jefferson lap_desk_Jason_BreenFall Class Schedule available. Click here for more information.

Speciality & Weekend Classes

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


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

Sign up today- Space is limited

Tuition: $395.00 plus materials.

Some carving tools will be required. Info is below:

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

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


Back to Top


Handplane Weekend with Bob Van Dyke

number 4 small

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

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

Section 112815A:    Saturday & Sunday,  November 28 & 29,  9:30am –   5:00pm

Back to Top


Carving in the 17th century style with Peter Follansbee

carving outline detail w gougeJoin well known Massachusetts woodcarver, Peter Follansbee for this unique hands on class. In this two-day course, students will learn the steps and processes used to recreate carving patterns from seventeenth- century furniture of England and New England. Starting with a single gouge and mallet, we will focus on technique and posture. Also considered are proportions, spacing and the relationship between background and foreground in establishing the pattern/design.
Each successive practice pattern builds upon the previous example, adding more tools and concepts. We will incorporate hand-pressure, mallet work, and the use of the V-tool in outlining designs. A compass, awl and marking gauge are used to layout the geometric basis for each pattern, but freehand work is included in each as well.
A range of designs will be covered, all drawn from surviving examples studied in museum and private collections. A segment of the course will be devoted to a pattern Follansbee calls an “S-scroll” and multiple versions of it will be explored. Students will learn ways to combine and contrast these patterns, adapting them for use as furniture accents. Some designs are applicable as narrow framing parts, others as wider panel designs in joined furniture.
V-tool work, gouge work and shaping and modeling surfaces all will be addressed. Background punches will create a textured surface, offsetting the smooth texture of the original planed panels. Various shop-made punches highlight the carved designs. Painted backgrounds will be exhibited and discussed, but will fall outside the scope of this weekend workshop. opposing lunettes.jpg
The final project in the class will be a panel design utilizing many of the techniques shown in the initial exercises. This is the first in a series of Classes we will be doing with Peter. So if you are interested in this distinctive type of furniture and carving style then don’t miss this opportunity to work with one of the leading people in this field.

Tuition: $275.00 plus materials  salem scrolls.jpg

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



Back to Top

Hand Laid Carbon Fiber Workshop  with Walt Scadden


The High-Tech explosion of the 21st century has brought about many advancements in design and product construction. Leading the list is a  mysterious substance called Carbon Fiber. Originally developed for NASA and the Military, this ultra light weight, super strong material, can be formed into just about any shape. Using a blend of resin epoxies and composite fiber material, it has found its way into many civilian applications; race cars, motorcycles, sport aircraft, sports and recreational gear, and furniture to name only a few. This class will introduce students to this unique technique by showing them how they can simply, by hand, lay up layers of carbon fiber cloth to construct a desired shape, using common items to prepare the molds or forms. Some of you may have some prior experience and specific interest in this material and others may simply be curious and want to learn about a new material that can be incorporated into other projects. Either way- you will certainly have fun and learn a whole lot! Sign up today. Tuition: $275.00 plus materials

 Section 103115B: Saturday & Sunday, October 31 & November 1, 9:30am - 5:00pm


 Back to Top

Build a Barrister's Bookcase with Bob Van Dyke & Tim Spratlin

Barrister Bookcase_wood_MuntonFor years I have been intrigued by Barrister’s bookcases. They have always struck me as unique and as a form that a lot of people would want to build but, the designs I have seen have never quite made it. They always seem a little too boxy and plain. I saw this design a few months back and I immediately knew this was finally the one that we could build in the school. The new class will incorporate frame and panel joinery, solid wood panels, a sliding drop front glass “door” and your choice of wood muntins or lead “lattice” muntins (see bottom picture). Should you decide to go with the lead muntins you will need to enroll in a separate weekend class with Mike Pekovich to do that. In your choice of 1/4 sawn white oak, walnut or cherry, this bookcase will become a family heirloom and will look great in any room. Sign up today. Space is limited. Sign up today. Tuition: $495.00 plus materials. Barrister Bookcase_lead_muntin

Section 120215A: Wednesday evenings, December 2— March 16, 6:00pm—9:30pm
(no class December 30—January 20)

This class is full- wait list only

General tool list  (will open in a new window)  

 Back to Top

Basic Upholstery with Mike Mascelli

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

General tool list  (will open in a new window)  

 Back to Top

Solve your carving problems and projects with Mary May

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

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


Back to Top

Building Hollows and Rounds with Matt Bickford

matt bickford_planes

The amount of handwork that goes into our craft varies drastically among us. Some use hand tools for all aspects while many of us rely heavily upon machinery. As we start to progress towards working with our hands we tend to hide our first adornments, dovetails, behind drawer fronts. We allow machines to be in charge of the single element of decoration that embellishes most of our work: the moulding. There is a set of tools that allows us to take control of this feature. This set of tools, hollows and rounds, can be comprised of several pairs of planes that create varying convex and concave radii. A set of hollows and rounds will give you the opportunity to mould the edges of your work in a fashion you want, not limited by the catalogue of options that routers and shapers afford. In this weekend class we will be bring a round plane to completion and each student will leave with the necessary skill, experience and material to make a matching hollow. Completing this project will teach the necessary skills of replicating the technology included in these centuries old tools.

