thumb Pekovich Tea Chest 1 640Spring/ Summer 2021 Class Schedule available.  Click here for more information.

Archived Classes

Listed below are classes we have run in the past and may (or may not) run again in the future. If you see something of interest please e-mail us. We can let you know if the class is being planned again for the future.

Pattern Inlay & Decorative Borders with Steve Latta

Steve_pattern_inlayWhen most folks think of inlay, what comes to mind is period American or English furniture with a standard catalog of equally traditional designs. In this exciting new class with nationally know inlay expert, Steve Latta, this age old form of ornamentation will gain firm footing in the twenty-first century. Pattern inlay involves creating designs executed with modern tooling combined with traditional materials. Through the use of simple and sometimes complex patterns, contemporary line work designs can be set into the wood. Floral patterns, animal forms, geometric or random designs are a few of the applications we’ll look at. Inlaid borders, also made with a pattern, will be covered as well. We’ll spend time gaining an understanding of the basic materials and techniques and then see where our imaginations take us. Topics we will cover in this class include:

The fundamentals of modern inlay including tooling and materials, Working up designs and learning how to set them as inlay, Making patterns for both simple and complex shapes, & Ornamental inlaid borders. Don’t miss this opportunity to let your creativity get the best of you! Sign up today. Tuition: $255.00 plus materials

 Section 032412: March 24 & 25, Saturday & Sunday, 9:30am - 5:00pm

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Build a Pillar & Scroll Wall Clock with W. Mickey Callahan

Pillar and Scroll clock TerryThanks to clockmaker, Eli Terry of Plymouth, CT, the beautiful Pillar & Scroll clock was America’s first mass-produced clock that introduced clockmakers to a system of mass production and interchangeable parts in the first half of the 19th century.

 In this class, students will be given the opportunity to reproduce a pillar and scroll shelf clock case dating back to the early 1800’s. The clock will incorporate vertical turned pillars, and a broken-pediment scroll top with urn-shaped finials. The case work will also involve intricate wood joinery as well as veneer and inlays. Because the painted dial face and tablet (reverse painted glass panel) along with a quality 8-day, wind-up brass movement represent a significant cost those parts of the project will be purchased by each student on their own when it is actually time to install them. Not only are these style of clocks beautiful to look at but are particularly popular and important to America’s clock making history and heritage. By constructing this clock, you will be building an heirloom to be enjoyed by you and your family for years to come.

Tuition: $795.00 plus materials

 Section 110213A:Saturday & Sunday, November 2/3, December 21/22 & January 11/12,

9:30am - 5:00pm

General tool list (will open in a new window)

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Think (and Build) outside the box with Mike Pekovich

Mike_pekovich_boxesBoxes are fun to make and offer a variety of design possibilities in a small package. A mitered box is a fast and simple way to get started in box making. In this hands-on class with Fine Woodworking Magazine art director, Mike Pekovich, you'll learn how to get accurate mitered corners on the tablesaw and how to get a perfect grain match from face to face. You'll also learn the trick to stress-free glue-ups and how corner keys can add strength and beauty. The class will cover 2 ways to add a lid to a box and how to outfit the interior with dividers for a variety of uses. Each student will come away with a pair of boxes and all the skills necessary to make many more. Mike builds commission furniture in his Ct shop and his exceptional work can be seen at

Sign up today- this class will surely sell out. Tuition: $275.00 plus materials

 Section 110312A: Saturday & Sunday,    March 22 & 23,      9:30am - 5:00pm

general tool list  (will open in a new window)

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Carve a  Concave Newport Shell with Alf Sharp

newport_shell   One of the most recognizable carved motifs on 18th century American Furniture is the fabulous shell carving found on Goddard-Townsend block-front casework. Harkening back to the Queen Anne period (1740’s), these large, unique shell carvings were the piece-de-resistance on Newport furniture well into the 1790’s. With their sinuous curves and multiple layers, they have seemed intimidating to many novice carvers who might like to take one on. They needn’t be. Like so many carving projects, it’s just a matter of knowing where to start, and then working progressively thru the stages until one has completed a masterful carving.

  Usually when this motif is taught, it’s done as the convex shell that appears on either side of the three-shell group. This demo-class will emphasize the concave, or middle shell, which is somewhat more complicated, and hence more sophisticated. Still, it’s not beyond the scope of anyone with basic carving skills. We’ll learn how to layout the shell and rough out the general shape. Then we’ll sweep those glorious ogee-shaped lobes, and finish off with the miniature version of the shell in the lower center, and the fine vein that outlines the whole shell. Join us and learn this American icon.

Alf Sharp is one of this country’s première furniture makers. He works out of his Tennessee workshop, specializing in 18th century American and English designs.

Alf is the recipient of the 2008 Cartouche award from The Society of American Period Furniture Makers. He is also the president of the Furniture Society. Recent work can be seen in the magazine Woodwork, Feb. 2008 issue,  and on his web-site, Alf also writes for Fine Woodworking magazine.

Sign up today for this truly unique class.  Some specific carving tools will be required. That list will be on the school website- Tuition: $125.00 plus materials

Section 031112A: Sunday, March 11, 9:30am - 5:00pm

pdf Tool_list_Alf_Sharp_Concave_Newport_Shell.pdf

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Blacksmithing & Toolmaking-with Walt Scadden

anvil_up_closeTool making is probably one of the most useful skills that a blacksmith has and this new class will give you an appreciation of some of the techniques used. Students will learn the basics of shaping hot iron by making a small chisel or a center punch to start out. After that project is done it is time to move onto making a utility knife or a marking knife that you will find a thousand uses for in your shop. Shaping the tool steel, annealing and hardening the steel and finally grinding the cutting edge are just a few of the steps you will take to make a great tool that you can truly call your own. This fun class will give you a chance to try out blacksmithing, or polish your skills if you have taken past classes. Don’t miss it! Tuition: $275.00 plus materials

Section 102514B: Saturday & Sunday, October 25 & 26, 9:30am - 5:00pm                                       Mike  Pekovich marking knife

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Build an Arts & Crafts Style Tabouret Table with Mike Pekovich

tabouret_table_Mike_PekovichHere's a fun project that offers a fresh take on the arts and crafts style. This elegant little table is based on a Charles Limbert design, one of the lesser known, but more original makers of the period. In this 8-week course you'll learn how to create the organic curves that are a distinctive feature of Limbert's work. You'll also use a simple jig to cut perfect circles on the bandsaw. Finally, you'll finish the table with a traditional fumed finish that will compliment any arts and crafts project you build. You can do the table in cherry, walnut or the traditional 1/4 sawn white oak (please specify when registering).

This will be a great addition to your house and making it will definitely teach you new skills. Sign up today!  Mike is the art director for Fine Woodworking magazine and makes beautiful Arts & Crafts Style furniture. His work can be seen at  Tuition: $355.00 plus materials

Section 041812B: 

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

zuerner bookcase

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)

General tool list     (will open in a new window)   

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Make a pair of grooving planes with Matt Kenney

GroovingPlane2MattKennyPower tools are fast, efficient, and accurate, but they’re not always the right tool for a job. That’s especially true when you’re working with small parts. One job that’s always a bit tricky with power tools is cutting grooves for bottoms in small drawers and trays, the kind you find in jewelry boxes and small wall cabinets. These grooving planes are the perfect alternative. They’re designed to always cut a groove in the same location, so there’s no setup involved. Just pick up the plane and go. That makes them just as fast (if not faster), efficient, and accurate as your tablesaw and router table. And then there’s the added benefit of being able to work quietly at your bench as one delicate shaving after another falls from the plane.

In this class you’ll make a pair of planes, so that you can always cut with the grain. But don’t worry, that’s not as big an undertaking as it might sound. We’ll use the Krenov method of sandwiching two sides around a center that works as both the bed and throat. The bed is guaranteed to be flat, because it’s cut at the tablesaw before the plane is glued up. And the wedge is fit before the glue-up, too. So, you know it’s going to work great. For irons, we’ll use blades from Lie-Nielsen that come heat treated and with the bevel ground. All they need is a bit of honing.

At the end of class, you’ll have a pair of planes ready to be put to use in your next project. Tuition $255.00 plus materials

Section 092912A: Saturday & Sunday, September 29 & 30,  9:30am- 5:00pm

General tool list     (will open in a new window)    

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Practical Handtool Joinery with Will Neptune

handtool joineryThe basis for all joinery is the ability to work to layout lines with saws, chisels and planes. To do this, your tools must be properly prepared and sharpened. If you are frustrated with the results you get with hand tools or doubt that you can improve the fit of machine cut joints then this is the class to improve your skills and take you woodworking to the next level.
In this class you will learn a controlled and repeatable method for sharpening edge tools that will cut end grain cleanly and accurately. We will tune up and adjust rabbet and router planes so they can be used for accurate joinery. Then in a series of bench work exercises, beginning with accurate layout techniques, you will learn how to work from reference surfaces to hand cut accurate joinery, usually more quickly and accurately than you could by machine. These exercises include half laps, bridle joints on curved rails and housed tapered(sliding) dovetails. This is a chance to practice working with chisels and planes and hand saws with one of this country's master furniture makers. You will need certain tools- including a rabbet (shoulder) plane and a standard size router plane. The full tool list can be seen on the school website. Don't let handtools continue to frustrate you- sign up today. Tuition: $255.00 plus materials

Section 102712A: Saturday & Sunday, October 27 & 28, 9:30am –5:00pm

General tool list     (will open in a new window)    

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Woodworking Basics- a FREE!! Review class

bvd sharpen classWhat? A free class??? Why not- right?  One of my regular students had the idea that some people might be more inclined to come back and tackle some of the more “challenging” projects if I offered a review of the basics- just to get them in the swing of things again. So- here we go. This will be two nights and will cover basic tablesaw operation and safety along with the basics of the milling process using the jointer, planer and tablesaw. A simple mortice and tenon using the tablesaw and a handheld router will be covered also. I will try to fit in some handtool use- cardscrapers, chisels and handplanes.

This class can be all demonstration- or it can incorporate some hands on practice. It is up to you.

Sign up today. Tuition: $00.00 Materials are included

This class will be rescheduled for later this fall

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Build a Dovetailed Tea Box with Mike Pekovich

tea box

If you've been thinking about taking the dovetail plunge, then this is the perfect project to get your feet wet. This elegant tea box is a great exercise in hand-cut dovetails with a power tool assist. You'll learn the basics of layout and tool selection as well as tips for sawing and scribing for a perfect fit. You'll outfit the box with a partitioned liner, which is a great lesson in bird's mouth miter joints and we will top it off with an elegant ebony clasp. It's an intricate piece of joinery, but the table saw handles most of the work. As an added bonus we will get some finish on the box in class so you should go home with a unique tea box ready for wrapping- just in time for the holidays! Join Mike Pekovich, Fine Woodworking's art director and resident hand tool addict, for this fun 3 day class. Sign up today- space is limited.

Tuition $395.00 plus materials ($35.00)

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

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

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Build a Windsor Chair with Peter Galbert

continous Arm_GalbertBuilding a Windsor chair can be daunting to those new to the craft, but with a bit of exposure, inspiration can replace hesitation and get you on your way to building comfortable, durable and beautiful chairs.

This two day seminar will focus on all of the varied skills that go into producing a classic  Windsor chair. From splitting the log, shaving the parts, bending, turning, joinery, carving and finishing, you’ll watch as Peter Galbert constructs a continuous armchair and demystifies the process. Come with an open mind, a notebook and a camera to catch all the action. This class is a precursor to the hands on six day class we are planning for the summer of 2013, Stay tuned!!!

Tuition: $255.00

Section 030913A: Saturday & Sunday,  March 9 & 10,  9:30am - 5:00pm

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Making Moldings on the Router Table with Mickey Callahan

router moldingsThe question always comes up about how to make various molding profiles on the router table. Whether you need molding for a picture frame, furniture masterpiece or architectural elements, obtaining the desired molding profiles can be an almost impossible task unless you take the time to search out various router bits  that can be combined to create the shape you are after. In this class Mickey will show students how to create the desired profile by combining different bits, different router table fences, different ways of holding the workpiece and sometimes combining tools such as the router table tablesaw and handtools. This class will open your eyes and help you unlock the full potential of  your router table- and your imagination!

