2011-2012 Local Workshops

Furniture Grade Hardwood – Getting the most for your money – an RWS free open house

Saturday, 9/10/11, 9:30AM to 3:00PM at GW Woods

Please join us for our 2011-2012 season opener. We will be having a free open house at GW Woods in Victor, NY. Its a wonderful opportunity to re-connect with other RWS members, learn about how to get the most for your lumber dollars, and introduce yourself to one of our corporate sponsors – GW Woods. In addition, GW Woods has agreed to increase their normal 5% RWS discount to 10% for this one day.

Greg of GW Woods will present a free workshop on selecting furniture grade hardwood at 10:00AM and 1:00PM.

Learn how to select furniture grade hardwoods from an expert. Learn about:

  • Flat sawn, rift sawn and quarter sawn wood, and how these choices effect lumber characteristics and usage
  • The characteristics of kiln dried vs. air dried woods and the potential pitfalls of improper drying
  • The characteristics of common furniture hardwoods, hardness, workability, open and closed grain, etc.
  • Wood movement due to moisture changes and internal stresses
  • How lumber is graded and what the terms mean for waste calculations and potential use
  • How to choose lumber from the stack that will give you the best value for your dollar
  • What’s popular, what’s available, where the market is going in the near term

Come in time for one of the two presentations. Stay for all or part of the day. You will have a chance to browse (and purchase from) G.W. Wood’s extensive selection of domestic and exotic hardwoods and to ask questions that will help make your next lumber purchase more effective.

Hand Planes 101, Selecting & Tuning Woodworking Hand Planes

Hands-on, Instructor: Al  VanDeMoere; Thursday, 9/22/11, 12:30PM to 6:30PM,

Get the most out of your hand plane investment. In the first of a four part series, students will be given an overview of wood planes, the “tuning” techniques used to improve and control their performance, and an opportunity to completely tune up one hand plane per attendee. Emphasis will be on Stanley planes (both Bedrock and Bailey), as well as all types of bevel up planes. What plane for what job? will be discussed. Techniques and secrets for cleaning parts, removing rust, and flattening what needs to be flat, will all be reviewed at length. Please bring a hand plane to tune.

Introduction to SketchUp

Wednesday Evenings, (9/28/11, 10/5/11, 10/12/11) from 6:30PM to 9:00PM

Learn the basics of computer aided design using the most popular and least expensive (it’s free) program on the market. This 3 session workshop will provide the knowledge required to design your own woodworking projects on the computer and introduce you to models available on the web from Popular Woodworking Magazine and others. You must bring your own laptop computer. A wheel mouse is highly recommended.

Bandsaw 101

Saturday, 10/15/11, 9:00AM to 3:00PM, with Al Van DeMoere

Al Van DeMoere has agreed to offer a brand new workshop on setting up and using the band saw. This is a lecture/hands-on workshop where participants will learn how to set up and tune the bandsaw for optimal performance. Each person will then have the opportunity to cut a cabriolet leg from poplar that we will provide. The cost will be $40. Lunch will be provided.

Make a Pennsylvania Style Spice Chest

A multi session “Super Workshop”

We’re offering a unique (and frankly experimental) opportunity for up to 6 intermediate level woodworkers this year. With instruction and advice from Tim Talma and others, you will build your own Pennsylvania Style Colonial Spice Chest. The instruction will emphasize hand tool work for most operations. Some power tool work will also be a part of the class. In addition to participation in the classes, somewhere between 16 and 40 hours of work in your own workshop will be required between sessions in order to stay on schedule. How much time will depend on the tools and techniques you use, and your experience level. Advice and limited access to tools will be available from the instructor and others.

Tools required for each session are listed below. Please consult with the instructor before purchasing anything.

  • Eye and ear protection
  • Router – with ¼” & ¾” straight bits, 90 degree V-bit
  • Dovetail saw
  • Bench chisels
  • Clamps – 2 x 24″ or longer and 2 short clamps for holding work
  • Cordless drill, for driving screws in Jig set ups
  • 1 ¼” drill bit for jig making (forstner or spade bit will do)
  • Screwdriver
  • Set of small drill bits (brad point preferred)
  • Card scrapers
  • Block plane
  • Ruler
  • Square
  • Marking gauge (cutting gauge preferred)
  • Marking knife
  • Straight edge
  • Pencil

Tools that are nice to have, but not required:

  • Shoulder plane
  • Smoothing plane
  • Jack plane
  • Moving filletster
  • Router plane
  • Small router plane
  • Full half set of hollows and rounds
  • Stanley 45 or other combination plane
  • Lie Nielson inlay kit
  • Plow plane
  • Compass
  • Dividers
  • Circle template

The cost of the workshop (all sessions included) will be $100. Materials will be provided (required) for a fee.

Class 1 – Case construction

Saturday, 10/8/11, 9:00AM to 4:00PM, Location TBD

Class Size: 6 Students

Description: This class will build a dovetailed case. The construction techniques used are appropriate for all cases, from a full sized chest of drawers, to a jewelry box. The case built in class will be for the spice chest, but we will also discuss variations commonly used in other projects.

Techniques: In this class you will learn case dovetailing, dados for dust dividers, Stopped dado construction, proper wood selection for each piece in a case.

Class 2 – Case partitions and the drawers for them

Saturday, 11/12/11, 9:00AM to 4:00PM, Location CP Rochester

Class Size: 6 students

Description: This class will build partitions for a small case. The construction techniques used in this class are appropriate for use in small chests, desk galleries, and jewelry boxes.  We will also be learning how to fit drawers into the partitions, as well as building secret compartments, discussing different methods of planning for them and how to access them while keeping them a secret.

