More About the Author
Woodworking Author, Furniture Designer & Craftsman
Born in Budapest, Hungary in 1954, Sandor Nagyszalanczy (pronounced Shawn-door Not-sa-lon-see) escaped during the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 and immigrated with his family to America, eventually ending up in Los Angeles, California in the early 1960s. He later attended the University of California, Santa Cruz and received undergraduate degrees in Environmental Planning and Design Theory. He worked as a metal smith and sculptor for several years before resetting his sights on functional woodworking. Sandor maintained a business as a craftsman/designer of high-quality woodwork for ten years, creating custom furniture and cabinetry for both residential and commercial clients. His work has been displayed in nearly a dozen galleries on the West Coast, and at nearly two dozen woodworking exhibitions, including: "American Style, Arts and Crafts Movement in the United States" (Macy's Department Store, San Francisco, Ca.), Furniture in the Aluminum Vein (National Invitational Exhibition at the Kaiser Center Art Gallery, Oakland, Ca.) and a one-man show (The Highlight Gallery, Mendocino, Ca.). In 1982, Sandor joined the faculty of Cabrillo College in Soquel, California to teach classes in the use of craft materials (wood, metal, leather, plastic).
Sandor became a member of Master Craftsman status in the California Contemporary Crafts Association in 1982, and also served as secretary to the Northern California Woodworker's Association and as a founding member and President of the Santa Cruz Woodworker's Association. He started a regional woodworker's newsletter in 1983, which precipitated requests for articles from several national woodworking and crafts magazines. He was recruited as an editor for Fine Woodworking magazine in 1986. During his six-and-one-half year tenure with the magazine, Sandor authored nearly three dozen feature articles. Editorial work demanded extensive travel in North America as well as occasional trips to Europe and the orient, where he visited woodworkers of all specialties to develop articles and take photographs. As a spokesman for Fine Woodworking, Sandor presented numerous lectures and seminars on a variety of woodworking topics, and served as a juror for several major woodworking exhibitions in the U.S. and Canada. He also served on selection committees for Taunton Press' Design Book Four and Design Book Five, and acted as the Associate Editor of Design Book Six.
After leaving full-time duty at Fine Woodworking Magazine in 1993 as Senior Editor, Sandor returned to his home and workshop in Santa Cruz, California. His first job was to tackle a major commission for the Minneapolis Institute of Art replicating an important Prairie-style dining set for the Purcell/Cutts House in Minneapolis, MN. He served as a contributing editor for Fine Woodworking from 1993 to 1996 and West Coast Editor for American Woodworker magazine in 1997 and '98. He has also written and photographed dozens of articles for other print magazines, including Woodworker's Journal, as well as on-line magazines, including CornerHardware.com.
In the past fifteen years, Sandor has written and photographed more than a dozen books published by the Taunton Press: Woodshop Jigs and Fixtures, Fixing and Avoiding Woodworking Mistakes, Woodshop Dust Control, The Wood Sanding Book, The Art of Fine Tools, Setting Up Shop, Power Tools; An Electric Celebration and Grounded Guide, The New Woodshop Dust Control Book, The Homeowner's Ultimate Tool Guide, Tools Rare and Ingenious, The New Built-In Ideas Book, The Complete Illustrated Guide to Jigs & Fixtures (Fall 2010). He also authored "Dust Collection and Control (2003, WMH Toolgroup) and is photographer of Router Joinery Workshop (Lark Books), The New Woodfinishing Book, Wood Finishing Fixes, Build Like a Pro: Painting & Finishing and Tiling Complete (Taunton Press). Sandor's books and magazine articles have received ten National Association of Workshop Writers "Golden Hammer" awards, including an unprecidented eight consecutive first-place awards (2001-2008).
Sandor has presented innumerous seminars and workshops at woodworking shows & exhibitions, guilds and association meetings around the country and has been an instructor at the Marc Adams School of Woodworking. He's consulted on powertool design for several major woodworking tool manufacturers, and is currently a consultant to Chervon International, helping to develop portable powretools for the Sears Craftsman brand. He has also served as an expert witness in two liability cases involving woodworking accidents.
Sandor has appeared in three videos produced by the Taunton Press, including Short takes: Sliding Compound Miter Saws. He's also appeared as a tool expert on numerous television programs including: Peter Jennings World News Tonight (ABC Television Network); Modern Marvels: Hand Tools, Modern Marvels: Sawing, and Tool Box (The History Channel); Collectible Treasures (Home & Garden Television); DIY Tools & Techniques (DIY Channel); and an infomercial for The Drill Doctor (various networks).