thumb Bobs workbenchSpring/Summer Class Schedule available. Click here for more information.

Schedule of Classes -   Spring - Summer/ 2016:

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


wwIII_corner_tl.jpg This is a series of hands on furniture making classes that should be taken in succession as each project builds on skills learned in the previous classes. This series is not a required prerequisite for other classes contained in this schedule.

Woodworking I

Walnut Jewelry Box

106_walnut_jewelry_box.jpg A hands-on course that covers the basic concepts of woodworking and furniture making. This eight session class is a combination of demonstrations and hands-on practice. General shop safety (with particular concentration on using the tablesaw) is emphasized. Students will utilize the skills, techniques and tools (both power and hand-tools) being taught in the class in the making of a walnut jewelry box. This project could also be used to store a variety of other personal items. Skills learned will provide a strong foundation for subsequent furniture-making classes. Class size is limited to 12 students. Tuition: $395.00 plus materials ($59.00).


Section 030816A: Tuesday Evenings, March 8 - April 26, 6:00pm - 9:30pm (Tim Spratlin is the instructor for this section)

General tool list  (will open in a new window)  

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(This class is a required prerequisite for other classes in the "Fundamentals of Furniture-making" series and has always proven worthwhile to beginner and advanced students alike.)


Woodworking II

Shaker Hall Table

041_shaker_hall_table.jpgAn eight-session class that is a continuation of the Woodworking I class. This class utilizes a combination of hand tools and power tools in the construction of a valuable piece of furniture. Techniques learned in the previous class are put to extensive use as more advanced techniques and skills are introduced. Mortise and tenon joints, grain matching, and using handplanes are a few of the new skills students will learn while making a cherry hall table as their project. Class size is limited, Woodworking I is a prerequisite. Tuition: $395.00 plus materials ($195.00).

Section 032316A: Wednesday & Thursday evenings, March 23 - April 14, 6:00pm- 9:30pm

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Woodworking III

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

Fundamentals of Cabinet Making

Making Raised Panel Doors with Tim Spratlin


The raised panel door is a basic part of most furniture carcase construction, but is also used extensively in cabinet making. Tim will guide students thru the finer points of making raised panel doors. Proper sizing of the door to fit into an opening along with sizing the floating panel to allow for seasonal expansion and contraction are an essential part of the class. Students will use the router table and a set of “cope & stick” bits to make the stiles and rails. Students will use vertical & horizontal raised panel bits to form the panel. Each student will make a door they can then use as a model in their own workshops. Tuition: $125.00 plus materials


Section 022716A, Saturday, February 27,  9:30am—5:00pm

 No special tools are required for this class

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Design and Build Kitchen Cabinets with Tim Spratlin


The pinnacle of home cabinetmakinag is the kitchen cabinet. This is also a subject that many people have asked for over the years. Tim Spratlin is a professional cabinet maker and is able to show you loads of time saving techniques to help you on your way to building your own kitchen cabinets. You may just be interested in a simpler project like a bathroom vanity– but the techniques and principles are all the same! Tim will review the standards involved in modern kitchen design; ie. the height of counters, depths of cabinets, etc., and demonstrate the installation process. The cabinet you will make in class is a small (about 28” wide) free standing unit that utilizes all the challenges you will face in building a full set of cabinets. The project will incorporate a face frame, a raised panel door, a drawer, a laminated top and European hardware.  Options for different types of countertops will be discussed. The cabinet you make in class could then be used at home as a free standing vanity, a storage cabinet or even a sharpening station in a workshop- but more importantly, it will give you the knowledge and confidence to tackle that larger kitchen project that you have been putting off!  If you’ve been waiting for the right time to rebuild your kitchen, then this class will get you started on the right track.  Tuition $395.00 plus materials.

Section 040916A:    Saturday & Sunday, April 9,10, 23 & 24,  9:30am - 5:00pm

general tool list    (will open in a new window)


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Woodturning with Corey Anderson


This six evenin073_turned_round_edge_bowl.jpgg class is designed for the beginning (or frustrated) woodturner and features extensive hands-on practice each night. Woodturning is a skill that requires some basic instruction and lots of practice. Students are turning on their own lathe most of each night of the class. Class starts with basic spindle and includes a few simple projects like a mallet and spinning tops. We then move on to face plate turning which includes some cherry and mahogany bowls and plates. Along the way we spend time learning about tool sharpening and general information about lathes, tools, chucks and various jigs used in woodturning. This is a great way to safely get into woodturning and gives you a good foundation for other more advanced turning classes and projects. Corey Anderson is the past president of the Central Connecticut Woodturners Guild. Tuition: $295.00 plus materials ($49.00)

Section  032316B: Wednesday evenings, March 23—April 27, 6:00pm 9:30pm

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Six Weeks of Small Woodturning Projects with Corey Anderson

peppermillsThis six week evening class is designed to give beginning and intermediate woodturners a great opportunity to make six small projects while learning, polishing and perfecting their turning skills.

