Friday, May 27, 2011


Not exactly cutting edge news, this, but as the reader is probably aware, Chris "Mr Workbench" Schwarz has announced he's giving up the editor's chair at Popular Woodworking Magazine. It's take me over 24 hrs to go through all the stages of reaction to this.

1. Denial.
Noooooooo! Such an influential mover and shaker for the wunnerful world of hand tools, wandering off into the wilderness instead of being able to sucker in all those Normites from the authority of the editor's chair? Aaargh! *sob*

2. Resignation.
Okay, so there's nothing to do - but I won't be taking out that sub I was thinking about. Not yet.

3. Happy Memories.
Ah, Woodworking Magazine.

4. Positive Light.
Reduction in Roubo-ness? Okay, more seriously, things can get stale, and better to go before they do.

5. Hopefulness.
If PWW can keep up the same quality of hand tool stuff then whoopee. It's one thing to do this when there's chronic evangelist in charge, but if they can do it without one, then that's even better and suggests it's really here to stay.

6. Silver Lining.
Less Roubo... Oh, and there'll still be articles, blogs, and all the interesting stuff from Lost Art Press.

6b. Cloud.
If there are still articles, blogs, etc, then the Schwarz Effect on tool desirability will probably still be operative.


(Good luck, Chris. And thank you for the show so far.)


  1. Alf,

    I'm still stuck on #1. :(

    I always have #3, though, so maybe I need to come up with a slightly different list. I'm so incredibly grateful for the instructor in the first woodworking class I ever took back in 2004 for mentioning "this new magazine that just started up that doesn't have any ads in it and focuses on hand tools".

    Congrats, by the way, on the article in the latest Lee Valley newsletter! Wonderful stuff!

    Love the blog, too. Glad to see you're back into it!



  2. I think we will be still hearing a lot from Schwarz. He certainly has been prolific in his blogging, no way I could ever come close.


  3. I agree with the "Less Roubo"...workbenches anyway. I feel they are overrated and personally love my European style bench.

    However, I'm still sad to see the Schwarz go, despite that minor disagreement. Though it seems he will be putting more time into Lost Art Press, which makes me very, very happy.


  4. I was shocked to hear the news, but hope that with his new found independence he can go "hardcore". I reckon he's been holding out on us ;)

  5. Wow Guys, I feel like there needs to be a new woodworking forum dedicated to "Post-Schwarzian-Depresssion" :)

    I too was surprised, but after lying down on the floor for a while, I came away really encouraged by this news!

    I don't thing this is a sign that Chris is going to be slowing down, In fact I think quite the opposite. I think that would be trying to tell a hummingbird to chill out and try a powerbar.

    I agree with Philly that this might be a cue that the gloves are off and we ain't seen nothing yet. PS. Roubo ain't going anywhere any time soon. The translations of his writings are in the pipeline and perhaps the best is yet to come.


  6. I always hoped to meet Chris on my annual visits to Cincinnati. Each year I must have been within 50 feet of him in the worshop but never had the courageto go in and meet him personally. My son has met him, but we'll ignore that. There comes a time when we have to move on. Chris had just completed the renovation of his workshop and was getting into publishing old texts on Woodworking. I feel a new phasde of his life is beginning and as the saying goes "You can't keep a good man down" We will be hearing form him at some point.


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