thumb Morris Chairwinter 2017/ 2018 Class Schedule available. Click here for more information.

Schedule of Classes -   Winter - 2017- 2018:

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 and Staff

 

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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 12 students.  Tuition: $395.00 plus materials ($59.00)

 

Section 010918A: Tuesday evenings, January 9—March 6    6:00pm—9:30pm  (no class January 16)

Section 041418A: Saturday & Sunday, April 14,15, 28 & 29,  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 (Woodworking II & III) and has always proven worthwhile to beginner and advanced students alike. IT IS NOT A PREREQUISITE FOR ANY OTHER CLASSES ON THE SCHEDULE)

General tool list  (will open in a new window)  

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Woodworking II

Shaker Hall Table

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

Section 032018A: Tuesday evenings,  March 20—May 8, 6:00pm—9:30pm

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

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Woodworking III

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

Build a Tiger Maple & Cherry Bookcase with Bob Van Dyke & Tim Spratlin

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When I saw this bookcase on the cover of Fine Woodworking a number of years ago I knew that I would be doing it as a class- I just had to wait for the right time to put it on the schedule. This coming winter is that time!

Rhode Island furniture maker Pete Zuerner built this handsome bookcase in cherry and vertical grain Douglas Fir but we will be doing it a little differently in class- cherry frame and tiger maple panels- to match the Arts & Crafts Cherry & Tiger Maple blanket chest we do in class periodically.

The class will begin with milling the cherry framework and gluing up the tiger maple panels. Careful selection of stock is important to make the most of the maple’s natural figure. We will have plenty of mortice & tenon joints to cut and fit along with sizing and surfacing the tiger maple panels. Once the panels are ready we will apply finish to them before going ahead with the assembly of the case. The moldings on the front edges of the shelves and the top will be done a little differently than pictured. Adding the adjustable shelves and installing the top will make this project ready to bring home and finish. The bookcase will be approximately 65” high, 40 1/2” wide and 14” deep- big enough to store plenty of your favorite books but not so big that it will take over the room. Sign up today for this great class. Tuition $545.00 plus materials

Section 011118A: Thursday evenings, January 11—April 5,   6:00pm - 9:30pm

(image used with the permission of Pete Zuerner)

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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: $295.00 plus materials

Section 021018A: Saturday & Sunday, February 10 & 11, 9:30am - 5:00pm

General Tool list   (will open in a new window)

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Building Kitchen Cabinets with Tim Spratlin

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The pinnacle of home cabinetmakinag is the kitchen cabinet. This is also a subject that many people have asked for over the years. Tim Spratlin is a professional cabinet maker and is able to show you loads of time saving techniques to help you on your way to building your own kitchen cabinets. You may just be interested in a simpler project like a bathroom vanity– but the techniques and principles are all the same! Tim will review the standards involved in modern kitchen design; ie. the height of counters, depths of cabinets, etc., and demonstrate the installation process. The cabinet you will make in class is a small (about 28” wide) free standing unit that utilizes all the challenges you will face in building a full set of cabinets. The project will incorporate a face frame, a raised panel door, a drawer, a laminated top and European hardware.  Options for different types of countertops will be discussed. The cabinet you make in class could then be used at home as a free standing vanity, a storage cabinet or even a sharpening station in a workshop- but more importantly, it will give you the knowledge and confidence to tackle that larger kitchen project that you have been putting off!  If you’ve been waiting for the right time to rebuild your kitchen, then this class will get you started on the right track. This class meets four full days over two weekends. Tuition $495.00 plus materials.

Section 022418A:    Saturday & Sunday, February 24, 25 & March 24 & 25,  9:30am - 5:00pm

general tool list    (will open in a new window)

 

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Beginning Woodturning with Rick Angus

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

Section 011018B:  Wednesday evenings, January 10—February 14, 6:00pm 9:30pm

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Basic Woodturning Weekend with Rick Angus

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

 

Section 012718B: Saturday & Sunday, January 27 & 28, 9:30am—5:00pm

 

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Beginning Pen Turning with Bud Poulin

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Turned pens and pencils are increasingly popular, easy to make (sometimes!), and they make great gifts (Christmas is right around the corner!!). Bud turns truly unique and beautiful pens and will teach students his techniques in this rewarding hands-on class. Students will have an opportunity to make one or two pens in a wood of their choice. Tuition: $75.00 (includes material for 2 pens)

