jefferson lap_desk_Jason_BreenFall Class Schedule available. Click here for more information.

Schedule of Classes -   Fall 2015:

Dedicated to promoting excellence in craftsmanship and in developing superior hand and machine woodworking skills. Workshops are designed to satisfy beginner, intermediate and advanced woodworkers in a relaxed, hands-on format.
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Fundamentals of Furniture-Making
with Bob Van Dyke

 

wwIII_corner_tl.jpg This is a series of hands on furniture making classes that should be taken in succession as each project builds on skills learned in the previous classes. This series is not a required prerequisite for other classes contained in this schedule.
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Woodworking I

Walnut Jewelry Box

106_walnut_jewelry_box.jpg A hands-on course that covers the basic concepts of woodworking and furniture making. This eight session class is a combination of demonstrations and hands-on practice. General shop safety (with particular concentration on using the tablesaw) is emphasized. Students will utilize the skills, techniques and tools (both power and hand-tools) being taught in the class in the making of a walnut jewelry box. This project could also be used to store a variety of other personal items. Skills learned will provide a strong foundation for subsequent furniture-making classes. Class size is limited to 12 students. Tuition: $395.00 plus materials ($59.00).

Section 091615A: Monday & Wednesday evenings, September 16 - October 14, 6:00pm- 9:30pm

Section 011316A: Thursday evenings, January 14 - March 10, 6:00pm- 9:30pm

General tool list  (will open in a new window)  

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(This class is a required prerequisite for other classes in the "Fundamentals of Furniture-making" series and has always proven worthwhile to beginner and advanced students alike.)

THIS CLASS IS NOT A REQUIRED PREREQUISITE FOR ANY OF THE OTHER CLASSES IN THIS SCHEDULE

Woodworking II

Shaker Hall Table

041_shaker_hall_table.jpgAn eight-session class that is a continuation of the Woodworking I class. This class utilizes a combination of hand tools and power tools in the construction of a valuable piece of furniture. Techniques learned in the previous class are put to extensive use as more advanced techniques and skills are introduced. Mortise and tenon joints, grain matching, and using handplanes are a few of the new skills students will learn while making a cherry hall table as their project. Class size is limited, Woodworking I is a prerequisite. Tuition: $395.00 plus materials ($195.00).

Section 111615A: Monday evenings, November 16 - January 18, 6:00pm- 9:30pm

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Build a Barrister's Bookcase with Bob Van Dyke & Tim Spratlin

Barrister Bookcase_wood_MuntonFor years I have been intrigued by Barrister’s bookcases. They have always struck me as unique and as a form that a lot of people would want to build but, the designs I have seen have never quite made it. They always seem a little too boxy and plain. I saw this design a few months back and I immediately knew this was finally the one that we could build in the school. The new class will incorporate frame and panel joinery, solid wood panels, a sliding drop front glass “door” and your choice of wood muntins or lead “lattice” muntins (see bottom picture). Should you decide to go with the lead muntins you will need to enroll in a separate weekend class with Mike Pekovich to do that. In your choice of 1/4 sawn white oak, walnut or cherry, this bookcase will become a family heirloom and will look great in any room. Sign up today. Space is limited. Sign up today. Tuition: $495.00 plus materials. Barrister Bookcase_lead_muntin

Section 120215A: Wednesday evenings, December 2— March 16, 6:00pm—9:30pm
(no class December 30—January 20)

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Woodworking III

Woodworking III level classes feature a variety of more complex projects. Students are expected to complete some basic work at home such as scraping, sanding and dry-fitting, thus leaving more actual class time for the more complex operations. Shop time for this handwork only can be arranged if you have no facility to work at home.

Introduction to Cabinet Making with Tim Spratlin

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This class concentrates on the techniques used in cabinet making rather than those used in furniture making. Tim Spratlin is a professional cabinetmaker who brings with him years of labor saving tricks and techniques which students will find invaluable when completing their own projects at home. A medium sized painted plywood bookshelf is the project for this class and features techniques such as cutting plywood panels to size, using solid wood edging, making and applying a molding, making a mitered base, using a Kreg jig and working with a router. The design of the bookcase features a plinth base, adjustable shelves and decorative moldings. This class is designed for beginner and intermediate woodworkers who are interested in learning techniques they can use in numerous home improvement projects. The bookcase utilizes common portable power tools that most homeowners would have or might be considering purchasing. This class will provide you with the foundation skills needed for more advanced projects such as kitchen cabinets, storage cabinets, entertainment centers, counter tops and more.  Sign up today. Space is limited. Tuition: $295.00 plus materials

Section 101915A: Monday evenings, October 19— November 23, 6:00pm - 9:30pm

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Design and Build Kitchen Cabinets with Tim Spratlin

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The pinnacle of home cabinetmakinag is the kitchen cabinet. This is also a subject that many people have asked for over the years. Tim Spratlin is a professional cabinet maker and is able to show you loads of time saving techniques to help you on your way to building your own kitchen cabinets. You may just be interested in a simpler project like a bathroom vanity– but the techniques and principles are all the same! Tim will review the standards involved in modern kitchen design; ie. the height of counters, depths of cabinets, etc., and demonstrate the installation process. The cabinet you will make in class is a small (about 28” wide) free standing unit that utilizes all the challenges you will face in building a full set of cabinets. The project will incorporate a face frame, a raised panel door, a drawer, a laminated top and European hardware.  Options for different types of countertops will be discussed. The cabinet you make in class could then be used at home as a free standing vanity, a storage cabinet or even a sharpening station in a workshop- but more importantly, it will give you the knowledge and confidence to tackle that larger kitchen project that you have been putting off!  If you’ve been waiting for the right time to rebuild your kitchen, then this class will get you started on the right track.  Tuition $395.00 plus materials.

