ACWA will be sponsoring Chris Schwarz for two woodworking classes here in Anchorage in April 2014. Class descriptions and registration information are below.
Christopher Schwarz is a long-time woodworker and writer who has spent the last 15 years encouraging woodworkers to embrace more handwork in their shops. He built his first workbench when he was 11 and was introduced to handwork when his family built its first house on an Arkansas farm without electricity.
After formal training as a journalist at Northwestern University, Chris worked as a newspaperman by day and studied woodworking at night at the University of Kentucky. In 1996, he was hired as managing editor of Popular Woodworking, where he helped resuscitate the magazine and introduced more handwork into its pages. He eventually became editor and began writing books and teaching woodworking classes.
In 2007 he founded Lost Art Press LLC, a publishing company devoted to one thing: reviving handwork. By 2011, Lost Art Press had grown so much that Chris stepped down as editor of Popular Woodworking (he’s now a contributing editor) to focus on his company full-time.
He’s the author of several woodworking books, including The Anarchist’s Tool Chest,Workbenches: From Design & Theory to Construction & Use, The Workbench Design Book, Handplane Essentials, and The Joiner and Cabinet Maker. He also has produced six DVDs on handwork with Lie-Nielsen Toolworks. He lives in Fort Mitchell, Ky., with his wife and two daughters.
The first two-day class will be held on Friday April 25 and Saturday April 26, 2014. This will be the layout tools class.
Make Your Own Precision Layout Tools or The Best Layout Tools that Money Cannot Buy
There are three wooden layout tools at the heart of every shop that incorporates handwork – the straightedge, winding sticks and the wooden try square. These seemingly simple tools are accurate, highly refined, lightweight and easy to keep true.
In this class, you’ll learn to build these three tools. And the process of building them will also teach you a lot about using your hand tools to do extremely fine work. You’ll learn to true edges so they are straight within .001” with a handplane. You’ll learn hand mortising and fairing curves with chisels and rasps. Even a little inlay with a router plane. And in the end you’ll have three tools that will last for several lifetimes.
All three tools are based closely on historical examples. The straightedge is from the pages of “Audel’s Carpenters Guide,” the winding sticks are copies of mahogany originals from the 19th century, and the magnificent try square is an exact copy of the one shown in A.J. Roubo’s “L’Art du Menuisier.”
This class is ideal for anyone entering the world of handwork, whether you have been involved in the craft for a week or most of your life. This will be a great class suitable for the beginning hand tool user or the more experienced woodworker.
Registration and tuition information for the Layout Tools class can be found here. In addition to tuition there will be a materials fee for this class. The cost of the materials fee has not yet been determined, and will be payable at the start of the class.
The second two-day class will be the Dutch Tool Chest Class on Sunday April 27 and Monday April 28 2014.
Not everyone has the time, materials or skills to build a full-scale traditional floor chest, which can have as many as 100 dovetails and banks of precisely fit sliding trays. And while I’m a fan of my large English tool chest, I’ve always been intrigued by the Dutch form, which I first spied in Jim Tolpin’s “The Toolbox Book” (Taunton) years ago. And after studying an authentic Dutch example
owned by Roy Underhill, I decided to build a pair of these chests, try them out and see how they worked. The Dutch chests turned out to be a surprise at every turn. They are simple to build – each took me only two days of shop time, compared to the 40 to 60 hours needed to build a full-size English chest. They required much less material. And, most surprising of all, they were great chests both for the shop and on the road. Now I won’t lie to you, these Dutch chests aren’t as sturdy or as good-looking as a quality floor chest. But they are stout enough. And if you are short on time, materials or skills, they might just be the option you are looking for.
In this two-day class you build your own Dutch Tool Chest.
Registration and tuition information for the Dutch Tool Chest class can be found here. In addition to tuition there will be a materials fee for this class. The cost of the materials fee has not yet been determined, and will be payable at the start of the class.
These classes are sure to sell out quickly, do don’t delay in registering. You must be a ACWA member to attend either of these classes. Membership Information can be found here.