Section 120917B:     Saturday, December 9, 12:30pm -     4:30pm

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Professional Furniture Finishing Techniques

Finishing - Start to Finish- with Greg Massicotte

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Most woodworkers shy away from finishing or are disappointed in their attempts at finishing the projects they have spent so much time and effort in making. Greg Massicotte has been finishing furniture professionally for over twenty years and has taught countless seminars and classes. Students will learn about bleaching and wood preparation, how to use aniline dyes, pigmented stains and glazes in combination to create the dramatic effects and colors they want. The many different choices for top coats always create a lot of questions. This class will expose students to brushing on varnishes, wiping on oils and spraying lacquers. This experience will help clarify the strengths and weaknesses of each topcoat system. Rubbing out the finish and French Polishing will round out the class. With the huge number of finishing questions that come up daily, you should be sure to fit this valuable class in. Tuition $295.00 (plus materials: $45.00)

Section 041618B: Monday evenings, April 16—May 21, 6:00pm—9:00pm

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A Woodworker's Guide to Finishing with Mike Pekovich

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

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

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

Section 030318A: Saturday, March 3, 9:30am - 5:00pm

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Zen of French Polish with John Coffey

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuition: $275.00 plus materials

Section 031018A: Saturday & Sunday, March 10 & 11, 9:30am - 5:00pm

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Six Week Furniture Making Intensive

Six 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.  I just finished a five week class with this format in November and I really believe it was one of the best classes I have offered in years. Everyone really learned a lot and had 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 those new hand skills, cutting a tenon by hand turns out to be a pretty simple affair which you will be able to do!

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.

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 another whole day just on sharpening.

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 the total beginner but rather someone who has done a bit of woodworking and is now ready to get serious and really learn some skills. If you are a beginner then you should sign up for the Fundamentals of Furniture Making or the Woodworking I class.

This is an opportunity you do not want to miss. Tuition: $2400.00 plus materials number 4_small

Section 040218A: Monday - Thursday April 16 - May 24, 2018, 8:30am - 4:30pm

 General tool list (will open in a new window)

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Speciality & Weekend Classes

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 $275.00 plus materials.

 Section  112517B: Saturday & Sunday,  November 25/26, 9:30am - 5:00pm

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Black & White Bandings-An Intro to the Fascinating Art of Making Decorative Bandings with Michael Wheeler

black and white bandings Michael wheeler 640At the turn of the 18th Century, Federal Period 1790-1820, wealthy Boston Merchants were expanding trade routes to the Middle East, West Indies and China in their quest for whale oil. They brought back spices, pottery, fabric, furniture embellished with semi-precious stones and ivory. America was in the mist of a big celebration (25 years as a free nation) and wanted new, refreshing and exciting furniture. Cabinetmakers in Boston were creating a new style of furniture based on neoclassical designs. New specialists known as inlay and paterae makers were showing up to supply cabinetmakers with those specialized decorative items. Decorative bandings were created as craftsmen began to develop intricate patterns made by stacking and cutting these rare woods, cut into veneers, into specific geometric shapes gluing them into logs or “bricks”.They were than cut into thin strips ready to be set and glued into the surfaces of the furniture being made. These skills & patterns were very guarded and unfortunately were lost over time.

This hands on class with Boston restoration specialist, Michael Wheeler, will begin the process of recovering & teaching those long lost techniques and tricks of the trade. The pictured bandings all begin as a simple stack of black & white veneers, glued up to form a log. Depending  on how the log is cut and reglued they create completely different patterns of bandings. Think of this weekend class as the beginning to the fascinating and frequently mind twisting world of decorative bandings. They can be used on any number of your woodworking projects from highly embellished furniture to boxes, trays,and even picture frames. 

Michael Wheeler, Owner of Tomorrow’s Antiques, Boston, MA, NBSS Cabinet/Furniture Making 77, has been repairing and restoring Period Americana for over 40 years, specializing in Federal Furniture. He ’s been collecting & researching New England and Imported bandings & paterae’s for over 25 years. Sign up today. Space is limited. Tuition: $275.00 plus materials 

Section 120217A: Saturday & Sunday, December 2 & 3, 9:30am – 5:00pm

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An Introduction to Japanese Tools and Techniques with Andrew Hunter

Andrew Hunter 4Many western woodworkers have discovered the pleasure of using Japanese saws, but Japan’s remarkable culture of woodworking has even more to offer. In this weekend class, professional furniture maker, Andrew Hunter, will go beyond the pull saw and introduce students to a greater perspective of Japanese woodworking. Topics covered will include Japanese saws, chisels, planes, sharpening stones and layout. He will show students how to buy, tune, and use these tools as well as how to incorporate traditional Japanese woodworking techniques into your own shop.

