thumb Pekovich Tea Chest 1 640 Summer, Fall 2022 Class Schedule available.  Click here for more information.

Schedule of Classes -  Summer- Fall - Early Winter 2022

 

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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Step Into Woodworking
In Person, Hands on Projects for the Complete Beginner with Bob Van Dyke & Tim Spratlin

Do you have projects around the house that keep getting put off because you lack the confidence- or the skill, to use tools properly and safely? Or maybe you have wanted to learn about woodworking and just want to get started the “right” way. .

This new series of hands-on classes is designed to use simple, readily available power and handtools utilizing lumber that can be gotten at most home centers. These classes will not be using stationary machines like the tablesaw, bandsaw, Jointer or Thickness planer.

Students will begin the series by making a small stylish bench that would be useful in almost any room. This fun and useful project will give you the knowledge and confidence to tackle other more complex challenges.

These classes are designed for the absolute (or nearly absolute!) beginner who wants to get into woodworking as a hobby- or someone who just wants to build some simple projects without having a shop at home. Other planned projects in this series include a small wall mounted bookshelf, a Shaker peg rack with shelves and a small storage box that could be used just about anywhere. After that-Who knows? The sky is the limit!

Step One:   A Simple Stylish Bench

Bob Van Dyke simple bench RED 800The focus of this class is on safety and on using tools that don’t cost a fortune and are readily available just about anywhere.

We will discuss which basic tools you will need, simple measuring and marking techniques, how to size parts accurately with a chop saw, how to make a decorative cut out at the base of the legs using a jig saw and a router and using the router table to form the joint between the stretchers and the legs. We will explore strategies used to bevel the top- both with hand tools and power tools. Along the way we will talk about using cut nails as an option for some of the joinery, using a router to shape parts and, before you leave, we will apply a coat of milk paint- a finish that will complement the project nicely and one you will find yourself using on any number of other projects .

 The inspiration for the design of this bench comes from Kentucky Furniture Maker, Daniel Chaffin

Sign up today. Class size is limited to 8 students.

Tuition: $495.00 plus materials ($90.00)

Section 110722A: Monday Evenings, November 7 - December 12,  6:00pm - 9:30pm

Section 011423A: Saturday, Sunday & Monday, January 14, 15 & 16. 9:30am - 5:00pm

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Fundamentals of Furniture-Making
with Bob Van Dyke & Tim Spratlin

 

 

These classes are designed for students who have some woodworking experience already and want to take the plunge into finer solid wood furniture making. They are also appropriate for people who have been working with wood already and are interested in expanding their knowledge and experience. These classes are based on traditional furniture making techniques and will utilize all the major woodworking stationary machines, ie. Tablesaw, bandsaw, jointer, thickness planer, router & router table. As in any traditional woodworking, we will also be combining extensive handtool use with the machines

 

Fundamentals of Furniture Making series is NOT a required prerequisite for any other classes contained in this schedule.

 
   

Furniture Making I

Beginning Furnituremaking: Walnut Jewelry Box

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A hands-on course that covers the basic concepts of woodworking and furniture making. Start building the foundation which is necessary to learning the processes and techniques of making solid wood furniture. This eight-session (or 2 weekend) class is a combination of demonstrations and hands-on practice. General shop safety is emphasized as students learn and practice the process of milling solid hardwoods and the importance of the three stationary tools that form the backbone of any modern furniture making shop- the tablesaw, the jointer and the thickness planer. In addition to learning the safe & effective use of these mainstays, students will also begin to develop their skills with certain handtools and start to appreciate how they complement and finish the job begun with the major shop power tools.  The project in this class is a solid walnut jewelry box which utilizes all the basic tools & skills needed to begin making other furniture projects. Equipped with these basics, students can begin their rewarding journey to taking on more challenging projects in other classes and in their own shops. This class is the required prerequisite for Furniture Making II. Class size is limited to 8 students.  Tuition: $595.00 plus materials ($59.00)

Section 091922A: Monday & Wednesday evenings,  September 19—October 17,  6:00pm - 9:30pm (no class October 10)

Section 092422A: Saturday & Sundays, September 24, 25 & October 1 & 2, 9:30am—5:00pm                                     

                                                    

(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 (Furnituremaking 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)

 

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Furnituremaking II

Furniture Making II: Shaker Hall Table

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An eight-session (or two weekend) class that is a continuation of the Furniture making I class. This class concentrates on basic table construction while giving participants more experience using the main shop power tools- tablesaw, jointer and thickness planer. The introduction of handplanes as a surfacing and milling tool along with mastering a card scraper (you will receive one as part of your materials fee) gives you new confidence and new skills which you will use extensively in the construction of this classic Shaker style cherry hall table. New skills introduced in this class include cutting and fitting traditional mortice & tenon joinery, making tapered legs, learning the aesthetic considerations for making an attractive table top along with strategies to ensure successful glue ups in any furniture project. Class size is limited, Furniture Making I is a prerequisite. Tuition: $595.00 plus materials ($225.00).

