Are you in the middle of a carving project and having difficulty finishing it? Do you have a carving project you are wanting to start and don't know where to begin? Well known professional woodcarver, Mary May, will guide you through the problems and roadblocks that you may be encountering on the project you are working on or contemplating. This 2 day hands on class will give you the direction and motivation to learn the woodcarving techniques of a professional woodcarver. If you do not have a specific project in mind and just want to learn some techniques then Mary has prepared a project of carving a shell and leaf design on the front drawer of a lowboy. (Some specific tools will be required for this). Some carving experience is required. Space is limited to 8 students, and communication with Mary prior to start of class is important to prepare for each project. Any photos, drawings or reference material on individual projects will be needed. You can send this material to the school’s director- Bob Van Dyke- who will put you in touch with Mary. These classes are always an adventure - you never know where it will go! Sign up today! Tuition: $350.00 (Plus materials used- if any)
Section 031216B: Saturday & Sunday, March 12 & 13, 2016, 9:00am - 5:00pm
Join well known Massachusetts woodcarver, Peter Follansbee for this unique hands on class. In this two-day course, students will learn the steps and processes used to recreate carving patterns from seventeenth- century furniture of England and New England. Starting with a single gouge and mallet, we will focus on technique and posture. Also considered are proportions, spacing and the relationship between background and foreground in establishing the pattern/design.
Each successive practice pattern builds upon the previous example, adding more tools and concepts. We will incorporate hand-pressure, mallet work, and the use of the V-tool in outlining designs. A compass, awl and marking gauge are used to layout the geometric basis for each pattern, but freehand work is included in each as well.
A range of designs will be covered, all drawn from surviving examples studied in museum and private collections. A segment of the course will be devoted to a pattern Follansbee calls an “S-scroll” and multiple versions of it will be explored. Students will learn ways to combine and contrast these patterns, adapting them for use as furniture accents. Some designs are applicable as narrow framing parts, others as wider panel designs in joined furniture.
V-tool work, gouge work and shaping and modeling surfaces all will be addressed. Background punches will create a textured surface, offsetting the smooth texture of the original planed panels. Various shop-made punches highlight the carved designs. Painted backgrounds will be exhibited and discussed, but will fall outside the scope of this weekend workshop.
The final project in the class will be a panel design utilizing many of the techniques shown in the initial exercises. This is the first in a series of Classes we will be doing with Peter. So if you are interested in this distinctive type of furniture and carving style then don’t miss this opportunity to work with one of the leading people in this field.
Section: 021316A: Saturday & Sunday, February 13 & 14, 9:30am - 5:00pm
In this three day class with joiner & carver Peter Follansbee, students will explore the fundamental aspects of 17th-century joiner’s work. This frame-and-panel project has all the elements of a larger joined chest, but in a scale that fits the time frame. We’ll use oak we rive and plane for the framing parts; and quartersawn stock for the wider panels. Drawbored mortise and tenon joinery and carved decoration will be the a major focal point. A true crash course in joiner’s work. Now, where’d I put that axe?
Sign up today- Space is limited
Tuition: $395.00 plus materials.
Some carving tools will be required. Info is below:
Section 040116A: Friday, Saturday & Sunday, April 1-3, 9:30am - 5:00pm
Note- this is a great introduction to the five weekend joined chest class we will be running beginning in September 2016.
In this new class we jump into the world of electric guitar construction. Students will each build their own guitar based on the world famous Fender Telecaster (yeah- that’s the one Bruce Springsteen plays!) or the equally famous Fender Stratocaster.
Starting with a solid white ash body we will bandsaw and rout the basic shape, fit and fine tune the maple neck (we will purchase pre-made necks for this beginning class), fine tune the rosewood fingerboard and install all the hardware, electronics and both pickups. Finishing is an important part of any guitar so we will also spend a few nights of class time applying your choice of three different finishes (clear, “butter” or cherry). The last night of the class will be final setup & tuning of the guitars and then a jam session to prove how good they are! Mike South has been building guitars, banjos and mandolins since 1981 and is the owner of Windjammer Instruments. Sign up today for this exciting new class and have the satisfaction of building (and playing) your own heirloom quality instrument. Tuition $425.00 plus materials.
