thumb Pekovich Tea Chest 1 640Fall / Winter 2020/ 2021 Class Schedule available. More winter & spring classes coming soon. Click here for more information.

Schedule of Classes -  Winter - 2021

 

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 & Tim Spratlin

 

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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.

Woodworking I is NOT a required prerequisite for  any other classes contained in this schedule.

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Woodworking I

Walnut Jewelry Box

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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 8 students.  Tuition: $495.00 plus materials ($59.00)

Section 011121A: Monday Evenings, January 11 - March 8, 6:00PM - 9:30PM (No class February 15)

Section 012321A:  Saturday & Sunday, January 23, 24, 30 & 31, 9:30AM—5:00PM

Section  032421A: Wednesday evenings, March 24—May 12, 6:00PM—9:30PM

(Note: Tim Spratlin is the instructor for these classes)

(This class is a required prerequisite for other classes in the "Fundamentals of Furniture-making" series (Woodworking II & III) and has always proven worthwhile to beginner and advanced students alike. IT IS NOT A PREREQUISITE FOR ANY OTHER CLASSES ON THE SCHEDULE)

General tool list  (will open in a new window)  

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Woodworking II

Shaker Hall Table

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An 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: $495.00 plus materials ($225.00).

Section 011321A: Wednesday evenings, January 13 - March 10, 6:00pm - 9:30pm

Section 032221A: Monday Evenings, March22—May 10, 6:00PM—9:30PM

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Fundamentals of Cabinet Making

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: $325.00 plus materials ($170.00)

Section 121220A: Saturday & Sunday,  December 12 & 13, 9:30am - 5:00pm

Section 042421A: Saturday & Sunday, April 24 & 25, 9:30AM—5:00PM

General Tool list   (will open in a new window)

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Beginning Woodturning with Rick Angus

073 turned_round_edge_bowlThis six evening 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.  Tuition: $345.00 plus materials ($49.00)

Section 020321B: Wednesday evenings, February 3 - March 10, 6:00pm - 9:30pm

Section 031521B: Monday evenings, March 15 - April 19, 6:00pm - 9:30pm

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Rick Angus small bowl 640One Day Woodturning with Rick Angus

Have you been intrigued with the idea of learning to turn a bowl but are not ready to commit to a 6 week class?. This one day class will get you hooked on turning– Guaranteed! Students will learn some of the basics of woodturning and will come away with a finished shallow cherry bowl and the new found knowledge to turn more. Who knows– you might even jump in head first and find a whole new passion!!

Sharp tools are essential so we will be spending a little time at the grinder learning about sharpening bowl gouges and scrapers. Techniques for sanding and finishing bowls will also be covered. This is a great class –even if you have turned a number of bowls already or have never even thought of turning a bowl. Sign up today. Space is limited to the number of lathes we have!

Tuition: $145.00 plus materials.

Section 021321B: Saturday, February 13, 9:30am - 5:00pm

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Basic Woodturning Weekend with Rick Angus

 

Rick Angus small bowl 640Many 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: $325.00 (plus materials: $32.00)

 

Section 011621B: Saturday & Sunday, January 16 & 17,  9:30am– 5:00pm

Section 041021B: Saturday & Sunday, April 10 & 11,  9:30am– 5:00pm

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Professional Furniture Finishing Techniques

Zen of French Polish with John Coffey

garnet shellacFrench polish is a technique for putting shellac on wood as a finish. Shellac is perhaps the most versatile finish that can be used to finish furniture–it is hard and durable, it is restorable without having to remove it, and best of all it may be the most beautiful finish you could put on a piece of furniture!

One main benefit of French polish is it can be applied in less than ideal finishing conditions. Dust is not an issue as the polish dries almost as soon as it is rubbed on. The polisher can stop at any time in the process and pick it up at a later date. Best of all, the technique puts very little material on a surface, even irregular ones.

As an antique restorer, I am often required to put on a finish that preserves the color and texture of their surface–I cannot sand the surface. French polishing is uniquely suited for this task. The technique follows the undulating character of old surfaces, or handplaned surfaces, filling the grain until the surface is lustrous and polished.

In a two-day class I will show my technique for French polishing by assisting the student in their own project. The student can expect to be well on his way to finishing a small table or chest but, more importantly, will learn the skill of applying shellac using a pad in such a way that only the thinnest of coatings will be between the observer and the object, allowing the natural beauty of the wood to show through.