Sign up today- space is limited. Tuition: $255.00 plus materials

Section 040613B: Saturday & Sunday, April 6 & 7, 9:30am – 5:00pm

General tool list  (will open in a new window)  

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Making Complex Curved Moldings with Mickey Callahan

chapin pediment 640x480The thought of making curved moldings can be intimidating to many woodworkers-of all skill levels, but like anything else, once you learn and understand the design and the procedures you need to follow, they are very doable using a combination of hand and power tools.

Curved moldings fall into four broad categories: arcs, S curve, elliptical, and compound curves. The S curve is also referred to sometimes as gooseneck and is a classical shape that is used as pediment moldings on case work such as period high boys and clocks, as well as over doors and fireplaces on classical architecture. Other complex moldings include combinations of two or more simple profiles to create a more dramatic and formal look such as flat crown or more involved combinations of crown, dentil, beads, coves, ovolo, ogee, and fillets.

This hands-on class will cover the aspects of design and pattern making utilizing various machine and hand tool methods along with shop-made jigs to make gooseneck and other complex moldings. Mickey will be using the construction of a Philadelphia highboy as well as other furniture and architectural examples to help students see and understand the importance of moldings in their work. Mickey is the founder and president of the Society of American Period Furniture Makers and makes custom period furniture out of his own shop in Massachusetts. Sign up today for this unique and informative class.

Sign up today- space is limited. Tuition: $275.00 plus materials.

Section 041815A: Saturday & Sunday, April 18 & 19, 9:30am – 5:00pm

General tool list  (will open in a new window)  

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Introduction to the Practice of Furniture Conservation with Smithsonian Institution Conservator, Don Williams

In this full day workshop, Don will introduce the participants to the practical applications of decision-making and treatment execution when confronted with preserving and restoring historic furniture.  Hands-on exercises will  include veneer repair, molding and casting lost elements, and reclaiming damaged finishes. Tuition: $125.00 plus materials

                  Section 030313B: Sunday, March 3, 9:00am - 5:00pm

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Build a Chapin Round Tea Table with Will Neptune

1983 114_0Tripod Tea Tables were popular in the 18th century because of their “bird-cage’ wooden mechanism. This allows the top to be displayed while tipped up and saving space.  When in use, serving tea, cups could be filled and rotated towards guests seated around the table. In the 18th century Connecticut, some of the best furniture was built by makers from the Chapin family. The project for this class is based on a large Cherry Table in this Chapin Style.

For a woodworker, this project has several interesting features.  You will learn how to cut and fit the housed dovetails joining the legs to the column. Sculptural shaping of the ‘snake feet’ will be taught using a systematic approach to achieve the naturalistic curves of the legs. Last, you will learn how to make the large round top with either a simple molded edge or a dished top, without access to a very large lathe.  The turned central column will not be done in class. If you are a competent woodturner and want to do the turning your self before class we can supply you with the pattern, otherwise the columns will be turned by a woodturner we have used several times in the past.

This class is also a part of a unique restoration project we are working on in conjunction with the Windsor Historical Society. For more information on this see Be a part of Living History.

Tuition $895.00 plus materials

Section 031613A: Saturday & Sunday,

 March 16/17, April 13/14, May 18/19 & June 1 & 2

This class was originally scheduled to beginning Feb 16

 9:30am - 5:00pm


Image used with the permission of

the Connecticut Historical Society, Hartford, CT


General tool list  (will open in a new window)  

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Build a Tahoma Mirror/Picture Frame with Darrell Peart

joint detailIn this one-day class, students will route and glue up a 14” X 22” Tahoma frame.   As part of the class each student will take home a CNC template for making the “S” shaped miter joint which can be used for making frames from 12” to 48”.  The “S” shaped miter makes this frame both attractive and exceptionally easy to make. When joined with pinch dogs the miter locks at 90-degress and does not slip. After glue up the “S” joint will be reinforced with an exposed spline.

Greene & Greene ebony pegs will be covered as a part of the class and a discussion on an appropriate G&G finish for the frame will be covered as well.

Tuition:$125.00 plus materials

Section: 0031615A: Monday, March 16, 2015, 9:00am - 5:00pm

tahoma frameGeneral tool list  (will open in a new window)  

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Greene & Greene Style Elliptical Table with Darrell Peart

Peart elliptical tableJoin nationally known furniture maker, Darrell Peart as we journey into the world of the Greene & Greene brothers. This 4-day class is a celebration of geometry in woodworking with a Greene & Greene twist. Although the table is small, and at 1st glance is seemingly simple - it is packed with interesting features and learning opportunities. 

The top is a true ellipse and each student will route their own elliptical pattern from a shop made 2-axis trammel.  The table features 6 legs which start out as two pieces each.  They are then bevel ripped and miter wrapped to form 5 sided legs. Glue-up of the angled leg structure is done in stages and is aided by CNC made clamping cauls that apply pressure precisely where needed. This is a truly unique project and Darrell Peart is one of this county’s leading authorities on Greene & Greene furniture styles.

This piece was a featured project in the April 2007 Issue of Woodwork Magazine (# 104). Don’t miss this opportunity to make this special heirloom piece of furniture. Sign up today.

Tuition:$595.00 plus materials

Section: 021817A: Saturday – Tuesday, February 18 - 21, 9:30am – 5:00pm

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The Next Level of Working with Veneer, all about Veneer, Vacuum Presses and Adhesives

 The ability to work with veneers and incorporate them into your woodworking projects offers creative design options not possible with solid wood alone. If you want to expand your woodworking skills and creativity then this class will take you to the next level. In this two day hands on class with nationally known veneer expert, Darryl Keil students will explore the techniques and tools of veneering through creating a 12 way radial matched table top with a short grain border and inlay between the two. Darryl is one of this country’s innovators with working with vacuum presses. Because vacuum presses open up a whole level of advanced veneering techniques a portion of this class will be devoted to exploring the possibilities using a vacuum press.

Creating curved panels, veneering curves, shaped part as well as other options will be discussed and demonstrated. Darryl Keil began making furniture in 1976 after attending the Portland School of Art, and was a pioneer in the application of vacuum pressing technology to the woodworking industry. As a leading expert on veneer work he serves as a technical consultant to furniture manufacturing facilities across the country. His company, Vacuum Pressing Systems, operates out of Brunswick, ME. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to learn from a leader in the field. Sign up today. Tuition: $275.00 plus materials

Section 050617A: Saturday & Sunday, May 6 & 7, 9:30am - 5:00pm

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Making Complex Seymour type Bandings with Steve Latta

advanced banding 53Bandings makes furniture alive with contrast and subtle elegance. This hands-on class will focus on how these complex bandings are made and then set into furniture components such as legs, aprons and tops. We will start with some simple patterns and work towards the more complex, such as herringbones, sawtooth, arrow bandings and the distinctive lunette bandings employed by John & Thomas Seymour at the dawn of the nineteenth century. This unique class will allow you to appreciate some of the ingenious ways in which this decoration can be fabricated which will allow you to add another design dimension to your work, be it traditional or contemporary. During the course of the weekend, attendees will combine efforts to generate some of these infamous forms and take a sampling home with them. Steve Latta is one of this country’s leading authorities on Federal furniture, Inlays and decorative bandings. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn from one of the best! Tuition: $255.00 (plus materials)

Section 032313A: Saturday & Sunday, March 23 & 24, 9:30am - 5:00pm

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Gorgeous Gams & Foot Fetishes: Its all about the Legs and the Feet- A weekend of fun and inspiration with Glen Huey

Furniture legs and feet began as a simple way to bring box-like cases off dirt floors found in most CVSW Leg_Classhomes, but they have grown to be so much more. With many pieces of furniture, the legs or feet play an important role in design. Is the shape of your cabriole leg correct? What is correct? Are your tapered legs a Shaker design, or are they a Hepplewhite design? And what is the best way to create ogee-bracket feet? What joinery options are used in period reproductions? All these questions are answered in a fast-paced weekend.
Class begins with a demonstration on how to extract leg and foot profiles from furniture photos or from SketchUp models and get them sized right – this step is very important to accurate designs. Next, select a cabriole leg design, make your pattern then saw and shape the leg. After a stop at a lathe, you'll learn what tools make shaping a leg easy and quick, and what areas are the key to repeatable accuracy – you want four legs that look the same, right? Class then moves to tapered legs as you learn three methods to perfect tapers – choose a method based on the tools available in your shop, or try something new. Discussion then moves to feet where you'll learn two distinctly different methods to create ogee-bracket feet, and you will learn why and when to use which method. After a few tips on bracket feet, we wrap-up the class discussing joinery methods used in period work. You walk away with examples made in class and a complete understanding of the intricacies of furniture legs and feet. Tuition $295.00 plus materials

Section 060813A: Saturday & Sunday, June 8 & 9, 9:30am - 5:00pm

Note- This class was originally schedule for 3 days - April 5 - 7

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Build a 6-board Chest with Christopher Schwarz

6 board_chestOne of the most enduring – but overlooked – American furniture styles is the so-called six-board chest. These useful and attractive boarded chests seem to violate almost every rule of wood movement, and yet they survive the centuries without a problem.
In this class, we’ll investigate how these pieces were constructed using hand tools only. We’ll explore how their designs were dictated by the material on hand. We’ll decode the operations required to build these chests with the fewest saw cuts, a tiny tool kit and very limited hours.
We’ll also pick up some skills along the way: Sticking moulding by hand, Cutting rabbets and dados with hand tools, Laying out classical shapes – such as ogees – using only a compass and learning to use cut nails properly.
In the end, every student will leave with a completed pine chest that is ready for paint (or your finish of choice).

Sign up today - this class will sell out soon. Tuition $325.00 plus materials

Section 080313A: Saturday & Sunday, August 3 & 4, 9:00 - 5:00pm

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Build a Connecticut Breakfast table with Will Neptune

Breakfast Table_HD1957_18Tables of this style were known as Breakfast Tables in the 18th century.  When not in use, their leaves could be dropped to save space. Today this small table could serve many purposes and it’s simple but elegant look would fit in many homes. The project for this class is based on a Cherry table from the Chapin Group, a family of furniture makers who made some of Connecticut’s’ best work.

As a project this piece has several interesting challenges. Framing the table for a drawer  and fitting it to the opening is a skill you will use in many other situations. Cutting and hinging the ‘rule-joint’, which allows the leaves to drop is another important skill. The last technical challenge is the fitting and joinery for the shaped and pierced stretchers. Building this unusual table is a chance to learn some important technical skills and expand your woodworking knowledge. Sign up today as this class will fill up soon. Tuition: $795.00 plus materials

This is the second class offered in partnership with the Windsor Historical Society. If you are interested in a chance to display your work in public and support this important Historical project, please see Be a part of Living History.

This class will meet for two weekends for a total of 6 days- one in July and the second in August. This break will allow time to do some "homework" in between sessions.

Section 072613A: Friday, Saturday & Sunday, July 26 - 28 & August 16 - 18, 9:00am - 5:00pm

This class was originally scheduled to meet Monday- Saturday July 22 - 27

Photo used with Permission Historic Deerfield

General tool list  (will open in a new window)  

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Build a Fan Back Windsor Side Chair with Peter Galbert

thumb Fanback GalbertChairs are one of the most challenging objects to design and build.

In this hands on six day class you will work with green wood and hand tools to create one of the iconic forms of American furniture, the Windsor Chair.

This class covers all the action from tree to chair. Students will split parts from a log, shave them, bend them and join them into their hand carved seat. We will cover topics including sharpening, wood technology and design which will enhance your ability to go forth and make chairs at home.

Peter will demystify the angles and curves that go into making a successful chair while demonstrating how hand tools are the most effective way to build an heirloom chair. The legs will be provided for the students or they may turn their own before the class with instructor provided patterns. Be ready to work hard and learn a whole new way of woodworking.

The unique format of this class- two three day weekends- allows participants to take a break in the middle of the class (this is a lot of work!!) during which they can practice some of the skills being taught or make any new parts that they might be unsatisfied with from the first half of the class.

Sign up today- Peter is a great instructor and space is limited. Tuition $795.00 plus materials

Part of the work you will be doing will require the use of a shave horse.

 We are planning a separate weekend class in May where students will have the opportunity to make their own shave horse (using Peter’s design). The school will also have a few shave horses that can be used  (shared).