Students are encouraged to bring their own Japanese tools to class. Andrew can offer feedback and assistance on getting 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 use, as well as a selection of moderately priced tools for sale.Andrew Hunter 6

With over 20 years of experience working with Japanese tools, Andrew has a wealth of knowledge to draw from and as a self taught woodworker, he offers a unique perspective to Americans just discovering Japanese woodworking. His work demonstrates that by understanding the fundamental principles behind the tools, any woodworker can learn to use them efficiently and you don’t have to travel to Japan to do it! Sign up today and expand your woodworking horizons! Tuition: $275.00 plus materials

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Section 121617B: Saturday & Sunday, December 16 & 17, 9:30am—5:00pm

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Carving in the 17th Century Style with Peter Follansbee

Follansbee salem scrolls 640Join well known Massachusetts woodcarver, Peter Follansbee for this unique hands on class. In this two-day course, students will learn the steps and processes used to recreate carving patterns from seventeenth-century furniture of England and New England. Starting with a single gouge and mallet, we will focus on technique and posture. Also considered are proportions, spacing and the relationship between background and foreground in establishing the pattern/design. Each successive practice pattern builds upon the previous example, adding more tools and concepts. We will incorporate hand-pressure, mallet work, and the use of the V-tool in outlining designs. A compass, awl and marking gauge are used to layout the geometric basis for each pattern, but freehand work is included in each a well. A range of designs will be covered, all drawn from surviving examples studied in museum and private collections. Follansbee opposing lunettes 640

A segment of the course will be devoted to a pattern Follansbee calls an “S-scroll” and multiple versions of it will be explored. Students will learn ways to combine and contrast these patterns, adapting them for use as furniture accents. Some designs are applicable as narrow framing parts, others as wider panel designs in joined furniture. V-tool work, gouge work and shaping and modeling surfaces all will be addressed. Background punches will create a textured surface, offsetting the smooth texture of the original planed panels. Various shop-made punches highlight the carved designs. Painted backgrounds will be exhibited and discussed, but will fall outside the scope of this weekend workshop. The final project in the class will be a panel design utilizing many of the techniques shown in the initial exercises. This is the first in a series of classes we will be doing with Peter this year. So if you are interested in this distinctive type of furniture and carving style then don’t miss this opportunity to work with one of the leading people in this field. Tuition: $295.00 plus materialsFollansbee Frame and Panel Modified

Section 021718A:  Saturday, Sunday  February 17, 18, 9:30am - 5:00pm

pdfTool_list_Peter_Follansbee_Begin__17th_century_carving_2013.pdf

Follansbee box carving detail

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Learn to Carve a Concave Newport Shell and a Block Front Drawer Front with Al Breed

al breed concave newport shellSome of the most iconic furniture made in the colonies was done in Newport, Rhode Island. Major elements of these pieces are the blocking and convex and concave shells on the doors and draws. In this class we’ll do the concave shell and blocking of a Newport  draw front. This will involve the layout and carving of the concave center shell as well as the process involved in doing a blocked section of the front.

The work will be sized so that you may use it as part of a chest, should you decide to make one.

Tuition: $325.00 plus materials

Section 030318A: Saturday & Sunday, March 3 & 4, 9:00am—5:00pm  blockfront 640

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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.   MIke Mascelli HeadShot web

KEY POINTS:

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

Sign up Today! Tuition $275.00 Plus materials ($55.00)   

Section 031018A: Saturday & Sunday, March 10 & 11, 9:30am—5:00pm

Beyond Basic Inlay - Working with Shell, Mother of Pearl and Metals with Mike South

