thumb Pekovich Tea Chest 1 640Winter/Summer 2018 Class Schedule available. Click here for more information.

Schedule of Classes -   Winter - Summer - 2018:

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.

This series is not a required prerequisite for  any other classes contained in this schedule.


Woodworking I

Walnut Jewelry Box


A hands-on course that covers the basic concepts of woodworking and furniture making. This eight-session class is a combination of demonstrations and hands-on practice. General shop safety (with particular concentration on using the tablesaw) is emphasized.  Students will utilize the skills, techniques and tools (both power and hand-tools) being taught in the class in the making of a walnut jewelry box. This project could also be used to store a variety of other personal items. Skills learned will provide a strong foundation for subsequent furniture-making classes. Class size is limited to 12 students.  Tuition: $395.00 plus materials ($59.00)


Section 041418A: Saturday & Sunday, April 14,15, 28 & 29,  9:30am—5:00pm

Section 042518A: Wednesday evenings, April 25—June 13, 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


An eight-session class that is a continuation of the Woodworking I class. This class utilizes a combination of hand tools and power tools in the construction of a valuable piece of furniture. Techniques learned in the previous class are put to extensive use as more advanced techniques and skills are introduced. Mortise and tenon joints, grain matching, and using handplanes are a few of the new skills students will learn while making a cherry hall table as their project. Class size is limited, Woodworking I is a prerequisite. Tuition: $395.00 plus materials ($225.00).

Section 032018A: Tuesday evenings,  March 20—May 8, 6:00pm—9:30pm

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

General tool list    (will open in a new window)    

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Woodworking III

Woodworking III level classes feature a variety of more complex projects. Students are expected to complete some basic work at home such as scraping, sanding and dry-fitting, thus leaving more actual class time for the more complex operations. Shop time for this handwork only can be arranged if you have no facility to work at home.

Fundamentals of Cabinet Making

Building Kitchen Cabinets with Tim Spratlin


The pinnacle of home cabinetmakinag is the kitchen cabinet. This is also a subject that many people have asked for over the years. Tim Spratlin is a professional cabinet maker and is able to show you loads of time saving techniques to help you on your way to building your own kitchen cabinets. You may just be interested in a simpler project like a bathroom vanity– but the techniques and principles are all the same! Tim will review the standards involved in modern kitchen design; ie. the height of counters, depths of cabinets, etc., and demonstrate the installation process. The cabinet you will make in class is a small (about 28” wide) free standing unit that utilizes all the challenges you will face in building a full set of cabinets. The project will incorporate a face frame, a raised panel door, a drawer, a laminated top and European hardware.  Options for different types of countertops will be discussed. The cabinet you make in class could then be used at home as a free standing vanity, a storage cabinet or even a sharpening station in a workshop- but more importantly, it will give you the knowledge and confidence to tackle that larger kitchen project that you have been putting off!  If you’ve been waiting for the right time to rebuild your kitchen, then this class will get you started on the right track. This class meets four full days over two weekends. Tuition $495.00 plus materials.

Section 051918A:    Saturday & Sunday, May 19,20 & June 9, 10,  9:30am - 5:00pm

originally scheduled for: February 24, 25 & March 24 & 25

general tool list    (will open in a new window)


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Rick Angus small bowl 640One Day Woodturning with Rick Angus

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

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

Tuition: $125.00 plus materials.

Section 022418, Saturday, February 24, 9:30am—5:00pm

Section 051918B, Saturday, May 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: $295.00 plus materials ($49.00)

Section 041818B: Wednesday evenings, April 18—May 23, 6:00pm –9 30pm

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Basic Woodturning Weekend with Rick Angus


Rick Angus small bowl 640Many people have asked for a beginning turning class to be offered in a weekend format. This class will cover much of the same material as the six-night class but because of time constraints we will not be able to cover as much material in as much depth. The class will cover spindle turning, bowl turning and basic lathe use, safety and sharpening. Students will have the opportunity to make a number of spindle and faceplate projects during the weekend including a mallet, a bowl and a small plate or platter.  This is a great introduction to the fascinating craft of woodturning. Tuition: $275.00 (plus materials: $32.00)


Section 042118B: Saturday & Sunday, April 21 & 22, 9:30am—5:00pm


Section 062318B: Saturday & Sunday, June 23 & 24, 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. This class will be four consecutive Wednesday nights and students will have the opportunity to turn a shallow bowl, a deeper bowl, and time permitting- a third bowl or a plate (think very shallow bowl…). Participants will learn to make jigs and fixtures that will be useful in finishing the bottom of any bowl. We will get into the use of a four jaw chuck as well as alternative ways to hold the work on the lathe without using a commercially made chuck. Sharp tools are essential so we will be spending time at the grinder learning about sharpening bowl gouges and scrapers. Techniques for sanding and finishing bowls will also be covered. This is a great class whether you have turned a number of bowls already or have never even thought of turning a bowl. Sign up today. Space is limited to the number of lathes we have!

