thumb 037 blanket chest Summer Class Schedule available. Click here for more information.

Speciality & Weekend Classes

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 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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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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The Basics of Using Veneers and Inlays to Create Outrageous Patterns! with Bob Van Dyke

veneer stitching seam webIf 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 make a small “Miter Fold” box out of walnut or 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 students will get into a little inlay work with a decorative banding mitered around the veneered top.

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.veneer book and butt.webJPG

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

Section 060615A: Saturday & Sunday, June 6 & 7, 9:30am - 5:00pm

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 062015A: Saturday,    June 20, 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

General tool list  (will open in a new window)  

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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 040715A: Tuesday Evenings, April 7 - May 12, 6:00pm - 9:30pm

(note- this was previously scehduled to begin March 24)

 General tool list  (will open in a new window) 

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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  050315A: Sunday,  May 3, 10:00am - 5:00pm

 

 

 

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Build a Backsaw with Matt Cianci

build a back saw close up resized

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

General tool list  (will open in a new window)  

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Wood Identification for Cabinetmakers with Randy Wilkinson

Wood IdentificationSeeing and understanding wood in a whole new way.

Did you ever look at a piece of wood and wonder what wood it is? And why it looks the way it does? Were you ever confused about which wood it is: mahogany, walnut, cherry, or poplar? The questions may seem answerable when looking at a new piece of wood but how about when you are looking at an oxidized surface or a piece of furniture that is 200 years old with stain and varnish on it. This two-day hands-on workshop will answer all these questions and more. It is designed specifically for curators, collectors, antique dealers, appraisers, and woodworkers.  The goal of this workshop is to become familiar with the physical properties of wood and recognize species specific cell structures with a 10x loupe. On Saturday, basic wood anatomy will be introduced, including grain, figure, fundamental differences between softwoods and hardwoods, and more. The student will learn to identify common hardwoods used in 18th and 19th century furniture. On Sunday, the class will be held at the CHS (Connecticut Historical Society). We will get a rare opportunity not only to see one of the finest collections of American furniture, but also to identify woods used in a selection of great objects in a one-day intensive and hands-on inspection. No experience is necessary. Tuition $275, plus materials which includes a hardwood sample kit, 10x loupe and book (Identifying Wood). Class size is limited to 15 students. This class will fill quickly, so sign up soon.

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

Note- We are working on finalizing the date

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Blacksmithing and Making Hardware with Walt Scadden

 

butterflyMaking 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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Class Images

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Testimonials

1/11//2015

Hi Bob,

I wanted to thank you again for the excellent woodworking fundamentals class. 

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2/16//2015

Bob,

My name is John Jardin and it is an honor to hear from you...one of my all time greatest woodworking instructors.

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