Section 071913A: Friday - Sunday, July 19 - 21 & August 23 - 25, 9:00am - 5:00pm

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Ornamental Veneer with Steve Latta

steve latta decorative veneerIn this class we will look at multiple approaches towards executing a variety of decorative motifs and techniques including bookmatching, pie patterns, and ellipses as well as more complicated forms.  We’ll start off looking at veneered drawer fronts with interior borders, both square and rounded corners and move quickly to more elaborate ellipses and panels bordered with contoured stringing.  We’ll also look at fielded panels applicable to drawer fronts, table tops and doors and we will discuss the wide range of available materials for face veneers, crossbandings and substrates.  Both traditional and modern techniques will be addressed including vacuum bag and traditional hammer veneering. Steve Latta compass rose 640

Bring a notebook…..they’ll be lots to learn! Don’t miss this unique class! Steve is one of this country’s leading experts on working with veneers and inlays.

Tuition: $295.00 plus materials

Section 111117A: Saturday & Sunday, November 11 & 12, 9:30am - 5:00pm


Steve Latta Sunburst veneer 640

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Finish a project you started in class with Bob Van Dyke

Arts  Crafts display cabinetI talk to people all the time and so many of them say ”I can’t take another class until I finish one of the three or four unfinished projects that I have from past classes!” arts  craft  bookcase

Obviously I have to do something about that! This new class is designed to help you get one of the projects that you worked so hard on actually finished. Whether it is just final sanding and applying a finish or actually finishing up on some of the woodworking aspects, i.e., dryfitting, surfacing, assembly, I will do my best to help you get it finished. I would ask that you specify the project when you sign up and it would also be good if you could email me pictures of the project and give me a “status” report on what you want to do in class. There are only two rules for this class. The project has to be a project from the school and I cannot help you with any carving problems - other than that - let's get it done!   Bob Van Dyke Tool cabinet inside

Space is limited so do not wait till the last minute to sign up.

Tuition: $255.00 plus whatever materials are used.

Section 050113A: Wednesday evenings, May 1 - 22, 6:00pm - 9:30pm

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Build Peter Galbert’s “Smart Head” Shave Horse with Bob Van Dyke

In this two day production class students will build Peter Galbert’s Smart Head Shave horse.  Peter has developed this as an improvement on the more common shave horse designs. Some parts will be made in advance of the class. If you are planning on taking Peter’s Fan Back Windsor Chair class later in July then you really should do this one as there will not be enough shave horses for everyone to work on at the same time (and you need one for yourself anyway!)

Tuition: $255.00 plus materials

Section 070613A : Saturday & Sunday, July 6 & 7, 9:30am - 5:00pm

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Build the Eliphalet Chapin High Chest with Will Neptune

Chapin High Chest ResizedChapin High Chests are a unique expression of Rococo design ideas. Inspired by his experience in Philadelphia, the High Chests made by the shop of Eliphalet Chapin rely on flowing lines and restrained details rather than the heavier form and detailed carving seen in Philadelphia examples. These pieces present a wide array of technical challenges for a furniture maker, from the complex joinery typically employed by Chapin to the  graceful shaping and carving that were fundamental to his work. Distinctive details that are so important to this piece are the ball and claw feet, vine carved drawer front and the truly unique rooster  cartouche. The magnitude of this project may seem a little daunting but like most projects, it can be broken down into a series of simpler tasks with a clear sequence of steps. Even the impressive pediment is built up in layers with several sub assemblies.chapin cartouche

If you have ever thought of building this high point of Connecticut furniture, this is your chance. The unique one weekend a month (12 months) format allows for plenty of class time which includes all of the machining and dimensioning of parts, any machine cut joinery along with demonstrations and practice pieces for the carved elements and hand-cut joints. Be prepared to do a fair amount of handwork at home. This allows us to utilize valuable class time for more important tasks while allowing you to do the handwork in your own shop at your own pace. The duration of this class is actually over one year which will require a significant commitment by each student. Don’t miss this opportunity to make your project of a lifetime while working under the direction of one of this country’s top craftsmen and instructors. Space is limited. Tuition $3250.00 plus materials

Section 092813A: Saturday & Sunday,         9:30 am - 5:00pm- the following weekends

 2013: September 28/29, October 26/27, November 23/24, December 7/8,  

2014: January 18/19, February 22/23, March 15/16, April 26/27, May 24/25, June 21/22, September 27/28 & October 25/26

A payment plan is available for this class. Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for details

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Constructing Elegant Glass Doors with Steve Latta

Adding a set of glass doors to a case adds an air of sophistication that is hard to equal. Glass doors allow fine books, china, silver, keepsakes or a wide range of valuables to be 

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safely and securely displayed. The subtle defects found in old glass, like waves and small bubbles, adds a sense of vitality and liveliness. The grill work found on breakfronts, secretaries and bookcases is much lighter and more refined than the heavy grid pattern on corner cabinets and hutches. A mere 3/8” at their widest point, these mullions are both strong and subtle in style. The manner of construction, a lower frame covered with an upper molding, lends itself to block, geometric and curved designs. In this class, each participant will construct a small, four panel glass door using traditional mortise and tenon joinery for the frame and an interior consisting of a two-piece grid work. This project will include:

  • Mortise and tenon door joinery
  • An interior grid consisting of a two-part mullion system with 1/8” and 3/8” components.
  • An overview of geometric and curved construction.
  • A demonstration on salvaging old window glass.
  • A discussion on the many new styles of “restoration” glass.
  • Methods for tinting window glaze to match the wood.

Sign up today. Tuition: $275.00 plus materials

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Section 102216A: Saturday & Sunday, October 22 & 23, 9:30am—5:00pm

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Build an Arts & Crafts Style Wall Cabinet with Mike Pekovich

kumiko wall cabinet resized

Join Fine Woodworking Magazine’s Art Director, Mike Pekovich as we explore the fine points of cabinetmaking while building an elegant wall cabinet. Don't be fooled by its small size, this project- in quarter sawn white oak, packs a big punch when it comes to lessons in case, door and drawer construction. Learn fast and efficient dovetail construction while building the case. We'll cover the ins and outs of frame-and-panel construction while building, fitting and hanging the door. Finally we'll build and fit a dovetailed drawer. The focus of the class will be on combining machine and handwork with classic construction techniques to produce work of the highest quality in the most efficient manner. This class provides a great foundation for building fine casework of any size or style. The 3 day weekend followed by the 2 day weekend format will allow participants to finish up any handwork at home that they might not get done during the first session. Don’t miss this great opportunity to improve your woodworking skills while working with one of the best instructors around!

Tuition: $695.00 plus materials 

Section 100816A: Saturday, Sunday & Monday, October 8, 9 & 10 and 29 & 30, 9:30am—5:00pm

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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

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Build a Japanese Style Tool Chest with Mike Pekovich


pekovich japanese tool chest 2 640Learn how quick and easy it is to build a simple Japanese-style tool box. Made from pine and assembled with blacksmith made rosehead nails, this simple design is a perfect solution for any shop (or home) storage need— and will make a great chest to bring your tools to classes here at CVSW. The box features a sliding till and trays with dividers along with a fitted top that closes with a traditional wedge. In this new weekend class with Mike Pekovich you can expect to get the box finished and the trays fitted to fit the tools you plan to store within it – and have a great time doing it! Sign up today– space is limited. Tuition: $295.00 plus materials

Section 032517A: Saturday & Sunday, March 25 & 26, 9:30am—5:00pmPekovich japanese tool chest 640

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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

sewing tea 2 640

Section 111817A: Saturday & Sunday, November 18 & 19 and December 9 & 10, 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 121518B: Saturday & Sunday, December 15 & 16, 9:30am - 5:00pm

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Learn to Tune and Use a Japanese Hand Plane with Andrew Hunter

Andrew Hunter 4

At the end of this weekend course, each student will take home a fully operational Japanese hand plane and have the know how to keep is working right. What seems like a simple tool, a blade and a block of wood, the Japanese plane (Kanna) is actually a very complex instrument with many subtle qualities. The first challenge most westerners face when learning to use one is that they don't come ready to use out of the box. You are only supplied with great ingredients, but it is up to the user to get the fit between the blade and the block just right. In this course we will work together through each step of the process to bring your new plane into working order. We will cover sharpening and shaping the blade, fitting the blade to the block and profiling its sole for optimal performance. Of coarse, we will also spend time using your new plane, learning to work with your whole body, not just your arms. The weekend will wrap up by putting our new planes to the test in a friendly planing contest (kezurou-kai). So, sign up today to unlock the mystery of the Japanese hand plane and add one more tool to your woodworking arsenal. Tuition $ 275.00 Plus materials (approximately $180.00- includes a Japanes plane. If you want to supply your own plane please contact the Bob Van Dyke This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Section 101919B: Saturday & Sunday, October 19 & 20, 9:30am—5:00pm


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Contemporary Inlay and Decorative Borders with Steve Latta

Steve pattern_inlayAlthough inlay is most often associated with the Federal period, new techniques, new materials and new designs offer a myriad of applications for contemporary furniture projects.  In this new weekend class, using a combination of modern and traditional tooling and materials,  participants will learn double-line and two-tone compass inlay and design work.  Additionally, participants will work with a variety of full and partial patterns to inlay apples, birds, bottles and whatever else they creative eye might deem appropriate. Join American inlay expert Steve Latta as we step out of the traditional inlay mode and begin to get really creative with incorporating your own ideas on inlay into your work. Sign up today-  space is limited. Tuition: $275.00 plus materials

Section 101015A: Saturday & Sunday, October 10 & 11, 9:30am - 5:00pm

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Learn to use the Noden Inlay Razor with Geoff  Noden

Geoff Noden ClocksThe Noden Inlay Razor is the key to an exciting new inlay making process.  Here’s your chance to try one out, or learn how to use yours if you’ve already got one, directly from the master himself. Geoffrey is not only a master with this innovative tool, he invented it.  Students will start off working with the Inlay Razor while they begin to make a walnut clock face. Most of the day will be spent with Geoff demonstrating the finer points of this unique style of inlay while students are working on their clock faces and learning about producing circular inlay. By the end of the day all the inlays will be glued in and we will let them dry overnight.                                                                                      The second day will be spent finishing up the clocks- sanding on the lathe and applying a friction polish finish which will let you take home a finished clock. As an added bonus we will start working on creating a straight inlay which will be let into stock that can be used to make a picture frame  (after the class in your own shop). All materials and tools will be provided. Geoff will have his Inlay Razors for sale if you would like to purchase one. Materials for the clock, frame, and inlay wafers will be provided.   Sign up for this exciting new class - space is limited. Tuition $275.00 plus materials

Section  110913B:  Saturday & Sunday, November 9 & 10,  9:30am – 5:00pm

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Build a Tansu Style Jewelry  Case with Mike Pekovich

tansu jewlery case web 1Here's a great project if you want to get your dovetail on. This small case packs a lot of woodworking into a small package. The dovetailed case has a sliding door that reveals two banks of drawers. The case has two sets of five drawers each and can each set can be made from a different species, The sliding door panel is a great place to get creative- highly figured woods, inlays or even different materials could be effectively utilized. The drawer dividers are a great lesson in mitered partitions and the recessed drawer pulls are eye-catching and simple to make. The simple but elegant lines echo traditional Japanese Tansu designs and will look great as a jewelry box but can actually be thought of as a traditional spice box. Sign up today- This will be a great class! Tuition: $545.00 plus materials

 Section 040514A: Saturday & Sunday, April 5,6 & May 17,18, 9:30am – 5:00pmtansu jewerly case web 2

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Making Complex Bandings  with Steve Latta


advanced banding webBandings make furniture alive with contrast and subtle elegance. This hands-on class will focus on how these complex bandings are made and then set into furniture components such as legs, aprons and tops. In this class we will start with a New Hampshire zig-zag motif and then make some variations on the basic sawtooth and arrow bandings.  We’ll move into half diamonds and full diamonds including 90, 45 and 30 degree variations.  We’ll look at ribbon bandings and talk about considerations when making a couple of strips versus the precision of a more production run.   As always, safety and the successful milling of small parts will be covered in depth. This unique class will allow you to appreciate some of the ingenious ways in which this decoration can be fabricated which will allow you to add another design dimension to your work, be it traditional or contemporary. During the course of the weekend, attendees will combine efforts to generate some of these infamous forms and take a sampling home with them.