Tuition: $275.00 plus materials.

Section 030718B: Wednesday evenings, March 7— 28, 6:00pm – 9:30pm

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Professional Furniture Finishing Techniques

Finishing - Start to Finish- with Greg Massicotte

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Most woodworkers shy away from finishing or are disappointed in their attempts at finishing the projects they have spent so much time and effort in making. Greg Massicotte has been finishing furniture professionally for over twenty years and has taught countless seminars and classes. Students will learn about bleaching and wood preparation, how to use aniline dyes, pigmented stains and glazes in combination to create the dramatic effects and colors they want. The many different choices for top coats always create a lot of questions. This class will expose students to brushing on varnishes, wiping on oils and spraying lacquers. This experience will help clarify the strengths and weaknesses of each topcoat system. Rubbing out the finish and French Polishing will round out the class. With the huge number of finishing questions that come up daily, you should be sure to fit this valuable class in. Tuition $295.00 (plus materials: $45.00)

Section 041618B: Monday evenings, April 16—May 21, 6:00pm—9:00pm

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A Woodworker's Guide to Finishing with Mike Pekovich


Every woodworker knows the joy and stress of putting on that first coat of finish on a project. A finish can bring out the beauty of a piece, but it can also highlight every flaw. Add to that the wide range of dyes, stains and finishing products on the market and the finishing process can get down right scary. In this class, you’ll learn how easy it is to get the silky smooth, low-luster finish that is the hallmark of handcrafted furniture using a simple wipe-on finish. But there’s more to it than following the instructions on the can. Mike Pekovich, art director of Fine Woodworking magazine, will show you a simple step-by-step process that will yield excellent results every time.

The class will cover everything you need to know from preparing the surface to building a finish to final waxing. You'll also learn a simple 30-minute finish that's perfect for small projects and last-minute gifts.

And in the event you need to add a little color to your work, Mike will offer tips for preventing blotching and a strategy for combining dyes and stains in order to dial in the perfect color. Tuition: $125.00 Materials are included.

Section 030318A: Saturday, March 3, 9:30am - 5:00pm

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Zen of French Polish with John Coffey

French 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: $275.00 plus materials

Section 031018A: Saturday & Sunday, March 10 & 11, 9:30am - 5:00pm

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Six Week Furniture Making Intensive

Six Week Intensive Furniture Making with Bob Van Dyke

bvd veneer web

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.  I just finished a five week class with this format in November and I really believe it was one of the best classes I have offered in years. Everyone really learned a lot and had 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 those new hand skills, cutting a tenon by hand turns out to be a pretty simple affair which you will be able to do!

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

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

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

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 another whole day just on sharpening.

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 the total beginner but rather someone who has done a bit of woodworking and is now ready to get serious and really learn some skills. If you are a beginner then you should sign up for the Fundamentals of Furniture Making or the Woodworking I class.

This is an opportunity you do not want to miss. Tuition: $2400.00 plus materials number 4_small

Section 040218A: Monday - Thursday April 16 - May 24, 2018, 8:30am - 4:30pm

 General tool list (will open in a new window)

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Speciality & Weekend Classes

Learn to Carve a Concave Newport Shell and a Block Front Drawer Front with Al Breed

al breed concave newport shellSome of the most iconic furniture made in the colonies was done in Newport, Rhode Island. Major elements of these pieces are the blocking and convex and concave shells on the doors and draws. In this class we’ll do the concave shell and blocking of a Newport  draw front. This will involve the layout and carving of the concave center shell as well as the process involved in doing a blocked section of the front.

The work will be sized so that you may use it as part of a chest, should you decide to make one.

Tuition: $325.00 plus materials

Section 030318A: Saturday & Sunday, March 3 & 4, 9:00am—5:00pm 

pdfTool_list_Al_BreedConvex_shell_and_block_front.pdfblockfront 640

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Cabinet Wood Identification with Randy Wilkinson- Its not as simple as it seems!

Wood Identification

 Did you ever look at a piece of wood and wonder what wood it is? And why it looks the way it does? Were you ever confused about which wood it is: mahogany or walnut, cherry or poplar, especially if you are looking at an antique that has an aged finish on it? Distinguishing mahogany from walnut may be easy in the unfinished state, but it is not that straight forward when looking at an aged surface.