Section 102922A:  Saturday & Sunday, October 29, 30 & November 12 & 13, 9:30 am—5:00pm

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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: $445.00 plus materials ($175.00 + tax)

Section 102622A: Wednesday evenings, October 26—December 7, 6:00pm—9:30pm (No class Wednesday, November 23) 

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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: $445.00 plus materials ($49.00 +tax)

 

Section 092122B: Wednesday evenings,  September 21—October 26,  6:00pm - 9:30pm

Section 102422B: Monday evenings,  October 24 - November 28,  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-  9!

Tuition: $145.00 plus materials ($26.00 + tax).

 

Section 101022B: Monday, October 10,  9:30am– 5:00pm (Columbus Day)

Section 112622B: Saturday, November 26, 9:30am - 5:00pm

Section 010723B: Saturday, January 7, 2023,  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: $365.00 plus materials ($32.00 + tax)

 

Section 081322B: Saturday & Sunday, August 13 & 14,  9:30am– 5:00pm

 Section 100122B: Saturday & Sunday, October 1 & 2,  9:30am– 5:00pm

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Turn a Bowl from a Log with Rick Angus

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Turning "green" wood offers turners opportunities that don't exist when using kiln-dried lumber. You are not limited by stock lumber sizes or species. The wood is actually easier to turn and it is usually free!! BUT- there are some special techniques that must be used to prepare it for turning and to preserve the piece as it dries.  We will be using the "Twice-Turned" technique wherein an oversized bowl is turned from green wood that requires a few months to dry before finishing.  Students will be given a dried rough bowl, previously turned by the instructor and this piece will be turned to completion, dry and ready to finish.    Come spend the weekend with Rick Angus and increase your woodturning experience. Students will turn a series of bowls during this exciting hands-on class. Some turning experience is required. Students are encouraged to bring in some examples of their previous work for discussion. Tuition: $365.00 plus material ($50.00 + tax)

      Section 102922B: Saturday & Sunday, October 29 & 30, 9:30am - 5:00pm

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Turning Lidded Containers with Rick Angus

Rick Angus Lidded Box 2 2021 800Learn to turn these popular lidded containers and let your imagination take over. In this class we will explore the basic techniques on a piece of poplar. This class will review basic spindle turning technique and go on to practice end grain hollowing, Turning a friction fit tenon to fit into the corresponding socket and move on to learning “jam chuck” techniques. Along the way we will get into some basic finishing techniques and explore some of the different shapes and sizes possible in this fun and rewarding class. Sign up today- Space is limited.

Tuition: $365.00 plus materials ($40.00 + tax)

Section 111922B: Saturday & Sunday, November 19 & 20, 9:30am – 5:00pm 

   Call 860.647.0303 to sign up for any class on this websiteRick Angus Lidded Box 2021 800

Learn to Turn Natural-Edge (Bark-Rim) Bowls with Rick Angus

Rick Angus Natural Edge 640

Turning natural edge bowls from wet local hardwoods can be great fun– and the material is free (if you own a chain saw and have access to recently cut down trees….!) In this weekend class students will receive a refresher in the fundamental gouge and scraper cutting techniques, learn how to visualize the “bowl inside the wood”, mount and turn the sections of fresh logs between centers to form the outside of the bowl before re-mounting the blank in a chuck to form the inside of the bowl– all the while taking care to maintain the fragile bark edge on the rim of the bowl. 

Blanks of wood will be mounted between centers and the “bowl inside the wood” will be before cutting so you control the grain pattern and bark rim position in the finished bowl. We focus on developing an eye for making a pleasing shape while incorporating the bark of the tree as the rim of the bowl. We touch-up your graceful bevel-guided cutting technique thus helping you to form the smooth curves of the bowl.   This bowl requires a steady hand as cutting the rim is interrupted--you cut a bit of the high part of the rim then skip to the high part of the other side. We focus on careful aim to get a graceful curve through this interrupted cut.   We shape the outside of the bowl, remount the blank in a chuck and cut the inside.   At home, the bowls will dry and can easily be sanded with a round sanding pad in a drill. This class does require some prior experience with woodturning. Sign up today– class size is limited to 9.

