2016 joined chest bannerFall/Winter Class Schedule available. Click here for more information.

Schedule of Classes -   Fall / Winter - 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.
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Woodworking I

Walnut Jewelry Box

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

Section 011217A: Thursday Evenings, January 12 - March 2, 6:00pm – 9:30pm

Section 041717A: Monday Evenings, April 17 - June 12, 6:00pm – 9:30pm

(Note: Tim Spratlin is the instructor for these classes)

(This class is a required prerequisite for other classes in the "Fundamentals of Furniture-making" series (Woodworking II & III) and has always proven worthwhile to beginner and advanced students alike. IT IS NOT A PREREQUISITE FOR ANY OTHER CLASSES ON THE SCHEDULE)

General tool list  (will open in a new window)  

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Woodworking II

Shaker Hall Table

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

Section 031617A, Thursday evenings, March 16 - May 4, 6:00pm- 9:30pm

(Note: Tim Spratlin is the instructor for these classes)

General tool list    (will open in a new window)    

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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.

Make a Craftsman Style Blanket Chest with Bob Van Dyke & Tim Spratlin

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This advanced workshop features a handsome frame and panel blanket chest with tiger maple panels and a cherry frame. It is based on a design by John McAlevey, a well-known custom furniture maker and author living in Maine. The chest was featured on the cover of Fine Woodworking Magazine a number of years ago. The project entails extensive through mortise and tenons, raised panels, chamfered legs, a number of curved parts and frame and panel construction. The techniques used in its construction are basic to many larger furniture pieces.   Participants need to have taken at least the Woodworking I class or its equivalent. Tuition: $595.00 (plus materials).

Section 012317A:    Monday evenings, January 23 - April 10,  6:00pm - 9:30pm

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Fundamentals of Cabinet Making

Introduction to Cabinet Making with Tim Spratlin

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This class concentrates on the techniques used in cabinet making rather than those used in furniture making. Tim Spratlin is a professional cabinetmaker who brings with him years of labor saving tricks and techniques which students will find invaluable when completing their own projects at home. A medium sized painted plywood bookshelf is the project for this class and features techniques such as cutting plywood panels to size, using solid wood edging, making and applying a molding, making a mitered base, using a Kreg jig and working with a router. The design of the bookcase features a plinth base, adjustable shelves and decorative moldings. This class is designed for beginner and intermediate woodworkers who are interested in learning techniques they can use in numerous home improvement projects. The bookcase utilizes common portable power tools that most homeowners would have or might be considering purchasing. This class will provide you with the foundation skills needed for more advanced projects such as kitchen cabinets, storage cabinets, entertainment centers, counter tops and more.  Sign up today. Space is limited. Tuition: $295.00 plus materials

Section 021117A: Saturday and Sunday, March 11 — 12 , 9:30am - 5:00pm

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Making Raised Panel Doors with Tim Spratlin

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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 040117B: Saturday April 1, 9:30am-5:00pm

 No special tools are required for this class

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Building Kitchen Cabinets with Tim Spratlin

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The pinnacle of home cabinetmaking is the kitchen cabinet. This is also a subject that many people have asked for over the years. Tim Spratlin is a professional cabinet maker and is able to show you loads of time saving techniques to help you on your way to building your own kitchen cabinets. You may just be interested in a simpler project like a bathroom vanity– but the techniques and principles are all the same! Tim will review the standards involved in modern kitchen design; ie. the height of counters, depths of cabinets, etc., and demonstrate the installation process. The cabinet you will make in class is a small (about 28” wide) free standing unit that utilizes all the challenges you will face in building a full set of cabinets. The project will incorporate a face frame, a raised panel door, a drawer, a laminated top and European hardware.  Options for different types of countertops will be discussed. The cabinet you make in class could then be used at home as a free standing vanity, a storage cabinet or even a sharpening station in a workshop- but more importantly, it will give you the knowledge and confidence to tackle that larger kitchen project that you have been putting off!  If you’ve been waiting for the right time to rebuild your kitchen, then this class will get you started on the right track.  Tuition $395.00 plus materials ($267.00)

Section 022517A: Saturday & Sunday, February 25 & 26, March 18 & 19, 9:30am - 5:00pm

general tool list    (will open in a new window)

 

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Woodturning with Corey Anderson

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

Section 011117B: Wednesday evenings, January 11 - February 15, 6:00pm 9:30pm

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Small Woodturning Projects with Corey Anderson

peppermillsThis weekend 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 a Pepper Mill. 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. Sign up today. Space is limited. Tuition: $ 295.00 plus materials.

