The snow is finally melting. You can see the greenish-brown grass again. That means we are heading into spring. That, in turn, signifies that I need to get busy preparing for upcoming teaching gigs and you need to get on the phone to schedule classes. So to be as self-serving as I can , and to help get you motivated to attend the schools that have so graciously invited me to teach , here’s my schedule, along with a snippet of information to help prompt you to action.
Rolling down the calendar, the first class I come to is in April, the 24th and 25th to be exact. That weekend I’ll be in Franklin, IN at Marc Adams School of Woodworking (MASW). The class is “Giving Your Furniture a Leg Up.” As you might guess from the title, the class is all about feet and legs. This is not just a lecture class. You’re going to work on a few different feet and legs over the weekend. The need for good design is a given, but knowing secrets that make the work easy is usually learned through trial and error. I have a few shortcuts to pass along such as how to develop patterns from antique originals and quick and easy setups. With each leg or foot design, you’ll pickup hints about proper shaping and learn various ways to work depending on what tools you have available in your.
May finds me up in Minnesota at Mike Siemsen’s School of Woodworking. On the 24th through the 29th, we’re building a Chippendale Small Chest. This project was my first woodworking DVD. The class introduces case construction, including dovetails (hand-cut, if you please), sliding dovetails and proper 18th-Century drawer construction. The techniques learned throughout the week enable are a proper foundation to building quality case furniture from the mid-1700s design to contemporary chests. There’s a true mix of hand tools and power tools. Hybrid woodworking at its finest.
Beginning the 28th of June, I’m back to Kelly Mehler’s School of Woodworking in Berea, KY to for a week long “Baltimore Card Table” class. This project, from the pages of Popular Woodworking Magazine, is an example of the most iconic pieces of furniture from the Federal period. Veneer, string inlay, marquetry and edge banding are part of the class, as is bricking the front apron which is a great way to make things curve in woodworking , the good kind of curve. Slip on your safety glasses. This class is power tools producing handwork results. As I write, there one bench open.
During the month of July, join me just outside Philadelphia in East Coventry, PA for a class at The Acanthus Workshops. Chuck Bender has me coming in the 19th through the 23rd to build a Chester County Chest. This isn’t an ordinary chest. The drawer fronts have line-and-berry inlay. The original inlay was scratched into the surface and fill with string , which we will do some of as part of the learning experience , but in our class we’ll power up the process to work with patterns and routers. Acanthus accepts six participants per class. Call or click to register.
The following month I’m back at MASW for two classes that run back-to-back. Beginning the 23rd, we’ll build the Shaker Press Cupboard from my first book, “Fine Furniture for a Lifetime.” This piece was the most-often purchased piece in my days as a “for pay” furniture maker, but you won’t find it in any Shaker books. This piece began as a blind-door cupboard, but when a customer suggested true divided-light doors, the piece changed dramatically. From a woodworking perspective, this cupboard offers a multitude of instruction from mortise-and-tenon joinery to dovetails to pegged shelves set in dados. But the most interesting technique is how to build glass doors without router-cut rabbets for the panes.
Immediately following the Shaker Press Cupboard is a one-day class on “Finishes That Pop.” This process I use to finish most of the pieces in my books or in Popular Woodworking Magazine. Find out there is a difference in aniline dyes and that there is a reason to apply boiled linseed oil to your work. Also, discover how to use shellac even if you aren’t setup with spray equipment. Take your projects to the next level. If you cannot make the finishing class, and by all rights you should if you can because of the “hands-on” aspect, you can pick up a copy of “Finishes that Pop” from our Woodworkers Bookshop. (Click here)
If you have any questions about these classes, please contact me. But more importantly, contact the schools and sign up. It looks like a great woodworking year.