 1974, Italian designer Enzo Mari published a series of furniture designs that were free to the public. People were encouraged to use his drawings to...

John Brown for the 16th Time

Every time I read John Brown’s book “Welsh Stick Chairs,” I latch onto something different. When I read the book for the first time in the mid-1990s, I became obsessed with the Welsh stick chair’s form (and I remain so to this day). After a few more readings, I became obsessed...

Video: Folding the Folding Bookstand

The June 2018 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine features an article I wrote about making a folding bookstand using scraps and copper rivets. It’s a design based on 18th-century pieces that were popular among British military officers. Several readers have requested a video that shows how the bookstand folds and unfolds....

Make a Marking Gauge for Curves

If you work with curves, you need a marking gauge that can deal with curves. Me, I make chairs. So I need a gauge that can follow the curve of a seat so I can delineate the lines for the scooped-out saddle, the spindles and the “gutter” – a shallow and...

The Tools in the Bottom of my Tool Chest

The tools at the bottom of my chest are the heavy and expensive stuff – the planes and saws that get constantly used. At the back of the chest are my moulding planes. And the front wall of my chest has a tool rack that contains the stuff I need to...

A Dovetailing Kit for Beginners

Last week I discussed the Zona Razor Saw and how it’s the ideal saw for beginning dovetailers. It’s just $12 to $15 and cuts extremely well. This saw got me thinking about what other inexpensive tools could fill out the kit for the beginner (or someone who is short on money)....