This two-day hands-on workshop will explore all these topics and more. It is designed specifically for curators, collectors, antique dealers, appraisers, and woodworkers.  The goal of this workshop is to familiarize the student with the physical properties of wood and recognize species specific wood cell structures of nineteen different species. It will also discuss the social, political and economic factors that led to the trade in some of our most cherished woods. Case studies will be introduced to show the importance of identifying wood correctly. Not knowing what species of wood you are looking at is sometimes more important than knowing what it is. 

On Saturday, basic wood anatomy will be introduced, including grain, figure, fundamental differences between softwoods and hardwoods, and more. The student will learn to identify common hardwoods that are used in antique furniture using a 10x loupe.

On Sunday, the class will be held at the Webb Dean Stevens house in Wethersfield (about 10 minutes from CVSW). Sunday’s class will run from 11:00am – 4:00pm. Students will get a rare opportunity not only to see one of the finest collections of American furniture, but also to identify woods used in a selection of great objects in an intensive and hands-on inspection.  

No experience is necessary. Tuition $295.00, plus materials which includes a hardwood sample kit, 10x loupe, The “Wood ID Bible”- Identifying Wood by Bruce Hoadley and admission to WDS. Class size is limited to 15 students. Sign up today!

Section 050518A: Saturday & Sunday, May 5 & 6, 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.   MIke Mascelli HeadShot web


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

Sign up Today! Tuition $275.00 Plus materials ($55.00)   

Section 031018A: Saturday & Sunday, March 10 & 11, 9:30am—5:00pm

Beyond Basic Inlay - Working with Shell, Mother of Pearl and Metals with Mike South

Mike south_inlay_web1

Mike South will introduce students to the basics of cutting and inlaying various types of shell products and other materials into musical instruments and other flat surfaces. The techniques are applicable to many different materials such as veneers, brass, silver and gold sheet stock and some of the softer natural and reconstituted stones. Topics will include the choice of needed tools and supplies, types of materials, techniques for reproducing artwork for use as templates and techniques for cutting the materials and inlaying them into surfaces for decoration and embellishment. Although Mike’s current specialty is stringed instruments, he has years of experience in wood turning as well as furniture design and construction so the techniques can be used in decorating these types of projects as well. Students will be introduced to the basics of how to position themselves so that the time spent cutting is used to best advantage.  Layout and routing of the channels for the inlays will be explained so as to make for the cleanest outcomes.  Traditional patterns and motifs will be supplied by the instructor, but if students have designs or artwork that they’d like to try, they’re encouraged to bring it to class. Specialized tools and various types of shell will be available from the instructor. Other basic supplies can be purchased locally. A list of suppliers will be included so students can acquire materials and tools for future projects. Inlay work can be very challenging but also a lot of fun. Proper instruction goes a long way and the rewards for patience and persistence are very satisfying. Sign up Today! Tuition: $275.00 plus materials  Mike South_inlay_web_3Mike south_inlay_web_2

Section  031718B: Saturday & Sunday, March 17 & 18, 9:30am—5:00pm

General tool list  (will open in a new window)  

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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: $125.00 plus materials ($20 paid directly to instructor)

Section 040718B: Saturday, April 7, 9:30am - 5:00pm

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The Next Level of Working with Veneer with Darryl Keil-

all about Veneer, Vacuum Presses and Adhesives

 Darryl Keil Demi Lune 640The ability to work with veneers and incorporate them into your woodworking projects offers creative design options not possible with solid wood alone. If you want to expand your woodworking skills and creativity then this class will take you to the next level. In this two day hands on class with nationally known veneer expert, Darryl Keil students will explore the techniques and tools of veneering through creating a 12 way radial matched table top. Darryl is one of this country’s innovators with working with vacuum presses. Because vacuum presses open up a whole level of advanced veneering techniques a portion of this class will be devoted to exploring the possibilities using a vacuum press- not only for veneer work but also as a creative solution to complex clamping problems.

