thumb Pekovich Tea Chest 1 640Summer/ early Winter 2021 Class Schedule available.  Click here for more information.

Schedule of Classes - Summer/ Early Winter - 2021

 

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

 

 

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.

 
   

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 machine and hand tools) being taught in the class in the making of a walnut box for storing jewelry or a variety of other personal items. Skills learned will provide a strong foundation for subsequent furniture-making classes. Class size is limited to 9 students.  Tuition: $495.00 plus materials ($59.00)

Section 091521A: Monday & Wednesday evenings, September 15 - October 13, 6:00pm - 9:30pm

NOTE: No class Monday, October 11 (Columbus Day)

Section 112021A: Saturday & Sunday, November 20 & 21 and December 4 & 5,  9:30AM—5:00PM

Section 011222A: Weednesday evenings, January 12 - March 2, 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 Woodworking I. This class utilizes a combination of hand tools and power tools in the construction of a valuable piece of furniture. Techniques you learn in the previous class are put to extensive use as you are introduced to more advanced techniques and skills. Mortise-and-tenon joints, grain matching, and using handplanes are a few of the new skills you will learn while making a cherry hall table. Class size is limited, Woodworking I is a prerequisite. Tuition: $495.00 plus materials ($225.00).

Section 102521A: Monday evenings, October 25 - December 13, 6:00PM—9:30PM

 

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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: $365.00 plus materials ($170.00)

Section 091821A: Saturday & Sunday, September 18 & 19, 9:30AM—5:00PM

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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: $345.00 plus materials ($49.00)

Section 091521B: Wednesday evenings, September 15—October 27, 6:00pm - 9:30pm   (no class October 6)

Section 110821B: Monday evenings,  November 8—December 13, 6:00pm - 9:30pm

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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 (8)!

Tuition: $145.00 plus materials ($26.00).

Section 100921B: Saturday, October 9, 9:30am - 5:00pm

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Introduction to Segmented Turning with David Heim

David Heim Segmented woodturnning 2021 800In this style of turning, small wedge-shaped pieces of wood are glued into rings which are then glued to larger pieces of a different color or texture to form a blank ready for turning a bowl or other vessel. The size and shape of these parts can be just about anything your imagination comes up with. Likewise, any number of different woods can be used for contrast or to form a complex, multicolored pattern.

In this class students will learn the process of forming the turning blank and will cut and glue the segments precisely, with a minimum of sanding and trimming. We will explore strategies for clamping the rings during glue-up and investigate how variations in the glued-up blank affect the final pattern in the finished vessel.David Heim Segmented woodturnig assembly 800

This is sure to be a fun and rewarding class. Participants should have some turning experience.

Tuition $365.00 plus materials

Section 110621B: Saturday & Sunday, November 6 & 7, 9:30am – 5:00pm

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Turning Lidded Containers with Rick Angus

Rick Angus Lidded Box 2 2021 800Learn to turn these popular lidded containers and let your imagination take over. In this class we will explore the basic techniques on a piece of poplar. This class will review basic spindle turning technique and go on to practice end grain hollowing, Turning a friction fit tenon to fit into the corresponding socket and move on to learning “jam chuck” techniques. Along the way we will get into some basic finishing techniques and explore some of the different shapes and sizes possible in this fun and rewarding class. Sign up today- Space is limited.

Tuition: $365.00 plus materials ($40.00 tax $2.54)

Section 112021B: Saturday & Sunday, November 20 & 21, 9:30am – 5:00pm    Rick Angus Lidded Box 2021 800

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: $365.00 (plus materials: $32.00)

 

Section 091821B: Saturday & Sunday, September 18 & 19,  9:30am– 5:00pm

Section 121121B: Saturday & Sunday, December 11 & 12,  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 9!

Tuition: $345.00 plus materials.

Section 110321B: Wednesday evenings, November 3—December 15, 6:00pm - 9:30pm (No class November 24)

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Learn to Turn Natural-Edge (Bark-Rim) Bowls with Rick Angus

Rick Angus Natural Edge 640

Turning natural edge bowls from wet local hardwoods can be great fun– and the material is free (if you own a chain saw and have access to recently cut down trees….!) In this weekend class students will receive a refresher in the fundamental gouge and scraper cutting techniques, learn how to visualize the “bowl inside the wood”, mount and turn the sections of fresh logs between centers to form the outside of the bowl before re-mounting the blank in a chuck to form the inside of the bowl– all the while taking care to maintain the fragile bark edge on the rim of the bowl.

