An End to Public E-mail

Since 1996 I have had a public e-mail address for all things woodworking. I have – to the best of my knowledge – answered every e-mail people have sent me (except a few from Nigerian princes).

Today I shut down my public e-mail address: chris@lostartpress.com. Here’s why.

During the last few years, my e-mail volume has ballooned to the point where I spend two to four hours every day answering mail. This is interfering with my writing, editing, building and (apologies) sanity.

If you have a question related to my writing, I encourage you to search my two blogs, which have more than 4,000 articles on all-things woodworking, plus jokes about animal flatulence.

On this blog, use the search box at the top right of the page. On my Popular Woodworking Magazine blog, the search function is right above the most recent entry.

Plus, you can always query me by leaving a comment on my blog that relates to a recent entry.

I ask that you do not bombard John with questions related to woodworking or about getting in touch with me. He has his hands full with customer service for Lost Art Press and keeping fulfillment running smoothly.

I have enjoyed corresponding with readers during the last 19 years. But I have reached a point where I need more time to think, build, read, research, edit and write.

Thank you all for your understanding in this matter.

— Christopher Schwarz

About Lost Art Press

Publisher of woodworking books and videos specializing in hand tool techniques.
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30 Responses to An End to Public E-mail

  1. Jay C. White Cloud says:

    It was bound to come Chris…there is just so much one can do in a day with the time we have…enjoy the peace and quiet…

  2. jbakerrower says:

    Email… eh. My fear is that you will quit giving classes just about when I retire and am able to attend. (Next year, about this time…)

  3. Nobody said it was easy
    It’s such a shame for us to part
    Nobody said it was easy
    No one ever said it would be this hard
    Oh, take me back to the start.

    Too much Chianti …

  4. John Preber says:

    If this goes like the other things that Chris does or buys into then everyone will start shutting down their e-mail. Talk about anarchy! Oh, happy days!

  5. Will you now be accepting a self addressed envelope, along with $0.03 for a measured drawing?

  6. abtuser says:

    Chris, you’ve been generous with your time, here, mail, reddit the other night… Thanks for all that.

  7. philupman says:

    I enjoyed your Ask Me Anything on Reddit the other day. Maybe you could do something similar on your blog? Once or twice a year, people could ask questions in the comments, and then you can answer the best ones on the next blog post. Just a thought. Anyway, thanks for all you do for the craft.

  8. dndculp says:

    I’d much rather you spend your time on some esoteric analysis of pre-Colombian discovery of campaign furniture than answering emails.
    Thumbs up to this.

  9. Rachael Boyd says:

    Having access to you and your knowledge is the biggest reason I read your blog (well and the fact that I love your style of writing) . You have always been there to answer my questions . I for one will miss that one on one contact with you.I do how ever understand the time it takes to answer all your emails ( I have a show on the internet myself with around 300k viewers) keep the words coming in the way that you do..Hugs and kisses or shavings and saw dust….

  10. I appreciate all that you do. Here is to more time to do what you do best (a toast here with your favorite adult beverage)–inspiring and challenging the rest of us to approach to craftsmanship and the understanding of our craft at the highest possible level. Cheers!

  11. Bob Jones says:

    Im just surprised it took this long. Good for you.

  12. jmaichel says:

    I remember the first time you replied to one of my emails I was pretty shocked and very appreciative. Thank you for all the time that you did spend answering my emails and thousands of other woodworkers emails from around the globe!

  13. wolframherzog says:

    I would suggest to setup at least a kind of incomming mailbox to enable your readers to send you pictures of old workbenches, furniture etc. No guarrantee for feedback, just a one way input channel into your direction…
    Otherwise I can fully understand your decision

  14. ant11sam says:

    Good for You!
    Carry on!

  15. Wesley Beal says:

    Wait – you mean all this time I could of been emailing you with questions like how to set my Jack plane up!?! All this time I’ve been using google with often mixed results. Crap. Missed out. Another option worth considering: are you familiar with the position of unpaid-intern?

    More seriously, I’m sure this will help to give you more time for what we all want you to keep doing, which is good for all of us, not just your sanity.

  16. pathdoc70 says:

    Chris, I completely understand your decision. Thank you for all the emails answered in the past for all of your readers. We will only gain more pearls of woodworking knowledge from you given the additional time you will have.
    I am, frankly, quite surprised you had not done it before.
    Many thanks and good wishes.
    Mike O’Brien
    Valley Head, AL

  17. lblack2x4 says:

    I too remember the first time I got in contact with you. I have always been amazed with the speed of your replies. It’s a shame that it’s taking up so much of your time but I compl understand.

  18. stevevoigt says:

    You can still reach Chris at his private email: chris@38in.bench.org.
    Oh wait, I wasn’t supposed to do that…
    Congrats on reclaiming some of your life, Chris!

  19. kendewitt608 says:

    Like a lot of others I am surprised you did not do this sooner.
    Cutting it off beats dial 1 for english or listen to the menu for options to chose.
    Now get back to work.

  20. Sure it’s a bit sad that I won’t be able to email you… but I totally understand. I’d like to think I didn’t abuse the privilege. I believe I emailed you twice and both times I was impressed with your response time and helpful answers. Thanks!

  21. sablebadger says:

    What a bummer, I really enjoyed our email chats.

    Thanks again for the classes, and I might stalk you in Portland when you come down. Would you be up for me taking you out to lunch (and glorious microbrew) one of the days you’re down in Portland?

  22. mrogen says:

    I can’t say I blame you.

    Michael

  23. Thank you for all the time you have given us. I appreciate the few emails you answered, although there was one last question you didn’t answer. Any news about Waltl at Brass city records? and if you ever want to come to Mexico, I live four hours south of Cancun, they have microbrews here locally made, and lots of amazing tropical woods. Plus I have a Roubo with lots of good tools. You’re welcome to the guest house on Laguna Bacalar. Google it. Then come visit.
    Jimmy Clarizio
    Bacalar, Quintana Roo
    Mexico

  24. mbred says:

    Chris,
    Thanks for having made yourself so available. See you in the fall at Marc Adams.
    Mike

  25. Just finished your Anarchist’s Toolchest and wanted to recommend Michael Polland’s “Cooked” – same basic idea but for cooking vs. woodworking…Then I find out you severed e-mail contact with the world. Good for you – go out and make more things!

  26. Good for you Chris.. Watch out for the deluge of snail mail! 😉

  27. Josh says:

    Thanks for all you do Chris. If you have questions still there are lots of resources. I would recommend joining the Woodwhisperers Guild (costa but Marc always answers your questions) or using lumberjocks to get your questions answered if you don’t have a local club or store that can help. My lical woodcraft has been a great resource as well.

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