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 Winter/Spring class schedule now available.

Schedule of Classes -   Winter - Spring  2015:

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

 

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

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 021815A: Wednesday evenings, February 18 - April 8, 6:00pm- 9:30pm

Section 040915A: Thursday evenings, April 9 - May 28, 6:00pm- 9:30pm

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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.)

THIS CLASS IS NOT A REQUIRED PREREQUISITE FOR ANY OF THE OTHER CLASSES IN THIS SCHEDULE

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 041515A: Wednesday evenings, April 15 - June 3, 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.

Build a Federal Style Side Table with Bob Van Dyke

walnut hepplewhite table resized 2This exciting new class features a small Federal or Hepplewhite style side table with a whole lot of  challenges and a boatload of new skills to be learned. The focus of this class will be efficiency – in joinery, in ornamentation and in design. Efficiency in joinery means doing as much joinery as possible all at once and making joints that fit right off the machines. This project also features many techniques that may be new to a number of you. Working with veneer for the drawer front, dovetailing and cockbeading a drawer and adding cuff inlay and stringing to the legs, all turn a basically simple table into an heirloom piece you can be proud of. We will also be making some of the tools you will need to do the inlay work. This is a simple traditional Federal table which will fit with just about any home décor (and is small enough, 23” wide X 17” inches deep, or you can opt to do a small square table, 17” X 17”) to fit just about anywhere. Sign up soon – these are some skills you will be able to use over and over. There will be certain handwork that you may be required to complete outside of class. Please make sure you are willing to do that before signing up. This is going to be a fun class!

Tuition $595.00 plus materials

Section 012615A: Monday evenings, January 26 - April 20, 6:00pm- 9:30pm

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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 020315A: Tuesday evenings, February 3 - March 10, 6:00 pm - 9:30 pm

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Design and Build Kitchen Cabinets with Tim Spratlin

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The pinnacle of home cabinetmakinag is the kitchen cabinet. This is also a subject that many people have asked for over the years. Tim Spratlin is a professional cabinet maker and is able to show you loads of time saving techniques to help you on your way to building your own kitchen cabinets. You may just be interested in a simpler project like a bathroom vanity– but the techniques and principles are all the same! Tim will review the standards involved in modern kitchen design; ie. the height of counters, depths of cabinets, etc., and demonstrate the installation process. The cabinet you will make in class is a small (about 28” wide) free standing unit that utilizes all the challenges you will face in building a full set of cabinets. The project will incorporate a face frame, a raised panel door, a drawer, a laminated top and European hardware.  Options for different types of countertops will be discussed. The cabinet you make in class could then be used at home as a free standing vanity, a storage cabinet or even a sharpening station in a workshop- but more importantly, it will give you the knowledge and confidence to tackle that larger kitchen project that you have been putting off!  If you’ve been waiting for the right time to rebuild your kitchen, then this class will get you started on the right track.  This class will meet for 2 weekends- giving you four full days of instruction. Tuition $395.00 plus materials.

 031415B: Saturday & Sunday, March 14, 15, 28 & 29, 9:30am - 5:00pm

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Woodturning with Corey Anderson

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This 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 020415B: Wednesday evenings, February 4 - March 11, 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 012415B: Saturday & Sunday,  January 24 & 25, 9:30am –5:00pm

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

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Professional Furniture Finishing Techniques

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 051615B: Saturday, May 16, 9:30am - 5:00pm

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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.

Section 013115B: Saturday & Sunday, January 31 & February 1, 9:30am - 5:00pm

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Five Week Furniture Making Intensive

Five Week Intensive Furniture Making with W. Mickey Callahan

garrett HuntboardThis five week intensive class is designed for the serious student who has the time and desire to focus on a comprehensive course of study in the craft of fine cabinet and furniture making. Students will be guided through a series of fundamental and systematic training exercises designed to help develop and advance their  woodworking skills while becoming more familiar with the workings of a woodshop environment. This class is designed to take the beginner and more experienced woodworkers alike to a level that would take years to accomplish on their own.

The course integrates the mastering of hand and machine skills with a project that encompasses methods and techniques needed for accurate case work, as well as table construction. The project features frame and panel doors as well as dovetailed drawer construction, along with the making, fitting and hanging of doors and shelves.  Students will learn how to design, layout and execute typical wood joinery such as hand-cut dovetails and mortise and tenon wood joints.  An emphasis will be placed on hand tool maintenance and use along with the proper and safe use of common woodshop machinery such as the table saw, jointer, thickness planer, router and bandsaw.  garrett huntboard door

The project is an elegant, medium size cherry sideboard which contains a number of drawers and a storage compartment containing shelves which are hidden by a paneled door. Completion of the course will enable students to work more independently on advanced projects and be able to concentrate their efforts on specialized techniques used in a vast array of furniture styles and designs. 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 acquire.

Mickey Callahan is the founder and president of The Society of American Period Furniture Makers. He taught furniture making at Boston’s prestigious North Bennett Street School and has written articles for Fine Woodworking Magazine, American Period Furniture Magazine and other publications along with doing commission period furniture work.

