Workshop Descriptions

We offer a variety of evening and weekend workshops plus summer intensives to accomodate your skill level and schedule. We're now offering gardening classes too! For a description of our Computer Aided Design classes, click here. Private lessons in woodworking and wood turning are also available. Check our current calendar for dates, times, and tuition; enroll by calling 413-527-6103 or by printing and mailing our enrollment packet . For information on our nine-month career training program, please click here.

Please note: we are now dividing our introductory classes into fine woodworking and basic woodworking classes. Our fine woodworking workshops are geared towards people who are interested in building furniture and higher-end cabinetry, while our basic woodworking classes are for people who want to learn the fundamentals and use tools commonly found in home workshops.

Students in the fine woodworking classes learn to select and mill rough lumber, while students in the basic woodworking classes use pre-milled lumber commonly found at home improvement centers.

If you already have some woodworking experience and would like to start with Cabinetmaking or Level II you must either 1) take our half-day milling workshop or 2) demonstrate an appropriate level of milling skill to one of our instructors. This is for your safety as well as the consistent pacing of these higher-level workshops.

If you would like to jump right into Open Shop as a fine woodworker, you will be asked to demonstrate a range of skills on the jointer, planer, tablesaw and router. People who have taken Woodworking Fundamentals are welcome to join Open Shop, but are limited to the tools they learned to use in class.

Evening Workshops

Intro to Fine Woodworking- Level I

Designed for beginners who want to learn fine woodworking, this 10-week class begins by covering the safe use of basic power tools and the essential properties of wood, followed by a lesson in milling rough lumber. You then learn and practice woodworking techniques by making a small maple box with cherry splines. The focus of this class is primarily on the use of power tools, although you will get some practice using chisels. If you want to learn how to use hand tools, take a look at our Introduction to Hand Cut Joinery class. Please bring a 16' tape measure, utility knife, pencil and paper, and safety glasses/ear protection if you have them. Meets one day weekly, 6:30 - 9:30 pm. We also have a week-long version of this class, offered in summer. Enroll now >>

Intro to Fine Woodworking - Level II

Building on the skills acquired in Level I, this 12-week class introduces you to more complex woodworking operations. You will use jigs and fixtures on the table saw, router, and drill press to construct a cherry Shaker-style table with a beautiful book-matched top. You will also learn to joint and edge glue boards to make the larger panels necessary for major furniture pieces, as well as learn more about using chisels and card scrapers. Please bring a 16' tape measure, pencil and paper, and safety glasses/ear protection if you have them. Prerequisite: Level I or the equivalent. Meets one day weekly, 6:30 - 9:30 pm. Enroll now >>

Basic Woodworking

Designed for people with little or no woodworking experience, this 8-week class teaches you how to safely and efficiently use power and hand tools commonly found in the home shop. These include the chop saw, jig saw, circular saw, power saw, and drills. You will practice these skills on pre-milled lumber as you build a small project. Please bring a 16' tape measure, pencil and paper, and safety glasses/ear protection if you have them. Meets one day weekly, 6:30 - 9:30 pm. We also have a four-day-long version of this class, offered in summer. Enroll now >>

Intro to Cabinetmaking

This 12-week course covers techniques of fine cabinetmaking. While building a small, single-door cabinet, students learn a variety of techniques including milling rough lumber, layout and optimization of sheet goods, cabinet construction methods, building a face frame, and construction, fitting and mounting of an inset flat panel door using European hinges. Students who take the one day Veneering workshop may use their veneered panel to build their cabinet door. (We schedule the veneering workshop in the middle of the cabinetmaking workshop so that your newly veneered panel doesn't warp before you use it!) Please bring a tape measure, pencil and paper, and safety glasses/ear protection if you have them. Prerequisite: Level 1 or similar experience. Meets weekly, 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm. Enroll now >>

Open Shop

If you have some woodworking experience and a project already in mind, this is the workshop for you! Bring in your plans and materials and use our state-of-the-art equipment. More information on hours and membership plans can be found here. Prerequisite: Levels I and II, Woodworking Fundamentals, or the demonstrated equivalent. Enroll now >>

Intro to Trim Carpentry

This 3-week class covers the basics of trim carpentry, including how to cut and install a variety of trim moulding like door and window casing, base moulding, crown moulding, and chair rails. Learn techniques for removing old trim, coping corner joints and other tips for creating professional-looking installations. Bring a 16' tape measure, utility knife, pencil and paper, and safety glasses/ear protection if you have them. Meets one day weekly, 6:30 - 9:30 pm. Enroll now >>

