2014-2015 Local Workshops

Build a Workbench Series

Date & Time: Saturday September 13, 2014, 9:00AM to 12:00PM

Build a bench for a lifetime. In this class you will build a workbench that is modeled after the classic Roubo that Chris Schwarz has revived. This class won’t build an exact copy of the bench (unless that’s what you want) but will tailor the bench to your needs and the type of work you do.

The classes will cover:

  • Selecting and installing vises
  • Selecting and making dog holes
  • How to construct a thick plank top
  • Constructing and installing a planing stop
  • Constructing and installing a sliding dead-man
  • Mortise and tenon joinery including through tenons

The first meeting will only be the start of the process and may very well extend through much of the year. The classes will cover everything you need to build your bench, but you will be required to invest a significant amount of time outside of class to complete your bench. The bench can be built from any type of wood, but the top should be a non-porous hardwood. Depending on the type of wood and vises you choose expect to spend $1000 or more on materials.

Making Kitchen Utensils Using Hand Tools

Date & Time: Saturday September 20, 2014, 9:00AM to 4:00PM

This full day hands-on workshop will help you get intimate with your wood. We will make an English Spatula out of cherry and a spoon out of Poplar. You will learn how to read the grain of the wood and use it to your advantage. You’ll learn the proper use of some basic shaping tools and what they can do for you in everyday woodworking. This workshop will provide some great projects for young children or grandchildren and is a great way to introduce them to hand tool woodworking.

Tools needed for this workshop include:

  • Small saw: Harbor Freight has one for under $10.
  • Spokeshave: Flat bottom (if you have 2 spokeshaves, bring both)
  • Rasp or a course half round file.
  • 1″ wide flat Chisel
  • Mallet
  • Coping saw: Lowes or Home Depot
  • Sand paper: 100, 150, 180, 220
  • Gouge; Any gouge you have that is at least ¾” wide is fine. If you need to purchase one, a 7/30 or 8/25 carving gouge is a good choice. Woodcraft should have these.
  • 12″ min. QuickClamp
  • Safety Glasses
  • Ear Protection
  • Pencil and pad
  • Scissors to cut out patterns

Optional tools:

  • Hand drill with ¾” auger bit. If you have one of these, please bring.
  • Curved cabinet scraper.
  • Fine tipped felt pen

If you don’t have all of these tools, please don’t let this prevent you from signing up for this workshop. There will be extra tools available for you to borrow.

If you know how to sharpen your tools, please do this before the workshop. If you are new to sharpening, we will have a sharpening station set up to help you. The Woodcraft web site has the spokeshave (  Woodcraft Spokeshave) and card scraper set (  Woodcraft Card Scraper set) in stock. If you have trouble sharpening the spokeshave blade, click on the following link for a neat solution: http://paulsellers.com/2012/11/grinding-and-honing-spokeshave-blades/

Hand Planes 201 – Sharpening

Date & Times:

  • AM Session: Saturday November 8, 2014, 9:00AM to 12:00PM
  • PM Session:  Saturday November 8, 2014, 1:00PM to 4:00PM

Goals: To understand plane blade sharpening and to leave with a completely sharpened blade that is so sharp you can shave with it. This blade will also work for its intended purpose, planing wood.  Reference material includes: Leonard Lee “Sharpening”.

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


  • Plane bed angles
  • Cutting iron bevels
  • Mouth opening and chip formation
  • Overview of sharpening materials: ceramic, water stones, diamond plate, oil stones
  • Detailed process of Veritas MarkII sharpening jig with water stones and micro bevels
  • Cambered cutting edges and when to apply them

Spindle Turning – Tools and Techniques

Date & Time: Saturday, December 6, 2014, 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. 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.

Hand Planes 301 – Hand Plane Usage and Specialty Woodworking Planes

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

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

Introduction to Stationary Power Tool Safety

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

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, 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.

Making Edge Tools with O1 Tool Steel

Date & Time: Saturday, February 7, 2015, 9:00AM to 4:00PM

We will help you design, shape, heat treat and temper pieces of O1 tool steel so they become useful tools. With simple metalworking tools and a MAPP gas torch you will be able to make a variety of useful tools. Some easily made tools are: awls, marking knives, chisels, scrapers, skews and such. We will have a variety of homemade tools available to give you ideas about what you can make, and if time permits we will demo how you can use a lathe to make handles for your tools. There will be an additional materials charge to cover the cost of the steel that you will use.

Hand Planes 401 – Card Scrapers

Date & Times:

  • AM Session:  Saturday, February 14, 2015, 9:00AM to 12:00PM
  • PM Session:  Saturday, February 14, 2015, 1:00PM to 4:00PM

The simple card scraper is an amazing tool when prepared and used correctly.  Unfortunately, most people set up a card scraper to perform like a paint scraper.  Sure, a paint scraper will scratch wood, but for a very short period of time, and the surface will not be “finish ready”.  Bring your card scrapers and sharpening materials and learn to tame that unruly wood. When your best smoothing planes can’t finish the job, don’t turn to sandpaper….turn to a card scraper.

Hand Saw Sharpening

Date & Time: Saturday, March 14, 2015, 9:00AM to 4:00PM

Do you have a hand saw that doesn’t saw very well anymore? Not sure where to send it to get it sharpened? Thought about trying to sharpen it yourself but did not know how? Then this full day workshop is for you. The first half of the class will be building a saw sharpening clamping device. This can be clamped to your workbench or held in most bench vices. The second half will be devoted to the art of sharpening. You will learn how to sharpen rip and crosscut profiles using the proper files. So bring a couple different saws. Panel saws with less than 12 ppi (points per inch) are preferred as bigger teeth are easiest to practice on. You will walk away with at least one sharp saw, a saw clamping device and the know-how to re-sharpen every saw in your shop.

Everyone will receive assembly ready pre-made parts for the clamping device for which there will be a $10 materials charge. This will be collected at the door.

Shaker Oval Box Making Workshop

Date & Time:

  • Saturday, April 11, 2015, 9:00AM to 4:00PM
  • Saturday, April 18, 2015, 9:00AM to 4:00PM

Participants will construct a Shaker oval box (size #2, 3-1/2″ x 5-3/4″ x 2-1/4″ high) using commercial 1/16″ veneer in cherry, walnut or anigre. Top and bottom materials will vary. Materials and specialized equipment will be provided. The class will extend over two sessions because of the need for the steam bent sides to dry. It is expected that some work at home will be required to fit the top and bottom, and to finish the box.

There will be a presentation with handouts that will cover the construction process, material selection, construction of the forms and steam box, and other projects that make use of the techniques used in the workshop.

After some clean up of the pre-cut sides, participants will steam bend, tack and dry the sides. Boxes must then dry on the forms. In the second session, bottoms will be individually fit, pinned, and glued. The band for the top will then be steam bent, and formed around the bottoms for a tight fit. The top can be fitted at home using the same techniques, and the participant can choose and apply a finish.

Bring these tools if you have them:

  • Exacto knife with standard blade, fine carving knife, or utility knife
  • Pencils
  • Tack hammer or other small hammer
  • Fine needle-nose pliers
  • Wire cutters (can be part of needle nose plier)
  • Sand paper, #80 grit to #220 grit with sanding block
  • Manual or power hand drill with 1/16″ bit

There will be a material fee of $35. The forms can be borrowed for the duration of the class, or purchased for $35.