Creating curved panels, veneering curves, shaped part as well as other options will be discussed and demonstrated. We will be using the vacuum bag-not only with a platen but for free forming curved work without a platen! Darryl Keil began making furniture in 1976 after attending the Portland School of Art, and was a pioneer in the application of vacuum pressing technology to the woodworking industry. As a leading expert on veneer work he serves as a technical consultant to furniture manufacturing facilities across the country. His company, Vacuum Pressing Systems, operates out of Brunswick, ME. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to learn from a leader in the field. Sign up today. Tuition: $295.00 plus materials

Section 051918A: Saturday & Sunday, May 12 & 13 , 9:30am - 5:00pm

originally scheduled for: May 19 & 20

General tool list  (will open in a new window)  

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Sand Shaded Bandings-The Fascinating Art of Making Decorative Bandings with Michael Wheeler


The rest of the write up will follow soon, but suffice it to say– the bandings class we did with Michel Wheeler in early December was great! People had a great time and learned

Bob Van Dyke sand shaded banding 640

  a whole lot about this fascinating and seemingly complex collection of techniques. In this next weekend class in what we hope will become a regular series of ornamentation classes we will concentrate on making decorative bandings that incorporate the technique of sand shading. This is a unique technique where parts are singed in hot beach sand to produce a three dimensional appearance. It is great fun and something that can be incorporated into just about any woodworking project. Michael Wheeler, Owner of Tomorrow’s Antiques, Boston, MA, NBSS Cabinet/Furniture Making 77, has been repairing and restoring Period Americana for over 40 years, specializing in Federal Furniture. He ’s been collecting & researching New England and Imported bandings & paterae’s for over 25 years. Sign up today. Space is limited.Tuition: $275.00 plus materials 

Section 060218A: Saturday & Sunday, June 2 & 3, 9:30am – 5:00pmMichael Wheeler sandshaded bandings 640



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: $275.00 plus materials

Andrew Hunter 1

Section 060218B: Saturday & Sunday,  June 2 & 3, 9:30am - 5:00pm

general tool list (will open in a new window)

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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 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 Tea Pot is not included….)     Pekovich Tea Chest silo 640

Tuition: $495.00 plus materials

Section 031718A: Saturday & Sunday,

March 17 & 18 and April 7 & 8,  9:30 – 5:00pm       Pekovich Tea chest 3 640

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Make a Cabriole Leg with Phil Lowe

phil lowe cabriole legThe cabriole leg is a graceful and essential form in most Queen Anne style furniture and we are fortunate to have Phil Lowe, an expert in this furniture style, hosting this unique two-day hands-on class. Phil is a nationally known craftsman and author whose work and articles have appeared in Fine Woodworking Magazine for many years. Phil, who also runs his own furniture-making school and custom furniture business in Beverly, Mass. will begin by teaching students the basics of design and layout for a graceful cabriole leg that could be used in a Queen Anne style “tea table”. Students will go on to layout their own leg, bandsaw it to shape and spend time refining the shape with rasps, spokeshaves and scrapers. The class also features demonstrations of the layout and carving of a shell on the knee or a “C” scroll decorative element as well as turning a foot and pad on the leg. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn from one of the leaders in the field. Some specific tools will be required and are listed on the school web site. Sign up today- space is limited. Tuition: $325.00 plus materials

Section 012018A: Saturday & Sunday, January 20 & 21, 9:30am – 5:00pmBeldenTeaTable640


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The Basics of Using Handplanes with Bob Van Dyke

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Handplanes can be one of the most useful and rewarding tools in the workshop – or they can be one of the most frustrating! Learn how to effectively use handplanes in your work with Ct. Valley School of Woodworking director, Bob Van Dyke. Which handplane is right for a particular job? What should you look for when buying a new or a flea market plane? How are they “tuned up”? And most importantly- how are they sharpened? These are just a few of the questions that will be answered in this exciting two-day class. We will also go thru many of the basic (and not so basic) types of handplanes- starting with the Stanley bench-planes and going on to compass planes, shoulder planes and combination planes like the Stanley #45 & #55. Because sharpening is such a basic part of using a handplane we will also make sharpening "projection jigs" for each person during class. This is a simple device that ensures the same sharpening angle each time you sharpen. The second day will be spent getting your planes sharpened and tuned up so you can start practicing using it. Techniques such as smoothing a surface, beveling a table edge, planing a curved surface, shooting edge joints, using shooting boards, fitting mortise and tenons and planing end grain will all be included. Don’t miss this unique and informative class. Space is limited. Tuition: $275.00 plus materials

Section 063018A: Saturday & Sunday, June 30 & July 1, 9:30am – 5:00pm


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Carving in the 17th Century Style with Peter Follansbee

