Frank Klausz: The Man, The Myth, The Legend

Frank-dovetailingI first read about Frank Klausz in my teens. Werner Duerr was already teaching me the foundational skills for a career in woodworking. It didn’t matter to me that Werner was from Germany and Frank was from Hungary. To me, Werner was a woodworking titan and the thought of being able to meet another was mind-boggling. This is America after all – the crafts were dead and quality had either died off shortly before or after.

Pushing through an apprenticeship and starting a couple of businesses of my own (an antiquarian bookstore and my own furniture-making shop) took up so much of my time that meeting Frank was delayed by a couple of decades (or so). And focusing on the woodworking business meant that I missed out on nearly the entire Frank-Klausz era in print, but I never forgot the inspirational articles I had initially read.

When I finally met Frank, it was clear to me that he is a woodworker whose fame was earned by real experience. Don’t get me wrong, Frank’s an affable guy, but his woodworking knowledge comes from deep within. Like many of us, he’s studied the theory behind wood and woodworking, but when you talk with him and watch him work, it’s apparent that his skills come from having used the tools so much that the skills are second nature. That doesn’t happen by reading about a technique or skill and trying it once or twice (or even 10 or 20 times); it comes from performing a task hundreds or thousands of times. The man is more than proficient.

It is no wonder Frank’s classes and seminars are packed with woodworkers thirsting for his knowledge. As I said, he’s personable, but his reputation is far more than a cult of personality – it stems from his God-given talent and his desire to pass on to others what he has learned. And those are the foundations upon which we are building 360 WoodWorking; we’re bringing you solid woodworking information, presented by craftsmen who are masters of their craft to the core of their being, and who passionately want to share their experience with you. And that group includes people like Frank Klausz. In fact, when I look at many of the woodworking “personalities” out there, few (if any) can hold a candle to Frank.

And if you want to learn a little more about Frank and see some techniques that have never been recorded anywhere but here on the 360 WoodWorking website, you’ll need to subscribe and view this week’s article. Or you can catch a quick lesson for free from Frank on sharpening on our YouTube channel by clicking here.

— Chuck Bender

 

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