thumb Pekovich Tea Chest 1 640Summer - Fall 2020 Class Schedule available. More fall classes coming soon. Click here for more information.

In Memory of Richard Bergen

Richard BergenIt is with great sadness that I tell you Richard Bergen lost his courageous battle with Leukemia on Thursday, April 9, 2020. He was a close personal friend for over 20 years and a huge asset in the school. Richard took dozens and dozens of classes over the years and assisted in most of the beginning classes for many years. Every studio photograph of the school furniture projects was done by Richard- free of charge!

Richard never hesitated to jump in and help out any time we needed it and was a huge help to hundreds of students..

He will be sorely missed.

Bob Van Dyke

Schedule of Classes -  Summer/Fall 2020

NOTE: During this COVID 19 Shutdown the main telephone number is unmanned. To register for a class Please call me directly at

860.729.3186. Leave a message if I do not pick up. Alternatively- you can text me at that # or email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and I will call you back.

BVD

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

 

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This is a series of hands on furniture making classes that should be taken in succession as each project builds on skills learned in the previous classes.

This series is not a required prerequisite for  any other classes contained in this schedule.

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Woodworking I

Walnut Jewelry Box

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A hands-on course that covers the basic concepts of woodworking and furniture making. This eight-session class is a combination of demonstrations and hands-on practice. General shop safety (with particular concentration on using the tablesaw) is emphasized.  Students will utilize the skills, techniques and tools (both power and hand-tools) being taught in the class in the making of a walnut jewelry box. This project could also be used to store a variety of other personal items. Skills learned will provide a strong foundation for subsequent furniture-making classes. Class size is limited to 8 students.  Tuition: $395.00 plus materials ($59.00)

Section 091420A: Monday & Wednesday evenings, September 14 - October 21, 6:00PM - 9:30PM

(We will NOT meet September 28 (Yom Kippur), September 30, and October 5 & 7)

Section 110220A: Monday evenings, November 2 - December 21, 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)

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Woodworking II

Shaker Hall Table

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An eight-session class that is a continuation of the Woodworking I class. This class utilizes a combination of hand tools and power tools in the construction of a valuable piece of furniture. Techniques learned in the previous class are put to extensive use as more advanced techniques and skills are introduced. Mortise and tenon joints, grain matching, and using handplanes are a few of the new skills students will learn while making a cherry hall table as their project. Class size is limited, Woodworking I is a prerequisite. Tuition: $395.00 plus materials ($225.00).

Section 081820A: Tuesday & Thursday evenings, August 18 - September 17. 6:00pm - 9:30pm

(no class September 1 & 3)

Section 102820A: Wednesday evenings, October 28 - December 23, 6:00pm - 9:30pm

(Note: we will not meet November 25- Thanksgiving)

(Note: Tim Spratlin is the instructor for Woodworking I & II)

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Fundamentals of Cabinet Making

Introduction to Cabinet Making with Tim Spratlin

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This class concentrates on the techniques used in cabinet making rather than those used in furniture making. Tim Spratlin is a professional cabinetmaker who brings with him years of labor saving tricks and techniques which students will find invaluable when completing their own projects at home. A medium sized painted plywood bookshelf is the project for this class and features techniques such as cutting plywood panels to size, using solid wood edging, making and applying a molding, making a mitered base, using a Kreg jig and working with a router. The design of the bookcase features a plinth base, adjustable shelves and decorative moldings. This class is designed for beginner and intermediate woodworkers who are interested in learning techniques they can use in numerous home improvement projects. The bookcase utilizes common portable power tools that most homeowners would have or might be considering purchasing. This class will provide you with the foundation skills needed for more advanced projects such as kitchen cabinets, storage cabinets, entertainment centers, counter tops and more.  Sign up today. Space is limited. Tuition: $325.00 plus materials ($170.00)

Section 092620A: Saturday & Sunday,  September 26 & 27, 9:30am - 5:00pm

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Building Kitchen Cabinets with Tim Spratlin

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The pinnacle of home cabinetmaking is the kitchen cabinet. This is also a subject that many people have asked for over the years. Tim Spratlin is a professional cabinet maker and is able to show you loads of time saving techniques to help you on your way to building your own kitchen cabinets. You may just be interested in a simpler project like a bathroom vanity– but the techniques and principles are all the same! Tim will review the standards involved in modern kitchen design; ie. the height of counters, depths of cabinets, etc., and demonstrate the installation process. The cabinet you will make in class is a small (about 28” wide) free standing unit that utilizes all the challenges you will face in building a full set of cabinets. The project will incorporate a face frame, a raised panel door, a drawer, a laminated top and European hardware.  Options for different types of countertops will be discussed. The cabinet you make in class could then be used at home as a free standing vanity, a storage cabinet or even a sharpening station in a workshop- but more importantly, it will give you the knowledge and confidence to tackle that larger kitchen project that you have been putting off!  If you’ve been waiting for the right time to rebuild your kitchen, then this class will get you started on the right track.  Please note: This is a 4 day class spread out over two weekends.