 Steve Latta is one of this country’s leading authorities on Federal furniture, Inlays and decorative bandings. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn from one of the best! Tuition $275 plus materials

  Section 061614: Monday & Tuesday, June 16 & 17, 9:30am - 5:00pm


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The Fundamentals of Carving for Furniture with Mary May


floral carving 2 webLearn how to decorate your furniture with relief carving from professional woodcarver, Mary May. She will start with the basics by explaining the process of getting tools razor sharp. Then she will explain the proper ways of safely holding gouges, clamping wood, transferring designs to wood, and anything you need to know in order to get started in this wonderful art.  Mary will explain & demonstrate the technique of giving the appearance of overlapping elements, tricks in how to make carvings appear deeper than they actually are, and how to think through the entire carving process - from design to finished carving. We will be working on three different projects over the course of this jam packed weekend. Students will begin a floral decoration, a classic shell, and a linenfold panel- all in shallow relief. You should have gained the skills during the class which will allow you to finish your practice projects at home.  Step into Mary's head (it's not that scary) and join with her in this carving adventure! Sign up today. Mary is one of this country’s premier woodcarvers & instructors.

Tuition $395.00 plus materialslinen fold web

Section 050214A: Friday, Saturday & Sunday, May 2 - 4, 9:00am - 5:00pm


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The Amazing World of Acanthus Leaves with Mary May

Mary May Acanthus 640leslie acanthus carving 1 resizedlCome join us in learning the art of the carving the historic Acanthus Leaf. In this weekend class, Mary will walk you through the step-by-step process of how to carve this historical leaf that has been commonly used in designs since Ancient Greek times. This class is designed for both beginner and experienced carvers. During this class, Mary will also show how to get your tools razor sharp, techniques of carving in the correct grain direction, carving safety, and as many carving tips and tricks as she can jam into two days of hands on carving practice and instruction. It's going to be a lot of fun, so don't miss out! Mary is one of the premier carvers in this country and her classes are always great! Sign up today. 

Tuition $345.00 plus materials

Section 041319B: Saturday & Sunday, April 13 & 14, 9:00am—5:00pm


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Windsor Chair Making:  Build a Continuous Arm Chair with Peter Galbert


continous Arm GalbertBuilding a Windsor chair is not about a style, but a way of working with wood that is a wide departure from the usual flat and square.

The project chair for this class, the Continuous Arm Chair, was an innovation in the development of the Windsor style and technology, and has become an icon of American furniture.

This class covers all the action from tree to chair. Students will split parts from a log, shave them, bend them and join them into their hand carved seat. We will cover basic topics like sharpening, wood technology, green wood and dried wood shaping and tools needed which will enhance your ability to go forth and make chairs at home. The turned legs will be provided for you, though spindle turning will be covered in demonstration.

Be ready to work hard and learn a whole new way of woodworking.

We’ll demystify the angles and curves that go into making a successful chair while demonstrating how hand tools are the most effective way to build an heirloom chair.  The unique format of this class: two 3 day weekends, one month apart, allows participants to work on any parts during the break, brush up and practice skills learned in the first weekend and rest up in between sessions! Don’t miss this unique opportunity to learn with one of America’s leading Windsor chair makers. Tuition: $825.00 plus materials

Section041114A: Friday – Sunday April 11 – 13 & May 9 - 11, 9:00am - 5:00pm


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Beginning Engraving on your Woodworking Tools with Catharine Kennedy

LN plane resize web In this weekend class, you will be introduced to metal engraving with both a hammer and chisel, and air-powered assisted gravers. We will show how to sharpen gravers using templates and  fixtures. We will discuss traditional design work (scrolls and leaves) and put it into practice. Transfer of the designs to metal will also be investigated. There will be lots of practice plates available, in both copper and steel, with the end project being either a machinist's square or your own plane (which you would bring

with you). Regardless of how far you get, you will leave with a much better understanding of what engraving is and the work involved! It's all fun!

We will be using the Enset machines, and you will be provide with gravers and scroll templates to assist with layout. Machinist's squares will be available to work on if you wish.kennedy square resize web

Catharine started woodworking in the fourth grade and has been working at it ever since . She was lead woodworker at Hancock Shaker Village for 12 years, but has been concentrating on engraving for the past seven years. Don’t miss this great opportunity to learn about something completely new to you! Sign up today. Space is limited to 6 people. Tuition $275 plus materials.

Section 041214B: Saturday & Sunday, April 12 & 13, 9:30am - 5:00pm

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Making Sand Shaded Federal Style Fans with Bob Van Dyke


Shaded fan Phil Rinehart resizeShaded fans were a common decorative motif in Federal (or Neoclassical) furniture of the late 18th century. They were often inlaid into the corners of table tops and drawer fronts but with a little imagination they could be used just about any place.

Ct Valley School of Woodworking Director, Bob Van Dyke will teach some unique methods needed to produce these designs.

Starting out with white and black veneers we will learn how to create the segments that go into constructing a ¼ fan or a ½ fan. The shading is done in the traditional way- with heated sand! Putting the whole fan together, adding the contrasting black segments and surrounding the whole thing with a contrasting veneer “string” finishes the fan off. But- we still have to do something with it- so we will inlay the finished fans into a walnut panel- it could be a drawer front if you have something special in mind.

Don’t miss this chance to learn some new techniques that you can start to add to your woodworking projects. Sign up today- space is limited.

Tuition: $125.00 plus materials

Section: 032616A: Saturday,      March 26, 9:30am - 5:00pm

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Beyond the Basic Shaded Fan with Bob Van Dyke

BVD FWW curvy fan March 2017Shaded fans were a common decorative motif in the Federal furniture of the late 18th century. They were often inlaid into the corners of table tops and drawer fronts. The segments are shaded using hot sand and then put together to create a three dimensional effect. But ¼ fans are the basic which we will start with– but that is just the beginning. Building on the basic sand shading technique, Ct Valley School of Woodworking Director, Bob Van Dyke will introduce a series of other interesting possibilities based on the basic ¼ fan design; creating circles, ½ circles and ovals with all sorts of interesting curved segments. The possibilities are really fascinating and the inlays can be used in all sorts of projects- from a table top, a door panel or a drawer front to a box top, a tray or even a wall hanging. Students will have the opportunity to make a few 1/4 fans and then move on to some ovals or half fans.

Don’t miss this chance to learn some new techniques that you can start to add to your woodworking projects.

Tuition: $295.00 materials are included

Section  101219A: Saturday & Sunday, October 12 & 13, 9:30 am—5:00 pm

Van Dyke Hepplewhite fan

BVD Fans Concave 2 small

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Build a Chapin Drop Leaf Dining Table with Will Neptune

And- be a part of  Connecticut Living History!


 chapin drop leaf table webThe shop of Eliphalet Chapin produced some of the best furniture in 18th Century Connecticut.  The Drop Leaf Dining Room Table in the collection of Wood Memorial Library in South Windsor, CT is an excellent example.   It shows the influence of Chapin’s Philadelphia training combined with the simple elegance typical of his designs. The piece has interesting construction features such as the wooden hinges for the swing support legs and the fitting of the drop leaf rule joint.  These tables also share the graceful cabriole leg and dramatic ball and claw feet seen in Chapin chairs and case work.

This table is a practical way to save space in your home and will give you a chance to learn about several challenging woodworking problems. If you have not had a class with Will about carving the Chapin Ball and Claw, it is strongly recommended that you take the  B & C class on June 7 & 8 . The two three- day weekend format will allow you plenty of time to work in your own shop at your own pace to practice and master the carving of the legs along with the challenging mortising of the drop leaf table hinges. We find that this extra time in between sessions is really beneficial to all in achieving the goal of a successful completion of the project.

This is another of our series of classes presented in partnership with The Windsor Historical Society. We will be measuring the original table exactly and will go to every effort to reproduce it faithfully. As in the past, should you wish to make the piece and submit it to the WHS jury to be selected as a permanent part of their collection, your tuition and materials will be paid by them. It should be noted that the drop leaf hinges that will be used in any table going into the Strong Howard house will be period correct blacksmith made hinges. Don’s miss this opportunity to learn from one of this country’s master furniture makers and be a part of Connecticut history at the same time!

Tuition: $795.00 plus materials

Section 071814A: Friday - Sunday, July 18 - 20 & August 1 - 3, 9:00am - 5:00pm

CVSW/ Windsor Historical Society "Be a part of Living History"


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Toning and Patina: Blending New Repairs to Old Work and Creating an Antique Finish - with Tad Fallon

Tad Fallon leg  before repairAs a conservator specializing in the treatment and research of both clear and opaque coatings on furniture and wooden artifacts, I am often confronted with the task of blending in well executed wooden repairs that are adjacent to old “original” or historically important presentation surfaces.

Patination is one of the more challenging things to do when creating an authentic looking antique finish. There are a wide range of materials and techniques that can be utilized to create this patina of age on repairs or new reproduction pieces. The best work is subtle, appears natural and avoids looking contrived.

Tad Fallon leg after repairAnother application of these materials and techniques is the finishing of newly fabricated pieces that may need to blend in with an existing set or collection, as was the case with the work our firm did reproducing 28 pieces of Federal Furniture for the Hamilton Grange National Memorial, a National Park service site in New York City that preserves the relocated home of U.S. Founding Father Alexander Hamilton.

During this hands – on class, students will be introduced to the wide range of materials I have found useful during the patination type finishing process, including the use of inorganic chemical reagents, shellacs, pigments, dyes, water colors, glues, gums, acids, bleach, airbrush and other tips for successful toning and patination. These materials will be broken down and explained as parts of a finishing “system” that can be manipulated to create a variety of effects.

Students will have sample furniture molding and flat test boards to work with and will be provided with a small carved object to tone and patinate as a “final project”. Tuition: $145.00 plus materials

Section 061614B: Monday, June 16, 9:00am - 5:00pm

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Build an Acoustic Guitar with Scott Dixon

us guitar  picMany of those who have played or even admired the beauty of the guitar have shown interest in someday making an heirloom instrument that can be played today and passed on and continued to be played for generations. This class is designed to take a beginner/intermediate woodworker through the steps to make a steel string acoustic guitar from a unique kit. You will learn the terminology and the techniques focused on many of the specialized processes to complete your own personalized instrument. The process is broken down into small steps to familiarize the student with the construction of the neck including truss rod installation, fingerboard & fretting, abalone inlay and construction of the body including brace trimming/fitting, top installation, bridge gluing/alignment, purfling and final fit up of the neck to body joint using a bolt-on system. Each guitar will be completed leaving the final top coat finish up to the student. Look for our other classes designed for finishing techniques. Be sure to visit the school to see and play the finished guitar. Three models are available – Sapele w/Spruce Top, Sycamore w/Cedar Top or Maple w/Cedar Top. Please specify species preference when signing up.
Scott has been instrumental to the development of the kits, tool selection and the teaching methods for all the instructors in The U.S Guitar Kits Teacher program. Most recently Scott and U.S. Guitar Kits were featured in the new book "Guitar Building Basics-Acoustic Assembly at Home"  Tuition: $395.00 plus materials ($285.00)

Section 112114B: Friday - Sunday,  November 21, 22 & 23,   9:00am - 6:00pm

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Build a Wall Mounted Tool Cabinet with Bob Van Dyke


Pekovich tool cabinetTool storage is always a problem- You spend a lot of money and a lot of time tuning and sharpening your tools and you need to store them safely- but they need to be readily accessible. None of this leaning over a chest on the floor or looking through all sorts of drawers searching for the tool you need. It should be right there behind you- all the time. This new wall mounted tool cabinet is based on a design that Mike Pekovich published in Fine Woodworking a few years ago. This cabinet is not as “fancy” as the one we have done a few times over the years- no bookmatched veneers or inlays- Just lots and lots of storage possibilities. It features two deep doors that are big enough to act as storage cabinets on their own along with the main carcase that will contain an angled handplane till along with a few small drawers to store those measuring and marking tools.

I am hoping that we will have enough time in this class to allow participants plenty of time to customize the inside of the tool cabinets to fit your  ever growing tool collection. Sign up today and get your tools in order!

Tuition: $495.00 plus materials

Section 092914A: Monday evenings, September 29 - December 22, 6:00pm - 9:30pm

image used with permission of Taunton Press & the designer- Mike Pekovich

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Straddle the Fence- It's not Just for Politicians!