Tuition: $365.00 plus materials ($35.00 + tax)

Section 120322B: Saturday & Sunday, December 3 & 4,  9:30am—5:00pm

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STRICTLY BOWLS - A Woodturning Class with Rick Angus

 

Rick Angus Bowl 640Many students have asked for a class that offers the opportunity to turn bowls and only bowls. Students will have the opportunity to turn a shallow bowl, a deeper bowl, and time permitting- a third bowl or a plate (think very shallow bowl…). Participants will learn to make jigs and fixtures that will be useful in finishing the bottom of any bowl. We will get into the use of a four jaw chuck as well as alternative ways to hold the work on the lathe without using a commercially made chuck. Sharp tools are essential so we will be spending 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 whether you have turned a number of bowls already or have never even thought of turning a bowl. Sign up today. Space is limited to 9! Tuition: $445.00 plus materials ($45.00 + tax)

 

Section 110222B: Wednesday evenings, November 2 - December 14, 6:00pm - 9:30pm (no class November 23)

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Professional Furniture Finishing Techniques

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 !

 Sign up today– space is limited.

Tuition $365.00 plus materials ($30.00 + tax)

110522B: Saturday & Sunday, November 5 & 6, 9:30am - 5:00pm

 

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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 a restorer of antique furniture & millwork  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: $365.00 plus materials ($30.00 + tax)

Section 121022B: Saturday & Sunday, December 10 & 11,  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 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 some time 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. Mike Mascelli will be here to do a day of hands on finishing techniques and hopefully Mike Pekovich will be able to stop by to introduce you to the Japanese technique of Kumiko along with his take on the finsihing process.

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 two or three days-  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 dovetail 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!! You should have spent at least 20 or more hours on the tablesaw to qualify for this class. 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: $2800.00 plus materials ($100.00)number 4_small

Look for new dates : Spring 2023 8:30am - 4:30pm

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Speciality & Weekend Classes

Innovative & Imaginative String Inlay with Steve Latta:

Pushing the boundaries way beyond Traditional Inlay

latta mother baby 640Have you ever imagined a figure or seen a design that you wished you could incorporate into a project that you were visualizing? In this unique two-day class, Fine Woodworking Magazine Contributing Editor, Steve Latta pushes the boundaries way beyond any traditional inlay you may have seen or imagined. Stringing has a rich history in both urban and rural forms, especially during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Craftsmen combined arcs and straight lines to create elaborate patterns that adorned all forms of furniture.  Those designs, however, were subject to the constraints of symmetry and geometric fundamentals.  This is NOT that class!  Latta hummingbird 640

We will explore techniques developed by Steve to find or create abstract motifs and figures and then transform them into line inlays in wood. The designs are only limited by your own imagination- or what you can find on-line using Google images.  The first day, participants will follow a series of guided exercises to gain an understanding of the basic techniques. On Sunday, however, students will have the opportunity to create a unique panel of their own design. Think of this as “drawing on wood”. The possibilities and the applications are endless!

Sign up today. Space is limited.

 

Latta figure inlay 640Latta bird swallow 640

Tuition: $365.00 plus materials

Section 100822A: Saturday & Sunday, October 8 & 9, 9:30 am – 5:00 pm

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An Introduction to Japanese Tools and Techniques with Andrew Hunter

Andrew Hunter 4Traditional Japanese woodworking has much to offer the West, particularly those of us with an interest in working wood with hand tools. Japan’s blacksmiths are renowned for the quality of their blades, and the carpenters equally respected for the skill with which they use them. In this weekend class Andrew Hunter will introduce students to the magical world of Japanese woodworking, with a focus on how to incorporate these traditional woodworking tools and techniques into a western shop.

 

Whether you are totally new to Japanese tools and want to learn more about what makes them unique or you have some experience and are looking for a broader perspective, there is something for everyone.  Andrew will not only include instructions on how to get started using Japanese tools like saws, chisels and planes, he will also get into the philosophy behind them and will share what it is about these tools that got him hooked in the first place.  

