I got a phone call Thursday night that Frank Klausz was in town, (really next town over but 15 miles away) holding three seminars. Friday night Wood Technologies, Sat tools and joinery, Sun Finishing.
I was/am only able to go to the Friday night session because of prior commitments.
Franks is Hungarian, came to the US at age 27. He was trained by his father and grandfather. He said when he came to this country he wanted to learn some additional skills. He said a seminar being taught and so he signed up. It was being taught by a wood glue representative. He is sitting there and this instructor came in and smeared some glue on some wood and used a spring hand clamp to hold it and then a screw clamp to make it tight. He said he started yelling at them. “I paid good money for this (of course all in a Hungarian dialect) I want my money back. As he was leaving they tried to sell him a gallon of glue.
So he left and he told himself that when he gets recognized he is going to hold his own seminars. He has a cabinet shop in New Jersey. Before the class he told me they have a job that requires the same veneer on all surfaces of one room. Walls and ceilings. He said the veneer was over $60,000.
Frank said that he was sitting in a barber shop and saw an advertisement for a new woodworking magazine for professional woodworkers. He tore out the advertisement and mailed it in. When the first issue of Fine Woodworking showed up, He was disappointed so he called the editor and the publisher to rip them about the drivel that they were publishing. He proceeded to tell them that the magazine was terrible.
The next day he was working in his shop and these two gentlemen showed up at his door. They stood there jaws open is amazement as he used a hand plane to take of wisps of wood and then hand cut a dovetail before their eyes.
They became good friends and the rest of the story still continues. They started to match him up with Ian Kirby and if one said white the other said black. And if one said black the other said white. Ian is a tool mechanic he will show you how to set-up your tools to fine precision, Frank is a hand woodworker of the old school.
After about 5 years they became good friends, after 5 o’clock. After the business of competing they sit down and enjoy each others company.
Always make the outside, visible piece of wood the innermost surface of the piece of lumber. If it is flat sawn the outer surface of the board is closest to the bark. Make that surface the inside of what every you are making.
Always use wide pieces of wood and if you need smaller pieces take it from the middle of the plank of lumber. Use the outer pieces somewhere where you can screw and glue it down. Like face frames, columns etc.
If you are making a raised panel door make it from one piece of lumber, two at the most, but never 5 or 6 pieces glued together.
Always use quartersawn wood if you can get it.
The best jig for sharpening chisels and plane irons, is attached at the end of your arm. He is not a fan of Scary Sharp sharpening. He says that you will probably spend more money on sandpaper than you would with water stones. He used Norton stones at the class. He took a Japanese chisel out of a package on the wall of the store and in less than 5 minutes he had honed it sharp, probably the same time to take a blade out of a brand new plane hanging on the wall, and had it cutting whisper shavings. He doesn’t care about the thickness of the shavings. He just wants it to cut full width. When adjusting the blade on a chisel move the tilt lever toward the wood that is in the plane mouth. Always adjust the depth of the blade on the push out cycle. First adjust it move the blade until it protrudes through the base then back it off two full turns and then screw it back maybe one turn and try it and then adjust it out about 1/8th of a turn. If you ever have to back it off take it back two full turns and then go forward again. That is to take up all of the slack in the screws. If not when you hit a knot or hard piece of wood the blade will move backward.
He was bitching about the October Issue of Popular Woodworking. A great magazine, but it had an article about him and a “Ruhlmann-style Poker Table” and then it had David Charlesworth. I think the British woodworker who was going to make a board flat with a curved blade in his plane. How can you do that. And Frank’s article was further back in the magazine.
A great guy and a lot of fun.
And sorry Tom (Mot) and Martin. I didn’t even think of the camera and the LumberJock shirt.
No picture but did happen.
-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia email@example.com †