Friday, April 4, 2014

Cutting Through The Myth of Chris Schwarz

 Back in 2009, Chris Schwarz spent blog space babbling about his striking knife.

3 Things I Like About My Striking Knife

Suddenly, 5 years later....

Cue the Marty Stouffer voice-over discussing "circle of life" while we watch the video of the wolf eating the baby rabbit.

Yep.  Today at the Lie-Nielsen tool even at PopWood in Cincinnati I purchased this very striking knife from Chris for $15.  It is the same one shown above that says "London" on one side and "1876" on the other. 

Like a 17 year old girl who has been dumped two days after prom, this little knife is right now sobbing, "Chris Schwarz liked THREE things about me back in 2009!!!!!!!!  Why was this not enough to keep us together forever?!?!?!"

With that said it should also be noted that today Chris also GAVE me a complete set of turning tools to give to a 14 year old kid/guy I know who is just now learning the craft.

Our cut-throat world has no way to really understand Chris Schwarz, because Chris is a guy who does not make money the #1 priority in every decision he makes.  Chris just won't milk out the last dollar (or two dollar bill) at the cost of the craft or the relationship.

Since the moment Chris and I met about 8 years ago, my life has been GENUINELY improved because of Chris Schwarz and his selfless desire to promote  woodworking, craftsmanship, and writing.

Thank you, Chris... not just for the deal on the striking knife or the turning tools for Jared, but thanks for everything you've done for me over the last 8 years..

I will cherish this striking knife, and I will take very good care of it.  (Camellia... Jojoba... whatever it takes.)

Monday, February 24, 2014

I Got My Mind On My Chisels And My Chisels On My Mind

I have no problem admitting that I love Chisels.  They are clearly my favorite woodworking tools.  While some look at simple chisels and label them as “un-photogenic” compared to complexity of a Stanley 45, I am opposite.  The simplicity of the chisel hides an elegance that outshines everything else on the bench.  Chisels are well-rounded athletes, and at times they are called upon to be large brutes who hog out mortises, and at other times they are needed for their finesse that can pare away the last wispy shaving of endgrain to perfect the fit of a dovetail.

Last week I completed a simple chisel rack to hold my chisels on the wall behind my bench.  It’s just a couple pieces of purpleheart to hold two rows of chisels.  I showed this picture to my coworker as  a way to prove that I am once again active in woodworking.

I expected her to have questions about the chisels, but instead, she mentioned the color combination.  She said she thought I was a Colts fan, and then asked why I had chosen the Purple wood and Gold screws. 

She told me of being a girl growing up in Minnesota at a time when both the Vikings and the Lakers still played there, and both teams wore purple and gold.  I smiled, and went on to explain that the purple wood was not dyed but happens to grow that color in South America.  (On the inside I thought how wonderful it would be if there was a tree that had wood the color of Indianapolis Colts Blue.  Hmmmmm….)

The only shocking part about the chisel rack I made last week is that it is too small to hold my entire collection of chisels.  It has room for eight feet of side-by-side chisels, yet I still have others that stay boxed up and sitting on shelves.  I don’t apologize for that.  I just truly LOVE chisels.  I always have.  I always will.