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Behind the Biz: Dovetail Furnishings

One man's craft has turned into life's work.

A dovetail joint, in woodworking terms, is known to be one of the strongest ways to connect two pieces of wood. It requires no mechanical fasteners—just glue and a brilliant, resistant design.

Dennis P. Schlentz knows the dovetail design very well. In fact, the dexterous business owner went so far to name his custom-furniture making company after the strongholding connection. And rightly so.

Dovetail Furnishings is anything but ordinary. Owner Schlentz says he's been in the woodworking biz for 35 years, but Dovetail Furnishings (which has been under numerous names) has been around for 30 years.

"I started in my mom's garage and made my first kitchen when I was 18," Schlentz told Patch.

Schlentz says he can make anything if you give him enough time. Some of his creations have included custom-kitchens, entertainment systems and doors for homes in La Jolla, Del Mar, San Clemente and the Country Estates.

The talented woodworker moved to Ramona for more space for his woodshop and has filled his country home, as well as many others, with his beautifully unique furniture.

Check out what life is like for this meticulous craftsman in the wood biz and see some of his projects in the photo gallery above.

Patch: Why did you choose to start this business in Ramona?

Dennis Schlentz: I needed bigger space for my workshop and I wanted my kids to grow up in the country.

Patch: What distinguishes your business from others in the same industry?

Schlentz: I can do so much more things that others can't do. People don't know how to approach certain projects or know how to do the details. I can do it.

Nothing's hard, you just have to do it right. I'm the guy for custom-made items: home libraries, barn doors, etc. I want to give a great product.

Patch: Any current challenges you face as a business owner?

Schlentz: Nobody has any money! The first of the month comes once a week for me.

Patch: What's been your favorite project?

Knott: I recently got to rebuild a dashboar for a '59 Rolls Royce. It was beautiful! I don't have any pictures yet of it.

Patch: Your stuff is beautiful. Any accolades for some of your pieces?

Schlentz: I was published in San Diego Home and Garden and 500 Chairs from Lark Publishing.

I've also entered pieces into the Del Mar Fair and am entering a natural-edge table this year.

Interested in Schlentz's custom work? Check out Dovetail Furnishings online and contact the talented woodworker at 619-977-4105 or dovetailfurnishings@cox.net.

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