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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, March 11 - April 29, 6:00pm- 9:30pm

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

  General tool list  (will open in a new window)  

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

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).

this class will be scheduled later in 2015

To be rescheduled.

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.

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 10 - March 17, 6:00 pm - 9:30 pm

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Design and Build Kitchen Cabinets with Tim Spratlin

kitchen_cabinet_project.jpg 

 

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

general tool list    (will open in a new window)

 

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

Section 062015B: Saturday & Sunday,  June 20 & 21, 9:30am –5:00pm

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Professional Furniture Finishing Techniques

A Woodworker's Guide to Finishing with Mike Pekovich

Mike_Pekovich_finishing

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

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

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

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

pdfTool_List_Steve_Latta_Urban_rural_inlay.pdf

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

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

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

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

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Build an Oval Tavern Table with Will Neptune

Exercises in compound angle joinery and setting drop leaf hinges.

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

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

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

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Build a 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 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 is listed below.

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

pdfTool_list_Peter_Follansbee_Joined_chest_no_carving_tools.pdf

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Compass (divider) and straightedge simplifies many tasks. It is used to lay out dovetails, make inlay patterns, design simple or complex projects, scale a drawing or work plan to a ‘story stick’. Use in conjunction with a sector it can layout panels, set up drawer fronts and so much more. It is a system used for centuries for good reason (then left behind in the rush to power tools) and valued by craftsmen who understand that beauty is designed from a natural order. Best of all, it connects the hand to the eye and in that value.
We will have the supplies you will need but you should bring along a decent compass, dividers and a straight edge (ruler). Be sure to bring glasses for closed up work if you need them. Be sure to supply your email address when registering as we will be emailing you some course material prior to the class.
Sign up today- This is a unique opportunity to finally apply some of the geometry lessons that you never thought you would have any use for! Tuition $125.00 materials included

Section 022815B: Saturday, February 28, 9:30 - 5:00pm

 

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

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

golden section divider

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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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

General tool list  (will open in a new window)

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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

General tool list (will open in a new window)

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Build an 18th Century Trestle Table with Will Neptune

Be a Part of Living History
 CVSW and THE WINDSOR  HISTORICAL SOCIETY PROJECT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

General tool list  (will open in a new window)  

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Making Complex Curved Moldings with Mickey Callahan

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

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

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

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

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

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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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Build a Backsaw with Matt Cianci

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

Blackburn Tools: http://blackburntools.com/new-tools/new-saws-and-related/slotted-back-saw-kits/index.html

TGIAG: http://tgiag.com/

Don’t miss this great opportunity to make a saw that you can truly call your own.

Tuition: $275.00 plus materials

Section 081515A: Saturday & Sunday, August 15 & 16, 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

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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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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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Blacksmithing and Making Hardware with Walt Scadden

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Making hardware for furniture was one of the primary tasks for many colonial blacksmiths. There was no Horton Brasses around the corner and ordering hardware from Europe was expensive and took a huge amount of time. This new class with Walter Scadden will give you the chance to make a pair of iron hinges along with a handle which will be suitable for a blanket chest or similar piece of furniture.

If you are enrolled in the 17th Century Joined Chest class with Peter Follansbee, then this is a perfect opportunity to make the hardware to go with the chest. From simple to complex, the techniques that Walter will be showing you will give you a good appreciation for the level of skill that was needed to make good furniture hardware. This fun class will give you a chance to try out blacksmithing, or polish your skills if you have taken past classes. Don’t miss it! Tuition: $275.00 plus materials


Section 042515B: Saturday & Sunday, April 25 & 26, 9:30am - 5:00pm

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Week-long Classes

Take some time for yourself!

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

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

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

thumb 041 shaker hall table

Here is the class that will really get you going in woodworking and furniture making- It is designed for both beginners and more advanced woodworkers alike- This is a solid week of concentrated instruction and practice that will give you a comprehensive foundation in safe and rewarding 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 and machine use -with particular emphasis on the tablesaw, jointer and planer. Effective furniture making is a combination of machine work and handwork so a lot of time will be spent learning to use handplanes, card scrapers, shoulder planes and chisels to effectively surface the various parts and to hand-fit the mortice and tenon joints. Handtool sharpening, making tapered legs and grain matching a table top along with methods and tips to achieve accurate, organized and stress-free glue ups are essential skills that you will begin to develop. While putting a finish on the table is beyond the scope of the class we will discuss basic oil finishes which would be appropriate for this style table. Don’t miss this opportunity to develop your skills and get your questions answered while making a great piece of furniture. 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 ($195.00 plus tax)

 

Section 062915A:  Monday - Friday,  June 29 - July 3, 8:30am - 5:00pm

 

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The Joy of Woodcarving – Spend a Week with Mary May

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

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

Section 060115A: Monday – Friday, June 1 – 5, 9:00am – 5:00pm

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Build an Arts & Crafts Style Side Chair with Kevin Rodel

 Kevin Rodel side chair web

In this 6 day class you will complete a comfortable, sturdy and very popular side chair designed by well-known Arts & Crafts Furniture Maker, Kevin Rodel of Brunswick, Maine. The course will cover the basic ergonomics of chair design, the making of slip tenons along with some compound angle tenons, chair construction jigs, band sawn curved back-slats and making raised ebony pegs. Chair construction is usually considered one of the most difficult types of furniture to make because of the stresses on the joints and the angles that are usually involved.  Through the use of well designed tablesaw & router jigs, Kevin will simplify and streamline the chair making process- Don’t worry- There is still plenty of hand work to go along with the machine work! We will also discuss upholstered seat options and make a standard ash seat frame to receive the upholstery work. Please specify your choice of wood when registering- The chair looks great in either cherry or quartersawn white oak.

