thumb Pekovich Tea Chest 1 640Summer - Fall 2020 Class Schedule available. More fall classes coming soon. Click here for more information.

Schedule of Classes -  Summer/Fall 2020

 

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 & Tim Spratlin

 

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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.

Woodworking I is NOT a required prerequisite for  any other classes contained in this schedule.

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Woodworking I

Walnut Jewelry Box

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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 8 students.  Tuition: $395.00 plus materials ($59.00)

Section 091420A: Monday & Wednesday evenings, September 14 - October 21, 6:00PM - 9:30PM

(We will NOT meet September 28 (Yom Kippur), September 30, and October 5 & 7)

Section 110220A: Monday evenings, November 2 - December 21, 6:00PM - 9:30PM

(Note: Tim Spratlin is the instructor for these classes)

(This class is a required prerequisite for other classes in the "Fundamentals of Furniture-making" series (Woodworking II & III) and has always proven worthwhile to beginner and advanced students alike. IT IS NOT A PREREQUISITE FOR ANY OTHER CLASSES ON THE SCHEDULE)

General tool list  (will open in a new window)  

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Woodworking II

Shaker Hall Table

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An 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 ($225.00).

Section 102820A: Wednesday evenings, October 28 - December 23, 6:00pm - 9:30pm

(Note: we will not meet November 25- Thanksgiving)

(Note: Tim Spratlin is the instructor for Woodworking I & II)

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Fundamentals of Cabinet Making

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: $325.00 plus materials ($170.00)

Section 092620A: Saturday & Sunday,  September 26 & 27, 9:30am - 5:00pm

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Building Kitchen Cabinets with Tim Spratlin

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The pinnacle of home cabinetmaking 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.  Please note: This is a 4 day class spread out over two weekends.

Tuition $495.00 plus materials ($267.00).

Section 101720A:    Saturday & Sunday, October 17, 18 & November 7 & 8, 9:30m—5:00pm

This class was originally scheduled for April 25 & 26 and May 2& 3

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Beginning Woodturning with Rick Angus

073 turned_round_edge_bowlThis 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.  Tuition: $295.00 plus materials ($49.00)

Section 092320B: Wednesday evenings, September 23 - October 28, 6:00pm - 9:30pm

Section 020321B: Wednesday evenings, February 3 - March 10, 6:00pm - 9:30pm

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The Taming of the Skew with Rick Angus

Rick Angus Skew 800Become one with your skew! it’s the only one used during this class. 

Chisels likely were the original turning tools and they are today’s go-to tools for leaving a super smooth finish on spindle work.  Their versatility includes not only a planing or chamfer cut leaving baby-skin-smooth surfaces but rolling beads in tight places, making shallow coves, end-grain facing, marking distances between features with great accuracy and making notches for starting tight coves with a detail gouge.  Its also a great roughing gouge!

Spend a day understanding the variety of chisel profiles available to the modern turner and the benefits of each shape.  One will do most spindle tasks but three or four will do nearly everything spindle—yes even coves! 

We start with a finely sharpened double beveled, curved, skewed woodturning chisel (The Skew!) provided by the school.  With it we will prepare totem poles demonstrating the following cutting techniques:

Rough a billet to a cylinder using two cut types: planing and peeling,

Plane the cylinder to a smooth, uniform diameter round,

Face the endgrain square to the axis,

Cut a chamfer,

Mark features,

Cut notches for beginning beads and coves,

Roll beads and cut shallow coves (small coves best are made with a detail gouge),

Use an angled parting tool (also a chisel) for nearly flawless cut-offs.

If we make good progress, we can make a spinning top from a billet. 

Please bring any chisels that you own for evaluation and sharpening.  Fortunately, chisel sharpening is straight-forward using a platform and a wheel grinder.  Sharpening strategies will be discussed and the grinder, honing (1200 grit) and possibly stropping methods will be used.  Students can expect to sharpen one or more of their chisels and use it during the class.  Students will be able to balance the amount of turning/sharpening to their individual needs. Sign up today– space is limited.