 

Blanks of wood will be mounted between centers and the “bowl inside the wood” will be before cutting so you control the grain pattern and bark rim position in the finished bowl. We focus on developing an eye for making a pleasing shape while incorporating the bark of the tree as the rim of the bowl. We touch-up your graceful bevel-guided cutting technique thus helping you to form the smooth curves of the bowl.   This bowl requires a steady hand as cutting the rim is interrupted--you cut a bit of the high part of the rim then skip to the high part of the other side. We focus on careful aim to get a graceful curve through this interrupted cut.   We shape the outside of the bowl, remount the blank in a chuck and cut the inside.   At home, the bowls will dry and can easily be sanded with a round sanding pad in a drill. This class does require some prior experience with woodturning. Sign up today– class size is limited to 8.

Tuition: $365.00 plus materials ($35.00)

Section 101621B: Saturday & Sunday, October 16 & 17,  9:30am—5:00pm

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Professional Furniture Finishing Techniques

Zen of French Polish with John Coffey

garnet shellacFrench polish is a technique for putting shellac on wood as a finish. Shellac is perhaps the most versatile finish that can be used to finish furniture–it is hard and durable, it is restorable without having to remove it, and best of all it may be the most beautiful finish you could put on a piece of furniture!

One main benefit of French polish is it can be applied in less than ideal finishing conditions. Dust is not an issue as the polish dries almost as soon as it is rubbed on. The polisher can stop at any time in the process and pick it up at a later date. Best of all, the technique puts very little material on a surface, even irregular ones.

As an antique restorer, I am often required to put on a finish that preserves the color and texture of their surface–I cannot sand the surface. French polishing is uniquely suited for this task. The technique follows the undulating character of old surfaces, or handplaned surfaces, filling the grain until the surface is lustrous and polished.

In a two-day class I will show my technique for French polishing by assisting the student in their own project. The student can expect to be well on his way to finishing a small table or chest but, more importantly, will learn the skill of applying shellac using a pad in such a way that only the thinnest of coatings will be between the observer and the object, allowing the natural beauty of the wood to show through.

The woodworker spends so much time selecting just the right board, perfecting his or her technique on cutting dovetails and tenons, why not make sure the work receives what it deserves–the best finish possible. The old saw is never truer: while a good finish might be able to hide poor woodworking, a bad finish will take away from even the best work.

John Coffey is an antique restorer in Locust Valley, NY. John has taken conservation classes at the Smithsonian Institute and at Dakota County Technical College (MN) with senior conservator at the Smithsonian, Donald C. Williams. He has assisted with the "Ten Thousand Springs Pavilion" exhibit for the Smithsonian Institute in both Washington, D.C. and when it was in Flushing, Queens, N.Y. John holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Hobart College (NY). Sign up today!

Tuition: $365.00 plus materials ($30.00)

Section 111321A: Saturday & Sunday, November 13 & 14,  9:30am—5:00pm

NOTE: This class was originally scheduled for  August 7 & 8

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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 !

 Sign up today– space is limited.

Tuition $365.00 plus materials ($30.00)

Section 092521B: Saturday & Sunday, September 25 & 26, 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. Mike Mascelli will be here to do a day of hands on finishing techniques and hopefully Mike Pekovich will be able to stop by to introduce you to the Japanese technique of Kumiko along with his take on the finsihing process.

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 102521A: Monday - Thursday, October 25 - November 23, 8:30am—4:30pm

Note: This class will end on Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Section 022822A: Monday - Thursday, February 28 - March 31, 8:30am - 4:30pm

 

 General tool list (will open in a new window)

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Speciality & Weekend Classes

An Introduction to Japanese Tools and Techniques with Andrew Hunter

Andrew Hunter 4Many western woodworkers have discovered the pleasure of using Japanese saws, but Japan’s remarkable culture of woodworking has even more to offer. In this weekend class, professional furniture maker, Andrew Hunter, will go beyond the pull saw and introduce students to a greater perspective of Japanese woodworking. Topics covered will include Japanese saws, chisels, planes, sharpening stones and layout. He will show students how to buy, tune, and use these tools as well as how to incorporate traditional Japanese woodworking techniques into your own shop.