The woodworker spends so much time selecting just the right board, perfecting his or her technique on cutting dovetails and tenons, why not make sure the work receives what it deserves–the best finish possible. The old saw is never truer: while a good finish might be able to hide poor woodworking, a bad finish will take away from even the best work.

John Coffey is an antique restorer in Locust Valley, NY. John has taken conservation classes at the Smithsonian Institute and at Dakota County Technical College (MN) with senior conservator at the Smithsonian, Donald C. Williams. He has assisted with the "Ten Thousand Springs Pavilion" exhibit for the Smithsonian Institute in both Washington, D.C. and when it was in Flushing, Queens, N.Y. John holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Hobart College (NY). Sign up today!

Tuition: $325.00 plus materials

Section 022721B: Saturday & Sunday, February 27 & 28,  9:30am—5:00pm

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Wood Finishing Weekend – The Basics of Color and Topcoats with Mike Mascelli

MIke Mascelli HeadShot webThis two day class is tailored especially for woodworkers who are uneasy about the finishing process and wish to master the basic knowledge and techniques that will enable professional finishing results using easily available materials. The class is a mixture of lecture, demonstration, and has an emphasis on hands on activities that all students will complete using both sample panels and actual small project pieces.

In the color world, students will learn the critical differences between pigment colors and dye colors and gain an understanding of how to decode the often confusing information found on the many cans and bottles of colorants. With this knowledge we will use both dyes and pigments in a classic finishing schedule including glazing and toning, and practice some simple steps to achieve rich colors, vibrant grain popping, and also to match existing colors. Students will also complete some basic furniture repair techniques using epoxy, colored waxes and both oil and acrylic colors to match missing or damaged grain.

In the world of topcoats, students will learn how to categorize virtually all finishes into one of five basic families, and how to successfully use products from each family by brush, pad and spray.   Students will practice using the proper brushes for each type of finish, including shellac, oil based and water based, and also learn some basic spray techniques using commonly available aerosol products to achieve professional quality results.  

In addition Mike will demonstrate the basics of rubbing out a finish to a perfect sheen and feel, and also show some basic special effect techniques such as creating “age” with common asphaltum, otherwise known as roofing tar !

Mike Mascelli is a professional upholsterer in Latham, NY with over 40 years of experience in working and teaching, and is also Director of the Professional Refinisher’s Group, a national organization founded in 1998 to connect professionals in the restoration, refinishing and conservation trades . In his upholstery work he divides his time between classic furniture and classic cars, while his finishing expertise is based on years of shop experience and the counsel and mentoring of some of the most experienced wood finishers in the industry. He has contributed to the Roubo on Furniture by Don Williams (Lost Art Press) and With Saw, Plane & Chisel by Zach Dillinger (Popular Woodworking, 2016). He also writes for the American Period Furniture journal of the Society of American Period Furniture Makers and has completed several instructional videos on upholstery techniques. Sign up today– space is limited.

Tuition $325.00 plus materials

Section 020621B: Saturday & Sunday, February 6 & 7, 9:30am – 5:00pm

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Five Week Furniture Making Intensive

Five Week Intensive Furniture Making with Bob Van Dyke

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Over 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 5 week (4 days per week) class there is no project– Just skills, technique and practice. With no project to distract us we are able to spend days rather than hours to insure learning of basic– and not so basic—furniture making skills and techniques.  When I changed the format of this class to no project, just skills- I really believe it has become one of the best classes I have offered in years. Everyone really learns a lot and has a great time!

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 a drawer, plan on spending at least three full days– maybe four, on dovetails. With these new hand skills, cutting a dovetail or a tenon by hand turns out to be a pretty simple affair which you will be able to do! FYI- You will be cutting a set of dovetails every day of this class.

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 tabletop– 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 .

Ornamentation is a big part of fine furniture so plan on spending a few days on working with veneers, inlay and making decorative bandings. 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. Will Neptune will be here to do a day of hands on carving and hopefully Mike Pekovich will be able to stop by to introduce you to some of his design ideas and techniques.

Plan on expanding your ideas on furniture making and design- and plan on taking a few field trips to inspect some of the finest furniture made in Connecticut- entirely by hand!

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 - probably two-  just on working with handplanes– and at least another whole day just on sharpening.