Tuition: $125.00 plus materials (TBD)

Section 102520B: Sunday, October 25, 9:00am—5:00pm

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Rick Angus small bowl 640One Day Woodturning with Rick Angus

Have you been intrigued with the idea of learning to turn a bowl but are not ready to commit to a 6 week class?. This one day class will get you hooked on turning– Guaranteed! Students will learn some of the basics of woodturning and will come away with a finished shallow cherry bowl and the new found knowledge to turn more. Who knows– you might even jump in head first and find a whole new passion!!

Sharp tools are essential so we will be spending a little time at the grinder learning about sharpening bowl gouges and scrapers. Techniques for sanding and finishing bowls will also be covered. This is a great class –even if you have turned a number of bowls already or have never even thought of turning a bowl. Sign up today. Space is limited to the number of lathes we have!

Tuition: $125.00 plus materials.

Section 102420B: Saturday, October 24, 9:30am - 5:00pm

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Basic Woodturning Weekend with Rick Angus

 

Rick Angus small bowl 640Many 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 100320B: Saturday & Sunday, October 3 & 4,  9:30am– 5:00pm

Section 112120B: Saturday & Sunday, November 21 & 22,  9:30am– 5:00pm

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STRICTLY BOWLS - A Woodturning Class with Rick Angus

 

Rick Angus Bowl 640Many students have asked for a class that offers the opportunity to turn bowls and only bowls. Students will have the opportunity to turn a shallow bowl, a deeper bowl, and time permitting- a third bowl or a plate (think very shallow bowl…). Participants will learn to make jigs and fixtures that will be useful in finishing the bottom of any bowl. We will get into the use of a four jaw chuck as well as alternative ways to hold the work on the lathe without using a commercially made chuck. Sharp tools are essential so we will be spending time at the grinder learning about sharpening bowl gouges and scrapers. Techniques for sanding and finishing bowls will also be covered. This is a great class whether you have turned a number of bowls already or have never even thought of turning a bowl. Sign up today. Space is limited to the number of lathes we have!

Tuition: $275.00 plus materials.

Section 111120B: Wednesday evenings, November 11—December 9, 6:00pm - 9:30pm

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Professional Furniture Finishing Techniques

Wood Finishing Weekend – The Basics of Color and Topcoats with Mike Mascelli

MIke Mascelli HeadShot webThis two day class is tailored especially for woodworkers who are uneasy about the finishing process and wish to master the basic knowledge and techniques that will enable professional finishing results using easily available materials. The class is a mixture of lecture, demonstration, and has an emphasis on hands on activities that all students will complete using both sample panels and actual small project pieces.

In the color world, students will learn the critical differences between pigment colors and dye colors and gain an understanding of how to decode the often confusing information found on the many cans and bottles of colorants. With this knowledge we will use both dyes and pigments in a classic finishing schedule including glazing and toning, and practice some simple steps to achieve rich colors, vibrant grain popping, and also to match existing colors. Students will also complete some basic furniture repair techniques using epoxy, colored waxes and both oil and acrylic colors to match missing or damaged grain.

In the world of topcoats, students will learn how to categorize virtually all finishes into one of five basic families, and how to successfully use products from each family by brush, pad and spray.   Students will practice using the proper brushes for each type of finish, including shellac, oil based and water based, and also learn some basic spray techniques using commonly available aerosol products to achieve professional quality results.  

In addition Mike will demonstrate the basics of rubbing out a finish to a perfect sheen and feel, and also show some basic special effect techniques such as creating “age” with common asphaltum, otherwise known as roofing tar !

