Schedule of Classes - Fall- Winter 2019- 2020:
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 any other classes contained in this schedule.
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 102119A: Monday evenings, October 21 - December 16, 6:00PM - 9:30PM (no Class November 11 Veterans Day)
Section 011520A: Wednesday evenings, January 15 - March 4, 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)
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: $395.00 plus materials ($225.00).
Section 101619A: Wednesday evenings, October 16 - December 11, 6:00PM - 9:30PM,
(No Class Wednesday night, November 27)
Section 031820A: Wednesday evenings, March 18 - May 6, 6:00pm - 9:30pm
(Note: Tim Spratlin is the instructor for Woodworking I & II)
General tool list (will open in a new window)
This 10-session (approximately) class continues the Fundamentals of Furniture-making series and concentrates on carcase construction while allowing you to refine your woodworking skills. Building the Shaker style wall clock (in cherry) emphasizes the use of handtools in fitting joints, creating a glass like surface on the wood and beveling the “bookmatched” back. Students will learn more advanced techniques including resawing, bookmatching, handfitting hinges and precise joinery techniques. Tuition: $445.00 plus materials.
Section 011320A: Monday evenings, January 13 - March 30, 6:00pm - 9:30
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
Section 091419A: Saturday & Sunday, September 14 & 15, 9:30am - 5:00pm
General Tool list (will open in a new window)
This 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: $295.00 plus materials ($49.00)
Section 091819B: Wednesday evenings, September 18 - October 30, 6:00pm - 9:30pm
Now that you have made a few bowls on a glue block, join us to learn the next level of cross-grain bowl turning techniques. We will use the fundamental cutting technique taught in the Basic Woodturning class and begin class with a refresher exercise. We add additional wood mounting techniques including four-jaw chucks, single screw mounting and very accurate rim jam chucking. Workflow will be a three-step process, each step using a different mounting technique. These methods add versatility to your repertoire and assure accurate mounting on the same axis each time. The result will be a consistent efficient process.
Sharp tools are crucial to good woodturning. Following a demonstration, try your hand at sharpening tools. Bring your own tools and learn to sharpen them (keep in mind that badly profiled tool may require too much work to complete in class, but we will get you started.) Efficient sanding and finishing techniques will be covered as well.
Class is limited to those who have completed the Night time Beginning Woodturning or the weekend Basic Woodturning so that we all begin with a consistent experience. Bring your design ideas, tools and questions and prepare to jump to the next level of cross-grain turning. Sign up today. Space is limited.
Tuition: $295.00 plus materials
Section 102619B: Saturday & Sunday, October 26 & 27, 9:30am – 5:00pm
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 092819B: Saturday & Sunday, September 28 & 29, 9:30am - 5:00pm
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: $45.00)
Section 010620B: Monday evenings, January 6-February 10, 6:00pm—9:00pm
Zen of French Polish with John Coffey
French 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: $295.00 plus materials
Section 020820: Saturday & Sunday, February 8 & 9, 9:30am - 5:00pm
This 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 $275.00 plus materials
Section 110919B: Saturday & Sunday, November 9 & 10, 9:30am – 5:00pm
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.
Section 102119A: Monday - Thursday, October 21 - November 21
General tool list (will open in a new window)
Take the plunge and begin to learn about Japanese Joinery- done completely by hand. Japanese furniture joints- and most Oriental joinery, is seemingly complex but under Andrew Hunter’s careful guidance you are assured of getting on the right road to learning some intriguing and fascinating furniture joints. You will begin this series with a Japanese scarf joint. This blind dadoed, rabbeted and keyed scarf joint is a mouthful to say, but with a little guidance even a beginning woodworker is capable of making one. Known as a Kanawa tsugi, it has been used in Japan for centuries to splice together two beams, creating a single, longer beam capable of sustaining multi-directional forces. For this class, the Kanawa tsugi is a great way to develop your skills as a woodworker.