Because the handtools you are using are so critical to your success I am strongly recommending ( I repeat- STRONGLY RECOMMENDING!) you purchase the tapered dovetail saw from Lie Nielsen Toolworks. My experience shows that this is one of the best doveail saws on the market at a very fair price (mention that you are taking the class at CVSW to recieve the 10% student discount). Cheaper saws will just frustrate you and after using mine you will probably just end up buying it anyway!

We will emphasize 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 need to acquire.

This 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 beginners but rather someone who has done a bit of woodworking and is now ready to get serious and really learn some skills. Basic skills with the tablesaw, jointer and thickness planer are required!! If you are a beginner then you should sign up for the Fundamentals of Furniture Making, Intro to Cabinetmaking or the Woodworking I class. If you have any questions then please contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

This is an opportunity you do not want to miss. Tuition: $2000.00 plus materials ($100.00)number 4_small

Section 042021A: Monday - Thursday, April 20—May 20, 8:30am—4:30pm

Note: This class will begin on Tuesday, April 20, 2021

 

 General tool list (will open in a new window)

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Speciality & Weekend Classes

Making Shaker Oval Boxes with Doug Smith

Doug Smith Shaker oval box fingers 800Shaker 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: $325.00 plus materials.

Section 012321B: Saturday & Sunday, January 23 & 24, 9:30am – 5:00pm

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Using Wooden Molding Planes with Planemaker Matt Bickford

matt_bickford_planesStop making compromises with your router. Stop getting “close enough”. Learn how to use some of the most abundant molding planes of the past to get the exact edge you are after. Hollows and rounds do not make specific profiles. They make specific arcs. Learn to transform these few arcs into scores of various profiles. From layout to execution, this weekend class will focus on creating various moldings with these extraordinarily versatile planes.

The class will start off with maintaining the cutting edge, then move to laying out and ultimately sticking (planing) several moldings that will range from simple coves and ovolos through ogees, cymas and various combinations. The class will focus on hollows and rounds sized 6 and 10 along with a rabbet plane. Students will have the opportunity to bring their own performing planes or they can use newly made planes by M. S. Bickford, planemaker. Students will also have the opportunity to use a larger range of planes.

Each student will leave with several picture frames and the ability to transfer moldings he or she sees in person or print into wood and onto their project. Sign up today - this is a great opportunity to learn the use of these versatile planes- and learn a little about how they are made. At the end of the weekend, Matt will make available for sale some of the actual planes you will be using. Tuition $325.00 plus materials.

 Section  121220A: Saturday & Sunday,  December 12 & 13, 9:30am - 5:00pm

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Master SketchUp in a Weekend, with David Heim

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This two-day intensive class covers both basic and advanced techniques for this powerful, versatile 3D design program. With SketchUp, you “build” furniture in the computer piece by piece. So, when it’s time to build in the shop, you can work faster and smarter, with fewer costly mistakes. The Saturday session gives you hands-on experience with the basics: How the SketchUp tools work and good practices to follow to work quickly and accurately. The Sunday class covers techniques and tools for creating period details like cabriole legs and turned, reeded legs. You’ll also learn how to create measured drawings, full-size templates, and a cutlist.

Bring a laptop computer (Mac or Windows) loaded with the free version of SketchUp. To get it, go to sketchup.com/download/all and download the version called SketchUp Make 2017.  (You’ll have to set up an account first, but that’s free and easy.) Important: Please do NOT get a  cloud-based version called SketchUp Free; it’s not suitable for this class.

Tuition $325.00 materials are included

Section  013021B: Saturday & Sunday, January 30 & 31 9:30am - 5:00pm

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Basic Upholstery with Mike Mascelli

Mike Mascelli slip seatThis 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.  All of the tools you will need will be provided by Mike but if you shoulld want to bring your own the list is below.MIke Mascelli HeadShot web

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 $325.00 Plus materials ($55.00)   

Section 022721A: Saturday & Sunday, February 27 & 28, 9:30am—5:00pm

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Yes Folks - There are More Than 10 Ways to Cut Dovetails with Bob Van Dyke

 

Bob Van Dyke dovetailsThe 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 17 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!

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: $325.00 plus materials ($16.00)

Tablesaw dovetails

 

Section 030621A, Saturday & Sunday,  March 6 & 7,   9:30am – 5:00pm

 

 

  General tool list  (will open in a new window)  

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Learn the Traditional art of Seat Weaving with Sue Muldoon

thumb Sue Muldoon NewEnglandPorchWeave 800Explore the art of seatweaving in this new two-day hands on class. Contrary to popular belief, it is not a “dying art”! Bringing old or new chairs to a sittable state can be achieved with a variety of different weaves and that is what this class is all about.