Tuition $495.00 plus materials ($267.00).

Section 101720A:    Saturday & Sunday, October 17, 18 & November 7 & 8, 9:30m—5:00pm

This class was originally scheduled for April 25 & 26 and May 2& 3

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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: $295.00 plus materials ($49.00)

Section 092320B: Wednesday evenings, September 23 - October 28, 6:00pm - 9:30pm

Section 010621B: Wednesday evenings, January 6 - February 10, 6:00pm - 9:30pm

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Rick Angus small bowl 640One Day Woodturning with Rick Angus

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

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

Tuition: $125.00 plus materials.

Section 080120B: Saturday, August 1, 9:30am—5:00pm

Note: This class was originally scheduled for May 9

Section 102420B: Saturday, October 24, 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: $275.00 (plus materials: $32.00)

 

Section 072520B: Saturday & Sunday, July 25 & 26 , 9:30am– 5:00pm

Note: This class was originally scheduled to meet June 20 & 21,

Section 100320B: Saturday & Sunday, October 3 & 4,  9:30am– 5:00pm

Section 112120B: Saturday & Sunday, November 21 & 22,  9:30am– 5:00pm

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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.

The bowls you turn in class will need to finish drying at home and can easily be finish sanded when dry with a round pad in a drill.

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 easily can be sanded with a round sanding pad in a drill. Sign up today– class size is limited.

Tuition: $275.00 plus materials ($35.00)

Section 071820B: Saturday & Sunday, July 18 & 19, 9:30am—5:00pm

Note: This class was originally scheduled to meet March 21 & 22

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Professional Furniture Finishing Techniques

Five Week Furniture Making Intensive

Five Week Intensive Furniture Making with Bob Van Dyke

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Over the years I have done hundreds of classes which feature projects that teach particular skills. The problem with these project classes is that the logistics of the class prevent us from spending sufficient time on any given new skill to really understand and gain any kind of proficiency in it. In this 5 week (4 days per week) class there is no project– Just skills, technique and practice. With no project to distract us we are able to spend days rather than hours to insure learning of basic– and not so basic—furniture making skills and techniques.  When I changed the format of this class to no project, just skills- I really believe it has become one of the best classes I have offered in years. Everyone really learns a lot and has a great time!

Plan on spending two to three days on the basic milling process– a strong foundation is essential to more advanced techniques. Instead of learning just enough to get through dovetailing a drawer, plan on spending at least three full days– maybe four, on dovetails. With these new hand skills, cutting a dovetail or a tenon by hand turns out to be a pretty simple affair which you will be able to do! FYI- You will be cutting a set of dovetails every day of this class.

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

We will get into planning a project, basic wood technology, buying lumber, tool sharpening, cutting joints -by machine and by hand, along with basic finishing techniques .

Ornamentation is a big part of fine furniture so plan on spending a few days on working with veneers, inlay and making decorative bandings. It is always good to get a second viewpoint so I have arranged for some guest instructors to spend a day or two with us. Will Neptune will be here to do a day of hands on carving and hopefully Mike Pekovich will be able to stop by to introduce you to some of his design ideas and techniques.

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

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

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

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

This class is designed for the serious student who has both the time and the desire to commit to a comprehensive course of study. It is NOT designed for beginners but rather someone who has done a bit of woodworking and is now ready to get serious and really learn some skills. Basic skills with the tablesaw, jointer and thickness planer are required!! If you are a beginner then you should sign up for the Fundamentals of Furniture Making, Intro to Cabinetmaking or the Woodworking I class. If you have any questions then please contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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

Section 102020A: Monday - Thursday, October 20 - November 19, 8:30am—4:30pm

Note: This class was originally scheduled to begin Monday October 19

 

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Speciality & Weekend Classes

Learn the Traditional art of Seat Weaving with Sue Muldoon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuition: $275 plus materials

