Schedule of Classes - Summer - Fall  2023


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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Step Into Woodworking
In Person, Hands on Projects for the Complete Beginner with Bob Van Dyke

Do you have projects around the house that keep getting put off because you lack the confidence- or the skill, to use tools properly and safely? Or maybe you have wanted to learn about woodworking and just want to get started the “right” way. Check out this new series of classes that CVSW Director Bob Van Dyke has developed.

This series of hands-on classes is designed to use simple, readily available power and handtools utilizing lumber that can be gotten at most home centers. These classes will not be using stationary machines like the tablesaw, Jointer or Thickness planer.

Building these projects will give you the knowledge and confidence to tackle other more complex challenges, whether it is fixing stuff around the house or maybe building some shelves in the closet.

These classes are designed for the absolute (or nearly absolute!) beginner who wants to get into woodworking as a hobby- or someone who just wants to build some simple projects or do some repairs around the house. You can take the classes in this series in any order you want. The first in the series- “A Simple Stylish Bench” will be followed up with other projects such as a simple plant stand, a small wall mounted bookshelf, and a small storage box that could be used just about anywhere. After that-Who knows? The sky is the limit!

Step One:   A Simple Stylish Bench

Bob Van Dyke simple bench RED 800The focus of this class is on safety and on using tools that don’t cost a fortune and are readily available just about anywhere.

We will discuss which basic tools you will need, simple measuring and marking techniques, how to size parts accurately with a chop saw, how to make a decorative cut out at the base of the legs using a jig saw and a router and using the router table to form the joint between the stretchers and the legs. We will explore strategies used to bevel the top- both with hand tools and power tools. Along the way we will talk about using cut nails as an option for some of the joinery, using a router to shape parts and, before you leave, we will apply a coat of milk paint- a finish that will complement the project nicely and one you will find yourself using on any number of other projects .

 The inspiration for the design of this bench comes from Kentucky Furniture Maker, Daniel Chaffin

Sign up today. Class size is limited to 8 students.

Tuition: $495.00 plus materials ($90.00)

Section 092923A: Friday, Saturday & Sunday, September 29 - October 1. 9:30am - 5:00pm

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Fundamentals of Furniture-Making
with Bob Van Dyke 



These classes are designed for students who have some woodworking experience already and want to take the plunge into finer solid wood furniture making. They are also appropriate for people who have been working with wood already and are interested in expanding their knowledge and experience. These classes are based on traditional furniture making techniques and will utilize all the major woodworking stationary machines, ie. Tablesaw, bandsaw, jointer, thickness planer, router & router table. As in any traditional woodworking, we will also be combining extensive handtool use with the machines


Fundamentals of Furniture Making series is NOT a required prerequisite for any other classes contained in this schedule.


Furniture Making I

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

Bob Van Dyke A C side table 800This six day (two 3-day weekends) hands-on class is an opportunity to learn the basic concepts of woodworking and furniture making.

General shop safety (with particular concentration on using the tablesaw) is emphasized and we will combine the use of  power & hand tools to effectively & efficiently build an Arts & Crafts Side Table in white oak. An important part of the class is mastering the concept of “milling a board four square” Using the jointer, thickness planer & tablesaw, students will come away with a working knowledge of how to make– and keep– solid wood flat, straight and square. This is a great vehicle to learn and practice solid joinery techniques along with learning to surface stock with a handplane & card scraper. Grain matching is essential to any good furniture glue up and we will concentrate on that when we glue up our tops.

This class provides a strong foundation for more advanced furniture projects while making a great side table that will compliment any home. Sign up today- space is limited to 8 students. This class is six days. Tuition: $945.00 materials ($165.00 plus tax)

Section 092223A: Friday, Saturday & Sunday, September 22—24 & Saturday, Sunday & Monday, October 7—9, 9:30am—5:00pm

Call 860.647.0303 to sign up for any class on this website

General tool list  (will open in a new window)  

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: $465.00 plus materials ($49.00 plus tax)


Section 091823B: Monday evenings, September 18—October 30, 6:00pm—9:30pm  No class September 25   

Section 110123B: Wednesday evenings, November 1—December 20,    6:00pm—9:30pm  No class November 15 &   22                


 Call 860.647.0303 to sign up for any class on this website

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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 9!