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Mike South will introduce students to the basics of cutting and inlaying various types of shell products and other materials into musical instruments and other flat surfaces. The techniques are applicable to many different materials such as veneers, brass, silver and gold sheet stock and some of the softer natural and reconstituted stones. Topics will include the choice of needed tools and supplies, types of materials, techniques for reproducing artwork for use as templates and techniques for cutting the materials and inlaying them into surfaces for decoration and embellishment. Although Mike’s current specialty is stringed instruments, he has years of experience in wood turning as well as furniture design and construction so the techniques can be used in decorating these types of projects as well. Students will be introduced to the basics of how to position themselves so that the time spent cutting is used to best advantage.  Layout and routing of the channels for the inlays will be explained so as to make for the cleanest outcomes.  Traditional patterns and motifs will be supplied by the instructor, but if students have designs or artwork that they’d like to try, they’re encouraged to bring it to class. Specialized tools and various types of shell will be available from the instructor. Other basic supplies can be purchased locally. A list of suppliers will be included so students can acquire materials and tools for future projects. Inlay work can be very challenging but also a lot of fun. Proper instruction goes a long way and the rewards for patience and persistence are very satisfying. Sign up Today! Tuition: $275.00 plus materials  Mike South_inlay_web_3Mike south_inlay_web_2

Section  031718B: Saturday & Sunday, March 17 & 18, 9:30am—5:00pm

General tool list  (will open in a new window)  

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Make a Cabriole Leg with Phil Lowe

phil lowe cabriole legThe cabriole leg is a graceful and essential form in most Queen Anne style furniture and we are fortunate to have Phil Lowe, an expert in this furniture style, hosting this unique two-day hands-on class. Phil is a nationally known craftsman and author whose work and articles have appeared in Fine Woodworking Magazine for many years. Phil, who also runs his own furniture-making school and custom furniture business in Beverly, Mass. will begin by teaching students the basics of design and layout for a graceful cabriole leg that could be used in a Queen Anne style “tea table”. Students will go on to layout their own leg, bandsaw it to shape and spend time refining the shape with rasps, spokeshaves and scrapers. The class also features demonstrations of the layout and carving of a shell on the knee or a “C” scroll decorative element as well as turning a foot and pad on the leg. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn from one of the leaders in the field. Some specific tools will be required and are listed on the school web site. Sign up today- space is limited. Tuition: $325.00 plus materials

Section 012018A: Saturday & Sunday, January 20 & 21, 9:30am – 5:00pmBeldenTeaTable640

pdfTool_List_Phil_Lowe_Cabriole_leg_.pdf

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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)

Tablesaw dovetails

Section 012718A, Saturday & Sunday,  January 27 & 28,  9:30am – 5:00pm

  General tool list  (will open in a new window)  

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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: $125.00 plus materials

Section 111817B: Saturday, November 18, 9:30am - 5:00pm

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SketchUp Success for Woodworkers with David Heim

sketchup logoThis 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 bring a Windows or Mac laptop loaded with the 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 www.sketchup.com to download the free version, called SketchUp Make.

Tuition: $125.00.

Section 102117B, Saturday, October 21, 9:30am-5:00pm

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Build a Floating Top Accent Table with Mike Pekovich

sewing tea 3 640Here's a versatile little table with some funky, fun joinery going on. Over the span of two weekends, we'll try our hand at bridle joints, through-mortise-and tenons and sliding dovetails. Then we'll hold everything together with drawbore pins and top it all off by wrapping the side rails with hemp cord. There's a lot going on in a small package, and you'll walk away with not just a nice table, but a whole tool kit of design details that you can throw at other projects as well.

In quarter sawn white oak, the design has an Oriental, Arts & Crafts and rustic feel to it and can fit just about anywhere and will make a welcome addition to any room. Mike Pekovich is the Executive Art Director at Fine Woodworking Magazine and is an accomplished furniture maker and instructor. His original designs are both inspiring and elegant in their simplicity. Sign up today. Space is limited. Tuition: $495.00 plus materials

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Section 111817A: Saturday & Sunday, November 18 & 19 and December 9 & 10, 9:30am—5:00pm

general tool list (will open in a new window)

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Sharpening Hand-tools Techniques with Bob Van Dyke

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

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

Section  020418A: Sunday, February 4, 9:30am- 5:00pm

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Sharpening Carving Tools with Will Neptune

 

Will Neptune carving gouge 640This hands-on class features a day of sharpening and re-shaping of carving tools with nationally known furnituremaker and woodcarver Will Neptune. The tools that you buy are no where near ready to do good work. Even the “Swiss-Made” brand need significant regrinding in order to perform at their best. In this class students will regrind and sharpen at least one straight gouge along with a V tool, a double bevel skew and possibly a fishtail or backbend. With this hands-on practice you should be able to understand what is needed to keep your carving tools up to their total potential and be able to concentrate on your carving rather than the tools to do it! Sign up today– Space is limited.