Techniques: In this class you will learn how to fit small parts to a case, including setups to ensure equal spacing. You will also learn to fit small drawers and joinery techniques for secret compartments. We will also learn the proper method of using a shooting board.

Class 3 – Molding

Saturday, 1/14/12, 9:00AM to 4:00PM, Location, CP Rochester

Class Size: 6 Students

Description: This class will teach the techniques for making moldings.

Techniques: In this class you will learn how to lay out molding for consistent results. You will also learn how to safely make small molding. We will also cover making custom scrapers to clean up and finish the molding. Cover the correct methods to intersect molding, as well as the proper way to attach molding in cross grain situations. If time permits we will also cover making moldings using molding planes and making custom blades for the Stanley 45.

Class 4 – Frame and Panel door and feet

Saturday, 2/18/12, 9:00AM to 4:00PM, Location CP Rochester

Class Size: 6 Students

Description: This class will cover the techniques needed to create a through tenon frame and panel door. In the class we will cover making a flat panel tombstone door, with mitered decorative details. We will also cover several different types of feet common to this style of small chest.

Techniques: In this class you will learn template routing, how to make through mortise and tenons, how to fit a door to an opening, and how to miter an edge detail.

Class 5 – Line and Berry inlay

Saturday, 3/24/12, 9:00AM to 4:00PM, Location, CP Rochester

Class Size: 15 Students (the 6 from the Spice Chest series plus 9 others)

Description: This demonstration class is open to participants of the Spice Chest workshop. It will also be open to all RWS members. This class will cover all of the steps in making line and berry inlays. This is a great technique that’s easy to do and can dress up any project. Few other techniques have as big an impact, for such simple work. We will cover the tools used and how to make some of the specialty tools required. Other forms of inlay will also be covered as time permiits.

Techniques: We will cover the methods used to make the line and berry patterns. We will cover the layout, placement, and order of the inlay steps. We will also cover making some of the specialty tools used in this technique.

Tools Required: Lie Nielsen inlay kit is really nice to have, if not the entire kit the radius tool is wonderful to have. Cutting gauge, Jack or jointer plane, set of bench chisels, marking gauge, layout square, ruler.

Stationary Power Tools 101, Table saw, jointer, and surface planer

Instructor: Al  VanDeMoere, Saturday, 11/19/11, 9:00AM to 3:00PM

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 and table saw will be discussed at length. Accessories and dealing with problems such as “snipe”, and surface finish problems will be discussed with special emphasis on safety, and the inherent limitations of the machines. Dust collection options and concerns will be covered also.

Design synthesis, Idea to Finished Project

Wednesay Evenings, 1/4/12, 1/11/12, 1/18/12, 2/1/12 from 7:00PM to 9:00PM

This workshop was canceled. We will try to bring it back next year.

Joinery 101

Saturday, 12/3/11, 9:00AM to 4:00PM, Location: CP Rochester

There are relatively few basic, woodworking joints. They do have many varients, however. There is also a bewildering array of techniques for making them. Some involve hand tools. Some involve power tools. Some involve a combination of both. You need to know:

  • What the options are for each joint
  • What the advantages and disadvantages of each technique are
  • What you can do with the tools and level of experience you have today
  • Why you might want to try a new technique

The workshop will deal primarily with mortice and tenon and other long grain to long grain joints and all of the options for making them. The workshop will be a combination of presentation and hands on work.

Hand Planes 201, Sharpening and Tuning Woodworking Plane Irons

Saturday 1/28/12, 9:00AM to 3:00PM

Goal: Understanding iron sharpening and to complete one iron that you
can shave with.  Reference material includes: Leonard Lee “Sharpening”.

Overview: This workshop will focus on sharpening (forming, sharpening,
& honing)and repairing hand planes. The process is applicable to all
cutting tools.

Instructor: Alan VanDeMoere


  • Cutting Iron bevels
  • Plane bed angles
  • Mouth opening and chip formation
  • Overview of sharpening materials: ceramic, water stones, diamond plate, oil stones
  • Detailed process of Veritas MarkII w/ water stones and micro bevels
  • Repairing a Stanley handle (tote), or knob
  • Cambered cutting edges and when to apply them
  • Scraper sharpening (time permitting)

Spindle Turning – Tools and Techniques

Saturday, 2/11/12, 9:00AM to 4:00PM

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. A small material fee will be charged.

Handplanes 301, Hand Plane Usage and Specialty Woodworking Planes

Instructor: Al  VanDeMoere; Saturday, 3/10/12, 9:00AM to 3:00PM, “

In the third part of this series, Students will learn what plane to use when, and how to prepare a simulated table top for finish by cutting (planning and scraping) vs. sanding. Special purpose planes (scrub, grooving, molding, etc.) will be discussed. The use of a shooting board to increase both the accuracy and utility of your hand planes will also be demonstrated. Reference: Garrett Hack “The Hand Plane Book”

Fundamentals of Solid Inlay

Saturday, 3/24/12, 9:00AM to 3:00PM

Inlay as a form of decoration has been around as long as woodworking. It can be used as both accent and as a form of personalization. In this workshop, participants will have an opportunity to learn about the inlay of decorative elements (wood, metal shell and stone) into solid wood panels. We will cover the tools and materials used for string inlay (line and berry), and the evolution of these techniques to make pictorial inlays with exotic materials. Materials, tools (including those you can make) and sources of supply will all be discussed. There will be an opportunity for hands on work in making a small inlay. This is a stand alone course, however, it will also serve as an optional (extra cost) 5th class for participants in the Spice Box Workshop.