Woodworking vacation #20: Day 5 - dovetails with Frank Klausz

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Blog entry by Betsy posted 10-04-2009 01:06 AM 8141 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 19: Day four - dovetailing with Frank Klauz Part 20 of Woodworking vacation series Part 21: Staycation - it's what you make it. »

Made it home safe and sound. Always great to get away and have a good vacation – but also so very nice to be home.

The last day in class was such a good time. Someone asked Frank to talk a bit about his life in Hungary and his ventures to the US. Frank essentially gave us a two hour talk on history and it’s a talk I very much enjoyed. Frank is a genuinely nice man who has a lot to teach besides woodworking. He spoke in great detail about his apprenticeship and how it worked in Hungary, his time in the communist army, his living arrangements when he first got married, his search for work (did you know he was a butler?), his desire to leave Hungary, his time in Austria and his eventual coming to America. I daresay I would not do it justice trying to recap it here. Suffice it to say, the living history lesson was as interesting as the woodworking. This is one class I will not soon forget.

As always the last day of any class is used to tie up loose ends and to touch on some oddball questions that people are just curious about.

As for the box – we spent a bit of time on the tray. It’s difficult to actually do the tray until you get the lining done, and it’s difficult to do the lining until you get the finish done.

Here is what we are looking for in the tray.


Using contrasting wood with a spline material that matches your exterior box looks really cool. The spline cuts are made with a hand saw and the kerfs are made as if you were cutting dovetails.


The neat thing with doing the cuts this way – if you use the same wood for the tray as you do the exterior – make these cuts then fill the cuts with the same material – it looks like you have cut miniature dovetails! It would take another woodworker looking very closely to know that they are not real dovetails.

Well – I’m just about worn out from the drive so I’m going to cut this short. I’ll blog some more as I finish my box.

Finally, and for fear of beating that dead horse to death – if you ever get a chance to take a class with Frank – jump on it! Likewise for taking a class at Kelly Mehler’s school. Kelly runs a first class school.

Happy woodworking. Thanks for reading.

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

7 comments so far

View patron's profile


13600 posts in 3308 days

#1 posted 10-04-2009 01:22 AM

glad you made it home safe ,
and that you got to have a good ” vacation ” ,
learning something you love !

well see the rest of this project later .

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

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4066 days

#2 posted 10-04-2009 01:59 AM

Loved following along, thanks for sharing. It sounds like you had a great time and it was well worth it.

Coincidentally, look what I made this afternoon with the only scraps left over from the tea box cabinet.


I looked at your second picture and thought, “Hey, I was just doing that a little bit ago!”

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View Betsy's profile


3391 posts in 3862 days

#3 posted 10-04-2009 02:46 AM

Todd – I think you were looking over my shoulder! That’s a nice looking piece. :-)

Thanks for following my blog.

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

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3788 days

#4 posted 10-04-2009 04:17 AM

Betsy, thanks for taking us along on this ride. It has been enjoyable and I will have to look into trying to take one of these courses.

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

View woodbutcher's profile


592 posts in 4132 days

#5 posted 10-04-2009 06:25 AM

Glad to hear that you’re back home safely. I know what you mean about, it’s always good to get back home. I’m the sameway, no matter how much fun I’m having while away, there’s no place like home! I think I saw the Wizard of Oz one too many times growing up-LOL. We’ll be very interested in seeing your finished project once time allows. While we weren’t away on vacation, your blogs did allow us to enjoy it also. Thanks again for sharing.

Ken McGinnis

-- woodbutcher north carolina

View rtb's profile


1101 posts in 3680 days

#6 posted 10-05-2009 03:40 AM

Betsy, as always your vacation teaches and enlightens us all. I for one am quite happy that this years trip will not be followed by all the complications that last years was. And I am quite certain that this one was much more comfortable.

-- RTB. stray animals are just looking for love

View Betsy's profile


3391 posts in 3862 days

#7 posted 10-05-2009 03:45 AM

Thanks guys. I really am glad that my blog provides some entertainment and maybe some tidbits for others to use.

RTB – yep this year was sooo much more comfortable. No trials and tribulations this year!

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

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