Section 101515B: Thursday evenings, October 15—December 10, 6:00pm - 9:30pm

general tool list    (will open in a new window)

 

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Woodturning with Corey Anderson

 

This six evenin073_turned_round_edge_bowl.jpgg class is designed for the beginning (or frustrated) woodturner and features extensive hands-on practice each night. Woodturning is a skill that requires some basic instruction and lots of practice. Students are turning on their own lathe most of each night of the class. Class starts with basic spindle and includes a few simple projects like a mallet and spinning tops. We then move on to face plate turning which includes some cherry and mahogany bowls and plates. Along the way we spend time learning about tool sharpening and general information about lathes, tools, chucks and various jigs used in woodturning. This is a great way to safely get into woodturning and gives you a good foundation for other more advanced turning classes and projects. Corey Anderson is the past president of the Central Connecticut Woodturners Guild. Tuition: $295.00 plus materials ($49.00)

Section 091615B: Wednesday  evenings,  September 16 - October 21,   6:00pm - 9:30pm

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Six Weeks of Small Woodturning Projects with Corey Anderson

peppermillsThis six week evening class is designed to give beginning and intermediate woodturners a great opportunity to make six small projects while learning, polishing and perfecting their turning skills.

The projects are a Garden Dibbler (whatever that is!...), a Tool Handle for a Reversible Screwdriver or a Toy Top, a Lidded Box and Honey Dipper, A Pepper Mill and a Plate. There will also be a review of tools used in turning, tool sharpening, sanding and finishing on the lathe. Safety is always important and will be emphasized throughout the course. Students will gain valuable experience and make some great projects which will help build confidence to continue the quest to master the art of woodturning. Sigh up today. Space is limited. Tuition: $ 295.00 plus materials.

Section 101915B: Tuesday evenings, October 13 - November 17, 6:00pm- 9:30pm

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Basic Woodturning with Corey Anderson

130_al_three_bowls.jpg Many people have asked for a beginning turning class to be offered in a weekend format. This class will cover much of the same material as the six-night class but because of time constraints we will not be able to cover as much material in as much depth. The class will cover spindle turning, bowl turning and basic lathe use, safety and sharpening. Students will have the opportunity to make a number of spindle and faceplate projects during the weekend including a mallet, a bowl and a small plate or platter.  This is a great introduction to the fascinating craft of woodturning. Tuition: $275.00 (plus materials: $32.00)

Section 101715B: Saturday & Sunday, October 17 & 18, 9:30am 0 5:00pm

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Professional Furniture Finishing Techniques

Finishing - Start to Finish- with Greg Massicotte

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Most woodworkers shy away from finishing or are disappointed in their attempts at finishing the projects they have spent so much time and effort in making. Greg Massicotte has been finishing furniture professionally for over twenty years and has taught countless seminars and classes. Students will learn about bleaching and wood preparation, how to use aniline dyes, pigmented stains and glazes in combination to create the dramatic effects and colors they want. The many different choices for top coats always create a lot of questions. This class will expose students to brushing on varnishes, wiping on oils and spraying lacquers. This experience will help clarify the strengths and weaknesses of each topcoat system. Rubbing out the finish and French Polishing will round out the class. With the huge number of finishing questions that come up daily, you should be sure to fit this valuable class in. Tuition $295.00 (plus materials: $40.00)

Section 092115B: Monday evenings September 21— November 2, 6:00pm - 9:00pm

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A Woodworker's Guide to Finishing with Mike Pekovich

Mike_Pekovich_finishing

Every woodworker knows the joy and stress of putting on that first coat of finish on a project. A finish can bring out the beauty of a piece, but it can also highlight every flaw. Add to that the wide range of dyes, stains and finishing products on the market and the finishing process can get down right scary. In this class, you’ll learn how easy it is to get the silky smooth, low-luster finish that is the hallmark of handcrafted furniture using a simple wipe-on finish. But there’s more to it than following the instructions on the can. Mike Pekovich, art director of Fine Woodworking magazine, will show you a simple step-by-step process that will yield excellent results every time.

The class will cover everything you need to know from preparing the surface to building a finish to final waxing. You'll also learn a simple 30-minute finish that's perfect for small projects and last-minute gifts.

And in the event you need to add a little color to your work, Mike will offer tips for preventing blotching and a strategy for combining dyes and stains in order to dial in the perfect color. Tuition: $125.00 Materials are included.