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

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Beginning Electric Guitars - Build a Telecaster or Stratocaster with Mike South

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

Starting with a solid wood body we will bandsaw and rout the basic shape, fit and fine tune the maple neck (we will purchase pre-made necks for this beginning class), fine tune the rosewood fingerboard and install all the hardware, electronics and both pickups. Finishing is an important part of any guitar so we will also spend portions of the class time applying your choice of finishes. The end of the class will be final setup & tuning of the guitars and then a jam session to prove how good they are! Mike South has been building guitars, banjos and mandolins since 1981 and is the owner of Windjammer Instruments.  Sign up today for this exciting class and have the satisfaction of building (and playing) your own heirloom quality instrument. Specify preference for Strat or Tele, rosewood or maple fingerboard and black or white pick guard when registering.

This class meets over two weekends.

Tuition $495.00 plus materials ($439.00).

 Section 080820B: Saturday & Sunday, August 8 & 9 and September 12 & 13 , 9:30am- 5:00pm

NOTE- This class was originally scheduled to meet June 13, 14, 27 & 28. Rescheduled due to Covid-19

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All-in-one Dovetail Station with Mike Pekovich

Mike Pekovich Dovetail station three 800Come for the weekend and build a small version of what is affectionately known as a "bat house" at CVSW (where did that name come from???). If you have cut dovetails at the school you've probably used one to rout the waste between the pins on the dovetails. While that task alone makes it worthwhile to make one, it can also handle just about every other work holding dovetail task you can think of. From holding the stock upright for sawing to securely holding the stock for chopping, this fixture will help make the job easier. If you're lacking a work bench you can just clamp it to a table and you're ready to go. From marking and sawing, to routing and chopping, the dovetail station has you covered. We'll spend the first day making it and the second day learning how to put it to use to cut dovetails better than any you have ever thought you could do. Sign up today. Space is limited.

Tuition: $295.00 plus materials

Section 082220A: Saturday & Sunday, August 22 & 23, 9:30am – 5:00pm 

This class was originally June 6 & 7- Rescheduled due to Covid-19 Mike Pekovich Dovetail station two 800Mike Pekovich Dovetail station one 800

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Spoon Carving with Peter Follansbee

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

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

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

Sign up today- space is limited. Tuition:$325.00 plus materials

Section 120520B: Saturday & Sunday, December 5 & 6, 9:30am - 5:00pm

NOTE: This class was originally scheduled for August 8 & 9, 


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The Basics of Using Handplanes with Bob Van Dyke

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Handplanes can be one of the most useful and rewarding tools in the workshop – or they can be one of the most frustrating! Learn how to effectively use handplanes in your work with Ct. Valley School of Woodworking director, Bob Van Dyke. Which handplane is right for a particular job? What should you look for when buying a new or a flea market plane? How are they “tuned up”? And most importantly- how are they sharpened? These are just a few of the questions that will be answered in this exciting two-day class. We will also go thru many of the basic (and not so basic) types of handplanes- starting with the Stanley bench-planes and going on to compass planes, shoulder planes and combination planes like the Stanley #45 & #55. Because sharpening is such a basic part of using a handplane we will also make sharpening "projection jigs" for each person during class. This is a simple device that ensures the same sharpening angle each time you sharpen. The 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 103120A : Saturday & Sunday, October 31 & November 1, 9:30am - 5:00pm

 

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SketchUp Success for Woodworkers with David Heim

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This class is for people who are serious about woodworking and want to learn how to use the SketchUp 3D design program to save time and money in the shop. With SketchUp, you preview the actual construction of a piece and generate absolutely accurate plans, patterns, and templates. The class is built around four rules for success for using the program to its best advantage. You will need to bring a Windows or Mac laptop loaded with the full-featured free version of SketchUp. We spend the morning on exercises that introduce the important SketchUp tools and get you accustomed to working in a 3D space on the computer. In the afternoon, you see how the rules for success work by designing a piece of furniture. You’ll also learn how to create measured drawings and a cutlist. Go to https://www.sketchup.com/download/all to download the full-featured free version, called SketchUp Make 2017.                        

  Tuition: $125.00. materials are included

Section  072520B:  Saturday , July 25, 9:30am - 5:00pm

NOTE- This class was originally scheduled to for April 25. Rescheduled due to Covid-19

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

 

Bob Van Dyke dovetailsThe great thing about running a national woodworking school is that I get to see the techniques of every different instructor who comes here to teach- and there have been a lot of them over the last 17 years!