Tuition: $145.00 materials included

Section 111917B: Sunday, November 19, 9:30am – 5:00pm

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Make a Cutting Gauge and a Marking Knife with  Bob Van Dyke

bob van dyke cutting gauge FWW cover640One of the foundations of superior furniture making is good layout. Good layout is based on the ability to cut a single accurate layout line. This is accomplished with a good layout knife and a good cutting gauge. Surprisingly good cutting gauges seem to be a thing of the past. Sure, there are some out there with really pretty rosewood and brass, but if you look a little closer you see how badly they are made, how poor the cutter is (it is ground incorrectly and it is usually installed backwards!) and they are really expensive!

Why not join Bob Van Dyke in this weekend class to make you own cutting gauge? Based on a design he learned from woodworking expert Will Neptune, this gauge has all the attributes of a great tool. It has a large face to register solidly against any surface, a long beam (12”) which lets you use it like a small panel gauge and, most importantly, a single bevel spear point cutter made from a Ron Hock marking knife. Which brings us to the other part of the class - the marking knife. Each student will begin with a ¼ inch Hock marking knife. These are about 7 ½” long. We will cut off about 2” of the blade for the marking gauge cutter and then you will have the rest as a great single bevel marking knife.

The important thing here is that you will learn some good woodworking techniques, shape your own cutting gauge to fit your hand and learn how to sharpen and use the tool, accurately over and over, meet some new people and have a good time doing it!

Sign up today- space is limited. Tuition $125.00 Plus materials ($36.00)

Section 021718A: Saturday,    February 17,   9:30am - 5:00pm

Note: cutting gauge photo by Fine Woodworking Magazine staff

General tool list (will open in a new window)

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Oops- That was not really a part of the Plan- Fixing Woodworking Mistakes with Bob Van Dyke

 

Bob Van Dyke fixing scewups640Have you ever had that sinking feeling when you realize you put an offset tenon on the wrong side? Or broke off a twin tenon? How about a hinge morticed in the wrong place? Or just a badly cut dovetail? Beginners are not the only ones who make mistakes– but it is the pros who have figured out how to get out of a tight spot without having to start from the beginning. Woodworking is really just problem solving and in this day long class, Connecticut Valley School of Woodworking director, Bob Van Dyke will demonstrate ways to fix simple common mistakes like fixing a hole that might have be drilled by mistake through the face of a board or fixing a loose tenon or a gappy dovetail– Those are some simple fixes- but we will then go on to explore some techniques to save some parts that most woodworkers might write off and start over again. Obviously a big part of any repair strategy is to know when something can be fixed– and fixed well– and when to cut your losses and start fresh. This is something that we will discuss and show in a series of practical examples and demonstrations. Hopefully this valuable demonstration will get you thinking hard the next time you encounter an “unexpected design opportunity”! Sign up today. Space is limited. Tuition $125.00 materials are included

Section 020318A: Saturday, February 3, 9:30am - 4:30pm   bob van dyke fizing mistakes640

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Beginning (or Refresher!) Carving with Mary May

 

Mary May begin carving 640This beginner carving class will help get you started in the wonderful world of woodcarving. Well known professional woodcarver, Mary May, will guide you through the problems and mysteries that you may encounter when beginning to learn to carve wood. We will cover tool safety, sharpening, working in the correct grain direction, and many basic and important carving techniques. We will work through several complete carving projects, including a floral design and scallop shell in shallow relief. It's going to be a lot of fun, so don't miss out! Both beginner and experienced carvers are welcome, but we will mainly be focusing on the woodcarving basics. Tools required are listed below. The school does have some of the tools but most people find that trying to share them around during class is frustrating and it is better to have your Yes– this class is meeting Thursday & Friday! Sign up today!