Section 121215B: Saturday, December 12, 9:30am - 5:00pm

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The Case for Using Shellac in Fine Finishing with Tad Fallon

garnet shellacAs furniture conservator, I often rely on shellac as my go-to finish, for its tremendous versatility and proven long-term stability. Shellac is a beautiful and durable finish for a wide range of applications. It is also re-treatable; as a solvent release finish it is continuously soluble in its carrier, denatured alcohol. This important distinction allows a shellac finish to be easily repaired, both on-site and in the studio. Shellac is also ideal for touch-ups, using pigments and dyes with prepared shellac as a binder.
In this two day workshop, we will explore the various varieties of shellac, learning to recognize the subtle differences between the types that can be utilized according to the needs of the project. French Polishing will be discussed and demonstrated, along with a “modified” padding technique where oil is not used. Both brushing and padding methods and materials will be reviewed and discussed. The repair and touch up of a previously finished piece will also be discussed and demonstrated, and will incorporate pigments, dyes, brushes, and matting agents. Professional touch-up kits will be available for optional purchase.
Tad Fallon is the co-owner of Fallon & Wilkinson - a small furniture conservation shop that specializes in restoring 18th & 19th century high end furniture. Tad has written numerous papers for the trade and has taught many workshops for professional furniture conservators. Sign up today! Tuition $275.00 plus materials.

Section 111415B: Saturday & Sunday, November 14 & 15, 9:30am - 5:00pm

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Five Week Furniture Making Intensive

Five Week Intensive Furniture Making with Bob Van Dyke

walnut hepplewhite_table_resizedOver the years I have done hundreds of classes which feature projects that teach particular skills. The problem with these project classes is that the logistics of the class prevent us from spending sufficient time on any given new skill to really understand and gain any kind of proficiency in it. In this new 5 week (4 days per week) class the project is completely secondary. Unlike other classes, we will spend days rather than hours to insure learning of basic– and not so basic—furniture making skills and techniques. The project is a small side table– a perfect vehicle to cement your comprehension of the material.

I plan on spending two to three days on the basic milling process– a strong foundation is essential to more advanced techniques. Instead of learning just enough to get through dovetailing the drawer, plan on spending at least two days on dovetails– before you even touch the drawer.

Machine set ups? I already know how to set up the machine– so in this class I will not set anything up– You will do that– after my demo and explanation of course. You will learn what it takes to flatten a tabletop– by machine and by hand, and glue up a tabletops– using one clamp and a handplane.

We will get into planning a project, basic wood technology, buying lumber, tool sharpening, cutting joints -by machine and by hand, along with basic finishing techniques and ornamentation. It is always good to get a second viewpoint so I have arranged for some guest instructors to spend a day or two with us. Mike Pekovich, Will Neptune and possibly others will be adding to your experience.

Proficiency in handtools is essential in any high end furniture making and we will spend a lot of our time on just that– plan on spending at least a whole day just on working with handplanes– and another whole day just on sharpening.

An emphasis will be placed on hand tool maintenance and use along with the proper and safe use of common woodshop machinery such as the table saw, jointer, thickness planer, router and bandsaw. The school has a full complement of ready to use high end hand tools and power tools which you are welcome to use. These tools also will give you some experience and guidance in picking out your own tools which you will eventually acquire.

This new class is designed for the serious student who has both the time and the desire to commit to a comprehensive course of study. It is not designed for the total beginner, but rather someone who has done some woodworking and is now ready to get serious about it and really learn some skills.

Sign up today. This is an opportunity you do not want to pass up. Tuition: $1995.00 plus materials.

Section 101315A: Monday—Thursday, October 13—November 12, 8:30am—4:30pm

(The class begins on the Tuesday after Columbus day—the rest of the weeks start on Monday)

 General tool list (will open in a new window)

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Speciality & Weekend Classes

Yes Folks- There are more than 10 ways to cut Dovetails!  With Bob Van Dyke

Van DykeThe great thing about running a national woodworking school is that I get to see the techniques of every different instructor who comes here to teach- and there have been a lot of them over the last 12 years!

In woodworking- like a lot of things- there is no one “right” way- there are bunches of different ways to accomplish the same thing and that is what this class is all about. I will not be telling you what I think is the "best" way- that is for you to decide- and you will have the opportunity to learn a number of different methods.

Cutting dovetails entirely by hand can be intimidating to a lot of people.  When cutting dovetails I see students typically making the same mistakes and hitting the same stumbling blocks each time- so that is what we address to start; using a cutting gauge, paring to (and not beyond!) a line, cutting straight lines with a handsaw- and using a sharp chisel! These are all skills that you will practice (and hopefully master) in this class. But this class is much more than just cutting dovetails by hand. This class will show you a number of ways to make “handcut” dovetails that will only require a little bit of paring with a chisel to make them fit perfectly. We will be trying out techniques that use the tablesaw, a trim router, bandsaw, scroll saw and coping saw along with the traditional handsaw and chisels. The goal is to get you  cutting great looking dovetails using a combination of machines and handtools until you are comfortable enough with the process that you realize doing it all by hand is not that big a deal! Tablesaw dovetails

This class is a combination of demonstrations and hands-on practice. There is no project for the class- you will be working on a series of practice boards. It is great to see the difference between the first dovetail you make on Saturday and the last dovetail you make Sunday afternoon!

Router dovetail jigs like the Porter Cable or Leigh jig will NOT be a part of this class- I have no idea how to use those tools…

Sign up today and lose your fear of cutting dovetails once and for all.

Tuition: $275.00 plus materials.