The projects are a Garden Dibbler (whatever that is!...), a Tool Handle for a Reversible Screwdriver or a Toy Top, a Lidded Box and Honey Dipper, A Pepper Mill and a Plate. There will also be a review of tools used in turning, tool sharpening, sanding and finishing on the lathe. Safety is always important and will be emphasized throughout the course. Students will gain valuable experience and make some great projects which will help build confidence to continue the quest to master the art of woodturning. Sigh up today. Space is limited. Tuition: $ 295.00 plus materials.

Section 021616B: Tuesday evenings, February 16 - March 22, 6:00pm- 9:30pm

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Basic Woodturning with Corey Anderson

130_al_three_bowls.jpg Many people have asked for a beginning turning class to be offered in a weekend format. This class will cover much of the same material as the six-night class but because of time constraints we will not be able to cover as much material in as much depth. The class will cover spindle turning, bowl turning and basic lathe use, safety and sharpening. Students will have the opportunity to make a number of spindle and faceplate projects during the weekend including a mallet, a bowl and a small plate or platter.  This is a great introduction to the fascinating craft of woodturning. Tuition: $275.00 (plus materials: $32.00)

Section 022716B: Saturday & Sunday, February 27 & 28, 9:30am 0 5:00pm

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Professional Furniture Finishing Techniques

Finishing - Start to Finish- with Greg Massicotte

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Most woodworkers shy away from finishing or are disappointed in their attempts at finishing the projects they have spent so much time and effort in making. Greg Massicotte has been finishing furniture professionally for over twenty years and has taught countless seminars and classes. Students will learn about bleaching and wood preparation, how to use aniline dyes, pigmented stains and glazes in combination to create the dramatic effects and colors they want. The many different choices for top coats always create a lot of questions. This class will expose students to brushing on varnishes, wiping on oils and spraying lacquers. This experience will help clarify the strengths and weaknesses of each topcoat system. Rubbing out the finish and French Polishing will round out the class. With the huge number of finishing questions that come up daily, you should be sure to fit this valuable class in. Tuition $295.00 (plus materials: $40.00)

Section 030716B: Monday evenings March 7 — April 11, 6:00pm - 9:00pm

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The Case for Using Shellac in Fine Finishing with Tad Fallon

garnet shellacAs furniture conservator, I often rely on shellac as my go-to finish, for its tremendous versatility and proven long-term stability. Shellac is a beautiful and durable finish for a wide range of applications. It is also re-treatable; as a solvent release finish it is continuously soluble in its carrier, denatured alcohol. This important distinction allows a shellac finish to be easily repaired, both on-site and in the studio. Shellac is also ideal for touch-ups, using pigments and dyes with prepared shellac as a binder.
In this two day workshop, we will explore the various varieties of shellac, learning to recognize the subtle differences between the types that can be utilized according to the needs of the project. French Polishing will be discussed and demonstrated, along with a “modified” padding technique where oil is not used. Both brushing and padding methods and materials will be reviewed and discussed. The repair and touch up of a previously finished piece will also be discussed and demonstrated, and will incorporate pigments, dyes, brushes, and matting agents. Professional touch-up kits will be available for optional purchase.
Tad Fallon is the co-owner of Fallon & Wilkinson - a small furniture conservation shop that specializes in restoring 18th & 19th century high end furniture. Tad has written numerous papers for the trade and has taught many workshops for professional furniture conservators. Sign up today! Tuition $275.00 plus materials.


New 2016 weekend dates coming soon.

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Five Week Furniture Making Intensive

Five Week Intensive Furniture Making with Bob Van Dyke

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This class is designed for the serious student who has both the time and the desire to commit to a comprehensive course of study. It is NOT designed for the total beginner, but rather someone who has done a bit of woodworking and is now ready to get serious and really learn some skills. If you are a beginner then you should sign up for the Fundamentals of Furniture Making or the Woodworking I class. will neptune_shell_web

This is an opportunity you do not want to pass up. Tuition: $1995.00 plus materials.