We will begin with some history of cane, rush, wicker and a wide assortment of seating styles. On your first day, you will choose to weave a small stool using either fiber rush or porch weave. Learning these two techniques opens the doors to many variations using the same weave technique but moving on to different materials of your choice. Imagine all the “sad chairs” that you pass by that could be revived or family heirlooms to be restored or new chairs woven.

On the second day, you will learn the traditional 7-step hand-woven cane

(also called lace cane) on your own chair, or you may choose from a selection in Sue’s inventory for a small fee. Chairs should be in a finished state, as caning is the last step to a complete project.

 Caning kits with cane, awl, booklet and wooden pegs will be available. We will need measurements of your chair 2 weeks prior to class to assure the correct size of cane.

No experience is necessary. You will have your hands in water for soaking cane, fiber and reed.

Sue Muldoon is a seatweaver (among other things) and owns Redux For You, repairing chairs and memories . She has taught over a hundred students in 2019 and looking forward to sharing her skills.  thumb Sue Muldoon chair 800

Tuition: $325.00 plus materials

Section 103120B: Saturday & Sunday, October 31 & November 1, 9:30am—5:00pm

Section 032021B: Saturday & Sunday, March 20 & 21, 9:30am—5:00pm

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Spoon Carving with Peter Follansbee

Follansbee spoon 640“Green” Woodworking has gained a whole new popularity in the last few years and Peter Follansbee- who has been a “green” for woodworker for over 25 years, has quietly been in the forefront of the movement.

In this 2-day class, we’ll learn the techniques for carving spoons from green wood, using a hatchet, a straight knife and a hook tool. This work is some of the most exciting green woodworking happening today. Using freshly-cut birch, apple, cherry and other woods, we will hew the rough shape, then learn safe and efficient knife technique for refining the spoon’s design. Hollowing the bowl is done with a tool called a hook knife, or spoon knife. Shaped like a question mark, this tool easily removes wood for the spoon’s bowl. We’ll focus on techniques, but tied to the spoon’s success is spoon-design. Not the decoration, but the form - we’ll learn what makes a good spoon, and how to achieve that. Each student will need to bring a small, double-bevel hatchet, and a “sloyd” knife. The easiest one of these is the Morakniv/Frost 106. Other maker’s knives are fine. Tools should be sharp. Follansbee will have some hook knives for students to use, but if you have some, be sure to bring them. He will demonstrate the chip carving on his spoon handles; but there won’t be time to work on this in class. Sharpening the tools will also be covered. Some tool recommendations: https://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/2015/06/11/some-spoon-carving-hatchets/

http://nicwestermann.co.uk/product-category/greenwood-carving-blades/

Sign up today- space is limited. Tuition:$345.00 plus materials

This class is being postpopned until late spring or summer 2021 due to Covid-19

stay tuned for a new date

Follansbee hewing spoons 640

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follansbee bunch of spoons 640    Follansbee spoon nov 02 640

Make a Cutting Gauge with  Bob Van Dyke

bob van dyke cutting gauge FWW cover640

One of the foundations of superior furniture making is good layout. Good layout is based on the ability to cut a single accurate layout line. This is accomplished with a good layout knife and a good cutting gauge. Surprisingly good cutting gauges seem to be a thing of the past. Sure- there are some out there with really pretty rosewood and brass- but if you look a little closer you see how badly they are made, how poor the cutter is (it is ground incorrectly and it is usually installed backwards!) and they are really expensive!

Why not join Bob Van Dyke in this weekend class to make you own cutting gauge. Based on a design he learned from woodworking expert Will Neptune, this gauge has all the attributes of a great marking tool. It has a large face to register solidly against any surface, a long beam (12”) which lets you use it like a small panel gauge and, most importantly, a single bevel spear point cutter made from a Ron Hock marking knife. In your choice of cherry or walnut. This tool will out perform any cutting gauge on the market today- and- you made it yourself! Sign up today. You will learn some good woodworking techniques, shape your own cutting gauge to fit your hand and learn how to sharpen and use the tool, accurately over and over, meet some new people and have a good time doing it! Tuition $145.00 plus materials ($23.00)

Section 030521A: Friday,        March 5   9:30am - 5:00pm

 

Note: cutting gauge photo by Fine Woodworking Magazine staff

General tool list (will open in a new window)

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Build a Dovetailed Tea Box with Mike Pekovich

tea box

If you've been thinking about taking the dovetail plunge, then this is the perfect project to get your feet wet. This elegant tea box 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. You'll outfit the box 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 get some finish on the box in class so you should go home with a unique tea box 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 3 day class. Sign up today- space is limited.

