Friday, November 14, 2008

Dovetail session with Frank Klausz and Roy Underhill

If I get any mustard on the blog, it's because I'm frantically trying to eat lunch and write this post at the same time.

This conference is packed!  I think there are about 500 people here, which bodes well for this becoming an annual event.

I just got out of a session on cutting dovetails with Frank Klausz and Roy Underhill.  To my surprise, they were like a comedy duo up there!  I've always heard about how Klausz cuts dovetails without any marking, so it was a treat to see him do it in person.  More later on this.  But he said he cuts dovetails more often than he signs his name, so he's gotten pretty good at it after 40 years.  He was very casual about the whole thing.  When people would get a little nit-picky, asking questions like, "What is the bevel angle on your chisel?" Klausz would reply, "The angle is sharp -- whatever angle makes it sharp is the angle I use."  Here's a photo of the set of dovetails he cut.  Amazing stuff.  

He tapped them gently together with his mallet. He passed it around and I got to feel the ends -- perfectly flush, as if they'd been sanded. When asked about whether to leave the tails proud 1/32 of an inch, he asked, "Why would you not want them to be flush?"

Now I'm off to another dovetail session with Klausz.  I could listen to him talk about this stuff forever.