The unique scheduling format of this class: four days a week with the week of Thanksgiving off, allows participants to be a part of the class without totally “giving up” the rest of their busy lives for five weeks. We will meet for an additional 3 days in January to finish up any details and review any questions. the dates will be determined by the class. Sign up today- Space is limited. Tuition: $2300.00 plus materials

The sideboard in the photo (designed and built by Garrett Hack) is very similar to the design we will be using in class.

will be scheduled again Fall 2015

 

 Photo used with permission of Taunton Press & Garrett Hack

 

 General tool list (will open in a new window)

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Speciality & Weekend Classes

Build a Federal Style Side Table with Bob Van Dyke

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

Tuition $595.00 plus materials

Section 012615A: Monday evenings, January 26 - April 20, 6:00pm- 9:30pm

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Blacksmithing for Christmas with Walt Scadden

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Christmas is just a few days away and you have a few choices; go to the mall and finish your Christmas shopping (along with everyone else in the northeast!), stay home (you will probably just be in the way!) or come to the school and learn a little blacksmithing and make some small projects on the anvil that you might (or maybe not!) want to give someone as a Christmas present. That sounds like more fun-right? Walt Scadden will guide students in the making of a holly leaf shaped key ring, a small iron wreath or maybe a letter opener. These are just a few of the possibilities. No experience is needed so sign up today. Tuition:$125.00 plus materials.

Section 122014B: Saturday,  December 20,  9:30pm – 5:00pm

 

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

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

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

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Build an Oval Tavern Table with Will Neptune

Exercises in compound angle joinery and setting drop leaf hinges.

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

Section 030715A: Saturday & Sunday, March 7/8, April 25/26 & May 16/17, 9:30am – 5:00pm

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Build a Table from a Single Board with Mike Pekovich

table board webThis small table is a simple project that lets you focus on using wood successfully and efficiently. In this class, we'll build the entire table from a single board. The focus, though, is not just on economy. By getting all of the parts from one board, we can ensure a great color match throughout the piece. And by cutting parts from strategic locations in the board, you’ll end up with pleasing grain patterns in all the right places. Mike will make you aware of the different grain patterns that contribute, in a subtle way, to the overall success of the piece. By working with just one piece of wood you are forced to become acutely aware of these patterns and how they affect the overall look of a piece of furniture.  Along the way, you’ll get great lessons in resawing and rough-milling stock. You'll also learn to build and fit a traditional dovetailed drawer. The shaped legs are a departure for many of you and the possibilities are really endless. Don’t miss this great class with Fine Woodworking Magazines, Art Director, Mike Pekovich.

Sign up today. Space is limited. Tuition: $695 plus materials

 

Section 022015A: Friday, Saturday, Sunday, February 20, 21 & 22 & Saturday - Sunday, March 28 & 29, 9:30am - 5:00pm

 

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Build an Arts & Crafts Style Wall Cabinet with Mike Pekovich

 

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

Sign up today! Tuition: $425.00 plus materials

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

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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. They don’t need handles, but time permitting, we can make them if you want.

The important thing 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 020715A: Saturday, February 7, 9:30am - 5:00pm

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Build a Utility Workbench with Tim Spratlin

utility_workbenchMany of you who have taken classes here have commented on how well the school benches work. The bench was featured in the Fine Woodworking Magazine “Tools & Shops” issue #223. This bench has all the attributes of a classic European style bench without the expense or the large amount of time required to make one. A massive top, sturdy legs, a good quality shoulder vise and brass benchdogs are all features that combine to make this a good heavy and versatile bench. Participants will cut all the joints in the base, assemble it, glue on a hard maple edging to the top and mount the vise. An outside millwork shop will fabricate the top, which consists of two layers of particleboard and one layer of MDF. The class will feature extensive work with the tablesaw and routers. Take advantage of this opportunity to get a good bench into your own shop. Tuition: $295.00 plus materials

Section 032415A: Tuesday Evenings, March 24 - April 28, 6:00pm - 9:30pm

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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  020815A: Sunday, February 8 , 10:00am - 5:00pm

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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Greene & Greene Details I with Darrell Peart

Greene_and-Greene_classGreene & Greene furniture represents some of the best work ever done in the Arts & Crafts Style and west coast furniture maker, Darrell Peart indulges his passion by working and teaching primarily in the style of these two California designers who so successfully blended some of the best features of the Arts & Crafts movement with some  of the subtleties of Asian furniture. When building furniture in the Greene & Greene style, it is essential to have a working knowledge of the design details employed by the Greene Brothers.  In the process of assembling the sample piece shown here each student will learn how to produce several G&G details with step –by-step instructions and detailed drawings for all the jigs involved.  Class discussion will also include Darrell’s views on how each of the details relate to the overall design. It's an informal atmosphere with a chance to talk woodworking and Greene and Greene. (two of Darrell’s favorite  subjects) along with learning some great techniques to incorporate into your own furniture making endeavors
The topics that we will cover in class include: blacker brackets, breadboard construction, the G & G signature exposed ebony splines and proud ebony square plugs along with cloud lifts and leg indent details. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to learn from one of this country’s leading authorities on the Greene and Greene style. Tuition $325.00 plus materials

