November 10, 2012

WIA 2012 Spotlight: Frank Klausz

Frank touching up his work
Frank Klausz came to WIA to spread his knowledge in dovetail joinery.  As an extremely talented and successful cabinet maker, he knows a thing or two about joinery.  His Hungarian accent and stern sense of humor makes for an enjoyable lesson.

If you're new to dovetailing you may not know of the age old argument of: which end is correct to cut first, the pins or the tail?  The truth is that it really doesn't matter.  No matter what way you go about it, the end result is the same, a mechanical joint, that, if done well, fits tightly and square. Frank's way is pins first, and he'll argue that it's the right way.  Why, Frank?

"Because that's how my grandfather taught me." He'd say.

He'll go on to show that transferring your cut to the adjoining piece is easier when you've got gravity assisting you to hold the pin board down onto the tail board as you trace what you've cut onto it.

This is the opposite of how I had been practicing my dovetail joinery, but I'm a good student and am never one to  not listen to a person in the know.  I've been posting a series of my practice joinery on twitter under #dovetaildaily and can safely say that pins first has produced tighter joints that are, indeed, easier to transfer lines.

The second pins first dovetail I had ever cut.
Thanks, Frank!

If you ever get a chance to hear Frank speak, do it.  He's a wealth of knowledge and very entertaining.  He is, by his own admission, too old to join the Modern Woodworker's Association, though.

Tom Iovino doing his best to recruit Frank into the MWA

Frank, Paul Schurch, and Chuck Bender discussing the finer points of veneer saws


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