Each student will make their own two-part joint entirely with hand tools. First, you will learn how to layout the joint using a center line as a reference plane, a method that allows irregular shaped members to be seamlessly fit together. Next, you will saw, chop and pare to the lines. Then, assuming the critical first steps are correct, assembly should be a breeze and the tapered pin drives it home.
Andrew will have some of his own Japanese tools for students to try or you can bring your own. The school’s Western style hand tools are also available, and this is a great opportunity to try both Western & Japanese tools to do the same jobs. Whichever tools you choose, Andrew will broaden your understanding of how to use them correctly and efficiently. He has been building furniture by hand for over 20 years and is passionate about encouraging people to strengthen their building skills and cultivate an appreciation for the craft of woodworking. Sign up today for this truly unique and challenging class.
Tuition $295.00 plus materials
Section 121419B: Saturday & Sunday, December 14 & 15, 9:30am – 5:00pm
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. Tuition $275.00 materials are included
Section 110219B: Saturday & Sunday, November 2 & 3, 9:30am - 5:00pm
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.
Sign up Today! Tuition $295.00 Plus materials ($55.00)
Section 020820: Saturday & Sunday, February 8 & 9, 2020, 9:30am—5:00pm
Section 101919B: Saturday & Sunday, October 19 & 20, 9:30am—5:00pm
In this unique demonstration Fine Woodworking Magazine Author & Director of the Connecticut Valley School of Woodworking, Bob Van Dyke will begin with a review of basic techniques and concepts for safe and effective use of this shop workhorse. Bob will go on to concentrate his demonstration on the many uses of a little known tablesaw fixture called an “L” fence. With this simple and ingenious jig, tasks such as cutting any angle at all, flush cutting to a pattern and cutting concentrically larger or smaller shapes become safe, accurate and incredibly easy.
We will examine the many practical applications for these unique techniques and then go on to explore techniques for cutting accurate shoulders on curved furniture parts, simple techniques to cut angled tenons and safe and efficient ways to cut bevels on large panels without getting any burning.
Bob's presentation assumes a working knowledge of the tablesaw and will focus on techniques specific to furniture making. This is not a beginning tablesaw demonstration.
This comprehensive demonstration will leave you wondering -“It is so simple! Why didn't I think of that!”
Section 120619A: Friday, December 6, 9:30am - 12:30pm
With its angled seat frame, curved parts and minimal joinery, building a chair can be an intimidating proposition. In this two-weekend class, Fine Woodworking Magazine’s Creative Director and nationally known furniture maker Mike Pekovich will introduce you to the techniques & skills used in building an Arts & Crafts-inspired side chair. Utilizing the concept of the “master angle”, you will learn how simple it actually is to create accurate angled joinery. Cutting smooth and “fair” curves is easily accomplished with the use of a simple bandsaw jig and accurate well-fitting mortise & tenon joints will be stressed as they are essential to any well-built chair. Along the way you'll also learn how to update a classic style by adding simple details. The slip seat frame will be made in class and arrangements are being made with well-known upholster Mike Mascelli, to have a one-day class to complete the upholstered slip seat.