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

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

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

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

Sign up today and lose your fear of cutting dovetails once and for all. Tuition: $275.00 plus materials ($16.00)

This class has been split into two sections in order to limit # of students to 6

New Dates are:

Tablesaw dovetails

Section 080120A, Saturday & Sunday, August 1 & 2  ,  9:30am – 5:00pm

Section 091220A: Saturday & Sunday, September 12 & 13, 9:30 - 5:00pm

NOTE- this date was originally May 30 & 31. Rescheduled due to COVID-19

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Making Tablesaw Jigs & Fixtures with Bob Van Dyke

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuition: $595.00 plus materials

Section 021221A, Friday - Monday, February 12 - 15, 2021.  9:30am – 5:00pm

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Using Wooden Molding Planes with Planemaker Matt Bickford

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

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

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

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

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Hone your handtool skills with Mike Pekovich

pekovich handtools

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

Tuition: $295.00 plus materials.

Section 080820A: Saturday & Sunday, August 8 & 9, 9:30 - 5:00pm

NOTE- this date was originally May 16 & 17. Rescheduled due to COVID-19

pdfTool_list_Mike_Pekovich_Hone_your_handtool_skills.pdf

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Week-long Classes

Take some time for yourself!

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

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

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

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This popular six-day intensive hands-on class is an opportunity to concentrate on the basics of woodworking and furniture making. Each student will make a Shaker style cherry hall table, which is a perfect vehicle to practice the machine and hand-tool techniques that we teach in the class. Subjects covered include basic shop safety, machine use (with particular emphasis on the tablesaw, jointer and planer), using handplanes, card scrapers and chisels effectively to surface and hand-fit the mortice and tenon joints, handtool sharpening, making tapered legs and grain matching and gluing up a top. 

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

Section 081020A: Monday—Saturday, ,  9:00am - 5:00pm

This class was originally scheduled for July 13—18. Rescheduled due to Covid-19

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Build a Windsor Sack Back Chair with Chairmaker David Douyard

Dave Douyard Sack Back 800This six-day class course will take you, step-by-step, through the process of building a traditional Windsor Sack Back Chair, entirely by hand. It will cover every aspect of making a Windsor chair, beginning with lumber selection, riving parts out of a log, hand shaping, working with compound angles, all the way through final assembly.  Concentration will be on the making of a strong chair joint.  The building of this Windsor chair will be primarily with hand tools. (Due to the limitations of time all the turned parts will be provided.)

 

 

 

 

LEARN HOW TO

  • Select lumber and mill/rive parts for Windsor chairmaking
  • Use hand tools: drawknife, spokeshave, reamer, adz, scorp and scraper
  • Learn how to work with a shaving horse
  • Steam bending: shape and steam bend the arm and bow
  • Layout and drill compound angles
  • Utilize moisture content and grain orientation to make a long-lasting joint
  • Assembly using traditional hide glue

Some specialized handtools will be required (in addition to the "general tool list" below). That list will be posted here early 2020

David Douyard is a well-known chairmaker in Northwest Connecticut. His work has been featured in several magazines and he has taught contemporary and Windsor chairmaking extensively.

Sign up today. Space is strictly limited

Tuition: $795.00 plus materials

Section 080320A: Monday – Saturday, August 3 – 8, 9.00am – 5:00pm

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Build a Classic Bookcase with Steve Latta

Steve Latta Bookcase with Doors 800Glass doors protecting your collection of small turnings, antique tools or rare first editions, bring a level of sophistication to this already elegant bookcase.  Light gently bounces off the rich texture of the eight panes of old, salvaged glass cut and glazed into each door.  The beaded face-frame, profiled shelf-edges, ogee or flat bracket feet, 3/8 mullions and a frame-and-panel back all contribute to the overall refinement of the piece.  The hardware, brass butt hinges, surface bolts and morticed brass lock all enhance the design. 

 In this class, we will be able to complete the majority of the project during class time by focusing on a professional, strategic approach to tackling the many tasks involved in this case piece. During our week together, I intend to emphasize the process of woodworking as much as the product.  Many folks talk about the artistic nature of woodworking but in doing so, only tend to look at the finished piece sitting on display.  I want to explore the path itself that takes us to that point and the sense of rhythm that adds its own spirit.

Steve Latta is one of this country's premier furniture makers. He is known for his superb inlay work but  his 30 + years of furniture making & teaching combine to make this class a unique opportunity you should not miss!