Follansbee salem scrolls 640Join well known Massachusetts woodcarver, Peter Follansbee for this unique hands on class. In this two-day course, students will learn the steps and processes used to recreate carving patterns from seventeenth-century furniture of England and New England. Starting with a single gouge and mallet, we will focus on technique and posture. Also considered are proportions, spacing and the relationship between background and foreground in establishing the pattern/design. Each successive practice pattern builds upon the previous example, adding more tools and concepts. We will incorporate hand-pressure, mallet work, and the use of the V-tool in outlining designs. A compass, awl and marking gauge are used to layout the geometric basis for each pattern, but freehand work is included in each a well. A range of designs will be covered, all drawn from surviving examples studied in museum and private collections. Follansbee opposing lunettes 640

A segment of the course will be devoted to a pattern Follansbee calls an “S-scroll” and multiple versions of it will be explored. Students will learn ways to combine and contrast these patterns, adapting them for use as furniture accents. Some designs are applicable as narrow framing parts, others as wider panel designs in joined furniture. V-tool work, gouge work and shaping and modeling surfaces all will be addressed. Background punches will create a textured surface, offsetting the smooth texture of the original planed panels. Various shop-made punches highlight the carved designs. Painted backgrounds will be exhibited and discussed, but will fall outside the scope of this weekend workshop. The final project in the class will be a panel design utilizing many of the techniques shown in the initial exercises. This is the first in a series of classes we will be doing with Peter this year. So if you are interested in this distinctive type of furniture and carving style then don’t miss this opportunity to work with one of the leading people in this field. Tuition: $295.00 plus materialsFollansbee Frame and Panel Modified

Section 021718A:  Saturday, Sunday  February 17, 18, 9:30am - 5:00pm


Follansbee box carving detail

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SketchUp Success for Woodworkers with David Heim

sketch upThis class is for people who are serious about woodworking and want to learn how to use the SketchUp 3D design program to save time and money in the shop. With SketchUp, you preview the actual construction of a piece and generate absolutely accurate plans, patterns, and templates. The class is built around four rules for success for using the program to its best advantage. You will need to bring a Windows or Mac laptop loaded with the full-featured free version of SketchUp. We spend the morning on exercises that introduce the important SketchUp tools and get you accustomed to working in a 3D space on the computer. In the afternoon, you see how the rules for success work by designing a piece of furniture. You’ll also learn how to create measured drawings and a cutlist. Go to to download the full-featured free version, called SketchUp Make 2017.

Tuition: $125.00.

Section  051218B: Saturday , May 12 , 9:30am - 5:00pm

This class was previously scheduled for March 24

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Make a Cutting Gauge with  Bob Van Dyke

bob van dyke cutting gauge FWW cover640

One of the foundations of superior furniture making is good layout. Good layout is based on the ability to cut a single accurate layout line. This is accomplished with a good layout knife and a good cutting gauge. Surprisingly good cutting gauges seem to be a thing of the past. Sure- there are some out there with really pretty rosewood and brass- but if you look a little closer you see how badly they are made, how poor the cutter is (it is ground incorrectly and it is usually installed backwards!) and they are really expensive!

Why not join Bob Van Dyke in this weekend class to make you own cutting gauge. Based on a design he learned from woodworking expert Will Neptune, this gauge has all the attributes of a great marking tool. It has a large face to register solidly against any surface, a long beam (12”) which lets you use it like a small panel gauge and, most importantly, a single bevel spear point cutter made from a Ron Hock marking knife. In your choice of cherry or walnut. This tool will out perform any cutting gauge on the market today- and- you made it yourself! Sign up today. You will learn some good woodworking techniques, shape your own cutting gauge to fit your hand and learn how to sharpen and use the tool, accurately over and over, meet some new people and have a good time doing it! Tuition $125.00 plus materials

Section 021718A: Saturday,June 23,   9:30am - 5:00pm

originally scheduled for February 17

Note: cutting gauge photo by Fine Woodworking Magazine staff

General tool list (will open in a new window)

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Beginning (or Refresher!) Carving with Mary May


Mary May begin carving 640This beginner carving class will help get you started in the wonderful world of woodcarving. Well known professional woodcarver, Mary May, will guide you through the problems and mysteries that you may encounter when beginning to learn to carve wood. We will cover tool safety, sharpening, working in the correct grain direction, and many basic and important carving techniques. We will work through several complete carving projects, including a floral design and scallop shell in shallow relief. It's going to be a lot of fun, so don't miss out! Both beginner and experienced carvers are welcome, but we will mainly be focusing on the woodcarving basics. Tools required are listed below. The school does have some of the tools but most people find that trying to share them around during class is frustrating and it is better to have your Yes– this class is meeting Thursday & Friday! Sign up today!