Tuition: $165.00 plus materials ($26.00 plus tax).


 Section 100723B: Saturday, October 7,  9:30am—5:00pm

Section 111923B: Sunday, November 19, 9:30am—5:00pm

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Woodturning II - The Next Step! - with Rick Angus

Rick Angus Bowl 640

Now that you have made a few bowls on a glue block, join us to learn the next level of cross-grain bowl turning techniques.  We will use the fundamental cutting technique taught in the Basic Woodturning class and begin class with a refresher exercise.  We add additional wood mounting techniques including four-jaw chucks, single screw mounting and very accurate rim jam chucking.  These methods add versatility to your repertoire and assure accurate mounting on the same axis each time.  

We will also be doing some spindle turning exercises for those who are interested in turning for furniture projects. 


Class is limited to those who have completed the Night time Beginning Woodturning or the weekend Basic Woodturning so that we all begin with a consistent experience.  Bring your design ideas, tools and questions and prepare to jump to the next level of woodturning.   Sign up today. Space is limited.

Tuition: $465.00 plus materials.

Section 110623B: Monday evenings, November 6 - December 18, 6:00pm—9:30pm  (no class November 13)

 Call 860.647.0303 to sign up for any class on this website

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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: $385.00 plus materials ($32.00 plus tax)



Section 092323B: Saturday & Sunday, September 23 & 24,  9:30am—5:00pm

Section 120223B: Saturday & Sunday, December 2 & 3, 9:30am—5:00pm

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Turn a Bowl from a Log with Rick Angus

Rick Angus Bowl 640

Turning "green" wood offers turners opportunities that don't exist when using kiln-dried lumber. You are not limited by stock lumber sizes or species. The wood is actually easier to turn and it is usually free!! BUT- there are some special techniques that must be used to prepare it for turning and to preserve the piece as it dries.  We will be using the "Twice-Turned" technique wherein an oversized bowl is turned from green wood that requires a few months to dry before finishing.  Students will be given a dried rough bowl, previously turned by the instructor and this piece will be turned to completion, dry and ready to finish.    Come spend the weekend with Rick Angus and increase your woodturning experience. Students will turn a series of bowls during this exciting hands-on class. Some turning experience is required. Students are encouraged to bring in some examples of their previous work for discussion. Tuition: $365.00 plus material ($50.00 + tax)


Section 030423B: Saturday & Sunday, March 4 & 5, 9:30am - 5:00pm

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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 !

 Sign up today– space is limited.

Tuition $385.00 plus materials ($45.00 plus tax)

 Section 102823B: Saturday & Sunday, October 28 & 29 ,  9:30am—5:00pm

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Speciality & Weekend Classes

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 $445.00 plus materials

 Section  101423A: Saturday & Sunday,  October 14 & 15, 9:30am - 5:00pm


Call 860.647.0303 to sign up for any class on this website

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Learn to cut Houndstooth Dovetails with Frank Strazza

Frank Strazza Houndstooth Dovetails card table 800In this two-day class Frank will guide you through the process to create his signature houndstooth dovetails. You may have seen Frank’s dovetails on the cover of a recent Fine Woodworking Magazine, however,  there is no substitute for in-person instruction. Frank will guide you through the subtleties & complexities of creating this unique and distinctive joint. From methods of sawing and chiseling to layout and fitting you will get plenty of hands on practice.

Frank will begin the class with sawing exercises which is really the key to success in any handcut dovetail joinery. Guiding you through the process, from careful layout to sawing, then on to correct chiseling techniques. 

This joint is both beautiful and structural and can be used in everything from bench construction to drawer sides.