Tuition $395.00 plus materials.

Section 120420A: Friday, Saturday & Sunday, December 4- 6, 9:30am - 5:00pm

General tool list  (will open in a new window)  tea box_open

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Saw Sharpening 101 with Matt Cianci

Matt setting saw

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: $145.00 plus materials ($20 paid directly to instructor)

Section 050821B:  Saturday, May 8, 9:30am - 5:00pm

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Sharpening Hand-tools Techniques with Bob Van Dyke

 

Bob Van Dyke sharpening box640Are 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 $145.00 materials are included.

Section  022621A: Friday, February 26, 9:30am- 5:00pm

Note: Image used with permission Fine Woodworking Magazine

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Build this Fancy Kumiko Tea Box with Mike Pekovich

Pekovich Long box with border 640Learn the basics of a mitered box and try your hand at kumiko while building a really nice little tea box that, not coincidentally, would make a great holiday gift. In this weekend class, Mike Pekovich will cover smart tablesaw techniques that make quick work of mitered boxes. After that, the hand tools take over with the building of a kumiko panel that decorates the lid of the box. Precision and a sharp chisel is the name of the game here. This traditionional Japanese joinery technique is a great way to spice up any project. It's a fun class and a great way to spend a "pre-holiday" weekend that might otherwise be spent being dragged to a shopping mall somewhere! While you are here make sure you pick up a copy of Mike's book: 

The Why & How of Woodworking: A Simple Approach to Making Meaningful Work- Maybe he will even sign it for you!

Sign up today- Space is limited. Tuition: $325.00 plus Materials ($45.00 plus tax)

Section 121920A: Saturday & Sunday, December 19 & 20, 9:30am - 5:00pm

General tool list  (will open in a new window)  

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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 Tim Spratlin

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This popular six-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 is not an appropriate class for absolute beginners. Some experience is suggested. This class provides a strong foundation for more advanced furniture projects. Tuition: $795.00 plus materials

 

Section 010421A: Monday—Saturday, January 4 - 9,  9:00am - 5:00pm

 

 general tool list    (will open in a new window)

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The Joy of Woodcarving – Spend a Week with Mary May

Mary May 640What better way to spend a week than to put a woodcarving gouge in your hand, create something beautiful- and have fun! Mary May, a well-known professional woodcarver and instructor from South Carolina, will walk you through the carving process using a variety of relief carving projects. Starting the week with a floral relief design and then moving onto a scallop shell, the class will cap off the week with that wonderful and traditional acanthus leaf that is seen on so many period furniture pieces. Throughout the week Mary will also demonstrate a variety of tricks and techniques on how to efficiently use the gouges, how to make difficult carving cuts, how to sharpen tools to a razor sharp edge, and how to make the carving appear deeper than it actually is. Students will have the opportunity of working on projects of their own choosing along with projects that Mary has selected for their suitability in teaching the skills being demonstrated.

This is a perfect class for both beginners and experienced carvers. Beginning carvers can learn the basics from Mary, while experienced carvers will have a whole week to pick Mary’s brain, clarify the questions they may have been struggling with over the years and practice the skills she will be showing you. This is a great opportunity to learn both the basics and the advanced techniques under the guidance of one of our country’s best carvers and instructors.

Sign up today- This is a week that you will not want to miss! Tuition: $795.00 plus materials ($28.00)

Section 101821A: Monday - Friday, October 18 - 22, 2021, 9:00am - 5:00pm


Mary May Acanthus 640

 Mary may floral 640   Mary May leaves 640

 

pdfTool_list_Mary_May_carving_for_furnituremakers_weeklong_2019.pdf

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Build a Traditional Cabinetmaker's Workbench with Bob Van Dyke & Tim Spratlin

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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, 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 have fit these into mini vans easily). We use the Lie Nielsen tail vise and Chain drive shoulder vise hardware. It is hands down the best we have ever seen. The bench is 7' long and 26" wide and weighs about 300 pounds.   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 (minus an actual finish if you decide to add that)! Tuition: $795.00.00 plus materials (materials are approximately $1495.00- includes all Lie Nielsen Vise hardware and our own wooden benchdogs)