Tuition: $345.00 materials are included

Section 032218A: Thursday & Friday, March 22 & 23, 9:00am - 5:00pmMary May begin carving 2 640

Carving tools you will need:

6mm v-chisel

#3, 6mm

#3, 14mm

#5, 14mm

#7, 6mm

#7, 14mm

The above set can be purchased here:

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Beginning Electric Guitars - Build a Telecaster or Stratocaster with Mike South


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

Starting with a solid wood body we will bandsaw and rout the basic shape, fit and fine tune the maple neck (we will purchase pre-made necks for this beginning class), fine tune the rosewood fingerboard and install all the hardware, electronics and both pickups. Finishing is an important part of any guitar so we will also spend a few nights of class time applying your choice of finishes. The end of the class will be final setup & tuning of the guitars and then a jam session to prove how good they are! Mike South has been building guitars, banjos and mandolins since 1981 and is the owner of Windjammer Instruments.  Sign up today for this exciting new class and have the satisfaction of building (and playing) your own heirloom quality instrument. Tuition $495.00 plus materials ($439.00).

Section 041418B: Saturday & Sunday, April 14, 15 & May 5 & 6,  9:30am- 5:00pm

  General tool list  (will open in a new window)  

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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 Steve Kain


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 class takes the place of Woodworking I & Woodworking II and provides a strong foundation for more advanced furniture projects. Tuition: $795.00 plus materials

Section 061118A, Monday - Saturday, June 11 - 16, 9:00am - 5:00pm

 general tool list    (will open in a new window)

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Build a Portable Tool Chest with Mike Pekovich

toolchestAre 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. Recently featured in Fine Woodworking magazine, the chest has a tool well at the top where you can store hand planes and backsaws. Below it are two drawers that can be outfitted for chisels and layout tools and anything else you can think of. Join Mike Pekovich in this unique week-long class and build not only the tool chest, but a rolling stand as well. We'll assemble the case with dovetails and 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: $795.00 Plus materials

Section 060418A, Monday - Saturday, June 4 - 9,    9:00am-5:00pm

 General tool list (will open in a new window)

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Carving for the Furnituremaker with Mary May

Mary May 640Have you ever wanted to add carved decoration to your furniture? Professional woodcarver, Mary May, wants to help you get there. She will begin by teaching some of the basics like reading the grain and  carving in the correct grain direction, how to make efficient carving cuts, how to work through a complex carving project, and how to sharpen gouges to a razor edge. During this 5-day carving class, Mary will walk you through a variety of different projects such as floral relief carving, fan carving, traditional acanthus leaf carving, various types of molding and even how to carve a ball and claw foot. Whether you have never touched wood in your life, are a hobby woodworker, or a career furniture maker, this class will help you get to the next step of making beautiful shapes in wood. And besides that, it's a lot of fun! Don’t miss this great class with Mary– It will add a whole new level to your woodworking. Sign up today! Tuition: $ 795.00 plus materials

Section 061818A, Monday - Friday, June 18 - 22,  9:00am—5:00pmMary May gadrooning 640

 Mary may floral 640   Mary May leaves 640



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Build Two “Rafter Tail” Tables with Darrell Peart

Darrell Peart Rafter Tail coffee table 640Join nationally known furniture maker and designer, Darrell Peart as we journey into the world of the Greene & Greene brothers.

Daryl’s “Rafter Tail” Tables combine classic Greene & Greene features along with an extra measure of Asian influences. They would be well placed in a contemporary setting just as well as in an Arts & Crafts environment.

In this unique five-day class, students will build two mahogany (or sapelle) rafter tail tables. You can choose top build one end table and one coffee table, or both can be coffee tables or both can be end tables. Wooden tops will be made in class but the design lends itself nicely to tops of other materials such as glass or slate. Check Daryl’s website for some of the variations he has made on the basic design. (Note- only wood tops will be provided in the class.)   Darrell Peart Rafter Tail detail 640

Although the parts for the 2nd table should be cut out and ready to assemble – it is likely to not be finished in class.

This is a truly unique project and Darrell Peart is one of this county’s leading furniture designers and is an authority on Greene & Greene furniture styles. Sign up today– space is limited and this class will sell out soon.

