Category Archives: Books in the Works

Details on Drilling and Reaming

To make the conical mortise for a piece of staked furniture, I first bore a hole that is the smallest size of the overall joint – typically 5/8” in diameter. Then I follow that up with a tapered reamer that … Continue reading

Posted in Furniture of Necessity | 7 Comments

How I Remember ‘Rake’ and ‘Splay’

  First-time chairmakers often confuse the terms “rake” and “splay” – and never mind the other names for the other angles in a chair. After I took my first chairmaking class 11 years ago, I made up this little explanation … Continue reading

Posted in Furniture of Necessity | 15 Comments

The Beauty of the Resultant

The nice thing about geometry (aside from sitting next to Cris Titsworth) is that you can perform some operations that look difficult with surprising ease. For example, let’s look at my “wireframe” model for my next project. With needlenose pliers … Continue reading

Posted in Furniture of Necessity | 22 Comments

Build the Christopher Schwarz (TM) Staked Chair

Perhaps this is because my shop is small, but I don’t like building full-size mockups of projects during the design process. When I’ve built full-size models in the past, I felt bad about wasting materials. Cheap pine could actually be … Continue reading

Posted in Furniture of Necessity | 17 Comments

What do You See?

Quick quiz. There are no right answers. What do you see? Women baking bread? A castration? A feast? A martyrdom? Work? A drinking party? Doctors consulting with one another? Or do you see a forgotten way of making furniture? — … Continue reading

Posted in Furniture of Necessity | 29 Comments

Gestation, Dilation & Biting Down

“In all its horrible eccentricity of non-descript Gothic, worse Chinese, and inane rococo, combined though they be with the most exquisite workmanship and occasionally a quaint gracefulness, Chippendale’s style is not in favour with those whose training enables them to … Continue reading

Posted in Furniture of Necessity | 8 Comments

A Prototype Double-screw Vise

For chairmaking and other handwork, a small double-screw vise can be handy. Check out Peter Follansbee’s bench and you’ll see these appliances lurking – or in use in surprising ways. Jennie Alexander uses them for many aspects of constructing her … Continue reading

Posted in Furniture of Necessity | 24 Comments