Students are encouraged to bring their own Japanese tools to class.  Andrew can offer feedback and assistance to get them to work more efficiently.  If you don’t have your own collection of Japanese tools (yet), no worries.  Andrew will have many of his own tools on hand for students to try out.

 

With over 20 years of experience as a furniture maker working with Japanese tools Andrew has a wealth of knowledge to draw from.  As a self-taught woodworker, he offers a unique perspective to other Americans discovering Japanese woodworking for the first time.  Sign up today and expand your woodworking horizons! Tuition: $365.00 plus materials ($25.00 + tax)

Andrew Hunter 1

Section 121722B: Saturday & Sunday, December 17 & 18, 9:30am - 5:00pm

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The Basics of Using Veneers and Inlaid Bandings— Build a Veneered Box with Bob Van Dyke

Bob Van Dyke walnut veneer box 640If you have ever done any re-sawing then you know how cool a book matched panel can be. When you incorporate veneers into your work the possibilities for creating spectacular patterns are almost endless! Bookmatching is the simple one- but what about radial matching or parquet?  In this hands-on class students will each make a small “Miter Fold” box out of walnut or tiger maple- but before doing that we will explore the endless possibilities of working with veneer to create a striking top for the box. Many veneers require a border to protect the delicate edges- so as a bonus we will explore a little inlay work and make a few different decorative bandings.

We will get into basic techniques for working with the veneers- Flattening them, buying & storing them and how to work with them to create tight, almost invisible seams. We will go into the basic tools & supplies needed along with discussing the various adhesives and ways to clamp up the veneered panel. Incorporating veneer designs into your work will open up possibilities that you may never have dreamed of. Sign up today- this is a great class and you will make a great little box to hold all your treasures!! Sign up today- space is limited. Tuition: $365.00 plus materials ($46.00 + tax)    veneer book and butt.webJPG

Section 101022A: Monday & Tuesday, October 10 & 11, 9:30am—5:00pm (Columbus day Monday)

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Beginning Basic Decorative Bandings with Bob Van Dyke

Bob Van Dyke faux bag slide banding 800In this one-day class, CVSW school director and Fine Woodworking Magazine Contributing Editor Bob Van Dyke will demonstrate a number of increasingly complex decorative bandings. These bandings were employed extensively in the furniture of the Federal Period and they lend a distinction and uniqueness to almost any woodworking project. Historically, many of these bandings were actually a two-dimensional version of Queen Anne style three dimensional carvings. Regardless of the background- or the complexity, the question still remains- How are these things made? No- no one is gluing in tiny little pieces of wood with a tweezers and magnifying glassy! Like anything, it is a process- sometimes simple and sometimes incredibly complex! We will explore a number of different styles- including sand shaded bandings – a process that adds an incredibly three-dimensional quality that involves scorching parts in hot sand. Most of the basic processes were learned from inlay and bandings expert Steve Latta while others come from study and experimentation. Don’t miss this opportunity to expand your repertoire and learn a fascinating process! Sign up today- space is limited. Tuition: $145.00 materials are included.

Section 102222A: Saturday, October 22, 9:30am – 5:00pm 

    Call 860.647.0303 to sign up for any class on this websiteBob Van Dyke sand shaded banding 640

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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 hundreds students over the past several years and is looking forward to sharing her skills.  thumb Sue Muldoon chair 800

Tuition: $365.00 plus materials (paid directly to instructor)

Section 092422B:  Saturday & Sunday, September 24 & 25, 9:30am - 5:00pm

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Sue Muldoon Fancy Patterns 800

Fancy Patterns in Seat weaving with Sue Muldoon

Up your pattern game! Learn 3 new patterns with reed or cane: Basketweave, Herringbone and Diamond pattern. We will learn & practice the patterns on simple stools (part of your materials fee, but these patterns can be done on any chair with 4 rails, or that special furniture piece ! Headboards, room dividers…learn the patterns then apply them to a project of your choice. We will discuss how to fill in the “gussets” on a trapezoidal chair and options for using other materials in future projects. Don’t miss this exciting opportunity to learn some new techniques and put your imagination to the test! Sign up today- space is limited. Tuition: $365.00 plus materials (paid directly to the instructor)

Section 111222B: Saturday & Sunday, November 12 & 13, 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 800

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 $365.00 Plus materials ($55.00 + tax)   

Section 121022A: Saturday & Sunday, December 10 & 11,  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 20 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: $365.00 plus materials ($16.00 + tax)

Tablesaw dovetails

 Section 110522A, Saturday & Sunday,  November 5 & 6,   9:30am – 5:00pm

 Call 860.647.0303 to sign up for any class on this website

 

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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 102222B:  Saturday, October 22, 9:30am - 5:00pm

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Master SketchUp in a Weekend, with David Heim

sketch up

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. This intensive two-day class will give you plenty of hands-on experience with this powerful, versatile 3D design program.The Saturday session will introduce you to 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 fully detailed and measured drawings. You’ll spend the day creating models. These exercises will give you the knowledge and confidence to make your own original furniture designs.