Section 032218A: Thursday & Friday, March 22 & 23, 9:00am - 5:00pmMary May begin carving 2 640

Carving tools you will need:

6mm v-chisel

#3, 6mm

#3, 14mm

#5, 14mm

#7, 6mm

#7, 14mm

The above set can be purchased here: http://www.chippingaway.com/shop/handwoodcarving-tools-accessories/mary-may-carving-tool-sets/mary-may-beginner-woodcarver-set/

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An Introduction to the Art of Kumiko with Mike Pekovich

kumiko box

Are you looking to spice up your work in a unique and attractive way? Then you need to sharpen your chisels and try your hand at kumiko. This Japanese latticework technique is traditionally found on shoji screens, but it has been making its way into contemporary furniture and boxes. The elegant geometric patterns are created by cutting, beveling and fitting small basswood parts until they slide together forming the geometric pattern-without the need for glue. In this weekend class we will make a mitered box into which the top– with its traditional Kumiko “hemp leaf” pattern will sit. Mike Pekovich is the Executive Art Director at Fine Woodworking Magazine and is an accomplished furniture maker and instructor. His original designs are both inspiring and elegant in their simplicity. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn some new techniques while making an attractive and useful box. Tuition: $275.00 plus materials

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Section 121617A: Saturday & Sunday, December 16 & 17, 9:30am—5:00pm

general tool list (will open in a new window)

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Build a Federal Style Side Table with Bob Van Dyke

 

Bob Van Dyke hepplewhite front simple 640This exciting new class features a small Federal or Hepplewhite style side table with a whole lot of  challenges and a boatload of new skills to be learned. The focus of this class will be efficiency– in joinery, in ornamentation and in design. Efficiency in joinery means doing as much joinery as possible all at once and making joints that fit right off the machines. This project also features many techniques that may be new to a number of you. Working with veneer for the drawer front , dovetailing and cockbeading a drawer, and adding cuff inlay and stringing to the legs all turn a basically simple table into an heirloom piece you can be proud of. This is a simple traditional Federal table which will fit with just about any home décor and is small enough –23” wide X about 17” inches deep,-to fit just about anywhere. Sign up soon– these are some skills you will be able to use over and over. There will be certain handwork that you may be required to complete outside of class. Please make sure you are willing to do that before signing up. This is going to be a fun class!

Tuition $495.00 plus materials

Section 010818A: Monday evenings, January 8 - March 19,  6:00pm- 9:30pm    Bob Van Dyke hepplewhite table complex 640

 general tool list    (will open in a new window)

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

telecaster

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 a few nights of 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 new class and have the satisfaction of building (and playing) your own heirloom quality instrument. Tuition $495.00 plus materials ($439.00).

Section 041418B: Saturday & Sunday, April 14, 15 & May 5 & 6,  9:30am- 5:00pm

  General tool list  (will open in a new window)  

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Week-long Classes

Take some time for yourself!

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

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

Build Your Choice of High Performance Kayaks with Nick Shade

S26G-Play-Portrait-NickSea kayaking is the sport of taking a small boat out on to the big ocean. You could buy an ordinary plastic kayak, or you could build your own which will be lighter, faster, better looking and more fun than any you can buy.

This fast-paced class will take students through the major phases of building a kayak. Students may choose between a 14 foot long recreational kayak (the Petrel "Play") or a 17 foot sea kayak (the Petrel) Using the “Stitch-and-glue” construction method, each student will go home with his or her own kayak. Some finish work will be required when they get home. Students will learn some basic woodworking skill as well as how to work with fiberglass and epoxy. The logistics of working with fiberglass and epoxy will require some later nights (8 or 9pm) as some operations have to be completed by the end of a day in order to allow sufficient dry time before going on to the next operations. Tuition $795.00 (plus materials- approximately $1395.00) petrel play_ion_waves

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For more information on Nick’s kayaks go to  http://www.guillemot-kayaks.com/

Section 011318A: Saturday - Thursday, January 13 - 18, 2018, 9:00am - 5:00pm

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

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This popular five-day intensive hands-on class is an opportunity to concentrate on the basics of woodworking and furniture making. Each student will make a Shaker style cherry hall table, which is a perfect vehicle to practice the machine and hand-tool techniques that we teach in the class. Subjects covered include basic shop safety, machine use (with particular emphasis on the tablesaw, jointer and planer), using handplanes, card scrapers and chisels effectively to surface and hand-fit the mortice and tenon joints, handtool sharpening, making tapered legs and grain matching and gluing up a top.  This class takes the place of Woodworking I & Woodworking II and provides a strong foundation for more advanced furniture projects. Tuition: $795.00 plus materials

Section 010218A, Tuesday - Saturday, January 2-6, 8:30am - 5:00pm

 general tool list    (will open in a new window)

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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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