The 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 with a short grain border and inlay between the two. 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.
Creating curved panels, veneering curves, shaped part as well as other options will be discussed and demonstrated. 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 050617A: Saturday & Sunday, May 6 & 7, 9:30am - 5:00pm
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“Green” Woodworking has gained a whole new popularity in the last few years and Peter Follansbee- who has been a “green” for woodworker for over 25 years, has quietly been in the forefront of the movement.
In this 2-day class, we’ll learn the techniques for carving spoons from green wood, using a hatchet, a straight knife and a hook tool. This work is some of the most exciting green woodworking happening today. Using freshly-cut birch, apple, cherry and other woods, we will hew the rough shape, then learn safe and efficient knife technique for refining the spoon’s design. Hollowing the bowl is done with a tool called a hook knife, or spoon knife. Shaped like a question mark, this tool easily removes wood for the spoon’s bowl. We’ll focus on techniques, but tied to the spoon’s success is spoon-design. Not the decoration, but the form - we’ll learn what makes a good spoon, and how to achieve that. Each student will need to bring a small, double-bevel hatchet, and a “sloyd” knife. The easiest one of these is the Morakniv/Frost 106. Other maker’s knives are fine. Tools should be sharp. Follansbee will have some hook knives for students to use, but if you have some, be sure to bring them. He will demonstrate the chip carving on his spoon handles; but there won’t be time to work on this in class. Sharpening the tools will also be covered. Some tool recommendations: https://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/2015/06/11/some-spoon-carving-hatchets/
Sign up today- space is limited. Tuition:$295.00 plus materials
Join 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.
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 materials
Section 052017B Saturday & Sunday, May 20 & 21, 9:30am – 5:00pm
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 060317A: Saturday & Sunday, June 3 & 4, 9:30am – 5:00pm
If the historical evidence (i.e. inept repair) is any indication the problem of repairing and replacing missing veneers is one that has flummoxed furniture craftsmen for generations. The main issues for successful veneer restoration are 1) getting the grain pattern right, 2) making the new piece to fit the void of the loss perfectly, and 3) understanding and exploiting the properties of the adhesives, especially hide glue. These topics, and more, will be covered in this one-day hands-on workshop. The tools for this are simple, and nothing is more useful than to have a good inventory of veneer scraps in-hand. Tools and materials will be provided by the instructor, but if you have a small veneer repair project to work on, bring it along. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to work with one of the leading experts in this field. Don recently retired from the Smithsonian Institution where he was a senior conservator for over 3 decades. Don is also the editor and translator of the Andre Roubo books published by Lost Arts Press and the Author of Virtuoso: The Tool Cabinet and Workbench of Henry O. Studley.
Section 061017A: Saturday, June 10, 9:00am—5:00pm
One of the hallmarks of Federal style furniture is the small oval inlay compositions known as "patera," a term probably derived from Roman oval serving trays. One of the most popular expressions of this art form is the stylized conch shell patera, and in this one-day hands-on workshop you will be able to execute a completed patera yourself, ready for inlaying into a project once you go home. The processes of sawing and shading the elements with scorching sand will be demonstrated first by the instructor and then you will get on to making your own. All tools and materials will be provided by the instructor. Tuition: $149.00 plus materials.
Section 061117A: Sunday, June 11, 9:00am—5:00pm
Are you tired of trying to use dull chisels and handplanes? Most people don’t use these tools effectively because they don’t know how to sharpen them or don’t realize what a sharp edge actually feels like! Many beginning woodworkers are sucked into the advertising for the latest and greatest jig to use when in fact, sharpening any chisel or plane iron is a simple and quick process that does not require a whole bunch of expensive and time consuming equipment. We will explore the techniques required to do the initial tune up the tool in order to create a razor sharp edge. Using two stones, a simple (and cheap) honing guide and a simple projection jig (that you will make in class) you will learn how to maintain that edge in under 3 minutes each time you re-sharpen. This class will focus on basic sharpening techniques but will also go into the many different types of sharpening stones, machines and guides on the market. We will also explore using a bench grinder to repair edges and what its role is in day to day sharpening.
