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One of the truly nice things about a blog is that you get feedback from interested and helpful people. One such individual is Gidon Yuval. Gidon is a SketchUp Community Forums (SCF) Global Moderator who frequently posts in the SCF Woodworking Special Interests Group. He is a SketchUp expert and accomplished woodworker.

Gidon has been following the tutorials I have posted and has offered some alternatives to drawing tapered legs and mortise & tenon joints. To demonstrate his approach Gidon has modeled them in a SketchUp. With his permission I am posting them here for the benefit of those following my tutorials. You can download Tapered leg tut.skp and Apron tenon tut.skp by clicking on the hyper links provided. The apron tenon technique Gidon uses takes advantage of the “Intersect With Model” tool, which I have not introduced students to yet because I consider it a more advanced tool, but it is clearly the right tool for the job.

By the way, I would suggest, if you haven’t already, take a look at the SCF and the Woodworking SIG. You can use the links provided below. for SCF for Woodworking SIG

And while you are there drop Gidon a line and say thanks!

If you are interested in how I taper legs in the wood shop click here.


Bill Guidi, a native of Pittsfield MAFrank Klausz, master cabinetmakerWhat do Bill and Frank have in common? From these photos a good guess might be they both carry an AARP card in their wallet. Maybe, but that is not what this article is about. You might guess that they both grew up together. Nope. Frank and his wife immigrated from Hungary in 1967. Bill was born and raised in Pittsfield MA. Ahhhhhh! They are both woodworkers you say. Well……. sort of.

Frank Klausz is a master cabinetmaker, schooled in the Old European apprenticeship system. He began his apprenticeship when he was 14 years old. Frank has cut as many dovetails as there are stars in the sky. Christopher Schwarz says Frank is one of two living dovetail savants.

Bill's version of the Frank Klausz's tool chestDrawers packed with measuring devices Bill Guidi, well Bill cut his first dovetail about six months ago, and that is where this story begins. Bill has always loved woodworking, but it is the kind of woodworking that houses are made of. He built his first home himself. He has spent countless hours in the woods hand hewing beams for post and beam structures, including hand mortise and tenoning. Give Bill a few pine boards and he will return you a crafted bookcase with carvings of trees. But Bill has never attempted hand dovetails until he picked up Issue #156 of Popular Woodworking.

Tool chest left viewTool chest right view There on the front cover was Fank Klausz standing behind a tool box. Frank authored the article and described the many tools a cabinetmaker needed for his craft. He talked about how, in his youth, he collected hand tools and how they needed to be protected by a useful and portable tool chest. The tool chest was stuffed with all sorts of hand tools. Most of them Bill never acquired because they were not useful in hewing a tree. But he was smitten by Frank’s earthy chest and its practicality. Bill decided he had to build it.

But wait! No tools. Being an internet junky, a story for another day, Bill set about quickly ordering new tools, very much like those Frank had in his box. Lie-Nielsen, Lee Valley and Woodcraft saw their revenues soar – as did UPS and FedEx. Soon he had everything he needed. Time to make the chest.

Tool chest front view open The chest didn’t come quickly. Bill never practiced a single dovetail. He went right at it; but very painstakingly and very, very slowly. I would stop in from time to time to check on the chest’s progress. That was akin to watching paint dry – in slow motion. But eventually the chest was completed – the shell at least. Still there was the internal nooks and crannies to craft. This is exactly what Bill loves, and what drew him to this box in the first place. He has never told me that, but I am sure of it.

Tool chest front view with trademark tree carving Each tool was gently placed, re-placed, re-placed, re-placed ….. You get the idea. Each time he placed a tool and made a holster for it he had to make modifications. I continued to check in on progress. More drying paint – very slowly. But eventually it was completed – uhhhh, except for the finish. What to use for a finish?

Well this story is beginning to drag on like the tool chest. So I’ll tell you the short version. Shellac! Bill fell in love with shellac. Everything he has done since has been shellacked. I guard my shop very carefully; I expect to arrive one day and find it shellacked.

Well, I have roasted Bill enough. I think it is time to say – "This is a tool chest Frank Klausz would be proud of." – don’t you?

I have moved my blog to a self-hosted site powered by WordPress. This will make it easier for you to comment, and for me to manage my site. The look and feel will change over time. It will eventually be consistent with the rest of my web site ( But for now, please excuse the ongoing construction.

I have chosen not to moderate comments or require registration, but request that if you comment, please stay on topic and remain civil.

As the Chiefwoodworker at SRWW, (actually the only woodworker) I will be posting blogs from time to time. They will deal with anything woodworking that aids in the crafting of fine furniture. Many of my posts will deal with craftsmanship, methods and techniques. I will post reviews of new tools both hand and power. You can also expect to see a number of posts on Google’s SketchUp, which I use to design my original and reproduction pieces, in addition to producing shop drawings. As I craft furniture I will post on its progress, commenting on technique with the intent of opening a dialog. To that end, everyone is welcome to comment; actually you are very much encouraged to. I look forward to chatting with you.

I also hope to interest a few other authors to publish here. So if you are interested and are a woodworking junky drop me a line.

Joe Zeh a.k.a Chiefwoodworker

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