Section 091915A, Saturday & Sunday, September 19 & 20, 9:30am – 5:00pm

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Build a ”Mini Bench Riser” with Bob Van Dyke

Van Dyke Mini Bench Riser 2Many of you who have taken classes at the school or have seen any of Steve Latta’s videos know the value of this simple “mini bench” or “bench riser”. Whether it is close up inlay work or light duty work that does not require being “over” a standard height bench this bench will save your back and let you work up close when you need it. Light enough to easily move on and off the standard bench, but heavy enough to withstand medium stresses like light handplaning or chisel work, this bench will become an everyday part of your woodworking routine. As a bonus we will be incorporating in the design the ability to add on a Moxon type vise as a future addition. This class is not designed to reveal all the secrets of the woodworking universe- it is a simply a class that you know you will come away with a good Mini bench that will have a good quality vise on it and you will  be able to use it as soon as you get home to you own shop. What could be bad about that?

Sign up today. Tuition: $125.00 plus materials.

Section 091715A: Thursday evenings, September 17 - October 1, 6:00pm - 9:30pm

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Make Three Shaker Oval Boxes with Doug Smith

Shaker box stack doug smith

Shaker Oval boxes are a rewarding project that do not take a huge amount of time, equipment or experience and are a lot of fun to make.

 Doug Smith of Douglass Yankee Craftsman will spend two days teaching you the traditional Shaker technique of making fine Shaker Oval Boxes. In this two day beginning class each participant will make a number one, number two and number three Shaker Oval box.  Two boxes will be made with cherry bands, one with a cherry top and the other with a lace wood top.  The third box will have maple bands with a birdseye maple top.  You will learn how to hand carve the swallow tails, select the bands and secure them with the traditional clinch nails. One of the most interesting parts of the class is the steaming and bending of the wood to fit around the forms. Fitting the tops and talking about finish will round out your two days of rewarding fun. Sign up today- Space is limited. Tuition: $275.00 plus materials.

Section 112815B: Saturday & Sunday,  November 28 & 29. 9:30am – 5:00pm

Note - Previously scheduled for September 26/27

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Sharpening Hand-tools Techniques with Bob Van Dyke

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Are you tired of trying to use dull chisels and handplanes? Most people don’t use these tools effectively because they don’t know how to sharpen them or don’t realize what a sharp edge actually feels like! Many beginning woodworkers are sucked into the advertising for the latest and greatest jig to use when in fact, sharpening any chisel or plane iron is a simple and quick process that does not require a whole bunch of expensive and time consuming equipment. We will explore the techniques required to do the initial tune up the tool in order to create a razor sharp edge. Using two stones, a simple (and cheap) honing guide and a simple projection jig (that you will make in class) you will learn how to maintain that edge in under 3 minutes each time you re-sharpen. This class will focus on basic sharpening techniques but will also go into the many different types of sharpening stones, machines and guides on the market. We will also explore using a bench grinder to repair edges and what its role is in day to day sharpening.

The key to successful and fast sharpening is to have a consistent bevel angle- whatever that is. Before you start sharpening your own tools you will make a simple projection jig which ensures you are using the same angle every time you sharpen. Time permitting, sharpening a card scraper will also be demonstrated. Bring along a chisel or plane iron to work with- Please- Do not bother bringing an old beat up tool- This is NOT a Chisel Rehab class- A new tool will teach you much more and you will actually have success sharpening it. Tuition $125.00 materials are included.

Section  100315A: Saturday, October 3, 10:00am - 5:00pm

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Making Raised Panel Doors with Tim Spratlin

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The raised panel door is a basic part of most furniture carcase construction, but is also used extensively in cabinet making. Tim will guide students thru the finer points of making raised panel doors. Proper sizing of the door to fit into an opening along with sizing the floating panel to allow for seasonal expansion and contraction are an essential part of the class. Students will use the router table and a set of “cope & stick” bits to make the stiles and rails. Students will use vertical & horizontal raised panel bits to form the panel. Each student will make a door they can then use as a model in their own workshops. Tuition: $125.00 plus materials

                 

 Section 092715B:     Sunday,      September 27,    9:30am - 4:30pm

Section 121315B:  Sunday,  December 13, 9:30am—5:00pm

 

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Woodcarving For Beginners with W. Mickey Callahan

chapin_cartoucheLearning to wood carve can open up a whole new and exciting set of challenges and possibilities to both beginner and more experienced woodworkers. In this hands-on class, Mickey will introduce students to the basic concepts needed for any successful woodcarving project. Proper layout, tool selection, a logical sequence of carving steps, awareness of grain direction and most importantly, proper sharpening techniques, will all be covered in this new weekend class. After some basic practice exercises and sharpening drills students will begin work on a small wall plaque featuring a classic floral motif that will illustrate the techniques being taught and give participants plenty of opportunity to practice. With just a few basic carving tools, (that will be used again and again in other carving projects), students will gain the knowledge and confidence to begin adding some carved ornamentation to their own woodworking projects. Mickey is a well known period furniture maker who has written articles for Fine Woodworking magazine, taught furniture making at the North Bennett Street School in Boston and is a founder and past president of the Society of American Period Furniture Makers. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn from one of the best!

Tuition: $275.00 plus materials. Three or four specific carving tools will be required – please inquire when registering

(Note: the school does have some of the carving tools that you can borrow- but probably will have to share with other students)

Section 101715A: Saturday & Sunday, October 17 & 18, 9:30am – 5:00pm

pdfTool_list_Mickey_Callahan_beginning_carving.pdf

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Build the Thomas Jefferson Lap desk with Mickey Callahan

jefferson_lap_desk_Jason_BreenThomas Jefferson, our third president, was also an inventor, architect and a prolific writer who was instrumental in developing our country’s Democratic form or government. He travelled extensively and his lap desk would accompany him so that he could stay on top of his correspondence and other writings.