Section 042516A: Monday—Thursday, April 25—May 26, 8:30am—4:30pm


 General tool list (will open in a new window)

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Speciality & Weekend Classes

Solve your carving problems and projects with Mary May

carvingAre you in the middle of a carving project and having difficulty finishing it? Do you have a carving project you are wanting to start and don't know where to begin? Well known professional woodcarver, Mary May, will guide you through the problems and roadblocks that you may be encountering on the project you are working on or contemplating. This 2 day hands on class will give you the direction and motivation to learn the woodcarving techniques of a professional woodcarver. If you do not have a specific project in mind and just want to learn some techniques then Mary has prepared  a project of  carving a shell and leaf design on the front drawer of a lowboy. (Some specific tools will be required for this). Some carving experience is required. Space is limited to 8 students, and communication with Mary prior to start of class is important to prepare for each project. Any photos, drawings or reference material on individual projects will be needed. You can send this material to the school’s director- Bob Van Dyke- who will put you in touch with Mary. These classes are always an adventure - you never know where it will go! Sign up today! Tuition: $350.00 (Plus materials used- if any)

Section  031216B: Saturday & Sunday, March 12 & 13, 2016, 9:00am - 5:00pm


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Carving in the 17th century style with Peter Follansbee

carving outline detail w gougeJoin 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 as well.
A range of designs will be covered, all drawn from surviving examples studied in museum and private collections. 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. opposing lunettes.jpg
The final project in the class will be a panel design utilizing many of the techniques shown in the initial exercises. This is the first in a series of Classes we will be doing with Peter. 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: $275.00 plus materials  salem scrolls.jpg

Section:  021316A: Saturday & Sunday, February 13 & 14, 9:30am - 5:00pm



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Build- and Carve- this Frame & Panel with Peter Follansbee


thumb Follansbee Frame and Panel ModifiedIn this three day class with joiner & carver Peter Follansbee, students will explore the fundamental aspects of 17th-century joiner’s work. This frame-and-panel project has all the elements of a larger joined chest, but in a scale that fits the time frame. We’ll use oak we rive and plane for the framing parts; and quartersawn stock for the wider panels. Drawbored mortise and tenon joinery and carved decoration will be the a major focal point. A true crash course in joiner’s work. Now, where’d I put that axe?

Sign up today- Space is limited

Tuition: $395.00 plus materials.

Some carving tools will be required. Info is below:

 Section 040116A: Friday, Saturday & Sunday, April 1-3, 9:30am - 5:00pm

Note- this is a great introduction to the five weekend joined chest class we will be running beginning in September 2016.


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Beginning Guitars - Build a Telecaster or Stratocaster with Mike South

In this new 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 white ash body we will bandsaw and rout the basic shape, fit and fine tune the telecastermaple neck (we will purchase pre-made necks for this beginning class), fine tune the rosewood fingerboard and install all the hardware, electronics and both pickups. Finishing is an important part of any guitar so we will also spend a few nights of class time applying your choice of three different finishes (clear, “butter” or cherry). The last night of the class will be final setup & tuning of the guitars and then a jam session to prove how good they are! Mike South has been building guitars, banjos and mandolins since 1981 and is the owner of Windjammer Instruments. Sign up today for this exciting new class and have the satisfaction of building (and playing) your own heirloom quality instrument. Tuition $425.00 plus materials.

 Section 030316B: Thursday evenings, March 3 - May 12, 6:00pm - 9:30pm

  General tool list  (will open in a new window)  

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Traditional Gilding Techniques and Gilding Restoration with Tad Fallon

Gilding Vignette 009-webDesigned for furniture makers, restorers, collectors, homeowners, and dealers alike, this weekend-long workshop will focus on the techniques of traditional gilding, along with methods for the restoration and conservation of gilded surfaces including frames, furniture, and architectural elements. We will review the basics of traditional water gilding and oil gilding techniques. Emphasis will be placed on identifying different types of gilding, including toned silver leaf gilding. Tools and materials will be reviewed. Replacement of missing ornamental elements through molding and casting techniques will be demonstrated. The visual integration of losses will be discussed as well as appropriate materials and techniques for toning and application of patina.