VanDyke L fence

Join Bob Van Dyke for a few nights of building one 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. We will make the base, the “L” fence and a number of other fences (miter fold, Tenoning jig, rabbets, etc.) Check the two articles in Fine Woodworking written by Bob for the full explanation- or- just sign up and plan on going home at the end of the class with the most useful tablesaw jig you have ever used! Sign up today. Tuition $275.00 plus materials

“Supercharge your Rip Fence” January / February 2013

“The incredible L Fence” Issue 237

“Tools & Shops” issue 2014

Section 113016A: Wednesday evenings, November 30—Dec 14, 6:00—9:30pm

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The Basics of Using Veneers and Inlays to Create Outrageous Patterns! with Bob Van Dyke

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

We will get into basic techniques for working with the veneers- Flattening them, buying & storing them and how to work with them to create tight, almost invisible seams. We will go into the basic tools & supplies needed along with discussing the various adhesives and ways to clamp up the veneered panel.veneer book and butt.webJPG

Sign up today- space is limited. Tuition: $275.00 plus materials

Section 060615A: Saturday & Sunday, June 6 & 7, 9:30am - 5:00pm

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Make a Greene & Greene Style Wall Sconce with Mike Pekovich

Pekovich wall sconceLight up any room with a Greene and Greene-inspired wall lamp. Made from mahogany with ebony accents and stained glass panels, this project is a fun combination of skills and materials. In this class you'll tackle not only the woodwork, but the stained glass panels as well. This lantern-style wall sconce can be mounted indoors or out. Over this      

 8-week class we'll cover simple joinery methods that yield impressive results. In addition you'll learn everything you need to know about a copper foil technique for stained glass panels that you can put to use in future projects as well. Mike is the Art Director at Fine Woodworking Magazine and is a truly gifted furniture maker and designer. His designs tend to concentrate on refined Arts & Crafts ideas. Sign up today!

Tuition: $395.00 Plus materials

Section 100914B: Thursday evenings: October 9 - December 4, 6:30pm - 10:00pm

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Basics of Furniture Design with Mike Pekovich

Pekovich furniture Design

Have you wanted to try your hand at designing furniture, but were afraid to take the plunge? Learn the fundamentals of furniture design that will get you headed in the right direction. In this hands-on class you'll learn the basics of furniture design with tips on sketching ideas and translating those ideas into reality through scale and full-size mock ups and perspective drawings. Join Mike Pekovich as he brings his years of experience as a furniture maker and art director at Fine Woodworking magazine to this fun and informative two-day class. You'll learn how to look to the past for inspiration as well as develop your own unique style, how to size furniture effectively and how to add your own personality into your work. Sign up and unleash your creativity! Tuition: $295.00 plus materials

Section 022220A: Saturday & Sunday, February 22 & 23, 9:30am—5:00pm

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Build a Simple Mirror Frame with a Kumiko Panel with Mike Pekovich


Pekovich kumiko mirror 640Fine Woodworking Magazine Executive Art Director Mike Pekovich has been playing with the Japanese art of Kumiko for the past couple of years and has been able to develop repeatable techniques that guarantee students will have success their first time making a Kumiko panel. Here's a fun weekend class that lets you practice your mortise and tenon techniques as well as try your hand at the Japanese decorative technique of kumiko. Learn the basics of machine mortise and tenon work while you build a mirror frame with an Arts-and-Crafts flair. From there we'll fill out the frame with a row of Kumiko latticework. Mike Pekovich will demonstrate a basic technique that yields impressive results. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn a new technique that will dress up your work and make it special. Sign up today- Space is limited. Tuition: $295, plus mateirals

Pekovich kumiko mirror tenons 640

Section 021117B: Saturday & Saturday, February 11 & 12, 9:30am - 5:00pm


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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!

Tuition: $345.00 materials are included

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:

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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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Build an Arts & Crafts Style Wall Cabinet with Mike Pekovich


cabinetSM webJoin Fine Woodworking Magazine’s Art Director, Mike Pekovich as we explore the fine points of cabinetmaking while building an elegant wall cabinet. Don't be fooled by its small size, this project- in quarter sawn white oak, packs a big punch when it comes to lessons in case, door and drawer construction. Learn fast and efficient dovetail construction while building the case. We'll cover the ins and outs of frame-and-panel construction while building, fitting and hanging the door. Finally we'll build and fit a dovetailed drawer. The focus of the class will be on combining machine and handwork with classic construction techniques to produce work of the highest quality in the most efficient manner. This class provides a great foundation for building fine casework of any size or style. Don’t miss this great opportunity to improve your woodworking skills while working with one of he best instructors around!

Sign up today! Tuition: $425.00 plus materials

Section 012915A: Thursdays January 29- March 26, 6:30 pm - 10:00pm

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Two faces of the Same Coin:  Urban and Rural Inlay in the Federal Period with Steve Latta

threerural and an urbanDuring the federal period, there were sharp contrasts between the inlay executed in the major urban centers and the less populated rural regions.  Urban specialists provided ornate bandings, bellflowers, and complex pictorial inlays.  Their designs reflected classical themes fully rooted in the neoclassic tradition.  Country cabinetmakers relied on innovation and developed designs inspired by simple tooling combined with lively imaginations. Ornate stringing patterns or simple geometric work made from veneer replaced complex bellflowers.  Similarly, without the availability of ready-made Paterae, geometric veneer work adorned the tops of legs.  In this workshop, we’ll wade in the both waters completing a leg in  each tradition. Sign up today. Steve is one of the leading experts on Federal style inlay work. Tuition: $275.00 plus materials

Section 032115B, Saturday & Sunday, March 21 & 22, 9:30am - 5:00pm


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Rural New England Style Inlays with Steve Latta


lombard oval 640The furniture makers of New England, both rural and urban alike, made huge contributions to what has become known as the Federal style. Stringings, bandings, pictorials and elaborate veneer work became the preferred method of ornamentation as the styling rebelled against what was perceived as the excesses of the Chippendale era. 

During the federal period, there were sharp contrasts between the inlay executed in the major urban centers and the less populated rural regions. Urban specialists provided ornate bandings, bell flowers, and complex pictorial inlays which were actually frequently imported from England. Their designs reflected classical themes fully rooted in the neo-classic tradition. 

Although perceived by many as the poor “country cousins” to the more established city shops, rural cabinetmakers such as Massachusetts’s Nathan Lombard displayed incredible ingenuity in their designs. Nationally known furniture maker, author and instructor, Steve Latta, has studied this style of inlay extensively and we are pleased to host this unique hands-on class where we will get into making the unique inlays of Lombard and his New England compatriots. The famous Lombard “eagle” along with his abstract escutcheon inlay, along with unique rural techniques of banding and stringing will all be part of this unique class. Sign up today. Steve is one of the leading experts on Federal style inlay work.

Tuition: $295.00 plus materials

This class will be rescheduled for early 2018


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Build an Oval Tavern Table with Will Neptune

Exercises in compound angle joinery and setting drop leaf hinges.

CHS tavern table webThis Tavern Table is deceptively simple looking, but it has two very challenging construction issues. First is the hinging for the drop leaf, where you need the pivot point in the hinge to work with the molded edges of the top. This is much more complex than it appears to be as the center point of the hinge needs to be in a very specific location. It is not that straight-forward!  Second, the post and rail joints meet at compound angles, causing distortions that can be hard to understand.  Both of these problems have clear technical solutions and this table is a great place to learn them. The three weekend format will allow time in your own shop to complete each stage before the next class. Be prepared to do your homework.  If you know how to turn, we can supply the pattern before the class starts, otherwise we will provide the turnings as part of the material charge. This class is another of our continuing series with The Windsor Historical Society and the table is based on one in their collection. You will see what goes into researching original pieces and how to work to museum standards. Hopefully we will be able to set up a trip to the Society to view the original table along with other pieces in their great collection.  As part of the Windsor Historical Society/ CVSW partnership participants will have the option of completing their work and submitting it to the WHS jury in early September 2015. If your piece is selected then that is the table that will become a part of the permanent exhibition in the Strong/ Howard House. Sign up today! Tuition: $795.00 plus materials

Section 042515A: Saturday & Sunday,  April 25/26 & May 16/17, & June  13 & 14, 9:30am – 5:00pm

(note: this class was originally scheduled to begin March 7)

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Build a 17th Century Joined Chest with Peter Follansbee

2016 joined_chest

Join nationally known carver & joiner, Peter Follansbee for this unique opportunity to be a part of Connecticut history as we continue our study of 17th and 18th century furniture of the Connecticut River Valley.  This class will focus on the techniques used in the 17th century to make a joined chest, entirely with handtools. These carved chests were made by joiners, using oak riven, or split, from a log. Frame and panel construction and mortise and tenon joinery are the hallmarks of this work. The project will be based on a Connecticut River Valley example; we will also explore related objects through slide presentations, to better understand the context of joiner’s work.  We will begin with oak we’ve split from a large-diameter oak log, and hew and plane the stock to size. Layout, carving, joinery and drawboring assembly will be focal points of this exciting class. The beveled panels will fit in grooves plowed with a plow plane - a traditional joiners’ approach. Be prepared to work- there will not be any machines in this class!

This class will meet one weekend per month for 5 months. Class time will consist of numerous demos, learning and practicing the carving and joinery on practice pieces before diving into the actual pieces and exploring the historical aspects of 17th century joinery and furniture making. It is expected that a large part of the actual carving and joinery will be completed in your own shops at your own pace. Please don’t expect that you will be able to build the whole chest during class time only. The secondary wood will be sawn pine which will become the chest’s bottom boards and lid, and some of the parts for the small lidded till included inside the chest.

This format works well as you get the chance to practice the techniques and get Peter’s feedback in class before you begin on the actual parts that will become part of the finished chest.   As an added bonus we will schedule a trip to the Yale Furniture Study in New Haven in order to study the numerous examples of carved chests in their collection. This is a hand-tool class; planes, chisels, saws - a simple tool kit is all that is required. Be prepared to learn some great skills, build a great reproduction of a 17th century Connecticut chest and have a great time doing it! Sign up today! Tuition: $1295.00 plus materials 

Section 100116A Saturday & Sunday, October 1 & 2, November 5 & 6, December 3 & 4, January 7 & 8, February 4 & 5 (2017), 9:30am – 5:00pm

Note: The class will tour the Yale Furniture Study, Friday afternoon, November 4. We will have the opportunity to study a number of original joined chests in teh Gavin collection


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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 a great introduction to the weeklong 17th century box class that we will be doing with Peter October 12 - 16. 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: $325.00 plus materialsFollansbee Frame and Panel Modified

Section 092819B, September 28 & 29, 9:30am - 5:00pm


Follansbee box carving detail

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Woodcarving Techniques with Mary May- A weekend for Beginning or Frustrated Woodcarvers

floral carving 2 webCome spend a weekend learning the wonderful art of woodcarving. Professional woodcarver, Mary May, will teach the basic techniques of getting started. She will go through the best techniques of carving with the grain, how to sharpen tools to a razor sharp edge, how to lower down the background, and how to carve floral designs in relief. The techniques you learn in this 2 day class will help start you on your woodcarving journey - whether you are wanting to carve sculptural pieces, furniture, or architectural details. Mary will show how to get the best use out of a small set of gouges by teaching tricks and techniques of making the gouges work as efficiently as possible - and also how to do "creative re-design" if mistakes happen. Come join us in a great weekend of discovering a new art! The complete tool list will be posted in january- but in the meantime the gouges you will need are listed below. Sign up today! Mary is the best!! Tuition: $325.00 plus materials 

Section 030715B: Saturday & Sunday, March 7 & 8, 9:00am - 5:00pm

                                   Mary begin carving webMary begin carving web 2
6mm v-chisel (60 degree angle)
#3, 6mm
#3, 14mm
#5, 8mm
#7, 6mm
#7, 14mm                                      

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Build a Barrister's Bookcase with Bob Van Dyke & Tim Spratlin

Barrister Bookcase_wood_MuntonFor years I have been intrigued by Barrister’s bookcases. They have always struck me as unique and as a form that a lot of people would want to build but, the designs I have seen have never quite made it. They always seem a little too boxy and plain. I saw this design a few months back and I immediately knew this was finally the one that we could build in the school. The new class will incorporate frame and panel joinery, solid wood panels, a sliding drop front glass “door” and your choice of wood muntins or lead “lattice” muntins (see bottom picture). Should you decide to go with the lead muntins you will need to enroll in a separate weekend class with Mike Pekovich to do that. In your choice of 1/4 sawn white oak, walnut or cherry, this bookcase will become a family heirloom and will look great in any room. Sign up today. Space is limited. Sign up today. Tuition: $495.00 plus materials. Barrister Bookcase_lead_muntin

Section 120215A: Wednesday evenings, December 2— March 16, 6:00pm—9:30pm
(no class December 30—January 20)

This class is full- wait list only

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Here is High School Geometry Stuff You Wish You Remembered!
Using a Compass and Straightedge in Furniture Making Layout and Design with Robert Lord

Straightedge and Compass II : Applied Compass techniques in Design and the Workshop

golden section divider

You might not even have had all this in High school Geometry.