Section 030316B: Thursday evenings, March 3 - May 12, 6:00pm - 9:30pm
General tool list (will open in a new window)
Designed for furniture makers, restorers, collectors, homeowners, and dealers alike, this weekend-long workshop will focus on the techniques of traditional gilding, along with methods for the restoration and conservation of gilded surfaces including frames, furniture, and architectural elements. We will review the basics of traditional water gilding and oil gilding techniques. Emphasis will be placed on identifying different types of gilding, including toned silver leaf gilding. Tools and materials will be reviewed. Replacement of missing ornamental elements through molding and casting techniques will be demonstrated. The visual integration of losses will be discussed as well as appropriate materials and techniques for toning and application of patina.
Fallon & Wilkinson, LLC is a furniture conservation firm founded in 2000 by principal conservators, Tad D. Fallon and Randy S. Wilkinson. Both were trained at the Smithsonian Institution’s prestigious Furniture Conservation Training Program and completed conservation fellowships at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Preservation Society of Newport County, and the Mystic Seaport Museum, respectively. Fallon & Wilkinson, LLC brings a combined 35 years of training and experience to the care and conservation of furniture, wooden artifacts, and interior woodwork, blending old world craftsmanship with modern conservation practices. The firm also provides museum quality reproduction furniture to museums and private clients.
Participants are encouraged to bring a gilded object to the workshop. Professional touch up kits, brushes, tools, and gilding materials will be available for optional purchase.
Sign up today- This is a unique opportunity to work with one of the best in the antique restoration field. Tuition $295.00 plus materials
Section 031916B: Saturday & Sunday, March 19 & 20, 9:30am – 5:00pm
The furniture makers of New England, both rural and urban alike, made huge contributions to what has become known as the Federal style. Stringings, bandings, pictorials and elaborate veneer work became the preferred method of ornamentation as the styling rebelled against what was perceived as the excesses of the Chippendale era. In major urban centers such as Boston and New York, skilled specialists emerged with turners, carvers, upholsterers, joiners, gilders, finishers plying their trades in burgeoning markets. Little information surrounds one such class of specialist, the inlayer, whose work reached its zenith during the Federal Period. Rural New England cabinetmakers, with no access to the wares of the inlayer, offered their own unique interpretations of the neoclassic style with its architectural and naturalistic motifs. Although perceived by many as the poor “country cousins” to the more established city shops, rural cabinetmakers such as Massachusetts’s Nathan Lombard displayed incredible ingenuity in his designs. Nationally known furniture maker, author and instructor, Steve Latta, hosts this unique one day hands-on class. Steve will demonstrate techniques for making and inlaying stringing and sand shaded designs that were typical of New England work. Students will have the opportunity to put the techniques to use while inlaying a sample table leg. Tuition: $145.00 materials included
Section 041016B: Sunday, April 10, 9:30am – 5:00pm
Line-and-Berry is a traditional 18th century inlay form unique to Chester County, Pennsylvania. When William Penn opened up his lands for settlement, Welsh immigrants brought their own vine-and-berry inlay which evolved into the more popular compass form. Used mainly on chests-of-drawers and valuables chests (spice boxes as they are often called), the style consists of straight lines and arcs of holly arranged in geometric patterns and typically set into a walnut background. The techniques we will be discussing are a great introduction to inlay and are applicable to a wide range of styles ranging from the federal period to contemporary designs. In this workshop, we will cover materials, design and both traditional and modern tooling to execute these delightful form on inlay. Steve Latta is one of the leading experts on inlay work and you should not miss this opportunity to learn from one of the best! Sign up today. Tuition: $275.00 plus materials
Section 031916A: Saturday & Sunday, March 19 & 20, 9:30am—5:00pm
Have you ever wanted to try your hand at stained glass? There's no reason not to. It's a simple and fun technique that you can use to dress up your furniture or make panels suitable for framing or installation. In this two-day glass with Fine Woodworking's art director, Mike Pekovich, you'll go from pattern to final panel. Along the way, you'll learn the ins and outs of cutting glass, how to assemble the parts into a complete panel, and finally, how to solder and glaze the panel for a lasting art piece. Some of you might be enrolled in the Barrister’s Bookcase class with Bob Van Dyke. This is the class you should take if you want to turn those plain glass doors into something really handsome Sign up today- Space is limited. Tuition $275.00 plus materials
Section 030516B: Saturday & Sunday, March 5 & 6, 9:30am – 5:00pm