Intro to Hand Applied Finishes

This 3- week, hands-on course introduces you to a variety of commonly used hand applied finishes. We cover surface preparation, explore the options available for staining wood, discuss the types of oil and water based topcoats suitable for hand application, and learn how to rub out the final coat of finish. You will apply a variety of finishes to sample boards to get experience in each of the finishing steps. Students are encouraged to bring questions about any finishing issues or problems that they may have. Meets weekly from 6:30 - 8:30 pm. Enroll now >>

Sharpening Hand Tools

If you want a simple, repeatable method for sharpening your chisels and plane irons, this class is for you. There are as many sharpening methods as there are woodworkers, but many are difficult for the average woodworker to be successful at. This 2-week class will teach you to sharpen your tools quickly, with a minimum of effort, using a method that emphasizes repeatability and uses easily obtainable materials and jigs you can make yourself. This is a hands on class, so bring your chisels and/or plane irons with you to sharpen during class. Also available as a Saturday class. Meets weekly, 6:30 - 9:30 pm. Enroll now >>

Intro to Hand Cut Joinery

Sharpen your hand skills with this 6-week, hands-on class, where you will learn the proper use of hand tools, including saws, chisels and planes. Learn how to cut dovetail and mortise and tenon joints and take advantage of class time to practice the joinery techniques. We also discuss how and when to use this type of joinery in furniture building. Students should bring a set of bench chisels, a dovetail saw, marking knife, marking gauge, and a small square to class. You can optionally bring a coping saw or bevel gauge. We recommend that students take the Sharpening Hand Tools workshop prior to class. Meets weekly, 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm. Enroll now >>

Intro to Wood Inlay Techniques

In this 6-week class, you will first learn and practice basic solid wood inlay techniques. The instructor demonstrates how to create a compass star inlay in a piece of solid wood, and students are given time to practice on their own. Students who have taken - or plan to take - our Woodworking Level I class, may do an inlay using a piece of cherry sized to top the box that is built in that class. Mastering inlay techniques takes quite a bit of practice, so we encourage you to practice at home between classes. Students must bring their own 1/4" and 1" chisel (you can bring other size chisels as well), card scraper, and x-acto knife. Since sharpening is not taught in this class, we recommend that students first take the Sharpening Hand Tools class. Meets one day weekly, 6:30 - 9:30 pm. Enroll now >>

Weekend Workshops

Intro to the Router

In this one-day class, you will learn about wood and grain, the anatomy of a router, shapes and styles of router bits, and the operation and use of hand-held routers. The class will then advance to the router table, learning its construction and operation. You will design, machine, and construct a stacked molding and build raised panel doors, incorporating the skills learned throughout the day. You are encouraged to bring in your own router if you have one; if not, routers will be provided. Saturday, 8 am - 4:30 pm. Enroll now >>

Milling Rough Lumber 101

Learn to mill rough lumber "4 square." You'll use the jointer to flatten the face of a board, the planer to bring it to the proper thickness and the jointer again to straighten an edge. You'll then use the tablesaw to rip it to width and cut it to length, using a miter gauge and stop block. Having this skill means that you're not limited to the selection of pre-milled boards, which aren't always flat or square, available at your local home center. If you already have some woodworking experience and want to skip our Intro to Fine Woodworking Level I and go right into Level II or Cabinetmaking, you must either take this class or demonstrate to the instructor that you already have these skills. Saturday, 8 am - noon. Enroll now >>

Introduction to Veneering Techniques

Unlock the secrets of using veneer and a vacuum bag, and open a new world of design possibilities and wood choices. In this one-day class, you will learn about basic veneer matching techniques and create panels using simple and four-way book-matching. We will cover the selection and preparation of veneers and substrates, tools, adhesives, and proper use of the vacuum bag. Please bring a 16' tape measure, utility knife with a sharp blade, veneer saw (such as those available at Woodcraft - Part #15S05), and pencil and paper. You may also bring safety glasses/ear protection if you have them. Saturday, 8 am- 4:30 pm. Enroll now >>

Sharpening Hand Tools

If you want a simple, repeatable method for sharpening your chisels and plane irons, this class is for you. There are as many sharpening methods as there are woodworkers, but many are difficult for the average woodworker to be successful at. This class will teach you to sharpen your tools quickly, with a minimum of effort, using a method that emphasizes repeatability and uses easily obtainable materials and jigs you can make yourself. This is a hands on class, so bring your chisels and/or plane irons with you to sharpen during class. Also available as a two-night class. Meets Saturday, 8:00 am - 4:30pm. Enroll now >>

Hand Plane Tune-Up

IHow many times have you picked up an old hand plane, tried it out, and gave up in frustration because it didn't work properly? This one day class will teach you how to tune up any hand plane to get maximum performance. You will be amazed at what a well-tuned hand plane can do. Also covered are the types of common hand planes and their uses and the proper use and care of hand planes. Bring a bench plane, preferably a #4 or 5, to class with you to work on and optionally a block plane.  Please call us if you don't have a plane or have another type of plane you want to work on to see if it is suitable. It is highly recommended prospective students take the Sharpening Hand Tools class prior to this class.  Saturday, 8 am - 4:30 pm. Enroll now >>

