Woodworking vacation #14: Dovetail vacation

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Blog entry by Betsy posted 09-09-2009 03:52 AM 1616 reads 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 13: Starting to plan my next vacation. Part 14 of Woodworking vacation series Part 15: in advance of dovetail class with Frank Klauz »

In a couple of weeks I get to take part in a week of dovetailing with Frank Klauz at Kelly Mehler’s School of Woodworking in Berea, Kentucky. I could not believe my luck when I saw that Frank’s class still had a spot in it when I finally decided I could do a school this year. I’ve understood that Frank is a wonderful teacher and is a joy to just talk to. Besides hoping to learn a little woodworking, I’m very hopeful that I’ll get a chance to hear Frank talk a little bit about how the apprenticeship program worked when he was a kid. It’s a good chance to learn a little history first hand.

In anticipation of the class I thought I’d open up this blog to possible questions you might have that I may be able to squeeze into the conversation with Frank.

I’m sure I’ll be blogging about the class – and will try to include any answers I may get.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

9 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


115172 posts in 2997 days

#1 posted 09-09-2009 04:06 AM

Wow That’s cool .frank seems like a great guy from the interviews and videos I’ve seen him in. Enjoy the class hope you get a lot out of it.

-- Custom furniture

View gagewestern's profile


307 posts in 2770 days

#2 posted 09-09-2009 04:19 AM

so you are going from this nasty hot weather here in tx. to some great fall weather in ky. their are some wonderfull state parks their. also and more to the point for this site wonderfull lumbermills in thatpart of ky. if you plan to drive. haev fun. brian

-- gagewestern

View lew's profile


11263 posts in 3175 days

#3 posted 09-09-2009 04:42 AM


So good to hear you’re going to get a much needed and obviously enjoyable vacation. I’m looking forward to your blog!!


-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View sikrap's profile


1121 posts in 2778 days

#4 posted 09-09-2009 05:21 AM

Hi Betsy, One question that I would appreciate an answer to is this; What skill level is recommended for a class such as this? I’m new to woodworking and I don’t know if I should take classes like this now (when I know absolutely nothing) or if I should have a certain skill level. Good Luck and enjoy!!

-- Dave, Colonie, NY

View patron's profile


13524 posts in 2761 days

#5 posted 09-09-2009 06:05 AM

good for you girl .
any chance to learn in a class setting ,
is good .
and especially if you are in a vacation
kind of space .
enjoy !

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View FlWoodRat's profile


732 posts in 3329 days

#6 posted 09-09-2009 09:12 AM

Betsy, enjoy the class. I have to ask….... Are you driving? If so, please be careful. Somer of us remember your last adventure. Most of all, have fun.


-- I love the smell of sawdust in the morning....

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27251 posts in 3241 days

#7 posted 09-09-2009 01:23 PM

Betsy, this is another wonderful opportunity for you. As woodworkers, we do not do enough of this. Too often we let our daily nuances get in the way of continuing to grow and develop our skills by taking formal courses.

Have fun and let us how you like this class. I know you enjoyed the one you took last year. Sounds like a good way to vacation to me.

Be careful driving too, by the way.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Betsy's profile


3333 posts in 3315 days

#8 posted 09-09-2009 08:02 PM

Thanks guys – I can’t wait to get going.

Dave – the skill level for this class is intermediate I think. But honestly, I can’t see where even a novice would be left behind. I know a lot of woodworkers who can fell a tree and take it all the way to finished product who can’t make a hand cut dovetail to save their lives. They would be on the same level as you. I would encourage you to take as many classes as you can. Even if you end up getting in a class that might be a bit over your head you can still learn something. I’ve been in that spot a couple of times. I’m careful when I am the one that seems to know the least though and try not to bugger things up – but I ask questions, lots of them and most of the time the instructor and other students don’t mind a bit. I’d say go for any class you find interesting and learn something new!.

As to the driving to this vacation. Some of you who have followed my vacation blog know the mishaps from last year’s trip. I hope to avoid all of that this year. I do not intend to come back from this class with any thing else but a new box made with dovetails! No new cars, no new hillbilly stories and definitely no more surgical scars! So here’s to safe driving. Of course, it was not my driving that was the issue – but we’ll leave it at that. :-)

Gage – yep I am most definetly looking forward to the cooler weather. Should be really nice. I plan to get there a day early just so I can enjoy some of the parks in the area and breath some nice fresh air.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View PurpLev's profile


8523 posts in 3068 days

#9 posted 09-09-2009 08:08 PM

that is fantastic- of all the FineWoodworking videos out there – I found those by Frank Klauz to be the BEST! the way he approaches the subjects, and how he transfers that information is just wonderful – easy to follow, he makes sense in all of it, and teaches you the importance of it all. highly recommended!

now if only he comes to Boston :)

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

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