If I could make this a required class before making any piece of furniture I would! How many times have you spent weeks or months on a project only to come to the end and hit a roadblock installing the hardware? A simple mortised butt hinge installed badly can ruin a whole project and more complex hardware like half mortise locks, drop leaf table hinges and card table hinges can be much more challenging than most people expect. Understanding the mechanics of the hardware and understanding exactly how it works along with having a systematic approach to installing it is key to success and this class with furniture expert Will Neptune will give you the confidence and techniques you need. This unique weekend class features a combination of demonstrations and hands on exercises including all manner of hinges, half mortise lock sets, mounting bail and post handles and escutcheons. The next time you have to start drilling and chopping into a finished piece, you’ll be glad you took this class. Sign up today- Tuition: $275.00 plus materials
Section 022016A, Saturday & Sunday, February 20 & 21, 9:30am – 5:00pm
General tool list (will open in a new window)
Mike South will introduce students to the basics of cutting and inlaying various types of shell products and other materials into musical instruments and other flat surfaces. The techniques are applicable to many different materials such as veneers, brass, silver and gold sheet stock and some of the softer natural and reconstituted stones. Topics will include the choice of needed tools and supplies, types of materials, techniques for reproducing artwork for use as templates and techniques for cutting the materials and inlaying them into surfaces for decoration and embellishment. Although Mike’s current specialty is stringed instruments, he has years of experience in wood turning as well as furniture design and construction so the techniques can be used in decorating these types of projects as well. Students will be introduced to the basics of how to position themselves so that the time spent cutting is used to best advantage. Layout and routing of the channels for the inlays will be explained so as to make for the cleanest outcomes.
Traditional patterns and motifs will be supplied by the instructor, but if students have designs or artwork that they’d like to try, they’re encouraged to bring it to class. Specialized tools and various types of shell will be available from the instructor. Other basic supplies can be purchased locally. A list of suppliers will be included so students can acquire materials and tools for future projects. Inlay work can be very challenging but also a lot of fun. Proper instruction goes a long way and the rewards for patience and persistence are very satisfying. Sign up Today! Tuition: $275.00 plus materials
Section 041616B: Saturday & Sunday, April 16 & 17, 9:30am—5:00pm
General tool list (will open in a new window)
Bring in your poor, tired and shabby looking furniture longing for a new life !
A class designed for students who would like a solid introduction to the many aspects of restoring treasured family heirlooms using readily available materials. Mike Mascelli is the Co-Director and Trustee of the Professional Refinisher’s Group, and will share tips and techniques used by professional refinishing shops, as well as the world of conservation and preservation. The class will be a Lecture/Demonstration format with ample time allotted for student questions.
Lecture Topics will include:
Demonstration Topics will include:
Students are encouraged (but not required) to bring a piece they are working on. Some of these pieces will be included in the demonstrations, and all pieces will be part of a “talk around” which will provide a detailed set of treatment options for each student to take home.
Tutition: $295.00, materials are included.
Section 031216B: Saturday & Sunday, March 12 & 13, 9:30am - 5:00pm
This class will be a combination lecture, demonstration and hands-on session which will provide an overview of the history, tools, techniques and materials of upholstery . Mike Mascelli has been a professional upholsterer his entire career and brings a lifetime of experience to this hands on class. Mike will set up a complete working shop including a collection of historic and modern tools, and cover the full range of traditional hand sewn, and modern upholstery methods. Presentations include “A Lively Guide to a Dying Art”, which will be enhanced with demonstrations illustrating the tools and techniques portrayed. “A Tale of Two Chairs” presents step by step photos contrasting traditional work on a period armchair, and modern methods on a 1940’s chair.
Students will complete an open frame slip seat by stretching and tacking webbing, cutting and fitting the foundation, lofting, and show cover materials, and installing a proper dust cover. And then building on these new skills, complete a small-scale sprung footstool, by hand tying springs, and learning basic cutting and folding techniques, then finishing off the corners with proper blind stitches.
The class will also include a complete discussion of tools and machines, as well as tips on common repair techniques such as replacing buttons without having to open up the chair !
Students will receive a booklet containing, excerpts, illustrations, yardage charts, and sources of supply. This class is for anyone with an interest in the tools terminology and techniques of the upholstery trade.
Sign up today. Tuition: $275 plus materials $55.