Students are encouraged to bring their own Japanese tools to class. Andrew can offer feedback and assistance on getting them to work more efficiently. If you don’t have your own collection of Japanese tools (yet), no worries. Andrew will have many of his own tools on hand for students to use, as well as a selection of moderately priced tools for sale.Andrew Hunter 6

With over 20 years of experience working with Japanese tools, Andrew has a wealth of knowledge to draw from and as a self taught woodworker, he offers a unique perspective to Americans just discovering Japanese woodworking. His work demonstrates that by understanding the fundamental principles behind the tools, any woodworker can learn to use them efficiently and you don’t have to travel to Japan to do it! Sign up today and expand your woodworking horizons! Tuition: $365.00 plus materials

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Section 121821B: Saturday & Sunday, December 18 & 19, 9:30am - 5:00pm

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Make a Craftsman Style Blanket Chest with Bob Van Dyke & Tim Spratlin

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This advanced workshop held over two 3-day weekends features a handsome frame and panel blanket chest with tiger maple panels and a cherry frame. It is based on a design by John McAlevey, a well-known custom furniture maker and author living in Maine. The chest was featured on the cover of Fine Woodworking Magazine a number of years ago. The project entails extensive through mortise and tenons, raised panels, chamfered legs, a number of curved parts and frame and panel construction. The techniques used in its construction are basic to many larger furniture pieces.   Participants need to have taken at least the Woodworking I & II classes or the  equivalent experience. Tuition: $945.00 (plus materials - $393.00).

Section 011522A:    Saturday - Monday  January 15 - 17 & Friday - Sunday, February 4 - 6, 9:30am - 5:00pm

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Beyond the Basic Shaded Fan with Bob Van Dyke

BVD FWW curvy fan March 2017Shaded fans were a common decorative motif in the Federal furniture of the late 18th century. They were often inlaid intoBob Van Dyke quarter fan Web the corners of table tops and drawer fronts. The segments are shaded using hot sand and then put together to create a three dimensional effect. But ¼ fans are the basic which we will start with– but that is just the beginning. Building on the basic sand shading technique, Ct Valley School of Woodworking Director, Bob Van Dyke will introduce a series of other interesting possibilities based on the basic ¼ fan design; creating circles, ½ circles and ovals with all sorts of interesting curved segments. The possibilities are really fascinating and the inlays can be used in all sorts of projects- from a table top, a door panel or a drawer front to a box top, a tray or even a wall hanging. Students will have the opportunity to make a few 1/4 fans and then move on to some ovals or half fans.

Don’t miss this chance to learn some new techniques that you can start to add to your woodworking projects.

Tuition: $365.00 materials are included

Section  102321A: Saturday & Sunday, October 23 & 24, 9:30 am—5:00 pm

Van Dyke Hepplewhite fan

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Build a Federal Style Side Table with Steve Latta

 

Bob Van Dyke hepplewhite front simple 640

This exciting multi-weekend class features a small walnut Federal style side table with a whole lot of challenges and a boatload of new skills to be learned. Based on an inlaid Federal side table that Steve Latta did recently for an article and video for Fine Woodworking Magazine, this class will stretch your woodworking skills. The focus of this class will be efficiency– in joinery, in ornamentation and in design. Efficiency in joinery means doing as much joinery as possible all at once and making joints that fit with a minimal amount of dryfitting. This project also features many techniques that may be new to a number of you. Working with veneer for the drawer front, dovetailing and cockbeading a drawer, and adding cuff inlay and stringing to the legs all turn a basically simple table into an heirloom piece you can be proud of. This is a simple traditional Federal table which will fit with just about any home décor and is small enough –18” wide X 17” inches deep,-to fit just about anywhere. Sign up soon– these are some skills you will be able to use over and over. This class is designed so you will be doing a lot of the detail work- inlay, dry fitting & surfacing at home in between the two weekends. Please make sure you are willing to do that before signing up. This is going to be a fun class! Note: the school has many of the inlay tools that you may use during class- but if you already own them or are planning on purchasing them- make sure you bring them along.