Sign up today! Class is limited to 8 students. Tool list will be available in January

Tuition: $425.00 plus materials

Section 060123A: Thursday & Friday, June 1 & 2, 9:30am – 5:00pm  Frank Strazza Houndstooth dovetails Bench 800

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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: $415.00 plus materials

Section 110423A: Saturday & Sunday, November 4 & 5, 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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Build  a Cantilevered Chair in the Style of George Nakashima’s  “Conoid” Chair with Chuck Bender

Chuck Bender Cindy Cantilever Chair 800George Nakashima was one of the most influential studio woodworkers of the twentieth century. In this class, we take inspiration from several cantilevered chair designs to make a chair of our own that makes a visual statement.

Chairs can be some of the trickiest projects to build because of the angular joinery. While the construction of this chair is fairly straightforward, there is plenty to test the skills of woodworkers of any skill level. Whether you’re still perfecting woodworking skills or you’re a seasoned veteran, this project is a great gateway into chairmaking. Unlike Queen Anne and Chippendale chairs, where compound-angle joinery abounds, cantilevered chairs are single-angle and easily created using modern power equipment. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t any handwork for those hand-tool enthusiasts. The seats and spindles are shaped and finished by hand.

The first two days of this class are spent working on the design of the chair, understanding chair mechanics, and creating the structural joints. The second two-day session focuses on saddling the seat and attaching the spindles and crest rails.

The spindles for the back will be turned by a local woodturner but you will have the opportunity to learn how this is done. The class is broken up into two weekends so you will have plenty of time between sessions for any handwork and practicing that you will want to do.

Sign up today—space is limited! Tuition: $745.00 plus materials

Section 102823A: Saturday & Sunday. October 28 & 29 and November 18 & 19, 9:30am—5:00pm

  General tool list  (will open in a new window)  

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

Andrew Hunter 4

At the end of this three day 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 $ 385.00 Plus materials (approximately $220.00)- 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 121623B: Saturday & Sunday, December 16 & 17, 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 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: $385.00 plus materials ($16.00 plus tax)

Tablesaw dovetails

 Section 111623A, Saturday & Sunday,  November 16 & 17,   9:30am – 5:00pm

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  General tool list  (will open in a new window)  

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Introduction to Marquetry with Frank Strazza

Learn to paint with wood

Frank Strazza marquetry Roses 800Marquetry involves carefully cutting and piecing together different wood species, creating a beautiful picture, decorative element, or lettering. Dating back to the Italian Renaissance, marquetry has traditionally been used to embellish furniture, church pews, and panels in homes and palaces. Its styles and techniques have evolved over the centuries as the craft spread across the globe. 

In this 2 day introductory class, Frank will teach you some of his favorite techniques and methods, including packet cutting and double-bevel sawing, as you discover that you, too, can create this timeless art.

You will learn how to create your own veneers, which tools to use to create the marquetry. We will do some simple designs including some floral work and lettering. You will leave with the knowledge to go home and delve into this craft and hopefully with the thirst to learn more!

Don’t worry if you are not “artistic”; Frank will guide you through the process, unlocking many possibilities, but if you are an artist, please come prepared to think outside the box! Sign up today! Class is limited to 8 students. Tool list will be available in January.  Frank Strazza Marquetry Lettering 800

Tuition: $425.00 plus materials

Section 060323A: Saturday & Sunday, June 3 & 4, 9:30am – 5:00pm

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Call 860.647.0303 to sign up for any class on this website

The next step in Basic Upholstery with Mike Mascelli

A Fully Upholstered Side Chair

Mike Mascelli Upholstered chair weeklong 640This class has been specially created for students who want to learn the basics of upholstery while taking home a rewarding and challenging project.  If you are new to upholstery or have taken some of Mike's classes before- you will get more out of this class than you thought possible The class will present and build on skills including the installation of webbing and edge roll and the layering of upholstery foam and Dacron.  In addition, students will utilize zig zag springs ("ziggers") to create a very comfortable seat, and then complete a fully hand sewn outside back using blind stitches, for a finished professional look.