Section 041616A: Saturday and Sunday, April 16 & 17, 9:30am—5:00pm
General tool list (will open in a new window)
Many of you have taken classes with Will Neptune here at the school but you might not know Steve Brown quite as well. Steve is the lead instructor at The North Bennett Street School and was one of Will’s best students while he taught at NBSS. They are teaming up on this unique class to bring you three different types of carved legs & feet. They are all based on the curved cabriole leg which is found in many variations in 18th Century furniture. This class will focus on several feet that are alternatives to the ball and claw. We will make sample legs with several different styles of shaping and you will learn how to make three types of feet: turned pad, slipper and trifid. In this class you will learn to develop patterns and use a systematic approach for shaping, which helps for efficiency and accuracy. These legs can be adapted for use in tables, chairs and case-work and are a great way to introduce curved form into your projects. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to learn from two of this country’s master furniture makers and instructors. Sign up today, Space is limited. Tuition: $345.00 plus materials
Section 030516A, Saturday & Sunday, March 5 & 6, 9:30am – 5:00pm
(note: Tool list will be posted soon)
Handplanes can be one of the most useful and rewarding tools in the workshop – or they can be one of the most frustrating! Learn how to effectively use handplanes in your work with Ct. Valley School of Woodworking director, Bob Van Dyke. Which handplane is right for a particular job? What should you look for when buying a new or a flea market plane? How are they “tuned up”? And most importantly- how are they sharpened? These are just a few of the questions that will be answered in this exciting two-day class. We will also go thru many of the basic (and not so basic) types of handplanes- starting with the Stanley bench-planes and going on to compass planes, shoulder planes and combination planes like the Stanley #45 & #55. Because sharpening is such a basic part of using a handplane we will also make sharpening "projection jigs" for each person during class. This is a simple device that ensures the same sharpening angle each time you sharpen.
class coming again- Spring 2016
If you have ever done any re-sawing then you know how cool a book matched panel can be. When you incorporate veneers into your work the possibilities for creating spectacular patterns are almost endless! Bookmatching is the simple one- but what about radial matching or parquet? In this hands-on class students will each make two small “Miter Fold” boxes out of walnut and tiger maple- but before doing that we will explore the endless possibilities of working with veneer to create a striking top for the box. Many veneers require a border to protect the delicate edges- so as a bonus we will explore a little inlay work and make a few different decorative bandings.
We will get into basic techniques for working with the veneers- Flattening them, buying & storing them and how to work with them to create tight, almost invisible seams. We will go into the basic tools & supplies needed along with discussing the various adhesives and ways to clamp up the veneered panel. Incorporating veneer designs into your work will open up possibilities that you may never have dreamed of. Sign up today- this is a great class and you will make two great little boxes to hold your treasures!! Sign up today- space is limited. Tuition: $395.00 plus materials
Section 022216A: Monday Evenings, February 22—April 11, 6:00pm—9:30pm
General tool list (will open in a new window)
Are you looking to spice up your work in a unique and attractive way?
Then you need to sharpen your chisels and try your hand at
kumiko. This Japanese latticework technique is traditionally found
on shoji screens, but it has been making it's way into contemporary
furniture and boxes. The elegant geometric patterns are created by
cutting, beveling and fitting small basswood parts until they slide
together forming the geometric pattern-without the need for glue.
In this weekend class we will make a mitered box into which the top– with its traditional Kumiko “hemp leaf” pattern will sit. Mike Pekovich is the Executive Art Director at Fine Woodworking magazine and is an accomplished furniture maker and instructor. His original designs are both inspiring and elegant in their simplicity. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn some new techniques while making an attractive and useful box. Tuition: $275.00 plus materials.
Section 040216B: Saturday & Sunday, April 2 & 3, 9:30am - 5:00pm
The ability to work with veneers and incorporate them into your woodworking projects offers creative design options not possible with solid wood alone. If you want to expand your woodworking skills and creativity then this class will take you to the next level. In this two day hands on class with nationally known veneer expert, Darryl Keil students will explore the techniques and tools of veneering through creating a 12 way radial matched table top with a short grain border and inlay between the two. Darryl is one of this country’s innovators with working with vacuum pressess. Because vacuum presses open up a whole level of advanced veneering techniques a portion of this class will be devoted to exploring the possibilities using a vacuum press. Creating curved panels, veneering curves, shaped part as well as other options will be discussed and demonstrated.
