Roy Underhill's New School - Popular Woodworking Magazine

Roy Underhill's New School

 In Chris Schwarz Blog, Chris Schwarz Woodworking Classes, The Woodwright's Shop, Woodworking Blogs

First the bad news: All of the spots at Roy Underhill’s new woodworking school in Pittsboro, N.C., are all filled. But here’s the good news: He’ll be scheduling more classes soon, as soon as he gets the next television season’s shooting schedule finalized.

And more good news: I’m traveling to the school next week to shoot some photos for an upcoming article that Underhill is writing for us, and I’ll give you a full report on the facility, the tools and the workbenches.

The school , called The Woodwright’s School , has been in the works for some time now, and Underhill says it is a logical extension of what he’s been doing his entire adult life.

“I began teaching woodworking over 30 years ago and continued , in a way , when I was master housewright at Colonial Williamsburg,” Underhill wrote in an e-mail. “Now I’m returning to it with my own place equipped with vintage hand tools and an atmosphere that takes you back to the 1930s.

“The Woodwright’s School will give me a chance to learn from my students and from the other craftsmen who join me there. I look forward to working with folks of all ages, and I’ll know that the school is a success when I have as many young people as I do retirees in the classes. Another step forward for subversive woodworking!”

If you want to sign up for his e-mail newsletter so you can be notified of future classes, click here. In the meantime, enjoy these photos he sent along of his facility.

– Christopher Schwarz

One shot of the exterior of The Woodwright’s School.

Roy Underhill looking ready to work in the new school.

A nice romantic shot of Pittsboro, N.C.

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Showing 7 comments
  • Warren Gregg Black Jr.

    I spent this last Saturday at Roy’s class on dovetailing. Roy is very patient with "fumblefingered" students and graciously repeated steps to ensure everyone’s success.
    I actually got to use a model 45 Stanley plane and Roy showed us how this facinating tool is properly set up and used.He also took us outside his shop to examine an old tool chest and explained how we might date it. He showed us a French carpenter’s chisel and mortise tool.When I commented that the carpenter that used it must be huge, he refered us to a picture of a small lady that was one of the users.This was one of those absolutely wonderful experiences. Roy, his wife, his shop and Pennsboro are great. I asked to please be placed on the list for future classes.

  • Alan in little Washington (NC)

    I stopped in today while passing through Pittsboro. Though I probably overstayed my forced welcome- I opened the unlocked door and entered the shop/classroom, I chatted up Roy for about a half hour. He is as gracious has oft been reported. We talked about the new ww school, his wonderful, heavy German-made benches, the new chisels donated by (I forget?), the restored early 1900’s treadle-foot powered table saw just delivered (you would need to stay in shape to use that on a regular basis!), and other WW topics. He still has some work to do before the first class but should be ready. He was shaving and fitting some mallet handles as I left.

  • Jeremy aka WoodWrangler

    Can’t wait! I’m signed up for the first class and anxiously awaiting it. At we’ve been hearing about it for some time now and glad to see the first schedule put to the calendar.

  • AAAndrew

    I live just 30 minutes north of Pittsboro and popped down there on the 11th to see what was happening. I cross-posted some pictures up on Old Tools and NC Woodworker forums as well as my blog He announced the classes over the weekend to those who had emailed him, and they were filled quickly.

    The school looks great and I’m expecting to have a very good time on March 1 when I take one of the inaugural classes. Pittsboro is a great little town. Make sure when you’re there to have a burrito at the General Store Café!

    Hope to see y’all there!


  • Mattias in Durham, NC

    This is a very timely blog entry. I was just discussing this school with my wife last night and complaining that I can’t find its website. My wife laughed at this and said St. Roy probably would advertise with a string and coffee cans.

    Here’s a link to where St. Roy got the benches (according to info in a newsletter from Highland Woodworking):

    P.S. I hate the captcha!

  • Christopher Schwarz

    I believe they are Hoffman & Hammer benches. They are commercial.

    I’ll get you a better answer next week.

    Christopher Schwarz

  • Bill

    Know anything about those benches? Did he make them or buy them? They look pretty nice. But there that dreaded tool tray… I suppose if I were expecting novice and amateur woodworkers, I might have a tool tray, too, to prevent tools from falling off the far side of the bench and clattering to the floor.

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