Section 012321A: Saturday & Sunday,  January 23, 24, February 6 & 7 and 19, 20 & 21, 9:00am - 5:00pm

Note: This class was originally scheduled as a 7 day Weeklong class

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

General Tool List  

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Making Tablesaw Jigs & Fixtures with Bob Van Dyke

VanDyke L fenceThe idea of making jigs and fixtures for the tablesaw is always one that creates a lot of debate. Some people insist that they are not worth it and “just do it by hand” while other people love coming up with intricate fixtures that do a specific job really well. Bob’s approach is somewhere in the middle- will the jig be useful enough to be used over & over again and is it better than one that can be easily purchased? This class is Not a beginning tablesaw class. Participants must have some working experience with Tablesaws & routers. Note: because of the design of the jigs for the table saw you must have a table saw with a Biessemeyer type fence. Bench top or "Job site" saws will not work with these jigs. Please specify tablesaw you have when registering for this class. If you have any questions please contact Bob Van Dyke directly at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

In this hands-on class participants will make several different jigs & fixtures for their tablesaw, all of which will become staple tools in their shop.

We will start out the week making a cross-cut sled. The accuracy and extra support this important fixture brings will almost completely replace your tablesaw’ s stock miter gauge. Armed with the knowledge to make the sled you will probably go home and make more- for cutting dados, wide panels and specialized tasks.

The next jig to be made will be a tenoning jig- but this is not just any tenoning jig. This jig is designed for accuracy and versatility. Mass is what it is all about. The mass of this jig means no vibration which translates into complete accuracy. The jig can also be fine tuned to fit your tablesaw’s rip fence exactly. The size of the jig means that you can easily clamp large assemblies to it (think breadboard end table top). Used in conjunction with two rip blades and a precisely made spacer, accurate tenons are a snap.

The next two jigs were developed by Bob and are two of the most valuable tablesaw add on jigs you can imagine! How many times have you clamped a sacrificial scrap of plywood to the fence to cut a rabbet and then had to move the clamps because they were in the way of the cut? And- have you ever heard of pattern cutting on the tablesaw? The fixture we will make is an ingenious and easily used base to fit over the existing tablesaw fence and allows you to quickly bolt on any number of specialty fences- certainly the most valuable being an easily adjusted and versatile “L” fence.

Any extra time during the class will be devoted to making a series of small fixtures for the tablesaw: drop stops, sliding stops, hold-downs and really simple feather-boards.

This is a class designed for people with solid experience on the tablesaw who can appreciate the value & importance of the jigs & fixtures you will be making.

Tuition: $745.00 plus materials

Section 021321A, Saturday - Wednesday, February 13 - 17, 2021.  9:00am – 5:00pm

 general tool list    (will open in a new window

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Build a Greene & Greene style Blanket Chest with Darrell Peart

Darrell Peart Blanket chest 2019 800Over a six-day period, we will be building a Greene & Greene style Blanket Chest. A chest of this size lends itself to a variety of uses other than storing blankets – coffee table – toy chest – hope chest - etc.

By the end of the project you will have expanded your experience with several classic G&G design elements such as making and inserting ebony plugs, bread board ends with ebony spline, proud finger joints as well as Darrell’s interpretation of the “strap detail”. 

The project will be built using wide Honduras Mahogany. The sides & ends are one board and the top is a glue up of two boards. This insures continuity throughout the whole piece- both in color and grain type.

The finger joints for the case will be machined using a routing template which will also be available for sale should you want to make more in your own shop. 

Students should have a basic familiarity with table saws, routers and bandsaws for this class. It is not a beginner level class. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about your readiness for the class.

This will be an enjoyable week to build a piece of furniture in a relaxed atmosphere and talk about Greene & Greene and woodworking (two of Darrell’s favorite subjects). Sign up today- space is limited and I am sure this class will sell out. Tuition: $850.00 plus materials

Section 060721A: Monday - Saturday, June 7 - 12 (2021), 9:00am - 5:00pm

Note: this class was originally scheduled for summer 2020- postponed due to Covid-19.

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Class Images

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Testimonials

11/2/2015

Bob,

All I can say is WOW!  Mike Mascelli is absolutely terrific!  

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5/25/2016

Bob,

I took the weekend woodturning class this weekend with Cory Anderson and just wanted to let you know how fabulous I thought he was.

Read more ...