Sign up today– Space is limited. Tuition: $850.00 plus materials

Section 070620A: Monday—Sunday, July 6 - 12, 9:00am—5:00pm

NOTE- this date was originally June 8 - 14. Rescheduled due to COVID-19

NOTE: This class is 7 days- not the usual 6 days

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The Joy of Woodcarving – Spend a Week with Mary May

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

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

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

Section 092120A, Monday—Friday, September 21—25, 9:00am—5:00pm


Mary May Acanthus 640

 Mary may floral 640   Mary May leaves 640

 

pdfTool_list_Mary_May_carving_for_furnituremakers_weeklong_2019.pdf

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Build an Arched Entry Table with Mike Pekovich

Mike Pekovich arched entry Table detail 800Put your joinery skills on display with this Arts and Crafts-inspired entry table. Dovetail and through-tenon joinery present a fun challenge and add eye-popping interest to this creative twist on the traditional Craftsman style. Arched aprons, trestle feet, and breadboard ends round out the design details- and the joinery challenges! In this class, you'll learn efficient building strategies that get the most from machine and hand work, and you will learn how to give your hand-cut dovetails a power tool assist for fast and accurate results. While we're at it, we'll throw in some draw-bore joinery as a great way to get tight-fitting joints without clamps. This is a great table that will fit into just about any home and Mike Pekovich, who is the Creative Director for Fine Woodworking Magazine and author of “The Why & How of Woodworking”, is an excellent instructor. Sign up today. Space is limited. Tuition: $795.00 plus materials

Section 092820A: Monday—Saturday, September 28 - October 3, 9:00am—5:00pm

Mike Pekovich Arched table silo 800

 NOTE- This class was originally scheduled to for June 15—20. Rescheduled due to Covid-19

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Mike Pekovich Arched Table 800

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

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In this fast paced class students will have the opportunity to build the traditional cabinetmaker’s workbench they have dreamed about! Let’s face it- the benches we build in the school during the year are great (especially for the price!) but nothing beats working on a traditional workbench constructed entirely of 8/4 and 12/4 rock maple. A flat top, wide enough to accommodate most work, wooden bench dogs to hold the work in conjunction with the end vise, a sturdy shoulder vise, a tool tray to keep the smaller tools you are working with in one place and about 300 pounds of dead weight all make this bench a pleasure to work on. The massive trestle base joined with wedged mortice and tenons - knocks down for easier (relatively!) moving (We have fit these into mini vans easily). We use the Lie Nielsen tail vise and Chain drive shoulder vise hardware. It is hands down the best we have ever seen. The bench is 7' long and 26" wide and weighs about 300 pounds.   This is a great project to further your woodworking skills and is a bench you will treasure for years and pass on to future generations.  Sign up today- space is limited- and be ready to work hard- you will go home with a finished workbench (minus an actual finish if you decide to add that)! Tuition: $795.00.00 plus materials (materials are approximately $1495.00- includes all Lie Nielsen Vise hardware and our own wooden benchdogs)

Section 011621A: Saturday - Friday, January 16 - 22, 2021. 9:00am - 5:00pm

NOTE- This class was originally scheduled to for August 10 -  16. Rescheduled due to Covid-19

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

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Build an Elegant Disiplay Case on Stand with Mike Pekovich

Mike Pekovich jane Kumiko 800Inspired by the work of James Krenov, Fine Woodworking magazine’s Executive Art Director, Mike Pekovich has come up with a project that will show off your joinery skills as well as your keepsakes. A dovetailed case sits atop a tapered-leg based constructed with through mortise-and-tenon joinery. The glass-front door is decorated with Japanese style kumiko latticework in a traditional flower pattern. Join Mike in this weeklong class for a complete lesson in cutting dovetails, making a glass panel door, morticing hinges and gluing up a carcase. In addition, you will have a great introduction to the art of kumiko, a fun and impressive technique you can use to dress up other projects as well. Sign up today, space is limited.

Tuition: $795.00 plus materials  ($245.00)

Mike Pekovich jane cabinet detail 800

Section 083120A: Monday—Saturday, August 31—September 5, 9:00am—5:00pmMike Pekovich jane cabinet full 800

 

 

 

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Build a Greene & Greene style Blanket Chest with Darrell Peart

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

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

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

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

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

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

Section 100520A: Monday - Saturday, October 5 - 10, 2020. 9:00am - 5:00pm

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Class Images

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Testimonials

11/2/2015

Bob,

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

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5/25/2016

Bob,

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

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