Fallon & Wilkinson, LLC is a furniture conservation firm founded in 2000 by principal conservators, Tad D. Fallon and Randy S. Wilkinson. Both were trained at the Smithsonian Institution’s prestigious Furniture Conservation Training Program and completed conservation fellowships at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Preservation Society of Newport County, and the Mystic Seaport Museum, respectively.  Fallon & Wilkinson, LLC brings a combined 35 years of training and experience to the care and conservation of furniture, wooden artifacts, and interior woodwork, blending old world craftsmanship with modern conservation practices. The firm also provides museum quality reproduction furniture to museums and private clients.

Participants are encouraged to bring a gilded object to the workshop. Professional touch up kits, brushes, tools, and gilding materials will be available for optional purchase.

Sign up today- This is a unique opportunity to work with one of the best in the antique restoration field. Tuition $295.00 plus materials

Section 031916B: Saturday & Sunday, March 19 & 20, 9:30am – 5:00pm

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 New England Style Inlays and Ornamentation with Steve Latta

threerural and an urbanThe 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.  In major urban centers such as Boston and New York, skilled specialists emerged with turners, carvers, upholsterers, joiners, gilders, finishers plying their trades in burgeoning markets.  Little information surrounds one such class of specialist, the inlayer, whose work reached its zenith during the Federal Period.  Rural New England cabinetmakers, with no access to the wares of the inlayer, offered their own unique interpretations of the neoclassic style with its architectural and naturalistic motifs.  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 his designs. Nationally known furniture maker, author and instructor, Steve Latta, hosts this unique one day hands-on class. Steve will demonstrate techniques for making and inlaying stringing and sand shaded designs that were typical of New England work. Students will have the opportunity to put the techniques to use while inlaying a sample table leg. Tuition: $145.00 materials included

Section 041016B: Sunday, April 10, 9:30am – 5:00pm

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Line-and-Berry Inlay with Steve Latta

steve latta  spice  boxLine-and-Berry is a traditional 18th century inlay form unique to Chester County, Pennsylvania.  When William Penn opened up his lands for settlement, Welsh immigrants brought their own vine-and-berry inlay which evolved into the more popular compass form.  Used mainly on chests-of-drawers and valuables chests (spice boxes as they are often called), the style consists of straight lines and arcs of holly arranged in geometric patterns and typically set into a walnut background.  The techniques we will be discussing are a great introduction to inlay and are applicable to a wide range of styles ranging from the federal period to contemporary designs. In this workshop, we will cover materials, design and both traditional and modern tooling to execute these delightful form on inlay.   Steve Latta is one of the leading experts on inlay work and you should not miss this opportunity to learn from one of the best! Sign up today. Tuition: $275.00 plus materials

Section 031916A: Saturday & Sunday, March 19 & 20, 9:30am—5:00pm


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Working with Stained Glass and Leaded Glass Doors- with Mike Pekovich

Mike Pekovich leaded glassHave you ever wanted to try your hand at stained glass? There's no reason not to. It's a simple and fun technique that you can use to dress up your furniture or make panels suitable for framing or installation. In this two-day glass with Fine Woodworking's art director, Mike Pekovich, you'll go from pattern to final panel. Along the way, you'll learn the ins and outs of cutting glass, how to assemble the parts into a complete panel, and finally, how to solder and glaze the panel for a lasting art piece. Some of you might be enrolled in the Barrister’s Bookcase class with Bob Van Dyke. This is the class you should take if you want to turn those plain glass doors into something really handsome Sign up today- Space is limited. Tuition $275.00 plus materials

Section 030516B: Saturday & Sunday, March 5 & 6, 9:30am – 5:00pm

Barrister Bookcase lead muntin web

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Installing Furniture Hardware with Will Neptune

If I could make this a required class before making any piece of furniture I would! How many times have you spent weeks or months on a project only to come to the end and hit a roadblock installing the hardware? A simple mortised butt hinge installed badly can ruin a whole project and more complex hardware like half mortise locks, drop leaf table hinges and card table hinges can be much more challenging than most people expect. Understanding the mechanics of the hardware and understanding exactly how it works along with having a systematic approach to installing it is key to success and this class with furniture expert Will Neptune will give you the confidence and techniques you need. This unique weekend class features a combination of demonstrations and hands on exercises including all manner of hinges, half mortise lock sets, mounting bail and post handles and escutcheons. The next time you have to start drilling and chopping into a finished piece, you’ll be glad you took this class. Sign up today- Tuition: $275.00 plus materials