Building on the skill set from the Intro class, we will apply geometric constructs to design in woodworking and the arts. This will be an eclectic appreciation of how form and function is interwoven in the natural world and how these geometric patterns are integrated in all cultures of creativity.

Some of the areas that will be explored include: Creating Lancet and Gothic arches, geometric art of middle eastern design, arcs in piece proportions, making dynamic rectangles and their harmonic  subdivisions in furniture layout, building and landscape design such as √2, √3, √4, √5 and φ( the golden ratio)… (Think highboys), dovetail layout, volutes and spirals, false eclipses (oval tables)  and the use of dividers with sectors that make the tasks in the work shop enjoyable.

We will have the supplies you will need but you should bring along a decent compass, dividers and a straight edge (ruler). Be sure to bring glasses for closed up work if you need them. Be sure to supply your email address when registering as we will be emailing you some course material prior to the class.

Sign up today- This is a unique opportunity to finally apply some of the geometry lessons that you never thought you would have any use for! Tuition $125.00 materials included.

Section 050215B: Saturday, May 2, 9:30am - 5:00pm

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Build a Backsaw with Matt Cianci

build a_back_saw_close_up_resized

In this two day class, professional saw-smith, Matt Cianci, will guide students through the process of building a 12 inch backsaw - almost from scratch. Starting with kit of rough parts (purchased by the student ahead of time - see options below) and their choice of hardwood stock for the handle, students will make a complete backsaw which will work as well, if not better, than most you can buy on the open market - and - you will have made it yourself! Instruction will begin with handle design and form, then progress through rough cutting, shaping and fitting. Students will then be guided through the critical steps of joining the back and the spring steel saw blade, and finish up construction with drilling and mounting the finished handle. Finally, students will be instructed how to file, set, and sharpen the teeth to the configuration they prefer- rip, crosscut or sash. This is a class that is sure to thrill novice through experienced woodworkers. Tuition: $275.00 plus materials 

Backsaw kits must purchased prior to class at one of the suppliers below:

Blackburn Tools:


080517A: Saturday & Sunday, August 5 & 6,  9:30am - 5:00pm

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Build an 18th Century Trestle Table with Will Neptune

Be a Part of Living History

trestle table WadsworthAs the last part of the WHS/CVSW Collaboration for the Strong/ Howard House renovation we will be finishing up with an early 18th century Trestle Table. This type of table was in the original kitchen and was typically used as a work table but in your own home would make a great informal dining table-in the kitchen, the family room-you name it. The table we will build is based on an original one from the Wallace Nutting Collection at the Wadsworth Atheneum.

The original table was 10 feet long but you can reduce the length to fit your needs. You may also build it 24” wide as the original was or you can make it 32” wide which is more in keeping with modern dining tables.

The original was pine and ash with a painted finish but you can elect to do the table in cherry or walnut if you prefer.

The construction of the table is fairly simple and straightforward and includes long through pinned tenons for the long central stretcher.

Sign up soon-this is an interesting table and will give you the opportunity to see what goes into building an accurate reproduction of an historical piece of furniture. The one that Bob Van Dyke and Will Neptune will be building will follow the original exactly and will be a permanent part of the Windsor Historical Society Collection.  The two - 3 day weekend format of this class will allow students to get caught up on any work done at home in between class meetings.

Section 071015A: Friday, Saturday & Sunday, July 10,11,12 & 31, August 1 & 2, 9:00am – 5:00pm

Trestle Table, 1690-1720, New England or England. H 28” x W 117” x D 23 5/8”. Pine and ash. Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, CT. The Wallace Nutting Collection, Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1926.482

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Hand Laid Carbon Fiber Workshop  with Walt Scadden


The High-Tech explosion of the 21st century has brought about many advancements in design and product construction. Leading the list is a  mysterious substance called Carbon Fiber. Originally developed for NASA and the Military, this ultra light weight, super strong material, can be formed into just about any shape. Using a blend of resin epoxies and composite fiber material, it has found its way into many civilian applications; race cars, motorcycles, sport aircraft, sports and recreational gear, and furniture to name only a few. This class will introduce students to this unique technique by showing them how they can simply, by hand, lay up layers of carbon fiber cloth to construct a desired shape, using common items to prepare the molds or forms. Some of you may have some prior experience and specific interest in this material and others may simply be curious and want to learn about a new material that can be incorporated into other projects. Either way- you will certainly have fun and learn a whole lot! Sign up today. Tuition: $275.00 plus materials

 Section 103115B: Saturday & Sunday, October 31 & November 1, 9:30am - 5:00pm


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Build a ”Mini Bench Riser” with Bob Van Dyke

Van Dyke Mini Bench Riser 2Many of you who have taken classes at the school or have seen any of Steve Latta’s videos know the value of this simple “mini bench” or “bench riser”. Whether it is close up inlay work or light duty work that does not require being “over” a standard height bench this bench will save your back and let you work up close when you need it. Light enough to easily move on and off the standard bench, but heavy enough to withstand medium stresses like light handplaning or chisel work, this bench will become an everyday part of your woodworking routine. As a bonus we will be incorporating in the design the ability to add on a Moxon type vise as a future addition. This class is not designed to reveal all the secrets of the woodworking universe- it is a simply a class that you know you will come away with a good Mini bench that will have a good quality vise on it and you will  be able to use it as soon as you get home to you own shop. What could be bad about that?

Sign up today. Tuition: $125.00 plus materials.

Section 091715A: Thursday evenings, September 17 - October 1, 6:00pm - 9:30pm

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Make Three Shaker Oval Boxes with Doug Smith

Shaker box stack doug smith

Shaker Oval boxes are a rewarding project that do not take a huge amount of time, equipment or experience and are a lot of fun to make.

 Doug Smith of Douglass Yankee Craftsman will spend two days teaching you the traditional Shaker technique of making fine Shaker Oval Boxes. In this two day beginning class each participant will make a number one, number two and number three Shaker Oval box.  Two boxes will be made with cherry bands, one with a cherry top and the other with a lace wood top.  The third box will have maple bands with a birdseye maple top.  You will learn how to hand carve the swallow tails, select the bands and secure them with the traditional clinch nails. One of the most interesting parts of the class is the steaming and bending of the wood to fit around the forms. Fitting the tops and talking about finish will round out your two days of rewarding fun. Sign up today- Space is limited. Tuition: $275.00 plus materials.

Section 112815B: Saturday & Sunday,  November 28 & 29. 9:30am – 5:00pm


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Build the Thomas Jefferson Lap desk with Mickey Callahan

jefferson_lap_desk_Jason_BreenThomas Jefferson, our third president, was also an inventor, architect and a prolific writer who was instrumental in developing our country’s Democratic form or government. He travelled extensively and his lap desk would accompany him so that he could stay on top of his correspondence and other writings.

In this new class with Mickey Callahan students will build an exact copy of the lap desk that now resides in the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC.

A generous writing surface and small dovetailed drawers to store paper and pens make this period reproduction attractive to anyone on the go or simply as an elegant addition to your home. Either way- it is a great project that you will learn a lot from.

Sign up today! Tuition $595.00 plus materials

Section 112015A: Friday, Saturday & Sunday, November 20-23 & Saturday & Sunday, December 12-13, 9:30am - 5:00pm

Lapdesk pictured was made by Jason Breen. Image used with his permission.

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Build a Pair of Dovetailed Tea Boxes with Mike Pekovich

tea box

If you've been thinking about taking the dovetail plunge, then this is the perfect project to get your feet wet. This elegant pair of tea boxes is a great exercise in hand-cut dovetails with a power tool assist. You'll learn the basics of layout and tool selection as well as tips for sawing and scribing for a perfect fit. Because you are making two boxes you can choose to make two different size boxes or make two in different species. You'll outfit the boxes with a partitioned liner, which is a great lesson in bird's mouth miter joints and we will top it off with an elegant ebony clasp. It's an intricate piece of joinery, but the table saw handles most of the work. As an added bonus we will finish the boxes in class so you should go home with two boxes ready for wrapping- just in time for the holidays!
Join Mike Pekovich, Fine Woodworking's art director and resident hand tool addict, for this fun two weekend class. Sign up today- space is limited. Tuition $495.00 plus materials.

Section 102415B: Saturday and Sunday, November 14 & 15 and December 5 & 6, 9:30am - 5:00pmtea box_open

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Build a Sharpening Box with Bob Van Dyke

sharpening box

A few years ago I had to do a sharpening demonstration at one of the woodworking shows and while I was collecting my stuff I realized how incredibly disorganized I was. Stones were in one drawer, honing guide in another, projection jig hanging on a hook and water sprayer on a shelf. What a lot of steps just to get ready to sharpen a chisel. I came up with this box which keeps all my sharpening paraphernalia in one place and I can even use it as a solid, self-contained platform to do my sharpening on.  The box was featured on the cover of Fine Woodworking Magazine in June of 2016. In this weekend class we will make the basic box (which is a lot more complex than it looks!), apply waterproof plastic laminate to the top work surface, make the stops for the projection jig on top and then make the inside dividers custom to the sharpening tools that you use every day. Sign up today– This is a great opportunity to get your sharpening tools all in one place and get organized! Tuition $275.00 plus materials.

Section 092416A: Saturday & Sunday, September 24 & 25, 9:30am—5:00pm

  General tool list  (will open in a new window)  

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Build the Oliver Ellsworth Card Table with Will Neptune

Ellsworth card_table

Oliver Ellsworth was the 3rd Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court and, for those of you who remember your American history, was the author of the Constitution’s Connecticut Compromise. The story is that Ellsworth acquired a pair of mahogany card tables while travelling through Boston on his return from France in the late 1700’s. Speculation exists as to their origin- were they made in Boston or Connecticut? After studying the tables closely, we suspect they may have been built here in Connecticut. The use of cherry for the fly rail and the overall excellence of the construction suggest Connecticut origins. 

There are two of these tables now- one at Windsor Historical Society and its twin up the road at the Ellsworth Homestead. We hope to add another 8 or 10 of these tables- made in Manchester this time!

Will Neptune and Bob Van Dyke have studied and measured the original table and we are looking to recreate exact copies in a unique four weekend class starting in October.

This table features a number of challenging technical problems. Aside from working with the birdseye maple veneer covering the serpentine aprons, the skills you will be exposed to include making the knuckle joint in the cherry fly rail- and adjusting it so the table leg swings properly, setting in the rosewood crossbanding and making the rosewood cockbeading along the bottom edge of the table. Not the least challenging is the installation of the special card table hinges that will allow the top to pivot open and closed and sit properly on the hinged leg. 

The format of this class; one weekend per month for a total of 4 weekends allows us to take on ambitious projects because any “busy work” can be done at home in your own shop rather than taking up valuable class time. We will also be scheduling a “field trip” to the Windsor Historical Society so you can all study the original. Because woodturning is a completely different set of skills, the legs will be turned by a professional woodturner we have used extensively in the past.

This is an elegant and refined card table which will become an heirloom in any family- just as it was in the Ellsworth family.