In this new class with Mickey Callahan students will build an exact copy of the lap desk that now resides in the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC.

A generous writing surface and small dovetailed drawers to store paper and pens make this period reproduction attractive to anyone on the go or simply as an elegant addition to your home. Either way- it is a great project that you will learn a lot from.

Sign up today! Tuition $595.00 plus materials

Section 112015A: Friday, Saturday & Sunday, November 20-23 & Saturday & Sunday, December 12-13, 9:30am - 5:00pm

Lapdesk pictured was made by Jason Breen. Image used with his permission.

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Basic Upholstery with Mike Mascelli

This class will be a combination lecture, demonstration and hands-on session which will provide an overview of the history, tools, techniques and materials of upholstery . Mike Mascelli has been a professional upholsterer his entire career and brings a lifetime of experience to this hands on class. Mike will set up a complete working shop including a collection of historic and modern tools, and cover the full range of traditional hand sewn, and modern upholstery methods. Presentations include “A Lively Guide to a Dying Art”, which will be enhanced with demonstrations illustrating the tools and techniques portrayed. “A Tale of Two Chairs” presents step by step photos contrasting traditional work on a period armchair,   and modern methods on a 1940’s chair.

Students will complete an open frame slip seat by stretching and tacking webbing, cutting and fitting the foundation, lofting, and show cover materials, and installing a proper dust cover. And then building on these new skills, complete a small-scale sprung footstool, by hand tying springs, and learning basic cutting and folding techniques, then finishing off the corners with proper blind stitches.

The class will also include a complete discussion of tools and machines, as well as tips on common repair techniques such as replacing buttons without having to open up the chair !

Students will receive a booklet containing, excerpts, illustrations, yardage charts, and sources of supply. This class is for anyone with an interest in the tools terminology and techniques of the upholstery trade.

KEY POINTS:

  • Students will learn the history of upholstered furniture
  • Learn to identify traditional vs modern upholstered pieces
  • Basic tools and materials of the upholstery trade
  • Complete an open frame slip seat, and a half scale Sprung ottoman.
  • Master the hand tying of springs, and blind stitching
  • Learn repairs such as button replacement

Sign up today. Tuition: $275 plus materials $55.

Section 103115A: Saturday and Sunday, October 31 & November 1, 9:30am—5:00pm

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Contemporary Inlay and Decorative Borders with Steve Latta

Steve pattern_inlayAlthough inlay is most often associated with the Federal period, new techniques, new materials and new designs offer a myriad of applications for contemporary furniture projects.  In this new weekend class, using a combination of modern and traditional tooling and materials,  participants will learn double-line and two-tone compass inlay and design work.  Additionally, participants will work with a variety of full and partial patterns to inlay apples, birds, bottles and whatever else they creative eye might deem appropriate. Join American inlay expert Steve Latta as we step out of the traditional inlay mode and begin to get really creative with incorporating your own ideas on inlay into your work. Sign up today-  space is limited. Tuition: $275.00 plus materials

Section 101015A: Saturday & Sunday, October 10 & 11, 9:30am - 5:00pm

General tool list (will open in a new window)

pdfTool_List_Steve_Latta_Contemporary_Inlay.pdf

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Traditional Joinery & Bench Work with Handtools - Will Neptune

Will_Neptune_handtool_joineryThe satisfaction derived from cutting joinery by hand is something you may never have anticipated. Cutting precise fitting dovetails in the front edge of a cabinet side to receive the drawer dividers or laying out and cutting an angled mortise and tenon for a chair rail is not only satisfying, it is frequently much more efficient than going through all the set ups and tests involved in machine cut joinery. Learning to cut joints by hand also gives you a better understanding of how the joints work, which parts need to be precise and which parts of the joint are not so important. This new-found understanding then easily translates to machine work which now becomes easier, quicker and more logical.

Your new appreciation of traditional furniture making begins by separating joinery into two distinct categories: table joinery and carcase joinery. Accurate layout is essential and Will be concentrating on simple ways to increase your accuracy- usually by measuring less!! A variety of sample joints will be cut and perfected throughout the week. These mock-ups will give you a visual reference which can be applied to future projects. After making some simple joints such as basic mortice & tenon, and through and lapped dovetails the class will move on to more advanced and challenging joints which include angled dovetails and tenons, joints on curved work, multiple and stub tenons and housed tapered (sliding) dovetails. Tuning up the tools is a big part of learning to work with handtools so- sharpening your dovetail saw, chisels, handplanes and card scrapers along with tuning up (or making your own) marking gauge will be just as important as learning to properly use rabbit planes, shoulder planes and router planes along with using fillester, plough and dado planes. The skills you learn in this class from one of this country’s master furniture-makers and instructors will change your woodworking forever. Sign up today- space is limited. Tuition: $595.00

Section 102415A: Saturday & Sunday, October 24-25, Saturday & Sunday, November 7-8 

General tool list (will open in a new window)

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Building Hollows and Rounds with Matt Bickford

matt bickford_planes

The amount of handwork that goes into our craft varies drastically among us. Some use hand tools for all aspects while many of us rely heavily upon machinery. As we start to progress towards working with our hands we tend to hide our first adornments, dovetails, behind drawer fronts. We allow machines to be in charge of the single element of decoration that embellishes most of our work: the moulding. There is a set of tools that allows us to take control of this feature. This set of tools, hollows and rounds, can be comprised of several pairs of planes that create varying convex and concave radii. A set of hollows and rounds will give you the opportunity to mould the edges of your work in a fashion you want, not limited by the catalogue of options that routers and shapers afford. In this weekend class we will be bring a round plane to completion and each student will leave with the necessary skill, experience and material to make a matching hollow. Completing this project will teach the necessary skills of replicating the technology included in these centuries old tools.