Section 020717B: Tuesday evenings, February 7 - March 14, 6:00pm- 9:30pm

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Basic Woodturning with Corey Anderson

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

Section 012117B: Saturday & Sunday, January 21 & 22, 9:30am - 5:00pm

Section 031817B: Saturday & Sunday, March 18 & 19, 9:30am - 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 020617B: Monday evenings, February 6 - March 13, 6:00pm—9:00pm

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A Woodworker's Guide to Finishing with Mike Pekovich

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

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

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

Section 051617B: Saturday, Saturday May 16, 9:30am - 5:00pm

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Six Week Furniture Making Intensive

Six Week Intensive Furniture Making with Bob Van Dyke

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Section 041717A: Monday—Thursday, April 17 - May 25, 8:30am—4:30pm

 General tool list (will open in a new window)

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Speciality & Weekend Classes

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)  

pdfTool_list_Steve_Latta_Intro_to_Inlay.pdf

 

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Build a 17th Century Joined Chest with Peter Follansbee

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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

pdfTool_list_Peter_Follansbee_Joined_chest_no_carving_tools.pdf

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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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Saw Sharpening 101 with Matt Cianci

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This class is an introduction for woodworkers interested in learning how to sharpen their own handsaws and backsaws. The curriculum will cover jointing, filing teeth to uniform size and gullet depth, setting, and final sharpening. Topics discussed in depth will include the geometric and functional distinction between rip and crosscut teeth and how fleam and rake are combined to maximize the function of cutting along or across wood fibers. Proper file selection, filing technique, and saw vise requirements will also be discussed. No prior knowledge of saw sharpening is required. The class will be hands on with each student learning to sharpen a rip and crosscut saw.  Students are encouraged to bring one or two saws only. These saws must be in decent shape. This is a sharpening class- not a saw rehab class!  

Matt Cianci is a professional saw doctor. His website and blog are at  http://thesawwright.com  Sign up today- This is always a fun class! Tuition: $125.00 plus materials

Section 111916B: Saturday, November 19, 9:30am - 5:00pm

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

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The great thing about running a national woodworking school is that I get to see the techniques of every different instructor who comes here to teach- and there have been a lot of them over the last 12 years!

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

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

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

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

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

Tablesaw dovetails

Section 112616A: Saturday & Sunday, November 26 & 27, 9:30am – 5:00pm

  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

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

Section 041617B: Saturday & Sunday, April 22 & 23, 9:30am—5:00pm

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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

General tool list  (will open in a new window)  

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

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

Starting with a solid wood body we will bandsaw and rout the basic shape, fit and fine tune the maple neck (we will purchase pre-made necks for this beginning class), fine tune the rosewood fingerboard and install all the hardware, electronics and both pickups. Finishing is an important part of any guitar so we will also spend a few nights of class time applying your choice of finishes. 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 $445.00 plus materials.

New Spring 2017 date coming soon

  General tool list  (will open in a new window)  

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Make a Dovetailed, Veneered & Inlayed Box with Bob Van Dyke

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In this class students will get the chance to learn a lot of new skills all packed into one small project. The small walnut or mahogany box we will be making will feature dovetails, veneer work, an inlayed banding on the top and setting hinges. This is a great chance to learn a unique (and quick!) way of cutting dovetails- 1/2 on the tablesaw and 1/2 by hand. They come out great every time. Maybe you have been wanting to learn some veneering techniques and a little about inlaying a decorative banding or stringing detail- Here is your chance. Imagine a top of tiger maple, birdseye maple or crotch walnut! Don’t miss this opportunity to add to your woodworking skills while making an attractive and useful little storage box. Sign up today - space is limited. Tuition: $445.00 plus materials ($77.00)

Bob Van Dyke walnut box

Section 011117A:  Wednesday evenings, January 11—March 15, 6:00pm – 9:30pm

 general tool list    (will open in a new window

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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 121716A: Saturday & Sunday, December 17 & 18, 9:30am—5:00pm

general tool list (will open in a new window)

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Cabinet Wood Identification with Randy Wilkinson