Tuition: $795.00 plus materials

Section 062518A: Monday—Friday, June 25—29, 9:00am—5:00pm

Darrell Peart Rafter Tail table glass top 640

general tool list    (will open in a new window)

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Creative Box Making with Doug Stowe

Doug Stowe box 1 lightened 640Well-known box maker and writer, Doug Stowe will host this unique weeklong hands-on class. Take a week off and learn from one of the best  as we look into the creative process that is always a big part of building unique and beautiful boxes. Most of us have been inspired by the many box makers exhibiting quality workmanship in creative and unique designs. As a beginning or intermediate box maker, you may wonder, “How do I get there from here?” There is a common misperception that inspiration comes from out of the blue, but our own lives and interests may provide the opening of a doorway into personal expression and meaningful work. Doug Stowe’s classes are always flexible and he makes every effort to personalize instruction and meet individual needs.    As Doug does in his own shop, in this exciting weeklong class we will start with the wood. The beauty of wood is what will provide the inspiration. Unlike other classes, you are welcome and encouraged to bring wood from your own supplies, as it expresses something very personal about each of us and carries part of our character and interests into the creative environment of the shop. Of course you can always pick the wood from the school stock also. An understanding of wood and its nature as a creative material is ground zero in the understanding of design. We begin Monday morning with a discussion of the material and its characteristics, with a particular focus on how our understanding of its properties can lead us to excellence in the final product. We will then discuss the other elements of design, and types of joints. We will quickly make necessary jigs to begin crafting boxes using a variety of joints, each personalized to the taste of the maker. Each student should be able to complete between one and three unique boxes during the week. Sign up soon. Don’t miss this opportunity to work with one of this country’s leading craftsmen. Tuition: $795.00 plus materials used.

Doug Stowe box 4 640

Section070918A: Monday - Friday, July 9 - 13,  9:00am—5:00pm

Doug Stowe box 7 640

General tool list (will open in a new window)

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


In this fast paced class students will have the opportunity to build the traditional cabinetmaker’s workbench they have dreamed about! Let’s face it- the benches we build in the school during the year are great (especially for the price!) but nothing beats working on a traditional workbench constructed entirely of 8/4 and 12/4 rock maple. A flat top, wide enough to accommodate most work, wooden bench dogs to hold the work in conjunction with the end vise, a sturdy shoulder vise, a tool tray to keep the smaller tools you are working with in one place and about 300 pounds of dead weight all make this bench a pleasure to work on. The massive trestle base joined with wedged mortice and tenons knocks down for easier (relatively!) moving (We have fit these into mini vans easily). We use the Lie Nielsen tail vise and Chain drive shoulder vise hardware. It is hands down the best we have ever seen. The bench is 7' long and 26" wide and weighs about 300 pounds.   This is a great project to further your woodworking skills and is a bench you will treasure for years and pass on to future generations.  Sign up today- space is limited- and be ready to work hard- you will go home with a finished workbench (minus an actual finish if you decide to add that)! Tuition: $795.00.00 plus materials (materials are approximately $1495.00- includes all Lie Nielsen Vise hardware and our own wooden benchdogs)

Section 072918A: Sunday - Saturday, July 29 - August 4,  9:00am - 5:00pm

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

General Tool List  

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Upholster a Historic Side Chair with Mike Mascelli

Mike Mascelli Upholstered chair weeklong 640This special 4-day class, scheduled to immediately follow the 2018 SAPFM Mid-Year Conference in Old Sturbridge Village, Mass is a great opportunity to see and learn the basic traditional upholstery process- start to finish. The class will be a combination lecture, demonstration and hands-on in which Mike will provide an overview of the history, tools, techniques and materials of upholstery. Mike Mascelli has been an upholsterer and teacher of upholstery for many years 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 focus the lecture and demonstration on the differences between traditional materials and techniques and modern ones, as well as discussing a number of “hybrid” options available for creating historically accurate upholstery treatments from simple slip seats to elaborate wing chairs.

Students will complete a fully upholstered side chair (frames will be provided) by completing all the of the required steps including stretching and tacking webbing, cutting and fitting the foundation, lofting, and show cover materials, and installing a proper dust cover. Students will be able to choose from rubberized horsehair, modern foam and Dacron stuffing materials in various combinations. To complete the project, students will learn basic blind stitching and can choose to customize their chair with the addition of welting, decorative trim and/or decorative nails. Students with no prior upholstery experience should be able to complete this piece during the 4-day class session.

Unfinished chair frames, and all necessary materials including a selection of show cover materials, will be provided as part of the materials fee. Students are encouraged to bring their own show cover material (2 yds of 54” material) and their own basic hand tools (tool list will be provided), however loaner hand tools, including pneumatic staple guns will be available for those who choose not to bring their own.

Students will receive a companion CD with containing, copies of all the slideshows, excerpts, illustrations, yardage charts, and sources of supply. This class is tailored to those students particularly interested in period furniture styles but is appropriate for anyone with an interest in the tools, terminology and techniques of the upholstery.