Tuition $845.00 plus materials

Section 100921A: Saturday & Sunday, October 9, 10 & Friday - Sunday, November 5, 6 & 7   

 general tool list    (will open in a new window)

pdfTool_List_Steve_Latta_Inlay_Decorativer_Details_2021.pdf

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Basic Upholstery with Mike Mascelli

Mike Mascelli slip seatThis 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.  All of the tools you will need will be provided by Mike but if you shoulld want to bring your own the list is below.MIke Mascelli HeadShot web

KEY POINTS:

  • 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 $365.00 Plus materials ($55.00)   

Section 111321A: Saturday & Sunday, November 13 & 14,  9:30am—5:00pm

NOTE: This class was originally scheduled for  August 7 & 8

Tool_list_Mike_Mascelli_Basic_Upholstery_Tool_List.pdf

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Unique & Creative Surfaces with Tim Coleman

 

Coleman Carved Table 640Join nationally known furniture maker, Tim Coleman for this fascinating look into various techniques to create visually exciting textures and patterns to furniture surfaces. In this class with Tim students will explore two primary techniques to embellish surfaces with patterns and texture using a few simple tools and a scroll saw. 

Steel stamps are commonly used to emboss leather, but they can also be used on wood.  In this two day class you will learn how to use a V carving tool to make pattern outlines, and steel stamps to create texture. Try out traditional letter and number stamps and also learn to make your own shapes and symbols from steel rod stock. Stamping is easy to learn and allows you to work quickly and spontaneously. You will also learn techniques to add color to the patterns to make them really stand out. Coleman Starbox detail 640

In the second part of the class you will learn how to cut shapes and patterns piercing through thick veneer pieces and then prepare them to laminate onto a contrasting layer of wood or veneer. You will get practice on the scroll saw and, most important, you will learn techniques for gluing down the cut pieces to achieve a clean result with very little glue squeeze out. It’s surprising how much depth can be achieved with material as thin as 1/16th inch, and effects can range from subtle to wild depending on wood and pattern selection. Tim Coleman works out of his shop in Shelbourne, Massachusetts and produces some truly unique and striking custom furniture for clients. In this class you can come with your own pattern ideas or look into Tim’s catalogue of ideas for inspiration. Whatever you do you will be sure to bring away some new skills and ideas that you can apply to your next projects. Sign up today- Space is limited.Coleman Possibilities640

Tuition $365.00 plus materials ($31.00 tax $1.97)

Section 012222A: Saturday & Sunday, January 22 & 23, 9:30am—5:00pm

Previously scheduled for December 11 & 12

Coleman Stencil Table 640

Introduction to the Art of Kumiko with Mike Pekovich

Mike Pekovich twin Kumiko boxes 2 2021 800Are you looking to spice up your work in a novel 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 is making its way into contemporary furniture and boxes. The elegant geometric patterns of kumiko begin with a simple half-lap grid. From there each square is filled out with small, precisely beveled parts until the pattern emerges.

In this 3-day weekend class you'll start by building a pair of mitered boxes, where you'll learn how to work safely and accurately with small parts at the tablesaw. After that, you'll learn to make two different traditional kumiko patterns that you can use to top off the boxes. Most students come away with two completed boxes at the end of class (just in case you still need to check off some holiday gifts!).

Sign up today! Space is limited

Tuition: $495.00 Plus materials ($80.00)

Section 121721A: Friday – Sunday, December 17 – 19, 9:30am – 5:00pm  

General tool list  (will open in a new window)  

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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 20 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: $365.00 plus materials ($16.00)

Tablesaw dovetails

 

Section 100221A, Saturday & Sunday,  October 2 & 3,   9:30am – 5:00pm

 

 

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Learn to Tune and Use a Japanese Hand Plane with Andrew Hunter

Andrew Hunter 4

At the end of this weekend course, each student will take home a fully operational Japanese hand plane and have the know how to keep is working right. What seems like a simple tool, a blade and a block of wood, the Japanese plane (Kanna) is actually a very complex instrument with many subtle qualities. The first challenge most westerners face when learning to use one is that they don't come ready to use out of the box. You are only supplied with great ingredients, but it is up to the user to get the fit between the blade and the block just right. In this course we will work together through each step of the process to bring your new plane into working order. We will cover sharpening and shaping the blade, fitting the blade to the block and profiling its sole for optimal performance. Of coarse, we will also spend time using your new plane, learning to work with your whole body, not just your arms. The weekend will wrap up by putting our new planes to the test in a friendly planing contest (kezurou-kai). So, sign up today to unlock the mystery of the Japanese hand plane and add one more tool to your woodworking arsenal. Tuition $ 365.00 Plus materials (approximately $180.00- includes a Japanese plane. If you want to supply your own plane please contact  Bob Van Dyke  - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Section 100221B: Saturday & Sunday, October 2 & 3, 9:30am—5:00pm

