RWS Showcase 2011 Best in Show by Ralph Mosher


We are a group of men and women in Upstate NY dedicated to the enjoyment of woodworking. Membership includes lectures and workshops by renowned woodworking personalities and local professionals as well as free access to our extensive lending library of books and videos.

RWS welcomes everyone interested in the craft whether professional or hobbyist. Join the company of hundreds of enthusiasts - carvers, turners, furniture makers, boat builders, and other skilled craftspeople and take your woodworking skills to a new level.




Recent News

  • Nick Cook - National Lecture and Workshop: 7:45 PM, November 14, 2014, St. John Fisher College (See note below for location)

    Note: Tonight's talk will be held in room 141 of the Skalny Science Center (Bldg. 28). The lending library and pre-meeting displaly will be in the atrium of the adjoining Wegmans School of Pharmacy (Bldg. 34). Enter the campus at the traffic light at the junction of East Avenue and Fairport Road and follow the 'RWS' signs. Click on this link for a campus map.

    Nick Cook owns and operates the only full service woodturning studio in the metropolitan Atlanta area. He turns a variety of work including one-of-a-kind bowls and vessels along with his unique gift items-wine stoppers, baby rattles, rolling pins, spinning tops, honey dippers, and the like. His work can be found in gift shops and galleries from coast to coast. He also provides turned parts for local furniture makers and millwork shops. He will be sharing his experiences with us the weekend of November 14 - 16.

    Nick's Friday evening talk will feature a slide show of some of his favorite turned items accompanied by a description of his turning techniques.

    On Saturday, November 15 Nick will do a demonstration workshop where he will make a variety of spindle turned items. On Sunday, November 16 he will run a hands-on workshop where participants will be able to make some of these same items demonstrated in the Saturday workshop.

    A complete list of the workshop topics Nick plans to cover can be obtained by downloading the following pdf file: Nick Cook Workshops.

    Space is limited, so register early.

  • National Speakers for 2014-15

    Click on a link for the speaker's web site, if available.

    Hilary Russell, Canoe/Kayak Builder; September 26, 2014

    Mike Mascelli, Furniture Restorer/Refinisher; October 24, 2014

    Nick Cook, Woodturner; November 14, 2014

    George Perzel, Laser Engraving/Art; January 16, 2015

    Bob Yorburg, Carver; February 20, 2015

    Glen Huey, Furniture Maker; March 27, 2015

    Garrett Hack, Furniture Maker; April 24, 2015



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Upcoming Workshops

Spindle Turning - Tools and Techniques

Instructors - Mike Brawley & David Gilbert : 12/06/14

Date & Time: Saturday, December 6, 2014, 9:00AM to 4:00PM

Location: CP Rochester

Cost: $30 for members, $65 for non-members (cost includes membership in RWS)

Material: $10

Class size: 6 - 8 people

Turning spindles (objects with their axis running roughly parallel to the grain of the wood) is fundamental to most of the turning used in furniture making. It's also the basis for turning pens, candlesticks and other useful projects. The tools and techniques differ from those used in bowl turning.  This hands-on class will allow participants to turn beads, coves and grooves in blanks provided for the class. These spindle-turning skills will be useful to furniture builders. It will also be useful for beginning through intermediate turners who would like to brush up on their tool control. RWS's lathes and turning tools will be available for your use. A small material fee will be charged.

Workshop Registration


Hand Planes 301 – Hand Plane Usage and Specialty Woodworking Planes

Instructor - Alan VanDeMoere : 12/13/14

This class is full and closed to further registration.

Date & Time: Saturday December 13, 2014, 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Date & Time: Saturday December 13, 2014, 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Location: Alan's Shop
Class size:  4 - 6 people
Cost:  Date & Time: Saturday December 13, 2014, 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Location: Alan's workshop, 52 Wilelen Rd., Rochester, NY

Cost: $30 for members, $65 for non-members (cost includes membership in RWS)

Class size: 4 - 6 people


Goal: Know which plane to use and when to use it to prepare your project for finishing by hand planing instead of sanding. Reference: Garrett Hack "The Hand Plane Book"

Overview: We use hand planes to prepare the parts of your projects utilizing the following:

· Scrub plane can be used in place of a power plane

· Jack plane, jointer plane applications and specialty set ups

· Cutting end grain and the shooting board

· Block planes, their traditional applications

· Smoothing plane and how they are set up a great surface

· Scraper plane, scraper blade, when the smoother fails

· Relationship between: cutting angle, mouth opening, iron sharpness, cutting iron support and the material being cut

· Difficult wood management, grain direction, and the dreaded "tear out"

· Winding sticks

· Wooden planes - some folks like the feel

· Molding planes, a couple of things that you must know

· Rabbit plane, router plane and their applications in the making a drawer

· Flattening/preparing a simulated table top for finish

Workshop Registration


Introduction to Stationary Power Tool Safety

Instructors - Mark Rakestraw & Rich Towsley : 01/10/15

Date & Time: Saturday, January 10, 2015, 9:00AM to 4:00PM

Location: Rakestraw Cabinetry, 850 St. Paul St., Studio 18, Rochester, NY

Driving instructions: Going north on St. Paul St. from the Inner Loop turn right (east) onto Scrantom St. Drive to the rear parking lot at the back of the building (about 100-150 yards from St. Paul St.) and enter through the loading dock. Follow signs to Rakestraw Cabinetry.

Cost:  $30

Class size:  6 - 12 people

Students will learn to set up and use stationary tools safely in order to convert a rough sawn plank into a sized furniture component piece. Complete set up of jointer, planer, table saw, drill press, band saw and router table will be discussed. Tool accessories and dealing with problems such as "snipe", will be covered. There will be special emphasis on safety and the inherent limitations of each machine. Dust collection options and concerns will be covered also. This workshop is intended for novice through advanced woodworkers.


Workshop Registration