Mike Mascelli is a professional upholsterer in Latham, NY with over 40 years of experience in working and teaching, and is also Director of the Professional Refinisher’s Group, a national organization founded in 1998 to connect professionals in the restoration, refinishing and conservation trades . In his upholstery work he divides his time between classic furniture and classic cars, while his finishing expertise is based on years of shop experience and the counsel and mentoring of some of the most experienced wood finishers in the industry. He has contributed to the Roubo on Furniture by Don Williams (Lost Art Press) and With Saw, Plane & Chisel by Zach Dillinger (Popular Woodworking, 2016). He also writes for the American Period Furniture journal of the Society of American Period Furniture Makers and has completed several instructional videos on upholstery techniques. Sign up today– space is limited.

Tuition $295.00 plus materials

Section 110720B: Saturday & Sunday, November 7 & 8, 9:30am – 5:00pm

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Five Week Furniture Making Intensive

Five Week Intensive Furniture Making with Bob Van Dyke

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Over the years I have done hundreds of classes which feature projects that teach particular skills. The problem with these project classes is that the logistics of the class prevent us from spending sufficient time on any given new skill to really understand and gain any kind of proficiency in it. In this 5 week (4 days per week) class there is no project– Just skills, technique and practice. With no project to distract us we are able to spend days rather than hours to insure learning of basic– and not so basic—furniture making skills and techniques.  When I changed the format of this class to no project, just skills- I really believe it has become one of the best classes I have offered in years. Everyone really learns a lot and has a great time!

Plan on spending two to three days on the basic milling process– a strong foundation is essential to more advanced techniques. Instead of learning just enough to get through dovetailing a drawer, plan on spending at least three full days– maybe four, on dovetails. With these new hand skills, cutting a dovetail or a tenon by hand turns out to be a pretty simple affair which you will be able to do! FYI- You will be cutting a set of dovetails every day of this class.

Machine set ups? I already know how to set up the machine– so in this class I will not set anything up– You will do that– after my demo and explanation of course. You will learn what it takes to flatten a tabletop– by machine and by hand, and glue up a tabletop– using one clamp and a handplane.

We will get into planning a project, basic wood technology, buying lumber, tool sharpening, cutting joints -by machine and by hand, along with basic finishing techniques .

Ornamentation is a big part of fine furniture so plan on spending a few days on working with veneers, inlay and making decorative bandings. It is always good to get a second viewpoint so I have arranged for some guest instructors to spend a day or two with us. Will Neptune will be here to do a day of hands on carving and hopefully Mike Pekovich will be able to stop by to introduce you to some of his design ideas and techniques.

Plan on expanding your ideas on furniture making and design- and plan on taking a few field trips to inspect some of the finest furniture made in Connecticut- entirely by hand!

Proficiency in handtools is essential in any high end furniture making and we will spend a lot of our time on just that– plan on spending at least a whole day - probably two-  just on working with handplanes– and at least another whole day just on sharpening.

Because the handtools you are using are so critical to your success I am strongly recommending ( I repeat- STRONGLY RECOMMENDING!) you purchase the tapered dovetail saw from Lie Nielsen Toolworks. My experience shows that this is one of the best doveail saws on the market at a very fair price (mention that you are taking the class at CVSW to recieve the 10% student discount). Cheaper saws will just frustrate you and after using mine you will probably just end up buying it anyway!

We will emphasize the proper and safe use of common woodshop machinery such as the table saw, jointer, thickness planer, router and bandsaw. The school has a full complement 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 need to acquire.

This class is designed for the serious student who has both the time and the desire to commit to a comprehensive course of study. It is NOT designed for beginners but rather someone who has done a bit of woodworking and is now ready to get serious and really learn some skills. Basic skills with the tablesaw, jointer and thickness planer are required!! If you are a beginner then you should sign up for the Fundamentals of Furniture Making, Intro to Cabinetmaking or the Woodworking I class. If you have any questions then please contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

This is an opportunity you do not want to miss. Tuition: $2000.00 plus materials ($100.00)number 4_small

Section 102020A: Monday - Thursday, October 20 - November 19, 8:30am—4:30pm

Note: The first day of this class is Tuesday, October 20- NOT Monday)

 

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Speciality & Weekend Classes

Learn the Traditional art of Seat Weaving with Sue Muldoon

thumb Sue Muldoon NewEnglandPorchWeave 800Explore the art of seatweaving in this new two-day hands on class. Contrary to popular belief, it is not a “dying art”! Bringing old or new chairs to a sittable state can be achieved with a variety of different weaves and that is what this class is all about.