 

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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: $365.00 plus materials

Section 120421B:  Saturday & Sunday, December 4 & 5, 9:30am - 5:00pm

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Pekovich Tea Chest 1 640Build a Tansu Style Tea Chest with Mike Pekovich

Lots of fun surprises in a small package. This tea chest sits on a live-edge base and features a sliding door and four drawers. You’ll get to try your hand at dovetailed case construction, mitered partitions and a kumiko door panel in a two-weekend class. Mike Pekovich will lead you through this fun project start to finish and you’re bound to come away with some new skills and a new appreciation for the challenges and beauty of white oak. 

  

Mike’s elegant design has an Oriental, Arts & Crafts and rustic feel to it and can fit just about anywhere and will make a welcome addition to any room. Mike Pekovich is the Editor and 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. Sign up today. Space is limited. (The pottery Tea Pot is not included….)

  Pekovich Tea Chest silo 640

Tuition: $695.00 plus materials

Section 103021A: Saturday & Sunday, October 30 & 31 & December 11 & 12.  9:30 – 5:00pm

Previously scheduled for September 25, 26 & October 30 & 31

 

Pekovich Tea chest 3 640

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Master SketchUp in a Weekend, with David Heim

sketch up

This two-day intensive class covers both basic and advanced techniques for this powerful, versatile 3D design program. With SketchUp, you “build” furniture in the computer piece by piece. So, when it’s time to build in the shop, you can work faster and smarter, with fewer costly mistakes. The Saturday session gives you hands-on experience with the basics: How the SketchUp tools work and good practices to follow to work quickly and accurately. The Sunday class covers techniques and tools for creating period details like cabriole legs and turned, reeded legs. You’ll also learn how to create measured drawings, full-size templates, and a cutlist.

Bring a laptop computer (Mac or Windows) loaded with the free version of SketchUp. To get it, go to sketchup.com/download/all and download the version called SketchUp Make 2017.  (You’ll have to set up an account first, but that’s free and easy.) Important: Please do NOT get a  cloud-based version called SketchUp Free; it’s not suitable for this class.

Tuition $365.00 materials are included

Section  103021B: Saturday & Sunday, October 30 & 31 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: $145.00 plus materials ($20 paid directly to instructor)

Section 102321B:  Saturday, October 23, 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: $945.00 plus materials ($225.00 plus tax)

Section 010322A: Monday - Saturday, January 3 - 8, 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: $895.00 plus materials ($28.00 plus tax)

Section 101821A: Monday - Friday, October 18 - 22, 2021, 9:00am - 5:00pm


Mary May Acanthus 640

 Mary may floral 640   Mary May leaves 640

 

pdfTool_list_Mary_May_carving_for_furnituremakers_weeklong_2019.pdf

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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, "Job site"  saws and the old Delta Unisaw fence 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.

The next two jigs are pretty simple- but really valuable! A taper jig designed by Steve Latta will make tapers a breeze- and cutting tails on the tablesaw with a dovetail sled lets you cut perfectly straight tails, exactly perpendicular to the face of the board- at any angle and whatever spacing you want. Your dovetails just got a whole lot better!

Any extra time during the class will be devoted to making a series of small fixtures for the tablesaw: drop stops, sliding stops and zero clearence inserts. Throughout the 5 days we will take time to demonstrate the many techniques possible with these tablesaw jigs & fixtures. 

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.

Be warned- you will go home with a full vehicle!!

Tuition: $845.00 plus materials ($159.00)

Section 021922A: Saturday - Wednesday, February 19 - 23, 9:00am - 5:00pm

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Class Images

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Testimonials

5/21/2021

Bob,

Thanks for the last five weeks. This was one of the best learning experiences I have ever had. Thanks for your patience and I look forward to taking more courses in the future. Meanwhile, this summer, I'll keep practicing dovetails and I'll look forward to seeing you at the open house. 

Myles

11/2/2015

Bob,

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

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