This two-day class is ideal for anybody interested in working with this type of tool; regardless of whether your ultimate set is comprised of 2 pairs or 9, antique or new. In this workshop, Matt Bickford will guide you through the process of making a pair of #8s (8/16” radius) with a side escapement. Students will start with a beech billet and learn the many steps involved in creating a very versatile tool. Among the many skills to be addressed are making an accurate mortise with floats, fitting a wedge, mating an iron to the bed of your plane, addressing a side escapement, heat treating, and attending to the iron’s various edges.

The class will focus on making a single, simple moulding plane, but much of the tooling and processes is directly relatable to making or rehabilitating any wooden plane.

 Tuition: $350.00 plus materials ($95.00).

Section 012316A: Saturday & Sunday, January 23 & 24, 9:30am - 5:00pm

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Handplane Weekend with Bob Van Dyke

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Handplanes can be one of the most useful and rewarding tools in the workshop – or they can be one of the most frustrating! Learn how to effectively use handplanes in your work with Ct. Valley School of Woodworking director, Bob Van Dyke. Which handplane is right for a particular job? What should you look for when buying a new or a flea market plane? How are they “tuned up”? And most importantly- how are they sharpened? These are just a few of the questions that will be answered in this exciting two-day class. We will also go thru many of the basic (and not so basic) types of handplanes- starting with the Stanley bench-planes and going on to compass planes, shoulder planes and combination planes like the Stanley #45 & #55. Because sharpening is such a basic part of using a handplane we will also make sharpening "projection jigs" for each person during class. This is a simple device that ensures the same sharpening angle each time you sharpen.

The first day will be spent getting your plane sharpened and tuned up  so you can start practicing using it on the second day. Techniques such as smoothing a surface, beveling a table edge, planing a curved surface, shooting edge joints, making spring joints, using shooting boards, fitting mortise and tenons and planing end grain will all be demonstrated and practiced. Don’t miss this unique and informative class. Space is limited. You should bring at least one plane to this class- preferably an older Stanley #4. Bob collects planes for sale that are perfect for this class- and they are great users once they have been tuned up. Check with him about these. (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) Bringing a Lie-Nielsen or a Lee valley plane is fine- but you will not learn anything about tuning up those planes as they come to you already tuned up extremely well. Tuition: $275.00 plus materials

 

Section 112815A:    Saturday & Sunday,  November 28 & 29,  9:30am –   5:00pm

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Blacksmithing for Christmas with Walt Scadden

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Christmas is just a few days away and you have a few choices; go to the mall and finish your Christmas shopping (along with everyone else in the northeast!), stay home (you will probably just be in the way!) or come to the school and learn a little blacksmithing and make some small projects on the anvil that you might (or maybe not!) want to give someone as a Christmas present. That sounds like more fun-right? Walt Scadden will guide students in the making of a holly leaf shaped key ring, a small iron wreath or maybe a letter opener. These are just a few of the possibilities. No experience is needed so sign up today. Tuition:$125.00 plus materials.

Section 121915A: Saturday, December 19, 9:30pm – 5:00pm

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Beginning Guitars - Build a Telecaster or Stratocaster with Mike South

In this new class we jump into the world of electric guitar construction. Students will each build their own guitar based on the world famous Fender Telecaster (yeah- that’s the one Bruce Springsteen plays!) or the equally famous Fender Stratocaster.

Starting with a solid white ash body we will bandsaw and rout the basic shape, fit and fine tune the telecastermaple neck (we will purchase pre-made necks for this beginning class), fine tune the rosewood fingerboard and install all the hardware, electronics and both pickups. Finishing is an important part of any guitar so we will also spend a few nights of class time applying your choice of three different finishes (clear, “butter” or cherry). The last night of the class will be final setup & tuning of the guitars and then a jam session to prove how good they are! Mike South has been building guitars, banjos and mandolins since 1981 and is the owner of Windjammer Instruments. Sign up today for this exciting new class and have the satisfaction of building (and playing) your own heirloom quality instrument. Tuition $425.00 plus materials.

 Section 092415B: Thursday evenings, September 24 - December 3, 6:00pm - 9:30pm

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Build a Pair of Dovetailed Tea Boxes with Mike Pekovich

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If you've been thinking about taking the dovetail plunge, then this is the perfect project to get your feet wet. This elegant pair of tea boxes is a great exercise in hand-cut dovetails with a power tool assist. You'll learn the basics of layout and tool selection as well as tips for sawing and scribing for a perfect fit. Because you are making two boxes you can choose to make two different size boxes or make two in different species. You'll outfit the boxes with a partitioned liner, which is a great lesson in bird's mouth miter joints and we will top it off with an elegant ebony clasp. It's an intricate piece of joinery, but the table saw handles most of the work. As an added bonus we will finish the boxes in class so you should go home with two boxes ready for wrapping- just in time for the holidays!
Join Mike Pekovich, Fine Woodworking's art director and resident hand tool addict, for this fun two weekend class. Sign up today- space is limited. Tuition $495.00 plus materials.