We will begin with some history of cane, rush, wicker and a wide assortment of seating styles. On your first day, you will choose to weave a small stool using either fiber rush or porch weave. Learning these two techniques opens the doors to many variations using the same weave technique but moving on to different materials of your choice. Imagine all the “sad chairs” that you pass by that could be revived or family heirlooms to be restored or new chairs woven.

On the second day, you will learn the traditional 7-step hand-woven cane

(also called lace cane) on your own chair, or you may choose from a selection in Sue’s inventory for a small fee. Chairs should be in a finished state, as caning is the last step to a complete project.

 Caning kits with cane, awl, booklet and wooden pegs will be available. We will need measurements of your chair 2 weeks prior to class to assure the correct size of cane.

No experience is necessary. You will have your hands in water for soaking cane, fiber and reed.

Sue Muldoon is a seatweaver (among other things) and owns Redux For You, repairing chairs and memories . She has taught over a hundred students in 2019 and looking forward to sharing her skills.  thumb Sue Muldoon chair 800

Tuition: $275 plus materials

Section 103120B: Saturday & Sunday, October 31 & November 1, 9:30am—5:00pm

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Build an Arts & Crafts Style Side Table with Bob Van Dyke

Bob Van Dyke A C side table 800This four day (two weekends) intensive hands-on class is an opportunity to concentrate on good solid furniture making techniques. Maybe you have been working in the shop for years but never really knew if you were doing things efficiently or correctly- or- maybe you are fairly new to woodworking and want to get a good solid foundation in the basics of furniture making. During the two weekends each participant will make a quartersawn white oak Arts & Crafts Style side table. This is a great vehicle to learn and practice solid joinery techniques along with surfacing stock with a handplane & card scraper. Grain matching is essential to any table and we will concentrate on that when we glue up our tops.

This is not a class for complete beginners. It does assume some experience with tablesaws, routers and some handtools. This class provides a strong foundation for more advanced furniture projects while making a great side table that will compliment any home.

Tuition: $495.00 plus materials. Sign up today- space is limited.

Section 102420A: Saturday & Sunday, October 24, 25, November 14 & 15, 9:30am—5:00pm

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Spoon Carving with Peter Follansbee

Follansbee spoon 640“Green” Woodworking has gained a whole new popularity in the last few years and Peter Follansbee- who has been a “green” for woodworker for over 25 years, has quietly been in the forefront of the movement.

In this 2-day class, we’ll learn the techniques for carving spoons from green wood, using a hatchet, a straight knife and a hook tool. This work is some of the most exciting green woodworking happening today. Using freshly-cut birch, apple, cherry and other woods, we will hew the rough shape, then learn safe and efficient knife technique for refining the spoon’s design. Hollowing the bowl is done with a tool called a hook knife, or spoon knife. Shaped like a question mark, this tool easily removes wood for the spoon’s bowl. We’ll focus on techniques, but tied to the spoon’s success is spoon-design. Not the decoration, but the form - we’ll learn what makes a good spoon, and how to achieve that. Each student will need to bring a small, double-bevel hatchet, and a “sloyd” knife. The easiest one of these is the Morakniv/Frost 106. Other maker’s knives are fine. Tools should be sharp. Follansbee will have some hook knives for students to use, but if you have some, be sure to bring them. He will demonstrate the chip carving on his spoon handles; but there won’t be time to work on this in class. Sharpening the tools will also be covered. Some tool recommendations: https://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/2015/06/11/some-spoon-carving-hatchets/

http://nicwestermann.co.uk/product-category/greenwood-carving-blades/

Sign up today- space is limited. Tuition:$345.00 plus materials

This class is being postpopned until late spring or summer 2021 due to Covid-19

stay tuned for a new date

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follansbee bunch of spoons 640    Follansbee spoon nov 02 640