Finishing is not a part of the class, but it will certainly be discussed and demonstrated. Sign up today. Space is limited. Tuition: $595.00 plus materials
Section 111619A: Saturday & Sunday, November 16, 17 & December 14 & 15. 9:30 am – 5:00pm
General tool list (will open in a new window)
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. This class is limited to six people.$425.00 plus materials ($95.00)
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 plus materials ($20 paid directly to instructor)
Section 111619B: Saturday , November 16, 9:30am - 5:00pm
Section 030720B: Saturday, March 7, 9:30am- 5:00pm
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 second day will be spent getting your planes sharpened and tuned up so you can start practicing using it. Techniques such as smoothing a surface, beveling a table edge, planing a curved surface, shooting edge joints, using shooting boards, fitting mortise and tenons and planing end grain will all be included. Don’t miss this unique and informative class. Space is limited. Tuition: $275.00 plus materials
Section 010420A: Saturday & Sunday, January 4 & 5, 9:30am - 5:00pm
Mike South will introduce students to the basics of cutting and inlaying various types of shell products and other materials into musical instruments and other flat surfaces. The techniques are applicable to many different materials such as veneers, brass, silver and gold sheet stock and some of the softer natural and reconstituted stones. Topics will include the choice of needed tools and supplies, types of materials, techniques for reproducing artwork for use as templates and techniques for cutting the materials and inlaying them into surfaces for decoration and embellishment. Although Mike’s current specialty is stringed instruments, he has years of experience in wood turning as well as furniture design and construction so the techniques can be used in decorating these types of projects as well. Students will be introduced to the basics of how to position themselves so that the time spent cutting is used to best advantage. Layout and routing of the channels for the inlays will be explained so as to make for the cleanest outcomes. Traditional patterns and motifs will be supplied by the instructor, but if students have designs or artwork that they’d like to try, they’re encouraged to bring it to class. Specialized tools and various types of shell will be available from the instructor. Other basic supplies can be purchased locally. A list of suppliers will be included so students can acquire materials and tools for future projects. Inlay work can be very challenging but also a lot of fun. Proper instruction goes a long way and the rewards for patience and persistence are very satisfying. Sign up Today! Tuition: $275.00 plus materials ($75.00)
Section 112319B: Saturday & Sunday, November23 & 24, 9:30am—5:00pm
General tool list (will open in a new window)
Learn 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 new 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: $275.00 plus Materials ($45.00 plus tax)
Section 122119A: Saturday & Sunday, December 21 & 22, 9:30am - 5:00pm
General tool list (will open in a new window)
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 011820A: Saturday, Janaury 18, 9:30am- 5:00pm
Note: Image used with permission Fine Woodworking Magazine
When considering how to move your skills down the road, the projects you choose should offer challenges that make you pause. In this class, we will look at several traditional forms of joinery that take more than a look or two to sort but, nonetheless, should be a part or your arsenal. We’ll tackle rule and knuckle joints, breadboard ends and their specific applications, draw-boring and some carcass specific joints such as dovetail and dado joints and how to easily incorporate dust panels. You will end the weekend with a handful of mock-ups and the knowledge to do them again. This is a great course that will broaden your work possibilities. Steve Latta is one of the premier furniture makers and instructors in the country. He is a Contributing Editor for Fine Woodworking Magazine and has taught many successful classes here at CVSW. Sign up today! Space is limited. Tuition: $295.00 plus materials
General tool list (will open in a new window)
The 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: $275.00 plus materials ($16.00)
Section 110919A, Saturday & Sunday, November 9 & 10, 9:30am – 5:00pm
General tool list (will open in a new window)
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 class takes the place of Woodworking I & Woodworking II and provides a strong foundation for more advanced furniture projects. Tuition: $795.00 plus materials
Section 010620A, Monday—Saturday, January 6—11, 9:00am - 5:00pm
general tool list (will open in a new window)
In this workshop, we’ll explore the construction techniques and decorative carving styles of oak boxes made in New England during the 17th century. Using quartersawn red oak and white pine, we’ll size the materials, cut rabbets to join the corners, fastening them with square wooden pins. Fitted inside the box is a lidded compartment called a till. The white pine bottom is attached with hand-made iron nails. The lid, also white pine, opens on a wooden pintle & cleat hinge.
Much of the focus is learning the carving style. Using about a half-dozen different gouges and simple layout tools like an awl, square, compass and marking gauge, we’ll go through numerous patterns in practice sessions prior to carving the actual box. We’ll study reference photographs of period carvings, learning how to layout and cut them based on the tools and some basic geometry.
No experience necessary. Some basic tools are required, the list will be posted here by mid- summer. The school has some carving tools that can be used during class and Peter will also have some extra carving tools for students’ use. Sign up today. Tuition: $ 795.00 plus materials
Section 101219B: Saturday - Wednesday, October 12 - 16, 9:00 am – 5:00pm