Section 022016A, Saturday & Sunday, February 20 & 21, 9:30am – 5:00pm

General tool list  (will open in a new window) 

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Inlay for Musical Instruments– Working with Shell, Mother of Pearl and Metals– with Mike South

Mike south inlay web1Mike 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.  Mike South inlay web 3

Traditional patterns and motifs will be supplied by the instructor, but if students have designs or artwork that they’d like to try, they’re encouraged to bring it to class. Specialized tools and various types of shell will be available from the instructor. Other basic supplies can be purchased locally.             A list of suppliers will be included so students can acquire materials and tools for future projects. Inlay work can be very challenging but also a lot of fun. Proper instruction goes a long way and the rewards for patience and persistence are very satisfying. Sign up Today! Tuition: $275.00 plus materials    Mike south inlay web 2

Section  041616B: Saturday & Sunday, April 16 & 17, 9:30am—5:00pm


General tool list  (will open in a new window)  

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Furniture Restoration: Weekend Clinic with Mike Mascelli


Bring in your poor, tired and shabby looking furniture longing for a new life !

Mike Mascelli_Chair_Arm_Repair-resizedA class designed for students who would like a solid introduction to the many aspects of restoring treasured family heirlooms using readily available materials.  Mike Mascelli is the Co-Director and Trustee of the Professional Refinisher’s Group, and will share tips and techniques used by professional refinishing shops, as well as the world of conservation and preservation.  The class will be a Lecture/Demonstration format with ample time allotted for student questions.

Lecture Topics will include:

  • Decision making process for repair, restoration, refinishing, conservation
  • Key features for determining the age of a piece
  • Basics of “off the shelf” dye and pigment colorants for color matching
  • Basics of shellac, lacquer, oil, waterbase finishes for choosing the right finish
  • Basics of protein, PVA, EVA, and epoxy glues for choosing the right glue
  • How the finish can dramatically affect the look of a piece, professional tips from PRG

Demonstration Topics will include:

  • Techniques to safely remove old finishes
  • Re-gluing loose joints, loose veneer
  • Color and sheen matching, making new wood look old
  • Accentuating the grain; creating depth with shading & toning
  • Spot repair and touchup techniques
  • Stabilizing damaged upholstery frames
  • The irreplaceable organics: shellac, asphaltum, and linseed oil   Mike Mascelli Secretary

Students are encouraged (but not required) to bring a piece they are working on. Some of these pieces will be included in the demonstrations, and all pieces will be part of a “talk around” which will provide a detailed set of treatment options for each student to take home.

Tutition: $295.00, materials are included.                                

Section 031216B:  Saturday & Sunday, March 12 & 13, 9:30am - 5:00pm

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Basic Upholstery with Mike Mascelli

US House Chair MascelliThis class will be a combination lecture, demonstration and hands-on session which will provide an overview of the history, tools, techniques and materials of upholstery . Mike Mascelli has been a professional upholsterer his entire career and brings a lifetime of experience to this hands on class. Mike will set up a complete working shop including a collection of historic and modern tools, and cover the full range of traditional hand sewn, and modern upholstery methods. Presentations include “A Lively Guide to a Dying Art”, which will be enhanced with demonstrations illustrating the tools and techniques portrayed. “A Tale of Two Chairs” presents step by step photos contrasting traditional work on a period armchair,   and modern methods on a 1940’s chair.

Students will complete an open frame slip seat by stretching and tacking webbing, cutting and fitting the foundation, lofting, and show cover materials, and installing a proper dust cover. And then building on these new skills, complete a small-scale sprung footstool, by hand tying springs, and learning basic cutting and folding techniques, then finishing off the corners with proper blind stitches.

The class will also include a complete discussion of tools and machines, as well as tips on common repair techniques such as replacing buttons without having to open up the chair !

Students will receive a booklet containing, excerpts, illustrations, yardage charts, and sources of supply. This class is for anyone with an interest in the tools terminology and techniques of the upholstery trade.


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

Sign up today. Tuition: $275 plus materials $55.