Introduction to Hammer Veneering with Al Breed

Al Breed federal veneered chest detail 800x620The use of hide glue and hammer veneering goes back thousands of years.   The walls of ancient Egyptian tombs portray craftsmen sawing veneers, mixing glue in a pot and laying those veneers down with the same hammer techniques which are just as effective today as it was back then.  This ancient technique offers a no-nonsense, streamlined approach to veneering which allows for complex patterns and quick repairs or “do-over’s” as the need arises. Join nationally known furniture maker & Sapfm Cartouche award recipient, Al Breed for this information packed two day workshop where we will take a hard look at hide glue and its characteristics, toothing & sizing the substrate and the veneers, their preparation and usage, and the hammer veneering technique for laying them down.  We will practice these techniques  by working on a panel with a  surrounding crossbanding of a contrasting wood such as would be used for a drawer front.

The skills you will learn could be applied to any project incorporating veneers. The limit is only your imagination! Sign up today- this is a class you will not want to miss!

Tuition: $345.00 plus materials

Section 112120A: Saturday & Sunday, November 21 & 22, 9:30am—5:00pm

 

Tool list: artists palette knife, 1 1/2” bench chisel,  scraper blade, cutting gauge and veneer hammer. 

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The Basics of Using Handplanes with Bob Van Dyke

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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 second day will be spent getting your planes sharpened and tuned up so you can start practicing using it. Techniques such as smoothing a surface, beveling a table edge, planing a curved surface, shooting edge joints, using shooting boards, fitting mortise and tenons and planing end grain will all be included. Don’t miss this unique and informative class. Space is limited. Tuition: $275.00 plus materials

Section 103120A : Saturday & Sunday, October 31 & November 1, 9:30am - 5:00pm

 

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Yes Folks - There are More Than 10 Ways to Cut Dovetails with Bob Van Dyke

 

Bob Van Dyke dovetailsThe great thing about running a national woodworking school is that I get to see the techniques of every different instructor who comes here to teach- and there have been a lot of them over the last 17 years!

In woodworking- like a lot of things- there is no one “right” way- there are bunches of different ways to accomplish the same thing and that is what this class is all about. I will not be telling you what I think is the "best" way- that is for you to decide- and you will have the opportunity to learn a number of different methods.

Cutting dovetails entirely by hand can be intimidating to a lot of people.  When cutting dovetails I see students typically making the same mistakes and hitting the same stumbling blocks each time- so that is what we address to start; using a cutting gauge, paring to (and not beyond!) a line, cutting straight lines with a handsaw- and using a sharp chisel! These are all skills that you will practice (and hopefully master) in this class. But this class is much more than just cutting dovetails by hand. This class will show you a number of ways to make “handcut” dovetails that will only require a little bit of paring with a chisel to make them fit perfectly. We will be trying out techniques that use the tablesaw, a trim router, bandsaw, scroll saw and coping saw along with the traditional handsaw and chisels. The goal is to get you cutting great looking dovetails using a combination of machines and handtools until you are comfortable enough with the process that you realize doing it all by hand is not that big a deal!

This class is a combination of demonstrations and hands-on practice. There is no project for the class- you will be working on a series of practice boards. It is great to see the difference between the first dovetail you make on Saturday and the last dovetail you make Sunday afternoon!

