Biographies

David Pollak

Born in Morristown, NJ David has been involved in woodworking since the age of 18. His skills are varied and include cabinet and furniture making, turning, carving, inlay, veneer work and marquetry. In 1984 he opened Creative Woodcraft in Morristown on Mt Kemble Ave. After five years he moved the company to a larger facility in Dover on Blackwell St where he and his crew developed a reputation for creating beautiful, unique and diverse work with an attention to quality and customer service. After 20 years he shut down that business and went to work as a top furniture maker at a shop in Union building museum quality reproductions of the work of Jacques Ruhlmann, master designer of the Art Deco Movement.

After five years he left Pollaro and joined forces with longtime friend and fellow master woodworker Wally Kunkel forming Woodmasters LLC.

Dave is a founding member, former president and current vice president of the “Guild of Professional Woodworkers of Upper New Jersey” and a honorary lifetime member of Crafts. He is also on the board of directors of the Early American Industries Association.

His parents, Emil and Martyl Pollak founded the trades related publishing company Astragal Press and co-authored several books on antique tools including “A guide to American wooden planes and their makers”. David is also involved in the tool collecting community and restores woodworking machinery as a hobby. He is published in Dana Batory’s book “Vintage Woodworking Machinery” where he has written a chapter on buying and restoring woodworking machinery.
Respected by his clients and his peers for his skills and attention to quality, David continues to refine his talents with every new project he undertakes.

Don’t forget to check our gallery. I look forward to hearing from you!

Wally Kunkel

At age sixteen, Wally Kunkel produced his first museum quality piece of furniture on commission. That entitles him to claim his professional experience to be forty three years and running. His foundation came from his ancestry, but mostly from his father, known to the country as "Mr. Sawdust", Wallace M. Kunkel. He was the founder of a wonderful woodworking school in Chester New Jersey. It was the springboard for many professional woodworkers on the east coast today.

Wally Jr. along with his brothers Bruce and Marc, were a huge part of the school's success.

The building boom of the "roaring 80's changed the tide and interest for the Kunkel boys. Wally went on along with his brother Marc to form Kunkel Brothers Inc.. It was where to go for your one of a kind library or piece of furniture that was otherwise unavailable. They created a portfolio that raised eyebrows and made jaws drop. From the remaking of the Gothic arch tracery windows at the famed Trinity Church in lower Manhattan, to what has been called the most spectacular private library in New Jersey.

With a passion for his work and a natural born talent, Wally went on to winning the prestigious American Woodworker Award, also known as the Excellence in Craftsmanship Award. This was a high honor to the young Kunkel considering that the competition included many of the icons he had only read about.

Further experience included six years of fine yacht building at Merritt's Boat Works in Pompano Beach, Florida. Merritt's was called the premier sport fishing yacht in the world by Yachting magazine. In just a few years, Wally became the foreman of a very elite group of men, known around the world as some of the best in their field.