Wood IdentificationSeeing and understanding wood in a whole new way. 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, walnut, cherry, or poplar? The questions may seem answerable when looking at a new piece of wood but how about when you are looking at an oxidized surface or a piece of furniture that is 200 years old with stain and varnish on it. This two-day hands-on workshop will answer all these questions and more. It is designed specifically for curators, collectors, antique dealers, appraisers, and woodworkers. The goal of this workshop is to become familiar with the physical properties of wood and recognize species specific cell structures with a 10x loupe. 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 used in 18th and 19th century furniture. On Sunday, the class will be held at the Webb, Deane, Stevens House in Wethersfield (10 minutes from the school). We will get a rare opportunity not only to see one of the finest collections of New England furniture, but also to identify woods used in a selection of great objects in a one-day intensive and hands-on inspection. No experience is necessary. Tuition $275, 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. This class will fill quickly, so sign up soon.

 

This class will be re-scheduled for January 2017

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Woodcarving For Beginners with W. Mickey Callahan

chapin_cartoucheLearning to wood carve can open up a whole new and exciting set of challenges and possibilities to both beginner and more experienced woodworkers. In this hands-on class, Mickey will introduce students to the basic concepts needed for any successful woodcarving project. Proper layout, tool selection, a logical sequence of carving steps, awareness of grain direction and most importantly, proper sharpening techniques, will all be covered in this new weekend class. After some basic practice exercises and sharpening drills students will begin work on a small wall plaque featuring a classic floral motif that will illustrate the techniques being taught and give participants plenty of opportunity to practice. With just a few basic carving tools, (that will be used again and again in other carving projects), students will gain the knowledge and confidence to begin adding some carved ornamentation to their own woodworking projects. Mickey is a well known period furniture maker who has written articles for Fine Woodworking magazine, taught furniture making at the North Bennett Street School in Boston and is a founder and past president of the Society of American Period Furniture Makers. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn from one of the best!

Tuition: $275.00 plus materials. Three or four specific carving tools will be required – please inquire when registering

(Note: the school does have some of the carving tools that you can borrow- but probably will have to share with other students)

Section 112616A: Saturday & Sunday, November 26 & 27, 9:30am – 5:00pm

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pdfTool_list_Mickey_Callahan_beginning_carving.pdf

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Using Wooden Molding Planes with Planemaker Matt Bickford

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

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

Each student will leave with several picture frames and the ability to transfer moldings he or she sees in person or print into wood and onto their project. Sign up today - this is a great opportunity to learn the use of these versatile planes- and learn a little about how they are made. At the end of the weekend, Matt will make available for sale some of the actual planes you will be using. Tuition $275.00 plus materials.

 Section  040817A: Saturday & Sunday,  April 8 & 9, 9:30am - 5:00pm

Tool_list_Matt_Bickford_molding_planes

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Sharpening Hand-tools Techniques with Bob Van Dyke

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

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

Section 070316A: Sunday, January 8, 9:30 - 5:00pm

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Greene & Greene Style Elliptical Table with Darrell Peart

Join 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.  Peart elliptical_table

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

General tool list  (will open in a new window)  

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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

General tool list  (will open in a new window)  017 demi_lane_garret

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

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

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

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

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

Section 010716A: January 7, Saturday, 9:30am - 5:00pm

General tool list (will open in a new window)

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The Amazing World of Acanthus Leaves with Mary May

Mary may_Acanthus_resizedHave you ever wanted to carve that curling, twisting leaf that is so often seen decorating period furniture and architectural details? Come join Mary May in learning the art of the Acanthus Leaf. Mary will show how to draw the details of this leaf and will walk you through a step-by-step process of how to carve this historical leaf that has been commonly used in designs since Ancient Greek times. This is a class that is designed for both beginners and experienced carvers alike. 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! Be sure to keep an eye out for her forthcoming book on—what else? Acanthus Leaves! Sign up today. 

Tuition $345.00 plus materials

Section 030417A: Saturday & Sunday, March 4 & 5, 9:00am—5:00pm

pdfTool_list_Mary_May_Fundamentals_Carving_for_Furniture.pdf

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Week-long Classes

Take some time for yourself!

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

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

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

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

Section 010217A: Monday—Friday, January 2—6, 8:30am - 5:00pm

 general tool list    (will open in a new window)

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Build Your Choice of High Performance Kayaks with Nick Shade

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

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

S26G Petrel_Portrait_small

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

Section 011417A: Saturday - Thursday, January 14 - 19, 2017, 9:00am - 5:00pm

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Class Images

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Testimonials

11/2/2015

Bob,

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

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5/25/2016

Bob,

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

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