Router dovetail jigs like the Porter Cable or Leigh jig will NOT be a part of this class- I have no idea how to use those tools…

Sign up today and lose your fear of cutting dovetails once and for all. Tuition: $275.00 plus materials ($16.00)

Tablesaw dovetails

 

Section 091220A: Saturday & Sunday, September 12 & 13, 9:30 - 5:00pm

 

  General tool list  (will open in a new window)  

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Build a Dovetailed Tea Box with Mike Pekovich

tea box

If you've been thinking about taking the dovetail plunge, then this is the perfect project to get your feet wet. This elegant tea box is a great exercise in hand-cut dovetails with a power tool assist. You'll learn the basics of layout and tool selection as well as tips for sawing and scribing for a perfect fit. You'll outfit the box with a partitioned liner, which is a great lesson in bird's mouth miter joints and we will top it off with an elegant ebony clasp. It's an intricate piece of joinery, but the table saw handles most of the work. As an added bonus we will get some finish on the box in class so you should go home with a unique tea box ready for wrapping- just in time for the holidays! Join Mike Pekovich, Fine Woodworking's art director and resident hand tool addict, for this fun 3 day class. Sign up today- space is limited.

Tuition $395.00 plus materials.

Section 120420A: Friday, Saturday & Sunday, December 4- 6, 9:30am - 5:00pm

General tool list  (will open in a new window)  tea box_open

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Using Wooden Molding Planes with Planemaker Matt Bickford

matt_bickford_planesStop making compromises with your router. Stop getting “close enough”. Learn how to use some of the most abundant molding planes of the past to get the exact edge you are after. Hollows and rounds do not make specific profiles. They make specific arcs. Learn to transform these few arcs into scores of various profiles. From layout to execution, this weekend class will focus on creating various moldings with these extraordinarily versatile planes.

The class will start off with maintaining the cutting edge, then move to laying out and ultimately sticking (planing) several moldings that will range from simple coves and ovolos through ogees, cymas and various combinations. The class will focus on hollows and rounds sized 6 and 10 along with a rabbet plane. Students will have the opportunity to bring their own performing planes or they can use newly made planes by M. S. Bickford, planemaker. Students will also have the opportunity to use a larger range of planes.

Each student will leave with several picture frames and the ability to transfer moldings he or she sees in person or print into wood and onto their project. Sign up today - this is a great opportunity to learn the use of these versatile planes- and learn a little about how they are made. At the end of the weekend, Matt will make available for sale some of the actual planes you will be using. Tuition $325.00 plus materials.

 Section  121220A: Saturday & Sunday,  December 12 & 13, 9:30am - 5:00pm

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Saw Sharpening 101 with Matt Cianci

Matt setting saw

This class is an introduction for woodworkers interested in learning how to sharpen their own handsaws and backsaws. The curriculum will cover jointing, filing teeth to uniform size and gullet depth, setting, and final sharpening. Topics discussed in depth will include the geometric and functional distinction between rip and crosscut teeth and how fleam and rake are combined to maximize the function of cutting along or across wood fibers. Proper file selection, filing technique, and saw vise requirements will also be discussed. No prior knowledge of saw sharpening is required. The class will be hands on with each student learning to sharpen a rip and crosscut saw.  Students are encouraged to bring one or two saws only. These saws must be in decent shape. This is a sharpening class- not a saw rehab class!  

Matt Cianci is a professional saw doctor. His website and blog are at  http://thesawwright.com  Sign up today- This is always a fun class! Tuition: $125.00 plus materials ($20 paid directly to instructor)

Section 111420B: Saturday, November 14, 9:30am- 5:00pm

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Build this Fancy Kumiko Tea Box with Mike Pekovich

Pekovich Long box with border 640Learn the basics of a mitered box and try your hand at kumiko while building a really nice little tea box that, not coincidentally, would make a great holiday gift. In this weekend class, Mike Pekovich will cover smart tablesaw techniques that make quick work of mitered boxes. After that, the hand tools take over with the building of a kumiko panel that decorates the lid of the box. Precision and a sharp chisel is the name of the game here. This traditionional Japanese joinery technique is a great way to spice up any project. It's a fun class and a great way to spend a "pre-holiday" weekend that might otherwise be spent being dragged to a shopping mall somewhere! While you are here make sure you pick up a copy of Mike's book: 

The Why & How of Woodworking: A Simple Approach to Making Meaningful Work- Maybe he will even sign it for you!