Sign up Today! Tuition $595.00 Plus materials ($75.00)   

Section 072418A: Tuesday – Friday, July 24 – July 27, 9:00am—5:00pm

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Build an Eliphalet Chapin “School” Desk on Frame with Will Neptune

chapin desk on frame 640We are pleased to announce a new series of projects in our continuing relationship with the Windsor Historical Society and their re-interpretation of the Strong -Howard House and now the office of 18th century physician Doctor Chaffee. Over the next two years we will be building three pieces of furniture for the re-interpretation of the Doctor Chaffee office. The three pieces include an apothecary chest, a “kitchen” table and this desk on frame which will be based on an original cherry desk which is considered part of the “Chapin school”- which means that based on design and construction characteristics it is attributed to a cabinetmaker who would have worked for East Windsor cabinetmaker, Eliphalet Chapin. The original, part of the Garvin Furniture collection at Yale, will be measured precisely and used as the model for our project. Unlike other classes we have done, we will be taking some liberties with the design. The original features pad foot cabriole legs but we are offering the option of doing ball & claw feet on the legs if you would prefer. We will also change the drawer layout to more closely mimic the usual Chapin drawer/ apron configuration. The interior gallery is simpler than most which is in keeping with the Chapin aesthetic and building the slant front lid offers unique technical challenges in the correct installation of the hinge hardware.

This class will begin as a week-long class but we are estimating another three, possibly four fall/ winter weekends will be necessary in order to complete the project. Because we are uncertain of the actual time needed the tuition price may have to be increased if we do need to add more class meetings. Sign up today. This is a unique class which offers the opportunity to learn from one of the best instructors and furniture makers in the country. Tuition: $1595.00 (based on three fall weekends in addition to the 5 day class listed here) plus materials

Section: 080618A: Monday—Friday, August 06—10, 9:00am—5:00   ChapinDesk1 inside640

General tool list    (will open in a new window)    

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Build an Arts & Crafts Style Tall Dresser with Mike Pekovich

Mike Pekovich tall dresser 640Have you been think of making a dresser? Did you make the low style dresser that we made with Mike in 2015? Here's a great Arts and Crafts-inspired piece with a light and lively look that still packs in a lot of storage and it complements the dresser we made in 2015. The case features tapered legs and an arched overhanging top. The frame-and-panel design simplifies the construction so the project comes together quickly. In this weeklong class with Fine Woodworking's Mike Pekovich, you'll learn how to make a lightweight, rock-solid case using double mortise-and-tenon joinery. We'll also take advantage of efficient building strategies that you can put to use on other projects as well. Finally, we'll fill out the case with traditional dovetailed drawers that will provide a great lesson in fast, accurate dovetail joinery. Given the limitations of a 6-day class you should not expect to fully complete the dresser in class. The dovetailed drawers alone are a day’s work for an experienced furniture maker. You should expect to have the dresser far enough along that you can comfortably finish it up in your own shop. Don’t miss this opportunity to build a family heirloom under the guidance of a great instructor. Sign up today. Tuition: $795.00 plus materials

Section 081318A: Monday - Saturday, August 13 - 18, 9:00am - 5:00pm

general tool list    (will open in a new window)

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Build the Belden Tea Table with Bob Van Dyke & Gil Tyler

Bob Van Dyke BeldenTeaTable640The Hartford area has some of the best examples of that which is considered “Connecticut” furniture. Many people think of Connecticut furniture as being “country” or even just “different”. That may be the case with some pieces but this Wethersfield table is really the quintessential Connecticut tea table. With its deeply and distinctly shaped top and long slender cabriole legs it is both elegant and unique. This project is based on exact measurements that we have taken of the original which participants will be able to visit and inspect on the first day of our class. If you have never made a cabriole leg this is a great opportunity to try your hand at that along with shaping the aprons of the table and cutting and shaping the wide cherry top.

While the project has some definite challenges it is really a simple piece so do not let the project intimidate you. This class would be appropriate for woodworkers of even moderate experience who are ready to take the next step in their furniture making education and experience. Bob Van Dyke Belden Tea Table leg 640Belden Tea Table inside 640

CVSW director Bob Van Dyke has been studying & making period furniture, is an associate of the Society of American Period Furniture Makers and writes extensively for Fine Woodworking Magazine. Gil Tyler is a maker, collector and antiques dealer who brings years of Connecticut furniture knowledge to this unique class. Sign up today– This will certainly be a fun class. Tuition: $795.00 plus materials

Section: 082718A, Monday—Friday, August 27—31, 9:00am—5:00pm

General tool list    (will open in a new window)    

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Class Images

cabinet makers workbench class 2009 025.jpg






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

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

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