Section 102415B: Saturday and Sunday, November 14 & 15 and December 5 & 6, 9:30am - 5:00pmtea box_open

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Basics of Furniture Design with Mike Pekovich

Pekovich furniture Design

Have you wanted to try your hand at designing furniture, but were afraid to take the plunge? Learn the fundamentals of furniture design that will get you headed in the right direction. In this hands-on class you'll learn the basics of furniture design with tips on sketching ideas and translating those ideas into reality through scale and full-size mock ups and perspective drawings. Join Mike Pekovich as he brings his years of experience as a furniture maker and art director at Fine Woodworking magazine to this fun and informative two-day class. You'll learn how to look to the past for inspiration as well as develop your own unique style, how to size furniture effectively and how to add your own personality into your work. Sign up and unleash your creativity! Tuition: $275.00 materials are included

Section 012316B: Saturday & Sunday, January 23 & 24, 9:30am - 5:00pm

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Saw Sharpening 101 with Matt Cianci

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This class is an introduction for woodworkers interested in learning how to sharpen their own handsaws and backsaws. The curriculum will cover jointing, filing teeth to uniform size and gullet depth, setting, and final sharpening. Topics discussed in depth will include the geometric and functional distinction between rip and crosscut teeth and how fleam and rake are combined to maximize the function of cutting along or across wood fibers. Proper file selection, filing technique, and saw vise requirements will also be discussed. No prior knowledge of saw sharpening is required. The class will be hands on with each student learning to sharpen a rip and crosscut saw.  Students are encouraged to bring one or two saws only. These saws must be in decent shape. This is a sharpening class- not a saw rehab class!  

Matt Cianci is a professional saw doctor. His website and blog are at  http://thesawwright.com  Sign up today- This is always a fun class! Tuition: $125.00 

Section 112115B: Saturday, November 21, 9:30am - 5:00pm

 

 

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Build a Utility Workbench with Tim Spratlin

utility_workbenchMany of you who have taken classes here have commented on how well the school benches work. The bench was featured in the Fine Woodworking Magazine “Tools & Shops” issue #223. This bench has all the attributes of a classic European style bench without the expense or the large amount of time required to make one. A massive top, sturdy legs, a good quality shoulder vise and brass benchdogs are all features that combine to make this a good heavy and versatile bench. Participants will cut all the joints in the base, assemble it, glue on a hard maple edging to the top and mount the vise. An outside millwork shop will fabricate the top, which consists of two layers of particleboard and one layer of MDF. The class will feature extensive work with the tablesaw and routers and will meet for 3 full days. Take advantage of this opportunity to get a good bench into your own shop. Tuition: $295.00 plus materials

Section 110715B: Saturday & Sunday, November 7 & 8 and Sunday, November 22, 9:30am - 5:00pm

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Hammer Veneer a Sunburst Veneer Top and working with Hide Glue with Steve Latta

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Hide glue was the glue if choice for furniture makers for thousands of years and started to be replaced by “modern” glues in the early 20th century. Many cabinetmakers continue to use hide glue for certain applications because it has some very desirable qualities that most modern glues do not have. Join nationally known furniture maker, Steve Latta for this information packed two day workshop on hide glue in general and hammer veneering specifically. We will examine hide glue and its many uses, variations and methods of applications.  Topics related to this adhesive which dates back some three thousand years will include gram strength, pellets versus flake, hammers , presses and pots and whatever else comes up.  We’ll combine several methods of applications including hammering, clamping, vacuum bag, etc.  to gain an understanding of what technique works best in what application.   The workshop will include some flat and curved work and participants will hone their skills hammering a small, pie-pattern or “sunburst” sample top. Sign up today- this is a class you will not want to miss! Tuition: $275.00 plus materials

Section 120515A: Saturday & Sunday, December 5 & 6, 9:30am - 5:00pm

Pictured table top made by Mark Arnold

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Build a Backsaw with Matt Cianci

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In this two day class, professional saw-smith, Matt Cianci, will guide students through the process of building a 12 inch backsaw - almost from scratch. Starting with kit of rough parts (purchased by the student ahead of time - see options below) and their choice of hardwood stock for the handle, students will make a complete backsaw which will work as well, if not better, than most you can buy on the open market - and - you will have made it yourself! Instruction will begin with handle design and form, then progress through rough cutting, shaping and fitting. Students will then be guided through the critical steps of joining the back and the spring steel saw blade, and finish up construction with drilling and mounting the finished handle. Finally, students will be instructed how to file, set, and sharpen the teeth to the configuration they prefer- rip, crosscut or sash. This is a class that is sure to thrill novice through experienced woodworkers. Students must purchase their backsaw kit ahead of class at one of the suppliers below:

Blackburn Tools: http://blackburntools.com/new-tools/new-saws-and-related/slotted-back-saw-kits/index.html

TGIAG: http://tgiag.com/

Don’t miss this great opportunity to make a saw that you can truly call your own.