Sign up today- Space is limited. Tuition: $325.00 plus Materials ($45.00 plus tax)

Section 121920A: Saturday & Sunday, December 19 & 20, 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 Tim Spratlin

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This popular six-day intensive hands-on class is an opportunity to concentrate on the basics of woodworking and furniture making. Each student will make a Shaker style cherry hall table, which is a perfect vehicle to practice the machine and hand-tool techniques that we teach in the class. Subjects covered include basic shop safety, machine use (with particular emphasis on the tablesaw, jointer and planer), using handplanes, card scrapers and chisels effectively to surface and hand-fit the mortice and tenon joints, handtool sharpening, making tapered legs and grain matching and gluing up a top. 

This is not an appropriate class for absolute beginners. Some experience is suggested. This class provides a strong foundation for more advanced furniture projects. Tuition: $795.00 plus materials

 

Section 010421A: Monday—Saturday, January 4 - 9,  9:00am - 5:00pm

 

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The Joy of Woodcarving – Spend a Week with Mary May

Mary May 640What 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 scallop 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 difficult carving cuts, how to sharpen tools to a razor sharp edge, and how to make the carving appear deeper than it actually is. Students will have the opportunity of working on projects of their own choosing along with projects that Mary has selected for their suitability in teaching the skills being demonstrated.

This is a perfect class for both beginners and experienced carvers. Beginning carvers can learn the basics from Mary, 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: $795.00 plus materials ($28.00)

This class is being re-scheduled for 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Mary would have been coming from South Carolina by airplane and neither of us wanted her to be on a plane during this pandemic.


Mary May Acanthus 640

 Mary may floral 640   Mary May leaves 640

 

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Build an Arched Entry Table with Mike Pekovich

Mike Pekovich arched entry Table detail 800Put your joinery skills on display with this Arts and Crafts-inspired entry table. Dovetail and through-tenon joinery present a fun challenge and add eye-popping interest to this creative twist on the traditional Craftsman style. Arched aprons, trestle feet, and breadboard ends round out the design details- and the joinery challenges! In this class, you'll learn efficient building strategies that get the most from machine and hand work, and you will learn how to give your hand-cut dovetails a power tool assist for fast and accurate results. While we're at it, we'll throw in some draw-bore joinery as a great way to get tight-fitting joints without clamps. This is a great table that will fit into just about any home and Mike Pekovich, who is the Creative Director for Fine Woodworking Magazine and author of “The Why & How of Woodworking”, is an excellent instructor. Sign up today. Space is limited. Tuition: $795.00 plus materials

Section 092820A: Monday—Saturday, September 28 - October 3, 9:00am—5:00pm

Mike Pekovich Arched table silo 800

 NOTE- This class was originally scheduled to for June 15—20. Rescheduled due to Covid-19

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Mike Pekovich Arched Table 800

Build a Traditional Cabinetmaker's Workbench with Bob Van Dyke & Tim Spratlin

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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, 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 have fit these into mini vans easily). We use the Lie Nielsen tail vise and Chain drive shoulder vise hardware. It is hands down the best we have ever seen. The bench is 7' long and 26" wide and weighs about 300 pounds.   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 (minus an actual finish if you decide to add that)! Tuition: $795.00.00 plus materials (materials are approximately $1495.00- includes all Lie Nielsen Vise hardware and our own wooden benchdogs)

Section 012321A: Saturday - Friday,  January 23- 29 , 2021. 9:00am - 5:00pm

NOTE- This class was originally scheduled to for August 10 -  16. Rescheduled due to Covid-19

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

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Making Tablesaw Jigs & Fixtures with Bob Van Dyke