Darryl Keil began making furniture in 1976 after attending the Portland School of Art, and was a pioneer in the application of vacuum pressing technology to the woodworking industry. As a leading expert on veneer work he serves as a technical consultant to furniture manufacturing facilities across the country. His company, Vacuum Pressing Systems, operates out of Brunswick, ME. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to learn from a leader in the field. Sign up today. Tuition: $275.00 plus materils
Section 063016A: Saturday & Sunday, April 30 & May 1, 9:30am - 5:00pm
Are you tired of trying to use dull chisels and handplanes? Most people don’t use these tools effectively because they don’t know how to sharpen them or don’t realize what a sharp edge actually feels like! Many beginning woodworkers are sucked into the advertising for the latest and greatest jig to use when in fact, sharpening any chisel or plane iron is a simple and quick process that does not require a whole bunch of expensive and time consuming equipment. We will explore the techniques required to do the initial tune up the tool in order to create a razor sharp edge. Using two stones, a simple (and cheap) honing guide and a simple projection jig (that you will make in class) you will learn how to maintain that edge in under 3 minutes each time you re-sharpen. This class will focus on basic sharpening techniques but will also go into the many different types of sharpening stones, machines and guides on the market. We will also explore using a bench grinder to repair edges and what its role is in day to day sharpening.
The key to successful and fast sharpening is to have a consistent bevel angle- whatever that is. Before you start sharpening your own tools you will make a simple projection jig which ensures you are using the same angle every time you sharpen. Time permitting, sharpening a card scraper will also be demonstrated. Bring along a chisel or plane iron to work with- Please- Do not bother bringing an old beat up tool- This is NOT a Chisel Rehab class- A new tool will teach you much more and you will actually have success sharpening it. Tuition $125.00 materials are included.
Section 021416B: Sunday, February 14, 9:30am - 4:30pm
Shaded fans were a common decorative motif in Federal (or Neoclassical) furniture of the late 18th century. They were often inlaid into the corners of table tops and drawer fronts but with a little imagination they could be used just about any place.
Ct Valley School of Woodworking Director, Bob Van Dyke will teach some unique methods needed to produce these designs.
Starting out with white and black veneers we will learn how to create the segments that go into constructing a ¼ fan or a ½ fan. The shading is done in the traditional way- with heated sand! Putting the whole fan together, adding the contrasting black segments and surrounding the whole thing with a contrasting veneer “string” finishes the fan off. But- we still have to do something with it- so we will inlay the finished fans into a walnut panel- it could be a drawer front if you have something special in mind.
Don’t miss this chance to learn some new techniques that you can start to add to your woodworking projects. Sign up today- space is limited.
Tuition: $125.00 plus materials
Section: 032616A: Saturday, March 26, 9:30am - 5:00pm
How many of us did not really pay much attention in high school geometry? What could I possibly do with all that stuff they were making me memorize? Right? And then I got into woodworking and started to realize that maybe I should have paid a little more attention...
This class with retired math teacher turned furniture maker, Robert Lord, will give you the refresher course you need on simple geometric concepts and constructs that you can apply to all of your work. The radius of a circle is the basic unit in the geometry of wood working. Finding the compass center point of an arc, copying and subdividing angles, creating perpendicular and parallel lines, finding the tangent points are all necessary for proportionate layout in building furniture. These are just a few of the skills which you can readily apply in your shop.....but there is so much more!
Understanding basic geometric construction techniques is the first step in understanding what lies beneath the surface in furniture designs.
In this Introductory class we will build the skill set with compass (dividers) and straightedge needed for furniture layout and design as well as for ‘working backward’, deciphering how a furniture piece was designed.
This class will review geometric language and terminology. The focus of the class will be in the form of training and practice in the proper use of compass and straightedge by making the twenty fundamental geometric constructs. A construct is made with the compass and straightedge to show a physical proof of an idea; such as making parallel or perpendicular lines, congruent angles or figures. The practical exercises are designed to build on one another and to build confidence, hand dexterity and the knowledge set of skills which are applicable to your work in the wood shop.
Compass (divider) and straightedge simplifies many tasks. It is used to lay out dovetails, make inlay patterns, design simple or complex projects, scale a drawing or work plan to a ‘story stick’. Use in conjunction with a sector it can layout panels, set up drawer fronts and so much more. It is a system used for centuries for good reason (then left behind in the rush to power tools) and valued by craftsmen who understand that beauty is designed from a natural order. Best of all, it connects the hand to the eye and in that value.
We will have the supplies you will need but you should bring along a decent compass, dividers and a straight edge (ruler). Be sure to bring glasses for closed up work if you need them. Be sure to supply your email address when registering as we will be emailing you some course material prior to the class.
Sign up today- This is a unique opportunity to finally apply some of the geometry lessons that you never thought you would have any use for! Tuition $125.00 materials included
Section 051416B: Saturday, May 14, 9:30 - 5:00pm