By Deb Murphy
David Kuznitz merges artistry and high tech at his new woodshop on East Line Street in Bishop.
He’s also redefined the concept of woodshop. DK Woodworks turns out cabinetry and architectural elements with an old-world look and surgical precision using fine wood and CNC equipment. He works with designers on homes from Swall Meadows to Lake Tahoe, taking on projects from statement front doors to whole interiors.
The artistry starts on the computer screen. Details that would be time consuming in pre-computer days are translated into the final product on equipment that cuts, sands and textures. “It starts with the art,” Kuznitz said as he runs through a photo gallery of finished pieces
If what comes out of the shop is jaw-dropping, the shop itself is equally mind boggling. There are regulations on woodshops. The sawdust has to be contained and Kuznitz’ system not only sucks it away from the equipment, it wafts it out of the shop through a duct system and converts the sawdust into compact briquettes, 200 pounds an hour, that will go into a boiler to heat the building.
The dust-free air is then recirculated back into the shop. ”We’re totally self-contained,” he said.
Kuznitz is hoping to get the extra briquettes into the hands of locals to heat their homes. “I want to connect to the community,” he said. He moved his shop from Lake Crowley where he felt too isolated. He’s got plans to develop an apprenticeship program for local kids, to get involved, to further the craft.
He started his nearly 40-year career in Bishop, making inlaid boxes. Erick Schatt liked his work and had him build a cabinet for his home. That was the beginning.
Kuznitz worked at Camp O’Neal near Convict Lake, running the vocational education woodshop. After the drowning of students and counselors nearly 30 years ago this month on the lake, the camp shut down. He ended up at Lake Crowley with a woodshop in his garage, building a clientele in the Eastern Sierra.
Four years ago, he bought the lot on East Line Street and started planning for the ultimate shop. He worked closely with the City of Bishop, Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District and former Fire Chief Ray Seguine with the Bishop Volunteer Fire Department—and found them all “great to work with.”
The shop is still a work in progress. Kuznitz is planning to build a separate office/showroom in front of the existing building and to get more involved in the Bishop community.