At the turn of the 18th Century, Federal Period 1790-1820, wealthy Boston Merchants were expanding trade routes to the Middle East, West Indies and China in their quest for whale oil. They brought back spices, pottery, fabric, furniture embellished with semi-precious stones and ivory. America was in the mist of a big celebration (25 years as a free nation) and wanted new, refreshing and exciting furniture. Cabinetmakers in Boston were creating a new style of furniture based on neoclassical designs. New specialists known as inlay and paterae makers were showing up to supply cabinetmakers with those specialized decorative items. Decorative bandings were created as craftsmen began to develop intricate patterns made by stacking and cutting these rare woods, cut into veneers, into specific geometric shapes gluing them into logs or “bricks”.They were than cut into thin strips ready to be set and glued into the surfaces of the furniture being made. These skills & patterns were very guarded and unfortunately were lost over time.
This hands on class with Boston restoration specialist, Michael Wheeler, will begin the process of recovering & teaching those long lost techniques and tricks of the trade. The pictured bandings all begin as a simple stack of black & white veneers, glued up to form a log. Depending on how the log is cut and reglued they create completely different patterns of bandings. Think of this weekend class as the beginning to the fascinating and frequently mind twisting world of decorative bandings. They can be used on any number of your woodworking projects from highly embellished furniture to boxes, trays,and even picture frames.
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 120217A: Saturday & Sunday, December 2 & 3, 9:30am – 5:00pm
In this class we will look at multiple approaches towards executing a variety of decorative motifs and techniques including bookmatching, pie patterns, and ellipses as well as more complicated forms. We’ll start off looking at veneered drawer fronts with interior borders, both square and rounded corners and move quickly to more elaborate ellipses and panels bordered with contoured stringing. We’ll also look at fielded panels applicable to drawer fronts, table tops and doors and we will discuss the wide range of available materials for face veneers, crossbandings and substrates. Both traditional and modern techniques will be addressed including vacuum bag and traditional hammer veneering.
Bring a notebook…..they’ll be lots to learn! Don’t miss this unique class! Steve is one of this country’s leading experts on working with veneers and inlays.
Tuition: $295.00 plus materials
Section 111117A: Saturday & Sunday, November 11 & 12, 9:30am - 5:00pm
This class is an introduction for woodworkers interested in learning how to sharpen their own handsaws and backsaws. The curriculum will cover jointing, filing teeth to uniform size and gullet depth, setting, and final sharpening. Topics discussed in depth will include the geometric and functional distinction between rip and crosscut teeth and how fleam and rake are combined to maximize the function of cutting along or across wood fibers. Proper file selection, filing technique, and saw vise requirements will also be discussed. No prior knowledge of saw sharpening is required. The class will be hands on with each student learning to sharpen a rip and crosscut saw. Students are encouraged to bring one or two saws only. These saws must be in decent shape. This is a sharpening class- not a saw rehab class!
Matt Cianci is a professional saw doctor. His website and blog are at http://thesawwright.com Sign up today- This is always a fun class! Tuition: $125.00 plus materials
Section 111817B: Saturday, November 18, 9:30am - 5:00pm
This 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 bring a Windows or Mac laptop loaded with the 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 www.sketchup.com to download the free version, called SketchUp Make.
Section 102117B, Saturday, October 21, 9:30am-5:00pm
Stop 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 $275.00 plus materials.
Section 112517B: Saturday & Sunday, November 25/26, 9:30am - 5:00pm
Here's a versatile little table with some funky, fun joinery going on. Over the span of two weekends, we'll try our hand at bridle joints, through-mortise-and tenons and sliding dovetails. Then we'll hold everything together with drawbore pins and top it all off by wrapping the side rails with hemp cord. There's a lot going on in a small package, and you'll walk away with not just a nice table, but a whole tool kit of design details that you can throw at other projects as well.
In quarter sawn white oak, the 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. Tuition: $495.00 plus materials
Section 111817A: Saturday & Sunday, November 18 & 19 and December 9 & 10, 9:30am—5:00pm
general tool list (will open in a new window)
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
This hands-on class features a day of sharpening and re-shaping of carving tools with nationally known furnituremaker and woodcarver Will Neptune. The tools that you buy are no where near ready to do good work. Even the “Swiss-Made” brand need significant regrinding in order to perform at their best. In this class students will regrind and sharpen at least one straight gouge along with a V tool, a double bevel skew and possibly a fishtail or backbend. With this hands-on practice you should be able to understand what is needed to keep your carving tools up to their total potential and be able to concentrate on your carving rather than the tools to do it! Sign up today– Space is limited.
Tuition: $145.00 materials included
Section 111917B: Sunday, November 19, 9:30am – 5:00pm
Many 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.
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
Section 121617B: Saturday & Sunday, December 16 & 17, 9:30am—5:00pm
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Are you looking to spice up your work in a unique and attractive way? Then you need to sharpen your chisels and try your hand at kumiko. This Japanese latticework technique is traditionally found on shoji screens, but it has been making its way into contemporary furniture and boxes. The elegant geometric patterns are created by cutting, beveling and fitting small basswood parts until they slide together forming the geometric pattern-without the need for glue. In this weekend class we will make a mitered box into which the top– with its traditional Kumiko “hemp leaf” pattern will sit. 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. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn some new techniques while making an attractive and useful box. Tuition: $275.00 plus materials
Section 121617A: Saturday & Sunday, December 16 & 17, 9:30am—5:00pm
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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 110417B: Saturday & Sunday, November 4 & 5 and December 2 & 3, 9:30am - 5:00pm
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The Ball & Claw foot leg is an essential form in Chippendale style furniture. With its graceful cabriole shaped leg and a variety of talon styles possible, mastering this leg requires some basic woodworking and shaping skills along with a systematic approach to the carving. Various sections of New England had their distinct Ball & Claw styles and within those regions leading cabinetmakers had their own very distinctive styles. Will is focusing primarily on the carving of late 18th century Windsor cabinet maker Eliphalet Chapin and his systematic approach to the ball and claw feet that were so unique o his style. Will begins the class with some discussion of the history and regional differences, design and proportion considerations and the adaptability of the basic form to different size furniture pieces. Under his direction, students will see the leg and foot develop from a series of very controlled cuts based on the initial layout of the foot. Leg shaping possibilities will be covered, but most of the class time will be spent on the carving of the foot. Each student should complete one leg and foot model and a mock up of the foot to serve as a physical record of the procedure. This is a hands-on class and a number of specific carving gouges will be required. Please inquire about this when registering. Sign up soon- space for this exciting & challenging class is limited. Tuition: $275.00 (plus materials)