After spending most of a week trying to figure out a good way to summarize my seminar with Frank Klausz, I’ve come to a conclusion… I can’t. There is no way to document everything we talked about in a reasonable blog entry – it would be long enough to make a small book! I don’t like to write like that and I think you’d probably not get as much out of it reading it like that.
So instead, I’ve decided to write up shorter blog entries that focus on different aspects of the seminar. This is a good way to highlight the topics I feel are more important without burying them in a bunch of rambling drivel. (It’s also a great way to pad my blog count! Not that it matters to me, Mark…)
To give you a general idea of how the weekend went…
On Friday night, a few select members of the guild were picked to go out to dinner with Frank.
On Saturday, Frank started by giving us a breakdown of his woodworking background. He then highlighted what we would cover during the rest of the weekend, breaking the topics down into four areas:
- Understanding wood
- Tools, Hand and Power
We then went into Understanding Wood, which took an hour or so of time. Lots of good, useful information came out of that one hour of discussion. It changed the way I will design any future project!
After that, we started in on Tools. For hand tools, he talked about the best places to get them (flea markets, garage sales, maybe even eBay if you’re smart about it) and the best tools to look for. He gave us a list of the basic hand tools every woodworker should have. He then worked his way into power tools. He didn’t spend much time on power tools, though he did focus a little on the table saw and the band saw. I don’t think he mentioned the word “router” more than three times. (He couldn’t spend hours talking about every single tool in the shop or else it would have been a month-long seminar.)
Most of the afternoon was spent on joinery, with a greater focus on hand-cutting dovetails. He also covered mortise and tenon joinery and some furniture construction basics.
At about 2:00 p.m. the first day, we paused to discuss Finishing for a little bit. That was mostly because he wanted to prepare some fresh shellac for the next day. In order to do so, he had to make it then because you have to swirl or stir it every 15 minutes for two hours or else you’ll get a chemical burn and your shellac will be useless.
At the end of the first day, I was able to get a picture with Frank.
(Martin, just look at all the advertising I’m doing here!)
We spent most of Sunday talking about finishes. He spent a great deal of time on shellacs and very little time on lacquers. (I’ll go into why later.) He also talked about his favorite finishing technique and walked us through the different steps with about 10 sample boards he’d brought with him.
We ended with an open question-and-answer session where we could ask about anything he didn’t cover.
And then the weekend was over… Man, it went by way too fast!
I’ll start my next blog with the dinner on Friday night. It was a great experience to sit down with him in a social environment and one I’m glad I didn’t pass up…
-- Ethan, http://thekiltedwoodworker.com