Ellsworth card_Table_detail_2-resized

Sign up today- space is limited. Tuition $1195.00 plus materials


DATE CHANGE- New start date: Class will begin October 29

Section 102916A: Saturday & Sunday,  October 29 & 30, December 3 & 4 & January   21 & 22, February 18 & 19 9:30am – 5:00pm

Ellsworth Card Table corner detail resize

  General tool list  (will open in a new window)  

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

Mike south_inlay_web1

Mike South will introduce students to the basics of cutting and inlaying various types of shell products and other materials into musical instruments and other flat surfaces. The techniques are applicable to many different materials such as veneers, brass, silver and gold sheet stock and some of the softer natural and reconstituted stones. Topics will include the choice of needed tools and supplies, types of materials, techniques for reproducing artwork for use as templates and techniques for cutting the materials and inlaying them into surfaces for decoration and embellishment. Although Mike’s current specialty is stringed instruments, he has years of experience in wood turning as well as furniture design and construction so the techniques can be used in decorating these types of projects as well. Students will be introduced to the basics of how to position themselves so that the time spent cutting is used to best advantage.  Layout and routing of the channels for the inlays will be explained so as to make for the cleanest outcomes.  Traditional patterns and motifs will be supplied by the instructor, but if students have designs or artwork that they’d like to try, they’re encouraged to bring it to class. Specialized tools and various types of shell will be available from the instructor. Other basic supplies can be purchased locally. A list of suppliers will be included so students can acquire materials and tools for future projects. Inlay work can be very challenging but also a lot of fun. Proper instruction goes a long way and the rewards for patience and persistence are very satisfying. Sign up Today! Tuition: $275.00 plus materials  ($75.00)Mike South_inlay_web_3Mike south_inlay_web_2

Section  112319B: Saturday & Sunday, November 23 & 24, 9:30am—5:00pm


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


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

  General tool list  (will open in a new window)  

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Building Hollows and Rounds with Matt Bickford

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The amount of handwork that goes into our craft varies drastically among us. Some use hand tools for all aspects while many of us rely heavily upon machinery. As we start to progress towards working with our hands we tend to hide our first adornments, dovetails, behind drawer fronts. We allow machines to be in charge of the single element of decoration that embellishes most of our work: the moulding. There is a set of tools that allows us to take control of this feature. This set of tools, hollows and rounds, can be comprised of several pairs of planes that create varying convex and concave radii. A set of hollows and rounds will give you the opportunity to mould the edges of your work in a fashion you want, not limited by the catalogue of options that routers and shapers afford.In this weekend class we will be bring a round plane to completion and each student will leave with the necessary skill, experience and material to make a matching hollow. Completing this project will teach the necessary skills of replicating the technology included in these centuries old tools.

This two-day class is ideal for anybody interested in working with this type of tool; regardless of whether your ultimate set is comprised of 2 pairs or 9, antique or new. In this workshop, Matt Bickford will guide you through the process of making a pair of #8s (8/16” radius) with a side escapement. Students will start with a beech billet and learn the many steps involved in creating a very versatile tool.

Among the many skills to be addressed are making an accurate mortise with floats, fitting a wedge, mating an iron to the bed of your plane, addressing a side escapement, heat treating, and attending to the iron’s various edges.

The class will focus on making a single, simple moulding plane, but much of the tooling and processes is directly relatable to making or rehabilitating any wooden plane. This class is limited to six people.$425.00 plus materials ($95.00) 

Section 120719A: Saturday & Sunday, December 7 & 8, 9:30am—5:00pm bickford building hollows and rounds 800






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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



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



Sand Shaded Bandings-The Fascinating Art of Making Decorative Bandings with Michael Wheeler


The rest of the write up will follow soon, but suffice it to say– the bandings class we did with Michel Wheeler in early December was great! People had a great time and learned

Bob Van Dyke sand shaded banding 640

  a whole lot about this fascinating and seemingly complex collection of techniques. In this next weekend class in what we hope will become a regular series of ornamentation classes we will concentrate on making decorative bandings that incorporate the technique of sand shading. This is a unique technique where parts are singed in hot beach sand to produce a three dimensional appearance. It is great fun and something that can be incorporated into just about any woodworking project. 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 060218A: Saturday & Sunday, June 2 & 3, 9:30am – 5:00pmMichael Wheeler sandshaded bandings 640



Essential Bench Jigs with Mike Pekovich

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A sturdy bench and sharp tools are just the start when working by hand. It's also critical to support the work properly for each task and that's where bench jigs come in. The>good news is that it's fast and easy to make many of the jigs you need for accurate bench work. Join Mike Pekovich for a one-day class and build the tools that will help you with accurate planing, sawing and shooting furniture parts. Start by making an accurate shooting board for squaring ends and truing miters. Then make plane stops to handle a variety tasks. We'll finish off the day with saw hooks for crosscuts, miters and delicate trim. You'll walk away with all the jigs you need to improve your working wood with handtools. Sign up today for this unique and useful class. Tuition $125.00 plus materials

Section 052116A: Saturday May 21, 9:30am – 5:00pm

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Cabinet Wood Identification with Randy Wilkinson- Its not as simple as it seems!

Randy Wilkinson Ash sassafras 800 Did you ever look at a piece of wood and wonder what wood it is? And why it looks the way it does? Were you ever confused about which wood it is: mahogany or walnut, cherry or poplar, especially if you are looking at an antique that has an aged finish on it? Distinguishing mahogany from walnut may be easy in the unfinished state, but it is not that straight forward when looking at an aged surface.

This two-day hands-on workshop will explore all these topics and more. It is designed specifically for curators, collectors, antique dealers, appraisers, and woodworkers.  The goal of this workshop is to familiarize the student with the physical properties of wood and recognize species specific wood cell structures of nineteen different species. It will also discuss the social, political and economic factors that led to the trade in some of our most cherished woods. Case studies will be introduced to show the importance of identifying wood correctly. Not knowing what species of wood you are looking at is sometimes more important than knowing what it is. 

On Saturday, basic wood anatomy will be introduced, including grain, figure, fundamental differences between softwoods and hardwoods, and more. The student will learn to identify common hardwoods that are used in antique furniture using a 10x loupe.

On Sunday, the class will be held at the Webb Dean Stevens house in Wethersfield (about 10 minutes from CVSW). Sunday’s class will run from 11:00am – 4:00pm. Students will get a rare opportunity not only to see one of the finest collections of American furniture, but also to identify woods used in a selection of great objects in an intensive and hands-on inspection.  

No experience is necessary. Tuition $295.00, plus materials which includes a hardwood sample kit, 10x loupe, The “Wood ID Bible”- Identifying Wood by Bruce Hoadley and admission to WDS. Class size is limited to 15 students. Sign up today!

Section 051620B: Saturday & Sunday, May 16 & 17, 9:30am-5:00pm

Wood Identification

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Carving Regional Styles of Ball & Claw Feet with Will Neptune

carving ball and clawBall and claw feet were frequently used for tables, chairs and case pieces in the 18th Century. Each region had its own variation along with a matching strategy for carving them. If you have taken classes with Will Neptune you may know the Philadelphia form or the related Chapin ball & claw feet of Windsor CT.  For this three day class, we will tackle the three main regional forms: New York, Philadelphia and Boston. After you have learned one type, the others are easier to understand. For each of these regions, you will learn how the pattern is developed and how it controls the shape. Each style of foot will be broken down into a series of clear steps that help make a set of matching feet in an efficient way.  Previous experience with Will's approach for carving feet would be helpful but not necessary. Even if you have previously done a B & C class with Will, this class gives you the opportunity to review the Philadelphia (Chapin) style and then add two more regions to your repertoire. 

Some specific carving tools will be required. This list will be on the website soon. Sign up today. Do not miss this opportunity to learn from one of this country’s premier woodcarvers and furniture makers.

Tuition $375.00 plus materials

Section 060316A: Friday, Saturday & Sunday, June 3, 4 & 5, 9:30am – 5:00pm

Tool List:


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Figuring Out Compound Angles with Steve Brown

compound angle_joinery-resizedThe objective of this weekend class is to gain understanding of compound angle issues in woodworking and to understand general and specific solutions for building a box with sloped sides and a table with canted legs. 

First, we will look at the problem and in particular the common misconceptions of what we are seeing versus what is actually going on with a piece having sloped sides. With examples, models and drawings we will puzzle through the distortions in order to clarify the true information.

With this new understanding we can then discuss some of the strategies that can be used to solve the problems in actual practice. We will look at a solution that helps to solve the problem in a clear mechanical way without relying on complicated math or complex drafting yet still giving us a clear and accurate way to proceed.

In this class we will work on examples of two basic compound angle forms- a box or tray with canted sides and a table with splayed legs. The accurate execution relies on the use of a gauge block to set up the tablesaw accurately We will explore the joinery typically used including butt joints, miters, dovetails & mortise & tenons. Tools required in addition to the basic tool list include: bevel gauge, marking gauge and dividers. Steve has been a lead instructor at North Bennett Street School in Boston for over 15 years and I am pleased to have him teaching here at CVSW.

Sign up today- This is a class that will answer your questions on what is admittedly a challenging joinery problem. 

Tuition: $275.00 plus materials

Section 110516A: Saturday & Sunday, November 5 & 6, 9:30am – 5:00pm

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Simple and Straightforward Contemporary Inlay with Steve Latta

latta simple_string_color_correctFor hundreds of years, inlay has proven to be a wonderful way to spice up any project, be it a federal sideboard or a modern jewelry box.  In this class, students will learn some basic techniques that will give a huge return in style for a relatively small investment in time.  The idea here is to concentrate on simple techniques and designs that can be incorporated into any work with a minimal amount of tools or time. We will concentrate on more contemporary designs that draw on traditional inlay ideas. We’ll also look at both traditional and modern tooling and, time permitting make some simple inlay tools.  Regardless of your tastes, you’ll definitely learn some great techniques that you can use to enhance your work.  It is always amazing how such a little detail can add so much to the overall impact of a piece.  Take this great class and you will see what we mean! Sign up today. Tuition: $275.00 plus materials

Section 111916A: Saturday & Sunday, November 19 & 20, 9:30am – 5:00pm  

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General tool list  (will open in a new window)  



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Creating Federal Shell Paterae with Don Williams

Don Williams Conch shell paterae640One of the hallmarks of Federal style furniture is the small oval inlay compositions known as "patera," a term probably derived from Roman oval serving trays.  One of the most popular expressions of this art form is the stylized conch shell patera, and in this one-day hands-on workshop you will be able to execute a completed patera yourself, ready for inlaying into a project once you go home.  The processes of sawing and shading the elements with scorching sand will be demonstrated first by the instructor and then you will get on to making your own.  All tools and materials will be provided by the instructor. Tuition: $149.00 plus materials.


Section 061117A: Sunday, June 11, 9:00am—5:00pm

don williams magnolia 640Don Williams shell 640





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Repairing Damaged and Missing Veneers with Don Williams

Don Williams veneer replacement 640If the historical evidence (i.e. inept repair) is any indication the problem of repairing and replacing missing veneers is one that has flummoxed furniture craftsmen for generations.  The main issues for successful veneer restoration are 1) getting the grain pattern right, 2) making the new piece to fit the void of the loss perfectly, and 3) understanding and exploiting the properties of the adhesives, especially hide glue.  These topics, and more, will be covered in this one-day hands-on workshop.  The tools for this are simple, and nothing is more useful than to have a good inventory of veneer scraps in-hand.  Tools and materials will be provided by the instructor, but if you have a small veneer repair project to work on, bring it along. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to work with one of the leading experts in this field. Don recently retired from the Smithsonian Institution where he was a senior conservator for over 3 decades.  Don is also the editor and translator of the Andre Roubo books published by Lost Arts Press and the Author of Virtuoso: The Tool Cabinet and Workbench of Henry O. Studley.

Tuition: $149.00 plus materials.  Don Williams Veneer replacement 2 640

Section 061017A: Saturday, June 10, 9:00am—5:00pm


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Mission Rocker Drop In Seat with Mike Mascelli

Mike Mascelli rocker slip seat 640This is a class specifically designed for students who have completed the one week Mission Rocker class with Mike Pekovich.

In this one day class, students who have completed their seat frames will get a short general introduction to basic upholstery, and then learn all of the specific techniques to professionally upholstery the seat for their chair.  We will begin with installation of “zigger” springs and a sturdy decking material to form the foundation for the upholstery treatment.  The padding layers will then be built up with firm foam, softer foam and finally a Dacron batting, all of which will be consolidated with a full muslin sub cover to create the final “sit” and “loft” for your chair.  With the under upholstery complete, the show cover of premium leather-look vinyl will be properly tucked and folded, and the seat then finished off with a proper black dust cover on the bottom, making it ready for use.