Section 041616A: Saturday and Sunday, April 16 & 17, 9:30am—5:00pm

General tool list  (will open in a new window)  

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Three Legs and Two Instructors- Will Neptune & Steve Brown

Many of you have taken classes with Will Neptune here at the school but you might not know Steve Brown quite as well. Steve is the lead instructor at The North Bennett Street School and was one of Will’s best students while he taught at NBSS. They are teaming up on this unique class to bring you three different types of carved legs & feet. They are all based on the curved cabriole leg which is found in many variations in 18th Century furniture.   This class will focus on several feet that are alternatives to the ball and claw. We will make sample legs with several different styles of shaping and you will learn how to make three types of feet: turned pad, slipper and trifid. In this class you will learn to develop patterns and use a systematic approach for shaping, which helps for efficiency and accuracy.   These legs can be adapted for use in tables, chairs and case-work and are a great way to introduce curved form into your projects. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to learn from two of this country’s master furniture makers and instructors. Sign up today, Space is limited. Tuition: $345.00 plus materials

Section 030516A, Saturday & Sunday, March 5 & 6, 9:30am – 5:00pm

(note: Tool list will be posted soon)

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Handplane Weekend with Bob Van Dyke

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

The first day will be spent getting your plane sharpened and tuned up  so you can start practicing using it on the second day. Techniques such as smoothing a surface, beveling a table edge, planing a curved surface, shooting edge joints, making spring joints, using shooting boards, fitting mortise and tenons and planing end grain will all be demonstrated and practiced. Don’t miss this unique and informative class. Space is limited. You should bring at least one plane to this class- preferably an older Stanley #4. Bob collects planes for sale that are perfect for this class- and they are great users once they have been tuned up. Check with him about these. (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) Bringing a Lie-Nielsen or a Lee valley plane is fine- but you will not learn anything about tuning up those planes as they come to you already tuned up extremely well. Tuition: $275.00 plus materials

class coming again- Spring 2016

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The Basics of Using Veneers and Inlays—Build two veneered boxes with Bob Van Dyke

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

We will get into basic techniques for working with the veneers- Flattening them, buying & storing them and how to work with them to create tight, almost invisible seams. We will go into the basic tools & supplies needed along with discussing the various adhesives and ways to clamp up the veneered panel. Incorporating veneer designs into your work will open up possibilities that you may never have dreamed of. Sign up today- this is a great class and you will make two great little boxes to hold your treasures!! Sign up today- space is limited. Tuition: $395.00 plus materials  veneer box  web

Section 022216A: Monday Evenings, February 22—April 11, 6:00pm—9:30pm

General tool list  (will open in a new window) 

An Introduction to the Art of Kumiko with Mike Pekovich


kumiko box webAre 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 it's 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.kumiko web 2

Section 040216B: Saturday & Sunday, April 2 & 3, 9:30am - 5:00pm

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

Darryl Keil Demi Lune SiloBurnt low resThe 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 pressess.  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 materils

   Section 063016A: Saturday & Sunday, April 30 & May 1, 9:30am - 5:00pm

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Sharpening Hand-tools Techniques with Bob Van Dyke


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

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

 Section 021416B: Sunday, February 14, 9:30am - 4:30pm

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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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Don't You Wish You Had Paid More Attention in High School Geometry??
Using a Compass and Straightedge in Woodworking Layout with Robert Lord

Introduction to  Straightedge and Compass  I : Geometric Foundation of divider/compass use in the workshop

dividers 1How many of us did not really pay much attention in high school geometry? What could I possibly do with all that stuff they were making me memorize? Right? And then I got into woodworking and started to realize that maybe I should have paid a little more attention...

This class with retired math teacher turned furniture maker, Robert Lord, will give you the refresher course you need on simple geometric concepts and constructs that you can apply to all of your work. The radius of a circle is the basic unit in the geometry of wood working. Finding the compass center point of an arc, copying and subdividing angles, creating perpendicular and parallel lines, finding the tangent points are all necessary for proportionate layout in building furniture. These are just a few of the skills which you can readily apply in your shop.....but there is so much more!

Understanding basic geometric construction techniques is the first step in understanding what lies beneath the surface in furniture designs. 

In this Introductory class we will build the skill set with compass (dividers) and straightedge needed for furniture layout and design as well as for ‘working backward’, deciphering how a furniture piece was designed.

This class will review geometric language and terminology. The focus of the class will be in the form of training and practice in the proper use of compass and straightedge by making the twenty fundamental geometric constructs. A construct is made with the compass and straightedge to show a physical proof of an idea; such as making parallel or perpendicular lines, congruent angles or figures. The practical exercises are designed to build on one another and to build confidence, hand dexterity and the knowledge set of skills which are applicable to your work in the wood shop.