This two-day class is ideal for anybody interested in working with this type of tool; regardless of whether your ultimate set is comprised of 2 pairs or 9, antique or new. In this workshop, Matt Bickford will guide you through the process of making a pair of #8s (8/16” radius) with a side escapement. Students will start with a beech billet and learn the many steps involved in creating a very versatile tool. Among the many skills to be addressed are making an accurate mortise with floats, fitting a wedge, mating an iron to the bed of your plane, addressing a side escapement, heat treating, and attending to the iron’s various edges.

The class will focus on making a single, simple moulding plane, but much of the tooling and processes is directly relatable to making or rehabilitating any wooden plane.

 Tuition: $350.00 plus materials ($95.00).

Section 012316A: Saturday & Sunday, January 23 & 24, 9:30am - 5:00pm

Back to Top

Blacksmithing for Christmas with Walt Scadden


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 121915A: Saturday, December 19, 9:30pm – 5:00pm

 Back to Top

Beginning Guitars - Build a Telecaster or Stratocaster with Mike South

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

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

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

  General tool list  (will open in a new window)  

 Back to Top


Basics of Furniture Design with Mike Pekovich

Pekovich furniture Design

Have you wanted to try your hand at designing furniture, but were afraid to take the plunge? Learn the fundamentals of furniture design that will get you headed in the right direction. In this hands-on class you'll learn the basics of furniture design with tips on sketching ideas and translating those ideas into reality through scale and full-size mock ups and perspective drawings. Join Mike Pekovich as he brings his years of experience as a furniture maker and art director at Fine Woodworking magazine to this fun and informative two-day class. You'll learn how to look to the past for inspiration as well as develop your own unique style, how to size furniture effectively and how to add your own personality into your work. Sign up and unleash your creativity! Tuition: $275.00 materials are included

Section 012316B: Saturday & Sunday, January 23 & 24, 9:30am - 5:00pm

Back to Top

An Introduction to the Art of Kumiko with Mike Pekovich


kumiko box webAre you looking to spice up your work in a unique and attractive way?
Then you need to sharpen your chisels and try your hand at
kumiko. This Japanese latticework technique is traditionally found
on shoji screens, but it has been making it's way into contemporary
furniture and boxes. The elegant geometric patterns are created by
cutting, beveling and fitting small basswood parts until they slide
together forming the geometric pattern-without the need for glue.

In this weekend class we will make a mitered box into which the top– with its traditional Kumiko “hemp leaf” pattern will sit. Mike Pekovich is the Executive Art Director at Fine Woodworking magazine and is an accomplished furniture maker and instructor. His original designs are both inspiring and elegant in their simplicity. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn some new techniques while making an attractive and useful box. Tuition: $275.00 plus materials.kumiko web 2

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

Back to Top

Sharpening Hand-tools Techniques with Bob Van Dyke


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

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

Section 022116A: Sunday, February 21, 9:30am - 5:00pm

 Back to Top

Hammer Veneer a Sunburst Veneer Top and working with Hide Glue with Steve Latta

arnold fed_tripod_1

Hide glue was the glue if choice for furniture makers for thousands of years and started to be replaced by “modern” glues in the early 20th century. Many cabinetmakers continue to use hide glue for certain applications because it has some very desirable qualities that most modern glues do not have. Join nationally known furniture maker, Steve Latta for this information packed two day workshop on hide glue in general and hammer veneering specifically. We will examine hide glue and its many uses, variations and methods of applications.  Topics related to this adhesive which dates back some three thousand years will include gram strength, pellets versus flake, hammers , presses and pots and whatever else comes up.  We’ll combine several methods of applications including hammering, clamping, vacuum bag, etc.  to gain an understanding of what technique works best in what application.   The workshop will include some flat and curved work and participants will hone their skills hammering a small, pie-pattern or “sunburst” sample top. Sign up today- this is a class you will not want to miss! Tuition: $275.00 plus materials

Section 120515A: Saturday & Sunday, December 5 & 6, 9:30am - 5:00pm

Pictured table top made by Mark Arnold

General tool list  (will open in a new window)  

 Back to Top