Bring a laptop computer (Mac or Windows) loaded with the version of SketchUp called SketchUp Free. To get it, go to https://www.sketchup.com/plans-and-pricing/sketchup-free. Click on the “start modeling” button. (Don't forget to bring your power cord!!)

Tuition $365.00 materials are included

Section  101522B: Saturday & Sunday, October 15 & 16,  9:30am - 5:00pm

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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 newest book: 

 Foundations of Woodworking- Maybe he will even sign it for you!

Sign up today- Space is limited. Tuition: $365.00 plus materials ($55.00 + tax)

Section 121722A: Saturday & Sunday, December 17 & 18, 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.

Making Tablesaw Jigs & Fixtures with Bob Van Dyke

Bob Van Dyke cross cut sled 800The 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, "Job site"  saws and the old Delta Unisaw fence 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.    Bob Van Dyke L fence 800

The next two jigs are pretty simple- but really valuable! A taper jig designed by Steve Latta will make tapers a breeze- and cutting tails on the tablesaw with a dovetail sled lets you cut perfectly straight tails, exactly perpendicular to the face of the board- at any angle and whatever spacing you want. Your dovetails just got a whole lot better!

Any extra time during the class will be devoted to making a series of small fixtures for the tablesaw: drop stops, sliding stops and zero clearence inserts. Throughout the 5 days we will take time to demonstrate the many techniques possible with these tablesaw jigs & fixtures. 

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.

Be warned- you will go home with a full vehicle!!

Bob Van Dyke L fence table top 800   Bob Van Dyke tenon slider 800

Tuition: $845.00 plus materials ($159.00)

Section 091022A: Saturday - Wednesday, September 10 - 14, 9:00am - 5:00pm

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Fundamentals of Furniture-Making with Bob Van Dyke and Tim Spratlin

041_shaker_hall_table.jpg

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: $945.00 plus materials ($225.00 + tax)

Section 010223A: Monday - Saturday, January 2 - 7, 9:00am - 5:00pm - (2023)

 Call 860.647.0303 to sign up for any class on this website

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Build a Fan Back Windsor Chair with Dave Douyard

Dave Douyard Fan Back 800This six-day class takes you through the process of building a Windsor Fan Back chair from start to finish. It will cover every aspect of making a Windsor style chair, beginning with lumber selection, chairmaking tools, hand shaping parts, working with compound angles, all the way through final assembly. Plan on building this chair primarily with hand tools. Due to the logistics of the class all turned parts will be provided.

High points of the class include:

  • Use hand tools: drawknife, spokeshave, reamer, adz, scorp and scraper
  • Steam-bending
  • Layout and drill compound angles
  • Use of tapered mortise and tenon joints
  • Use moisture content and grain orientation to make a long-lasting joint
  • Assembly using hide glue

Tuition: $945.00 plus materials ($225.00 + tax)

Section 072522A: Monday—Saturday, July 25—30, 9:00am—5:00pm

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Traditional Japanese Woodworking Techniques & Tools with    Andrew Hunter

Andrew Hunter 1In this weeklong class professional furniture maker Andrew Hunter will introduce students to the wonders of traditional Japanese woodworking.  From tuning up a new plane to cutting an intricate scarf joint, participants will gain hands on experience with skills that can be applied to any shop whether you use Japanese tools or western style tools.

We will begin with an indepth examination of Japanese saws, planes and chisels.  Through demonstrations and exercises students will learn setting up, sharpening and using each tool to their fullest capacity. If you are primarily experienced with western tools– don’t worry– The amount of information that is directly applicable to western style handtools and techniques is amazing!