Compass (divider) and straightedge simplifies many tasks. It is used to lay out dovetails, make inlay patterns, design simple or complex projects, scale a drawing or work plan to a ‘story stick’. Use in conjunction with a sector it can layout panels, set up drawer fronts and so much more. It is a system used for centuries for good reason (then left behind in the rush to power tools) and valued by craftsmen who understand that beauty is designed from a natural order. Best of all, it connects the hand to the eye and in that value.
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 051416B: Saturday, May 14, 9:30 - 5:00pm


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Week-long Classes

Take some time for yourself!

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

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

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

041_shaker_hall_table.jpgThis popular five-day intensive hands-on class is an opportunity to concentrate on the basics of woodworking and furniture making. Each student will make a Shaker style cherry hall table, which is a perfect vehicle to practice the machine and hand-tool techniques that we teach in the class. Subjects covered include basic shop safety, machine use (with particular emphasis on the tablesaw, jointer and planer), using handplanes, card scrapers and chisels effectively to surface and hand-fit the mortice and tenon joints, handtool sharpening, making tapered legs and grain matching and gluing up a top. This class takes the place of Woodworking I & Woodworking II and provides a strong foundation for more advanced furniture projects. Tuition: $725.00 plus materials

Section 061316A: Monday - Friday, June 13 - 17, 8:30am - 5:00pm

 general tool list    (will open in a new window)

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Build a Portable Tool Chest with Mike Pekovich

toolchestAre you starting to gather a hand tool collection but have no place to put it? Here's a great tool chest that's big enough for an essential tool set, but small enough to take along with you to your next woodworking class. Recently featured in Fine Woodworking magazine, the chest has a tool well at the top where you can store hand planes and backsaws. Below it are two drawers that can be outfitted for chisels and layout tools and anything else you can think of. Join Mike Pekovich in this unique week-long class and build not only the tool chest, but a rolling stand as well. We'll assemble the case with dovetails and tenons, and top it off with a frame-and-panel lid. Finally, we'll build dovetailed drawers and outfit the interior with dividers custom-fit for your tools. Your collection of tools need a safe place to be and what better way to bring them to your next class at CVSW! Sign up today. Space is limited.

Tuition: $795.00 Plus materials

Section 060616A: Monday - Saturday, June 6 - 11,    9:00am-5:00pm

 General tool list (will open in a new window)

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Traditional Joinery with Handtools and by Machine- Will Neptune

Learning to lay out and cut joinery with hand tools has several advantages. First - the satisfaction of learning to use traditional tools and methods is very rewarding and you frequently get the job done aster. Second- the handwork helps you understand machine work and the importance of accuracy. Finally– you gain the confidence to easily correct and adjust machine work, when needed.   Many furnituremakers combine handwork and machine work- even in one joint. Consider dovetails- Frequently it is faster to cut the tails by machine and the tails by hand. This class will explore some of these methods but we will primarily concentrate on alternating between making sample joints by hand- and then making the same joint by machine. Handtool joinery classes with nationally recognized furniture maker and teacher, Will Neptune have been some of our most popular classes- followed closely by the machine joinery classes he has taught here. So- this class combines the two! You will come away with a broad range of techniques that can be used in almost any furniture construction system. There is no project for this class- just a week of practice joints, practice and learning more than you imagined you could in one week! Sign up today- space is limited. Tuition: $745.00 plus materials

Section 071116A: Monday – Friday, July 11 – 15, 9:00am – 5:00pm

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


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

Section 072316A: Saturday - Friday, July 23 - 29, 9:00am - 5:00pm

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

General Tool List  

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Build a Charles P. Limbert style Coffee Table with Kevin Rodel

rodel table1-resizedAs a furniture form, the coffee table did not yet exist when the Limbert Furniture Co. was in production. Never less it was not difficult to adapt his unique styling to fit the low coffee table form. Kevin Rodel, a well known furniture maker, instructor and frequent contributor to Fine Woodworking Magazine will host this exciting week long class in August. This coffee table was featured on the cover of the January/ February 2016 issue of FWW and will prove to be a rewarding project which you should be able to finish completely in the week long format. Besides coming away with a completed table you will learn how to make perfect cut-outs, or negative spaces in a panel using the table saw. You will also learn how to plan and make up decorative grid structures and how to make and fit through mortise and tenon joints locked in with tapered wedges. In most classes we are unable to get to the finishing phase of the project but we fully expect to be able to get that started in this class. One of the hallmarks of Arts and crafts furniture was the use of quartersawn white oak which was given a warm deep brown color by utilizing a “fuming” technique. At the end of the class you will have the opportunity to fume your table with concentrated ammonia in a controlled safe enclosure should you choose to build the table in white oak. The table can also be built in cherry if you should prefer that. Please specify species choice when registering. Tuition: $795.00 plus materials   Kevin rodel_table2_web