VanDyke L fenceThe idea of making jigs and fixtures for the tablesaw is always one that creates a lot of debate. Some people insist that they are not worth it and “just do it by hand” while other people love coming up with intricate fixtures that do a specific job really well. Bob’s approach is somewhere in the middle- will the jig be useful enough to be used over & over again and is it better than one that can be easily purchased? This class is Not a beginning tablesaw class. Participants must have some working experience with Tablesaws & routers. Note: because of the design of the jigs for the table saw you must have a table saw with a Biessemeyer type fence. Bench top or "Job site" saws will not work with these jigs. Please specify tablesaw you have when registering for this class. If you have any questions please contact Bob Van Dyke directly at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

In this hands-on class participants will make several different jigs & fixtures for their tablesaw, all of which will become staple tools in their shop.

We will start out the week making a cross-cut sled. The accuracy and extra support this important fixture brings will almost completely replace your tablesaw’ s stock miter gauge. Armed with the knowledge to make the sled you will probably go home and make more- for cutting dados, wide panels and specialized tasks.

The next jig to be made will be a tenoning jig- but this is not just any tenoning jig. This jig is designed for accuracy and versatility. Mass is what it is all about. The mass of this jig means no vibration which translates into complete accuracy. The jig can also be fine tuned to fit your tablesaw’s rip fence exactly. The size of the jig means that you can easily clamp large assemblies to it (think breadboard end table top). Used in conjunction with two rip blades and a precisely made spacer, accurate tenons are a snap.

The next two jigs were developed by Bob and are two of the most valuable tablesaw add on jigs you can imagine! How many times have you clamped a sacrificial scrap of plywood to the fence to cut a rabbet and then had to move the clamps because they were in the way of the cut? And- have you ever heard of pattern cutting on the tablesaw? The fixture we will make is an ingenious and easily used base to fit over the existing tablesaw fence and allows you to quickly bolt on any number of specialty fences- certainly the most valuable being an easily adjusted and versatile “L” fence.

Any extra time during the class will be devoted to making a series of small fixtures for the tablesaw: drop stops, sliding stops, hold-downs and really simple feather-boards.

This is a class designed for people with solid experience on the tablesaw who can appreciate the value & importance of the jigs & fixtures you will be making.

Tuition: $745.00 plus materials

Section 021321A, Saturday - Wednesday, February 13 - 17, 2021.  9:00am – 5:00pm

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Build a Greene & Greene style Blanket Chest with Darrell Peart

Darrell Peart Blanket chest 2019 800Over a six-day period, we will be building a Greene & Greene style Blanket Chest. A chest of this size lends itself to a variety of uses other than storing blankets – coffee table – toy chest – hope chest - etc.

By the end of the project you will have expanded your experience with several classic G&G design elements such as making and inserting ebony plugs, bread board ends with ebony spline, proud finger joints as well as Darrell’s interpretation of the “strap detail”. 

The project will be built using wide Honduras Mahogany. The sides & ends are one board and the top is a glue up of two boards. This insures continuity throughout the whole piece- both in color and grain type.

The finger joints for the case will be machined using a routing template which will also be available for sale should you want to make more in your own shop. 

Students should have a basic familiarity with table saws, routers and bandsaws for this class. It is not a beginner level class. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about your readiness for the class.

This will be an enjoyable week to build a piece of furniture in a relaxed atmosphere and talk about Greene & Greene and woodworking (two of Darrell’s favorite subjects). Sign up today- space is limited and I am sure this class will sell out. Tuition: $850.00 plus materials

Section 060721A: Monday - Saturday, June 7 - 12 (2021), 9:00am - 5:00pm

Note: this class was originally scheduled for summer 2020- postponed due to Covid-19.

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Class Images

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Testimonials

11/2/2015

Bob,

All I can say is WOW!  Mike Mascelli is absolutely terrific!  

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5/25/2016

Bob,

I took the weekend woodturning class this weekend with Cory Anderson and just wanted to let you know how fabulous I thought he was.

Read more ...