Each class day will feature a short Powerpoint presentation highlighting aspects of the upholstery trade, and demonstrations of all the key skills, including springing, webbing, hand sewing, cutting and installing foam, and a one on one lesson with each student, in the proper techniques for measuring and cutting show cover material.

Each student will be provided with a bare side chair frame (in cherry), and all the necessary materials to completely upholster it, other than the show cover.  Students will be required to bring at least 2 yds (standard 54” material) of their own show cover material to complete the project.  Email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you have any specific questions about this. Leather show covers are NOT appropriate for this class. Students are encouraged to bring their own tools, but loaner tools will be available for all students who may need them.

For those of you who have taken Mike’s beginning class- you know how complete, organized, knowledgeable and passionate he is. You are guaranteed to learn more than you ever expected- and have a great time in the process! Don’t wait around- this class will fill up and it is strictly limited to 8 students.

Tuition: $365.00 plus materials

Section 062423A: Saturday & Sunday, June 24 & 25, 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  Sign up today- This is always a fun class! Tuition: $165.00 plus materials ($20 paid directly to instructor)

Section 111123B: Saturday, November 11, 9:30am - 5:00pm

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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 800


  • 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 $385.00 Plus materials ($55.00 plus tax)   

new date comimg- February 2024

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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 


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 ($250.00 + tax)

Section 061223A: Monday - Saturday, June 12 - 17, 9:00am - 5:00pm 

 Call 860.647.0303 to sign up for any class on this website

 general tool list    (will open in a new window)

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Build a Japanese Inspired Blanket Chest by Hand with Andrew Hunter

Andrew Hunter Blanket chest only 800This chest is one of Andrew's favorite pieces to build.  The classic six board chest is a great project for developing your hand tool skills.  It's a small enough project not to overwhelm yet is chock full of enjoyable joinery and new skills to learn. This project by Andrew was featured on the cover of Fine Woodworking Magazine in November, 2013 ( issue # 236).


Andrew, who is best known for his use of traditional Japanese hand tools, will take students through every step of the build, including traditional hand cut through dovetails and tapered sliding dovetails.  Andrew will share his methods of work, which include a combination of both Japanese and Western techniques. Don’t worry- You will get plenty of practice in this challenging project and of course the wide Pine boards will get a hand plane finish.  There will be both Japanese and Western hand tools for students to use, but you are encouraged to bring your own, so Andrew can help you get them tuned up.   Don't miss out on the chance to improve your hand tool skills during this fun week of building a great project! 

In addition to the standard tool list, you should plan on bringing the following if you own them. The school has tools to share if you do not have everything on the list.

Dovetail saw (Rip dozuki or Ryoba), Panel saw (Azebiki), router plane, ¼” plow plane   Andrew Hunter Blanket chest assembly 800

Sign up today. Space is limited to eight students.

Tuition: $945.00 plus materials

Section 062623A: Monday – Saturday, June 26 – July 1, 9:00am – 5:00pm

Andrew Hunter Blanket Chest sliding dovetail 800

General tool list  (will open in a new window)  

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Making Tablesaw Jigs & Fixtures with Bob Van Dyke

Bob Van Dyke cross cut sled 800The 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.    Bob Van Dyke L fence 800

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!!

Bob Van Dyke L fence table top 800   Bob Van Dyke tenon slider 800

Tuition: $845.00 plus materials ($159.00)

Section 073122A: Monday - Friday, July 31 - August 4, 9:00am - 5:00pm

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Decorative Details- Making Inlays, Bandings and Paterae with Steve Latta

latta flower cropped smallJoin nationally know inlay expert, Steve Latta as we explore and push the limits of adding distinctive decorative details to your work.  Furniture makers have lots of options for enhancing their work.  Inlay and ornamental veneer work are two of the oldest methods dating back to ancient Egypt. We will spend a full week on learning Steve’s proven methods for creating striking inlays, bandings and sand shaded paterae. We will begin the week with line-and-berry inlay, a technique native to Chester County PA, which is where Steve lives.  After completing a decorative panel, we’ll move on to the Federal period focusing on bandings, ornamental stringing, bell flowers, sand shading and paterae.  We’ll discuss regional motifs and interpretations, both rural and urban, as well as the work of a few standouts. Since all of these techniques have a place in contemporary furniture work, we’ll take a look at a few,modern twists in terms of designs and methods that can really add some spice to your work.  Although a great deal of information will be presented, students will have ample time to practice and gain an understanding of these techniques.   advanced banding web