Section 080116A: Monday - Saturday, August 1—6, 9:00am—5:00pm

Photos used with permission from Fine Woodworking Magazine

Kevin rodel_table3_web

General tool list  (will open in a new window)  

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The Joy of Woodcarving – Spend a Week with Mary May

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

This is a perfect class for both beginners and experienced carvers. Beginning carvers can learn the basics from Mary- but will also pick up tricks- or clarification- from some of the more experienced carvers in the class while experienced carvers will have a whole week to pick Mary’s brain, clarify the questions they may have been struggling with over the years and practice the skills she will be showing you. This is a great opportunity to learn both the basics and the advanced techniques under the guidance of one of our country’s best carvers and instructors. Sign up today- This is a week that you will not want to miss! Tuition: $745.00 plus materials used.

Section 080816A: Monday – Friday, August 8-12, 9:00am – 5:00pm

Mary begin carving web 2

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Build the Arts & Crafts Style “Hay Rake” Table with Mike Pekovich

hayrake table pekovich

If you love Arts and Crafts furniture and are up for a fun woodworking adventure, then this table is for you. Known as a "Hay Rake" table, it is based on a 1900's English design by Sidney Barnsley, one of the forefathers of the Arts and Crafts style.

Its timber frame joinery is a fun challenge and a welcome departure from typical furniture construction methods. In this 6 day class, we'll start by building the beefy base and pull it all together with draw-bore pins which make for rock-solid clamp free joints. We'll finish it off with a gracefully curved top for a table that will look great in a kitchen or dining room. The table is 36” wide and 6 feet long. We will be doing it in a few different species- so let me know what you would prefer when signing up.  Most will be done in quartersawn white oak or cherry- but other species are certainly possible.

This table was featured on the cover of the June issue of Fine Woodworking magazine and was the subject of an excellent article by Mike Pekovich. Mike is the art director for Fine Woodworking magazine and makes beautiful Arts & Crafts Style furniture. His work can be seen at  This will be a great class and the table will be a welcome addition to any home. Sign up today. Space is limited. Tuition $795.00 plus materials

Section 082916A: Monday - Saturday, August 29 - September 3,  9:00am - 5:00pm


General tool list (will open in a new window)hayrake

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Furniture Restoration with Mike Mascelli

Bring in your poor, tired and shabby looking furniture longing for a new life !

A class designed for students who would like to bring their own furniture restoration project for a week of hands on work in a fully equipped shop. The class will include a day of introduction to the many aspects of restoring treasured family heirlooms using readily available materials and then four full days of shop time with Mike Mascelli the Co-Director and Trustee of the Professional Refinisher’s Group. Mike will share tips and techniques used by professional refinishing shops, as well as the world of conservation and preservation. Students will be required to submit photos and a brief description of their project prior to class, to insure that their goals will be achievable within the time available. All furniture projects including upholstered pieces are possible, however projects requiring chemical stripping, or spray finishing of large pieces may not be able to be accepted.
Students will be required to provide their own basic hand tools, and may bring other materials such as wood, veneer, finishing materials, and upholstery supplies specific to their project.

Lecture Topics will include:
Decision making process for repair, restoration, refinishing, conservation
Key features for determining the age of a piece
Basics of “off the shelf” dye and pigment colorants for color matching
Basics of shellac, lacquer, oil, waterbase finishes for choosing the right finish
Basics of protein, PVA, EVA, and epoxy glues for choosing the right glue
How the finish can dramatically affect the look of a piece, professional tips from PRG

Demonstration Topics will include:
Techniques to safely remove old finishes
Re-gluing loose joints, loose veneer
Color and sheen matching, making new wood look old
Accentuating the grain; creating depth with shading & toning
Spot repair and touchup techniques
Stabilizing damaged upholstery frames
The irreplaceable organics: shellac, asphaltum, and linseed oil

Tutition $725.00 Plus materials (will be billed individually based on what is used from CVSW stock

Section 091116A: Sunday - Thursday, September 11—15, 9:00am—5:00pm

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