The materials fee will include all of the required springs, padding, muslin and vinyl show cover (choice of brown or tan), and students may either bring their own tools or use loaner tools available in class.  Students who wish to purchase their own genuine leather show covers should be sure that they are 3-4 oz (1.0 – 2.6mm)  in weight and at least 30 x 30 inches of clear unblemished material.  One yard of other suitable upholstery fabric can also be substituted for the vinyl. Sign up today: Tuition: $125.00 plus materials

Section 063019A, Sunday, June 30,  9:00am—5:00pm

Note: If you are interested in taking this class but are not a part of  the Mike Pekovich rocker class then please contact Bob Van Dyke—This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to make arrangements.

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Beyond the basic dovetail with Will Neptune

candlestand dovetails 640Dovetails are one of the basic joints in any fine furniture. They hold the parts together mechanically and do not rely on glue or mechanical fasteners and thus they outlast any other form of joinery. Basic through and lapped (half blind) dovetails are common place and have been covered in many other classes. This unique class with Will Neptune will concentrate on the factors necessary to cut any precise joinery, i.e.. sharpening, accurate layout and precise saw and chisel control. We will then go on to explore the techniques to cut other types of dovetails by hand- The sliding dovetail joining the legs to the turned base of a tripod table, the dovetails joining the drawer dividers in a chest of drawers and the housed tapered dovetail- frequently called a sliding dovetail, are just a few of the joints we will concentrate in this hands on class. Don’t miss this great opportunity to learn more about joinery from one of this country’s best craftsmen and instructor.

Sign up today- class size is limited.

Tuition: $295.00 plus materials

Section 101417A: Saturday & Sunday, October 14 & 15, 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


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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 

pdfTool_list_Al_BreedConvex_shell_and_block_front.pdfblockfront 640

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Pekovich Tea Chest 1 640Build a Tansu Style Tea Chest with Mike Pekovich

Lots of fun surprises in a small package. This tea chest sits on a live-edge base and features a sliding door and four drawers. You’ll get to try your hand at dovetailed case construction, mitered partitions and a kumiko door panel in a two-weekend class. Mike Pekovich will lead you through this fun project start to finish and you’re bound to come away with some new skills and a new appreciation for the challenges and beauty of white oak. 

Mike’s elegant 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. (the Tea Pot is not included….)     Pekovich Tea Chest silo 640

Tuition: $495.00 plus materials

Section 031718A: Saturday & Sunday,

March 17 & 18 and April 7 & 8,  9:30 – 5:00pm       Pekovich Tea chest 3 640

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Build a Dovetailed Bookcase with Mike Pekovich

pekovich hanging bookcase 2018 640Did you hear? Books are actually cool again, and here's a nice way to show off your collection A qautersawn white oak case featuring proud dovetails and through tenons is outfitted with a pair of drawers for added storage. Wrapped cord handles give it a modern look but hammered copper pulls would look right at home on this arts and crafts-inspired piece as well. This 5-day class, led by well-known furniture maker Mike Pekovich, will take place over two weekends. In the class you'll learn efficient ways to cut dovetails and through-tenons, as well as how to construct and fit traditional dovetailed drawers. It's a lot of fun in a small package and it will definitely brighten your home. Mike is the Executive Art Director for Fine Woodworking Magazine and the author of the recently released book: The Why & How of Woodworking: A Simple Approach to Making Meaningful Work. Sign up today! Tuition: $695.00 Plus materials

Section 100618A: Saturday, Sunday & Monday, October 6—8 and Saturday & Sunday November 3 & 4, 9:30am—5:00pm

general tool list (will open in a new window)

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Unique & Creative Surfaces with Tim Coleman


Coleman Carved Table 640Join nationally known furniture maker, Tim Coleman for this fascinating look into various techniques to create visually exciting textures and patterns to furniture surfaces. In this class with Tim students will explore two primary techniques to embellish surfaces with patterns and texture using a few simple tools and a scroll saw. 

Steel stamps are commonly used to emboss leather, but they can also be used on wood.  In this two day class you will learn how to use a V carving tool to make pattern outlines, and steel stamps to create texture. Try out traditional letter and number stamps and also learn to make your own shapes and symbols from steel rod stock. Stamping is easy to learn and allows you to work quickly and spontaneously. You will also learn techniques to add color to the patterns to make them really stand out. Coleman Starbox detail 640

In the second part of the class you will learn how to cut shapes and patterns piercing through thick veneer pieces and then prepare them to laminate onto a contrasting layer of wood or veneer. You will get practice on the scroll saw and, most important, you will learn techniques for gluing down the cut pieces to achieve a clean result with very little glue squeeze out. It’s surprising how much depth can be achieved with material as thin as 1/16th inch, and effects can range from subtle to wild depending on wood and pattern selection. Tim Coleman works out of his shop in Shelbourne, Massachusetts and produces some truly unique and striking custom furniture for clients. In this class you can come with your own pattern ideas or look into Tim’s catalogue of ideas for inspiration. Whatever you do you will be sure to bring away some new skills and ideas that you can apply to your next projects. Sign up today- Space is limited.Coleman Possibilities640

Tuition $295.00 plus materials

Section 040420A: Saturday & Sunday, April 4 & 5, 9:30am—5:00pm

Coleman Stencil Table 640

Creative Box Making with Matt Kenney

Kenney 3 drawer box 2 640Learn the fundamentals of box making with Matt Kenney, author of 52 Boxes in 52 Weeks. You’ll make two boxes over the course of two days. Along the way, you’ll learn how to choose grain for small boxes, mill boards to create grain that flows continuously around the box, cut accurate miters and glue them up with no gaps. Matt will also go into strategies to make a stable bottom for the box, techniques to apply milk paint and shellac, and many other tricks of the trade that Matt uses when making boxes. He’ll also discuss critical design topics like proportions and wood selection. You will leave the class with not only two beautiful boxes, but also a better understanding of how to make attractive boxes of your own design in your own shop. Sign up today- space is limited. Tuition: $275.00 plus materials Kenney 3 drawer box 1 640


Section 051119A: Saturday & Sunday, May 11 & 12, 9:30am - 5:00pm

Kenney small box 640

general tool list    (will open in a new window)  

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Build this Fancy Kumiko Tea Box with Mike Pekovich

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

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

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

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

General tool list  (will open in a new window)  

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Build this Small Wall Cabinet– with Kumiko Panels– with Mike Pekovich

Pekovich kumiko cabinet no drawerSHORT 640Join Mike Pekovich and make a great little wall cabinet in this 2-weekend class. Dovetails offer a lot of strength and some nice visual interest to the case, and Mike has some great tips for cutting accurate, stress-free joinery. The frame-and-panel door gives the cabinet it's personality and offers some solid lessons in cabinet making. You'll learn how to make, fit and hang a traditional door. In addition, you'll finish it off with a kumiko panel. This traditional Japanese latticework technique is a lot of fun and can brighten up just about any project. Mike, a long-time woodworker and instructor, is the creative director at Fine Woodworking magazine and the author of The Why and How of Woodworking, Taunton Press, 2018.

Sign up today– Mike’s classes always sell out quickly!

Tuition $545.00 plus materials

Section 022319A: Saturday & Sunday, February 23 & 24 and March 30 & 31

Carve a Newport Ball & Claw Foot with Al Breed

Al Breed newport B C 640There are innumerable styles of ball and claw feet found in early furniture. The most distinctive styles are generally associated with New York, Boston, Philadelphia and Newport. They were all based on a stylized Chinese dragon’s foot and the most lifelike and distinctive of all is the ball & claw that originated in Newport, Rhode Island. Among the Rhode Island examples, the carvings from John Townsend are the most dynamic and expressive in their execution and design. In this two-day hands on class we will carve a Townsend example from an early high chest that once belonged to an early governor of Connecticut.

Al Breed is a leading expert on the history and construction of Newport Style furniture and works very closely with such distinguished institutions as the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and the Yale Art Gallery. He has written numerous articles for Fine Woodworking Magazine. Al is also a recipient of the SAPFMM Cartouche award and runs his own school in Southern Maine.

Don’t miss this unique opportunity to learn from one of our country’s leading experts. There are a number of carving tools that you will need to bring with you. That list is on the school website

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

Section 030219A: Saturday & Sunday, March 2 & 3, 9:30am – 5:00pm

pdfTool List Newport Ball & Claw

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Build a Gerstner Style Tool Chest with Bob Van Dyke & Tim Spratlin

gerstner box oak 640The longer you are a woodworker the more tools you accumulate- That is just one of those little-known laws of nature! They are usually not large tools – How many small tools have you acquired in the past 5 years? Lots- right? These are the hardest tools to store and keep track of. The Gerstner machinist tool chest meets this need with lots of small drawers to safely store those frequently used essential tools. The Gerstner tool chests- built in America since 1906, are the classic box for machinist and woodworkers alike. We thought it would be fun to offer this chest as a class. The construction is surprisingly simple- all tablesaw joinery with finger joints and locked rabbets for both the case and the drawers. To maximize drawer space the original tools chests featured felt covered steel drawer bottoms. This is a truly practical tool chest designed for the maximum storage space and strength.

We will build the pictured chest in your choice of ¼ sawn white oak or mahogany- the two most common species of original Gerstner boxes.

Join Tim Spratlin and Bob Van Dyke for this new night time class and build this welcome addition to your shop. Face it – it won’t solve your tools storage problems unless you stop buying tools (don’t be ridiculous!!) but it will be a fun project. Sign up today. Your species choice- white oak or mahogany- must be specified when enrolling in the class. Tuition: $345.00 plus materials

Section 020619A: Wednesday evenings, February 6 – March 20, 6:00pm – 9:30pm

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No– Your tablesaw is NOT trying to kill you! Getting More from your Tablesaw Than you ever Thought was Possible– with Bob Van Dyke

VanDyke L fenceThe tablesaw is one of the most basic and common shop machines in use– but it is it is frequently misunderstood and it is rarely used to its fullest potential.

In this unique demonstration Fine Woodworking Magazine Author & Director of the Connecticut Valley School of Woodworking, Bob Van Dyke will begin with a review of basic techniques and concepts for safe and effective use of this shop workhorse.  Bob will go on to concentrate his demonstration on the many uses of a little known tablesaw fixture called an “L” fence. With this simple and ingenious jig, tasks such as cutting any angle at all, flush cutting to a pattern and cutting concentrically larger or smaller shapes become safe, accurate and incredibly easy.

We will examine the many practical applications for these unique techniques and then go on to explore techniques for cutting accurate shoulders on curved furniture parts, simple techniques to cut angled tenons and safe and efficient ways to cut bevels on large panels without getting any burning.

Bob's presentation assumes a working knowledge of the tablesaw and will focus on techniques specific to furniture making. This is not a beginning tablesaw demonstration!

This comprehensive demonstration will leave you wondering -“It is so simple! Why didn't I think of that!”

Tuition: $85.00

Section 120619A: Friday, December 6, 9:30am - 12:30pm

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Cutting Japanese Joinery by Hand with Andrew Hunter

Andrew Hunter Scarf joint 800Take the plunge and begin to learn about Japanese Joinery- done completely by hand. Japanese furniture joints- and most Oriental joinery, is seemingly complex but under Andrew Hunter’s careful guidance you are assured of getting on the right road to learning some intriguing and fascinating furniture joints. You will begin this series with a Japanese scarf joint. This blind dadoed, rabbeted and keyed scarf joint is a mouthful to say, but with a little guidance even a beginning woodworker is capable of making one. Known as a Kanawa tsugi, it has been used in Japan for centuries to splice together two beams, creating a single, longer beam capable of sustaining multi-directional forces. For this class, the Kanawa tsugi is a great way to develop your skills as a woodworker.

Each student will make their own two-part joint entirely with hand tools. First, you will learn how to layout the joint using a center line as a reference plane, a method that allows irregular shaped members to be seamlessly fit together. Next, you will saw, chop and pare to the lines. Then, assuming the critical first steps are correct, assembly should be a breeze and the tapered pin drives it home.

Andrew will have some of his own Japanese tools for students to try or you can bring your own. The school’s Western style hand tools are also available, and this is a great opportunity to try both Western & Japanese tools to do the same jobs. Whichever tools you choose, Andrew will broaden your understanding of how to use them correctly and efficiently. He has been building furniture by hand for over 20 years and is passionate about encouraging people to strengthen their building skills and cultivate an appreciation for the craft of woodworking.  Sign up today for this truly unique and challenging class.

Tuition $295.00 plus materials

Section 121419B: Saturday & Sunday, December 14 & 15, 9:30am – 5:00pm

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