 

Section  031415A:   Saturday & Sunday, March 14 & 15, 2015, 9:00am - 5:00pm

 

 general tool list    (will open in a new window)

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Build a Tahoma Mirror/Picture Frame with Darrell Peart

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

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

Tuition:$125.00 plus materials

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

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

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Wood Identification for Cabinetmakers 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 CHS (Connecticut Historical Society). We will get a rare opportunity not only to see one of the finest collections of American furniture, but also to identify woods used in a selection of great objects in a one-day intensive and hands-on inspection. No experience is necessary. Tuition $275, plus materials which includes a hardwood sample kit, 10x loupe and book (Identifying Wood). Class size is limited to 15 students. This class will fill quickly, so sign up soon.

Section 022115B: Saturday & Sunday, , 9:30am –5:00pm

Note- We are working on finalizing the date

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Build a 17th Century Joined Chest with Peter Follansbee

chest w drawers webJoin nationally known carver & joiner, Peter Follansbee, for this unique opportunity to be a part of Connecticut history as we continue our partnership with the Windsor Historical Society and their renovation of the 1759 Strong/Howard House.

This class will focus on the techniques used in the 17th century to make a joined chest with a drawer. 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 is based on a Connecticut RiverValley example at the Connecticut Historical Society which Peter is recreating for the Strong/Howard house project.

We will begin with oak we’ve split from a large-diameter oak log, then 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!

The secondary wood will be sawn pine which will become the chest’s bottom boards and lid, drawer bottoms and some of the parts for the small lidded till included inside the chest.

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, 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.

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.

This is a hand-tool class; planes, chisels, saws - a simple tool kit is all that is required. The tool list will be listed below by the end of the year.

As an added bonus, we will set up at least one “field trip” to the Connecticut Historical Society to examine the original chest. We will also try to schedule a trip to the Windsor Historical Society sometime during the class. 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 032115A: Saturday & Sunday, March 21/22, April 11/12, May 23/24, June 27/28 & August 8 & 9, 9:30am – 5:00pm

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Making Sand Shaded Federal Style Fans with Bob Van Dyke

 

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

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

Starting out with white and black veneers we will learn how to create the segments that go into constructing a ¼ fan and then 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- and then we will learn a little bit about string inlay as we set in a string inlay border around the whole panel. We should be able to get a few ¼ fans and at least one ½ fan done in the weekend.

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: $275.00 plus materials

Section: 012415A: Saturday & Sunday,      January 24 & 25, 9:30am - 5:00pm

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Hone your handtool skills with Mike Pekovich

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

Tuition: $275.00 plus materials.

Section 041115A: Saturday & Sunday, April 11 & 12, 9:30 - 5:00pm

pdfTool_list_Mike_Pekovich_Hone_your_handtool_skills.pdf

General tool list  (will open in a new window)  

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Week-long Classes

Take some time for yourself!

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

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

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

thumb 041 shaker hall tableThis 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 010515A:  Monday - Friday,  January 5 - 9, 8:30am - 5:00pm

 

General tool list    (will open in a new window)

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Build an 18th-century Roubo Workbench with Chris Schwarz

roubo bench Schwarz webA solid workbench is the keystone to every shop. And the 18th-century French design for a workbench has yet to be surpassed by anything since. It is a solid and fully realized three-dimensional clamping surface that is ideal for everything from cutting mouldings by hand to template work with an electric router.

In this class, we will build these benches with the help of the incredible array of heavy-duty machines at the Connecticut Valley School of Woodworking (though there is plenty of handwork on these benches, too).

This bench has only the “best in class” joinery – a mortise-and-tenon base and a tenon/sliding dovetail that joins the base to the top. Students will have the option to modify their benches during the evenings to accept the vises of their choice.

Note that this is a physically demanding class that requires heavy lifting and long days in the shop. But the result is worth it: The last workbench you’ll ever need.

Things you will learn in this class:

• The core essentials of workbench design.
• How to process large timbers, from rough stock to firmly joined.
• Drawboring, the core technique in bench construction (and timber framing).
• How to cut and fit huge through-tenons with a jigsaw and a chisel.
• Strategic placement of holes for dogs and holdfasts.
• Flattening a workbench top.
• Finishing a top – from micro-surfaces to film finishes.
• Installing a leg vise and quick-release tail vise.

Tuition: $795.00 (plus materials $775.00)

Section 081015A: Monday – Friday, August 10 – 14, 9:00am – 5:00pm

pdfTool_List_Chris_Schwarz_Roubo_Workbench.pdf

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Class Images

Arts & Crafts taboret table 2009 027.jpg

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Testimonials

6/24//2013

Bob,

Really enjoyed the class and the chance to get to know you a bit.  With my very limited skills I was more than a little concerned about how I would do and the reception I might get.

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2/25/2014

Bob,

I took the carving class with Mickey this past weekend.

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