The key to successful and fast sharpening is to have a consistent bevel angle- whatever that is. Before you start sharpening your own tools you will make a simple projection jig which ensures you are using the same angle every time you sharpen. Time permitting, sharpening a card scraper will also be demonstrated. Bring along a chisel or plane iron to work with- Please- Do not bother bringing an old beat up tool- This is NOT a Chisel Rehab class- A new tool will teach you much more and you will actually have success sharpening it. Tuition $125.00 materials are included.
Section 081317A: Sunday, August 13, 9:30 - 5:00pm
In this two day class, professional saw-smith, Matt Cianci, will guide students through the process of building a 12 inch backsaw - almost from scratch. Starting with kit of rough parts (purchased by the student ahead of time - see options below) and their choice of hardwood stock for the handle, students will make a complete backsaw which will work as well, if not better, than most you can buy on the open market - and - you will have made it yourself! Instruction will begin with handle design and form, then progress through rough cutting, shaping and fitting. Students will then be guided through the critical steps of joining the back and the spring steel saw blade, and finish up construction with drilling and mounting the finished handle. Finally, students will be instructed how to file, set, and sharpen the teeth to the configuration they prefer- rip, crosscut or sash. This is a class that is sure to thrill novice through experienced woodworkers. Tuition: $275.00 plus materials
Backsaw kits must purchased prior to class at one of the suppliers below:
080517A: Saturday & Sunday, August 5 & 6, 9:30am - 5:00pm
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 tool. It has a large face to register solidly against any surface, a long beam (12”) which lets you use it like a small panel gauge and, most importantly, a single bevel spear point cutter made from a Ron Hock marking knife. Which brings us to the other part of the class - the marking knife. Each student will begin with a ¼ inch Hock marking knife. These are about 7 ½” long. We will cut off about 2” of the blade for the marking gauge cutter and then you will have the rest as a great single bevel marking knife.
The important thing here is that you will learn some good woodworking techniques, shape your own cutting gauge to fit your hand and learn how to sharpen and use the tool, accurately over and over, meet some new people and have a good time doing it!
Sign up today- space is limited. Tuition $125.00 Plus materials ($36.00)
Section 081217A: August 12, Saturday, 9:30am - 5:00pm
General tool list (will open in a new window)
In this one day class, students who have completed their seat frames will get a short general introduction to basic upholstery, and then learn all of the specific techniques to professionally upholstery the seat for their chair. We will begin with installation of “zigger” springs and a sturdy decking material to form the foundation for the upholstery treatment. The padding layers will then be built up with firm foam, softer foam and finally a Dacron batting, all of which will be consolidated with a full muslin sub cover to create the final “sit” and “loft” for your chair. With the under upholstery complete, the show cover of premium leather-look vinyl will be properly tucked and folded, and the seat then finished off with a proper black dust cover on the bottom, making it ready for use.
The materials fee will include all of the required springs, padding, muslin and vinyl show cover (choice of brown or tan), and students may either bring their own tools or use loaner tools available in class. Students who wish to purchase their own genuine leather show covers should be sure that they are 3-4 oz (1.0 – 2.6mm) in weight and at least 30 x 30 inches of clear unblemished material. One yard of other suitable upholstery fabric can also be substituted for the vinyl. Sign up today: Tuition: $125.00 plus materials
Section 091617A: Saturday, September 16, 9:00am—5:00pm
Learn about making carved oak boxes with well-known carver Peter Follansbee. Peter is one of the country’s leading authorities on 17th century carving and furniture construction and happens to be a great teacher! Based on his extensive study of 17th-century originals; these boxes will be oak, with pine tops and bottoms. The work features extensive carving on the front and sides, (“No blank space!” says Peter.) We’ll explore the various traditional patterns for the carvings, and after some practice, we’ll dive in and carve the box parts. Rabbet joints, secured by square wooden pins, form the box carcase. On the inside of the box we will make a lidded “till”, a small compartment fitting between the box front and back. Pine bottoms, attached with handmade nails, pine lids, along with a wooden “pintle” hinge, complete the project. Follansbee will have several examples along with him, and a slide presentation exploring the original boxes which will help provide context and inspiration. Don’t miss this great unique class. This is the perfect opportunity for those of you with no carving experience as 17th century style carving in wet oak is very simple and forgiving- and quite a lot of fun! Sign up today. Tuition: $ 495.00 plus materials
Section 111017B: Friday – Monday, November 10 – 13, 9:30 am – 5:00pm