Kevin Rodel makes his interpretation of Arts & Crafts furniture in his shop in Brunswick, Maine. He is also the author of “Arts & Crafts Furniture- From Classic to Contemporary”.  More of his work can be seen on his website at  http://www.kevinrodel.com/

Don’t miss this opportunity to make a great piece of furniture for you home and work with a master of the genre. Sign up today! Tuition: $795.00 plus materials.

Section 072015A: Monday-Saturday, July 20-25, 9:00am - 5:00pm

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Build a Tansu Style Jewelry  Case with Mike Pekovich

tansu jewerly case web 2Here's a great project if you want to get your dovetail on. This small case packs a lot of woodworking into a small package. The dovetailed case has a sliding door that reveals two banks of drawers. The case has two sets of five drawers each and each set can be made from a different species, The sliding door panel is a great place to get creative- highly figured woods, inlays or even different materials could be effectively utilized. The drawer dividers are a great lesson in mitered partitions and the recessed drawer pulls are eye-catching and simple to make. The simple but elegant lines echo traditional Japanese Tansu designs and will look great as a jewelry box but can actually be thought of as a traditional spice box. Join Fine Woodworking Magazine’s Executive Art Director, Mike Pekovich for this fast paced and highly informative 6 day class. Mike is a frequent instructor here at CVSW and you should not miss any opportunity to learn with him. Sign up today- This will be a great class! Tuition: $795.00 plus materials

 Section 060815A: Monday—Saturday, June 8 - 13, 9:00am – 5:00pm

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Build a “Not so Traditional” Blanket Chest with Steve Latta

Steve Latta Blanket Chest web

A well-made chest took on a wide variety of roles in the early years of our country. Closets, built-ins and even basic kitchen cabinets were just not a part of the households of early settlers. A blanket chest housed clothing and blankets, table cloths and curtains, cookware and keepsakes. The small till, which also functioned as a lid support, served as a storage bin for smaller and often, more valuable items. The lid was a convenient worktable for sewing, preparing meals or just propping up a pair of tired feet. Chests were given to adolescents, both boys and girls, as the first piece of what would become their household furnishings. Often personalized, they have survived for centuries finding homes in some of our finest museums and private collections the world over.

In this fast paced weeklong class, students will make a dovetailed blanket chest in their choice of walnut or cherry (please specify when registering). This class will feature a good mix of traditional blanket chest construction along with your choice of traditional- or contemporary style inlay. The chest you will make is sure to become a family heirloom. Sign up today! Tuition: $795.00 plus materials.

Section 062215A: Monday - Saturday, June 22 - 27, 9:00am - 5:00pm

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Build an Arts & Crafts Style Dresser with Mike Pekovich

Pekovich dresser webHave you been thinking of making a dresser? Here's a great little piece with a light and lively look that still packs in a lot of storage. The case features tapered legs and an arched, overhanging top for a subtle Arts and Crafts flair that also has a traditional Japanese look to it. The frame-and-panel design simplifies the construction so the project comes together quickly. The grain matched drawer fronts add a considerable amount of harmony to the piece while the gently curved and shaped ends on the top give the dresser a light and clean look. In this weeklong class with Fine Woodworking's Mike Pekovich, you'll learn how to make a lightweight, rock-solid case using double mortise-and-tenon joinery along with efficient methods to make the drawer dividers and partitions along with the  interior drawer guides, runners and kickers.  Throughout the class, we will stress the use of  efficient building strategies that you can put to use on other projects as well. Finally, we'll fill out the case with traditional dovetailed drawers that will provide a great lesson in fast, accurate dovetail joinery. Given the limitations of a 6 day class, you should not expect to fully complete the dresser in class. The dovetailed drawers alone are a days work for an experienced furniture maker. You can expect to have the dresser far enough along that you can comfortably finish it up in your own shop. Don’t miss this opportunity to build a family heirloom under the guidance of a great instrutor.

Sign up today. Tuition: $795.00 plus materials Pekovich dresser front web

Section 081715A: Monday - Saturday, August 17 - 22, 9:00am - 5:00pm

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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

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Build a Traditional Cabinetmaker's Workbench with Bob Van Dyke

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In this fast paced class students will have the opportunity to build the traditional cabinetmaker’s workbench they have dreamed about! Let’s face it- the benches we build in the school during the year are great (especially for the price!) but nothing beats working on a traditional workbench constructed entirely of 8/4 and 12/4 rock maple. A flat top, wide enough to accommodate most work (26”), wooden bench dogs to hold the work in conjunction with the end vise, a sturdy shoulder vise, a tool tray to keep the smaller tools you are working with in one place and about 300 pounds of dead weight all make this bench a pleasure to work on. The massive trestle base joined with wedged mortice and tenons knocks down for easier (relatively!) moving. We use the Lie Nielsen tail vise and Chain drive shoulder vise hardware. It is hands down the best we have ever seen. This is a great project to further your woodworking skills and is a bench you will treasure for years and pass on to future generations.  Sign up today- space is limited- and be ready to work hard- you will go home with a finished workbench! Tuition: $795.00.00 plus materials ($1395.00- includes all Lie Nielsen Vise hardware and benchdogs)

Section 082915A: Saturday - Friday, August 29 - September 4, 9:00am-5:00pm

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

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Class Images

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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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1/6/2012

Bob,

Just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed the recently completed Fundamentals of Furniture Making class this week.

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