    Andrew Hunter Scarf joint 800

The materials fee for the class includes a brand new, high quality 54mm Japanese plane. Andrew will work with students through each step of the process in setting up their new planes from out of the box to full working order.  What seems like a simple tool, a blade and a block of wood, the Japanese plane (Kanna) is actually a very complex instrument with many subtle qualities. This makes the Kanna Andrew’s favorite tool!  Watch out, he might even make you participate in a friendly planing contest with the rest of the class.

We’ll finish up the week by putting our tools to work laying out and cutting a kanawa-tsugi.  This intricate scarf joint is a perfect exercise for getting started with Japanese joinery.  Students will learn how to use centerlines and story sticks to make simple work of complex layouts and how to most efficiently use their hand tools to work to these lines.

Students are encouraged to bring their own Japanese tools to class. Andrew will offer feedback and assistance on getting them tuned and set up to work more efficiently. If you don’t have your own collection of Japanese tools (yet), no worries, bring what you have.  Andrew will also have a selection tools for students to try out. The basic set of tools suggested will be posted on the school website.

The materials fee includes a high quality Japanese handplane-" Kana" - Yamamoto plane from Suzukitool.com

https://suzukitool.com/tools/japanese-woodworking-tools/hand-planes/yamamoto/block-plane-koganna-mamehira-ganna/katsusaburo-block-plane-with-laminated-chip-breaker.html

Sign up today– This is a unique opportunity to learn some great skills! Tuition $845.00 plus materials ($215.00 + tax)

Section 071822A: Monday—Friday, July 18—22, 9:00am—5:00pm  

 

Call 860.647.0303 to sign up for any class on this websiteAndrew Hunter 4

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Make an Arts & Crafts Style Morris Chair with Bob Van Dyke & Tim Spratlin

Morris ChairThe Morris chair is the epitome of Craftsman style furniture and the design we have selected offers many of the typical design features of this well-known chair. Through mortise & tenon joints, a reclining back and angled arm rests are only a few of the highlights of this unique (and comfortable!) piece of furniture. This challenging project will be done in your choice of cherry or 1/4 sawn white oak and will definitely exercise all the woodworking skills you have learned up till now. Because of the complexity of this project it is probable that the project will not be entirely completed in the 6 days of class time– but rest assured, all machining and major processes will be complete and final sanding and possibly some glue ups should be all that will be left to finish the chair in your own shops. The upholstery work for the chair is not part of the class. We can recommend upholsterers who have done nice work in the past. Participants need to have some prior woodworking experience. This is NOT a beginner's class! Tuition: $945.00 plus materials

Section 082222A : Monday - Saturday, August 22 - 27, 9:00am - 5:00pm

 

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Build a White Oak or Walnut Writing Desk with Mike Pekovich

Mike Pekovich A and C Desk 800Working from home seems to have caught on in the last year or so. Because of that, work space in many homes is at a premium. Just about any home can benefit from a nice little desk that can be tucked away when not in use and it compliments just about any room style. This light and lively desk - which you can make in either 1/4 sawn white oak or walnut, does away with the banks of drawers in a traditional desk and instead provides a wide open base highlighted by subtly tapered legs and through mortise-and-tenon construction. The desk is topped with a small box of drawers perfectly sized for pens and pencils, bills, chargers and thumb drives, as well as space for a nice set of stationary. You will learn some great furniture making techniques and spend a week doing what you love. The desk is approximately  37" long X 23" deep X 29" high.  Mike is the editor & Art Director for Fine Woodworking Magazine and has recently published his second book Foundations of Woodworking, Taunton Press. Join Mike Pekovich in this six-day class and come away with a nice addition to your home along with some great skills! Tuition: $945.00 plus materials.

Section 081522A: Monday – Saturday, August 15 – 20, 9:00am – 5:00pm

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Class Images

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Testimonials

Bob,

Just a quick note to say how much I appreciated and benefitted from the recent 5 week intensive. I hope you get as much satisfaction in teaching it as we received knowledge from the class. I didn’t return with a trinket, a box or a table … but I did return with a better understanding of workmanship and the process to get there. That was exactly what I was looking for.

The dovetails continue to improve (someday they’ll meet my standards), the L-fence is already on the saw and you gave me sufficient challenges to keep me busy for some time.

I hope our paths cross again.

Best,

Butch

5/21/2021

Bob,

Thanks for the last five weeks. This was one of the best learning experiences I have ever had. Thanks for your patience and I look forward to taking more courses in the future. Meanwhile, this summer, I'll keep practicing dovetails and I'll look forward to seeing you at the open house. 

Myles