Tuition: $275.00 plus materials

Section 081515A: Saturday & Sunday, August 15 & 16, 9:30am - 5:00pm

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Hone your handtool skills with Mike Pekovich

pekovich handtoolsYou can use power tools all day long, but you'll never know the true joy of the craft until you introduce hand tools into your woodworking. In this weekend class Mike Pekovich will take you through a series of skill-building exercises designed to boost competence and confidence using the essential hand tools. We'll focus on chisel, block plane, backsaw, spokeshave and scraper skills, and also take time to talk about getting truly sharp with each tool. You'll gain a better understanding of the geometry and ergonomics involved in making a hand tool work for you. The emphasis of this class is on making shavings not furniture parts, so there's no stress involved. The aim is to have fun and gain some skills and confidence with your tools that you can then bring to your woodworking projects. Mike is The Art Director at Fine Woodworking Magazine and is a truly gifted furniture maker and designer. He prefers to work with handtools when possible. This class will fill up quickly so don’t wait too long to get signed up.

Tuition: $275.00 plus materials.

Section 101015A: Saturday & Sunday, October 10 & 11, 9:30 - 5:00pm

pdfTool_list_Mike_Pekovich_Hone_your_handtool_skills.pdf

General tool list  (will open in a new window)  

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Hand Laid Carbon Fiber Workshop  with Walt Scadden

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The High-Tech explosion of the 21st century has brought about many advancements in design and product construction. Leading the list is a  mysterious substance called Carbon Fiber. Originally developed for NASA and the Military, this ultra light weight, super strong material, can be formed into just about any shape. Using a blend of resin epoxies and composite fiber material, it has found its way into many civilian applications; race cars, motorcycles, sport aircraft, sports and recreational gear, and furniture to name only a few. This class will introduce students to this unique technique by showing them how they can simply, by hand, lay up layers of carbon fiber cloth to construct a desired shape, using common items to prepare the molds or forms. Some of you may have some prior experience and specific interest in this material and others may simply be curious and want to learn about a new material that can be incorporated into other projects. Either way- you will certainly have fun and learn a whole lot! Sign up today. Tuition: $275.00 plus materials

 Section 103115B: Saturday & Sunday, October 31 & November 1, 9:30am - 5:00pm

 

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Week-long Classes

Take some time for yourself!

Spend a week with some of this country's best woodworking instructors.

Lunch break is approximately one hour. A refrigerator is available as well as local restaurants and convenience stores. Lodging assistance is available should you need it.

Fundamentals of Furniture-Making with Bob Van Dyke and Steve Kain

041_shaker_hall_table.jpgThis popular five-day intensive hands-on class is an opportunity to concentrate on the basics of woodworking and furniture making. Each student will make a Shaker style cherry hall table, which is a perfect vehicle to practice the machine and hand-tool techniques that we teach in the class. Subjects covered include basic shop safety, machine use (with particular emphasis on the tablesaw, jointer and planer), using handplanes, card scrapers and chisels effectively to surface and hand-fit the mortice and tenon joints, handtool sharpening, making tapered legs and grain matching and gluing up a top. This class takes the place of Woodworking I & Woodworking II and provides a strong foundation for more advanced furniture projects. Tuition: $725.00 plus materials

Section 010416A: Monday - Friday, January 4 - 8, 2016, 8:30am - 5:30pm

 general tool list    (will open in a new window)

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Build a High Performance Sea Kayak with Nick Schade

122_sea_kayak.jpgSea kayaking is the sport of taking a small boat out on to the big ocean. You could buy an ordinary plastic kayak, or you could build your own which will be lighter, faster, better looking and more fun than any you can buy. This fast-paced class will take students through the major phases of building a “Night Heron” sea kayak. Using the “Stitch-and-glue” construction method, each student will go home with his or her own kayak. Some finish work will be required when they get home. Students will learn some basic woodworking skill as well as how to work with fiberglass and epoxy. The logistics of working with fiberglass and epoxy will require one or two later nights (8 or 9pm) as some operations have to be completed by the end of a day in order to allow sufficient dry time before going on to the next operations. The Night Heron is 18’ long and 20” wide. It is fast and responsive, suitable for exploring estuaries or venturing out into exposed open water. Tuition $795.00 (plus materials- approx. $1350.00) For more information on Nick’s kayaks go to http://www.guillemot-kayaks.com/

Section 011616A: Saturday—Thursday, January 16 - 21, 2016, 9:00am - 5:00pm

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Build a Traditional Cabinetmaker's Workbench with Bob Van Dyke

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In this fast paced class students will have the opportunity to build the traditional cabinetmaker’s workbench they have dreamed about! Let’s face it- the benches we build in the school during the year are great (especially for the price!) but nothing beats working on a traditional workbench constructed entirely of 8/4 and 12/4 rock maple. A flat top, wide enough to accommodate most work (26”), wooden bench dogs to hold the work in conjunction with the end vise, a sturdy shoulder vise, a tool tray to keep the smaller tools you are working with in one place and about 300 pounds of dead weight all make this bench a pleasure to work on. The massive trestle base joined with wedged mortice and tenons knocks down for easier (relatively!) moving. We use the Lie Nielsen tail vise and Chain drive shoulder vise hardware. It is hands down the best we have ever seen. This is a great project to further your woodworking skills and is a bench you will treasure for years and pass on to future generations.  Sign up today- space is limited- and be ready to work hard- you will go home with a finished workbench! Tuition: $795.00.00 plus materials ($1395.00- includes all Lie Nielsen Vise hardware and benchdogs)

Section 082915A: Saturday - Friday, August 29 - September 4, 9:00am-5:00pm

(Note: The bench we make in class does not include the drawers pictured here)

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