We will use a variety of tools including handtools, power tools and some tools that we will make in class. You should plan on acquiring a few tools that are basic to this kind of work. A Dremel equiped with a foot switch and the Stew Mac base along with the radius cutter from Lie Nielsen toolworks are strongly suggested. You will gain an understanding and dexterity in manipulating them all in this exciting and unique class. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn from one of this country’s leading experts on the art of decorative inlays. Steve is a frequent instructor here at CVSW and is also a contributing editor for Fine Woodworking magazine. Sign up today! Tuition: $845.00 plus materials ($75.00 plus tax)


Section 061923A: Monday – Friday June 19 - 23, 9:00am – 5:00pmLatta bird 640Steve Latta cardtable 2022 800

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Build an Arts & Crafts Rocking Chair with Mike Pekovich

Pekovich rocker silo 640Learn the basics of chair making and more while building a classic Arts and Crafts rocker. In this six-day class we'll cover bent lamination techniques, angled tenon joinery and cutting tenons on curved parts, while making a rocking chair guaranteed to be the most comfortable chair in your house. Fine Woodworking magazine Editor & art director, Mike Pekovich, will show you his method for breaking down a complex project into simple steps that you can put to use on any project. The class is also a great lesson in building an original piece using craftsman details for an authentic Arts & Crafts look. We anticipate that participants will have most of the chair completed by the end of the class but do not be surprised if you still have some minor “finishing up” work to complete in your own shops.  Pekovich rocker arm 2 640

Don’t miss this great opportunity to learn from a great instructor and make a great furniture project. Sign up today. Tuition: $945.00 plus materials ($170.00 plus tax)

Section 060523A: Monday - Saturday, June 5 - 10, 9:00am – 5:00pm

Pekovoich rocker finished 640     Pekocvich rocker arm 640


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The Joy of Woodcarving – Spend a Week with Mary May

Mary May 640

What 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: $945.00 plus materials ($28.00 plus tax)

Section 071023A: Monday - Friday, July 10 - 14, 9:00am – 5:00pm

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Mary May Acanthus 640

 Mary may floral 640   Mary May leaves 640



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Build a Benchtop Tool Chest with Mike Pekovich

Mike Pekovich small chest 800Are you starting to gather a hand tool collection but have no place to put it? Here's a great tool chest that's big enough for an essential tool set, but small enough to take along with you to your next woodworking class. A slightly smaller version of Mike’s chest featured in Fine Woodworking magazine, this chest can fit comfortably on the end of your workbench and keep all of your tools within reach. It features a tool well at the top where you can easily access all of your planes, saws and chisels. A pair of drawers below offer even more storage as. Join Mike Pekovich in this unique week-long class where we’ll assemble the case with dovetails and through tenons, and top it off with a frame-and-panel lid. Finally, we'll build dovetailed drawers and outfit the interior with dividers custom-fit for your tools. Your collection of tools need a safe place to be and what better way to bring them to your next class at CVSW! Sign up today. Space is limited. Tuition: $945.00 plus materials ( $249.00 plus tax)

Section 081423A: Monday—Saturday, August 14 - 19, 9:00am—5:00pm  

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Class Images

demilune table 011.jpg





Just a quick note to say how much I appreciated and benefitted from the recent 5 week intensive. I hope you get as much satisfaction in teaching it as we received knowledge from the class. I didn’t return with a trinket, a box or a table … but I did return with a better understanding of workmanship and the process to get there. That was exactly what I was looking for.

The dovetails continue to improve (someday they’ll meet my standards), the L-fence is already on the saw and you gave me sufficient challenges to keep me busy for some time.

I hope our paths cross again.





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.