Intro to Bending Wood

This one-day class introduces you to creating curved work out of solid wood and plywood. You will learn the basics of steam bending, lamination bending, and creating curved work using a vacuum bag, as well as how to create bending forms, build a steam box, and choose the correct wood and glue for bending in different situations. Saturday, 8 am - 4:30 pm. Enroll now >>

Vegetable Gardening 101

This half day seminar introduces you to the rewarding world of vegetable gardening. Learn about annuals versus perennials, heirlooms versus hybrids, early crops versus late crops, intercropping, companion planting, preparing the soil, types of raised beds, planting techniques and harvesting tips. There will be a brief demonstration on seed starting; you can also take our intensive, hands-on Seed Starting workshop. Saturday, 8 am - noon. Enroll now >>

Seed Starting Basics

This half day, hands-on workshop teaches you the basics of starting your own vegetable and/or flower seeds. Learn about equipment (to make or buy), proper soil and watering, preparing seeds for sowing, sowing techniques, problem-solving, and raising healthy seedlings. All participants will practice starting their own seeds. Containers and seeds are provided, but you can bring your own. Saturday, 8 am - noon. Enroll now >>

Summer Intensives

Intro to Hand Tools

Sharpen your hand skills with this hands-on, one-week class focused on the quieter side of woodworking. Learn the proper use of hand tools, including saws, chisels and planes, and several techniques using each of the tools. Class starts with an overview of sharpening techniques, with a chance for students to practice sharpening their own tools, followed by instruction in the use of hand planes to flatten a board, and methods of hand cutting finger, dovetail, miter, and mortise and tenon joints. You will construct a progression of small projects throughout the week that allow you to practice what you have learned. Students are required to bring a set of bench chisels, marking gauge, a dovetail saw, and at least one hand plane to class. Meets daily M-F, 8:00 am - 4:30 pm. Enroll now >>

Intro to Fine Woodworking- Level I

Designed for people with little or no fine woodworking experience, this workshop begins by covering the safe use of basic power tools and the essential properties of wood, followed by a lesson in milling rough lumber. You will then learn and practice fundamental woodworking techniques by making a small cherry box with splines. The focus of this class is primarily on the use of power tools, although you will get some practice using chisels. If you want to learn how to use hand tools, look at our Introduction to Hand Cut Joinery night class or our Introduction to Hand Tools Summer Intensive. You may also like to take the Level II workshop, which will take place the very next week. Please bring a 16' tape measure, pencil and paper, and safety glasses/ear protection if you have them. Meets daily M-F, 8 am - 4:30 pm. Enroll now >>

Intro to Fine Woodworking - Level II

Building on the skills acquired in Level I, this five-day summer intensive introduces you to more complex woodworking operations. You will use jigs and fixtures on the table saw, router, and drill press to construct a piece of medium-complexity furniture. You will also learn to joint and edge glue boards to make the larger panels necessary for major furniture pieces. Please bring a 16' tape measure, pencil and paper, and safety glasses/ear protection if you have them. Prerequisite: Level I, either as a ten-week evening course or the 5-day summer intensive. Meets daily M-F, 8 am - 4:30 pm. Enroll now >>

Basic Woodworking

Designed for people with little or no woodworking experience, this four-day summer intensive teaches you how to safely and efficiently use power and hand tools commonly found in the home shop. These include the chop saw, jig saw, circular saw, power saw, and drills. You will practice these skills on pre-milled lumber as you build a small project. Please bring a 16' tape measure, pencil and paper, and safety glasses/ear protection if you have them. Meets one day weekly, 6:30 - 9:30 pm. We also have a night version of this class. Enroll now >>

Introduction to Cabinetmaking

This 5-day summer intensive covers techniques of basic cabinetmaking in the home shop. While building a small, single-door cabinet, students learn a variety of techniques including milling rough lumber, layout and optimization of sheet goods, cabinet construction methods, building a face frame, and construction, fitting and mounting of an inset flat panel door using European hinges. Students who take the one day Veneering workshop may use their veneered panel to build their cabinet door. (We schedule the veneering workshop in the middle of the cabinetmaking workshop so that your newly veneered panel doesn't warp before you use it!) Please bring a tape measure, pencil and paper, and safety glasses/ear protection if you have them. Prerequisite: Level 1 or similar experience. Meets daily M-F, 8 am - 4:30 pm. Enroll now >>

Veneering Techniques - Level II

This week-long workshop, taught by a master veneer craftsman, takes the mystery out of veneering. Beginners will learn to create beautiful matched patterns, while students with veneering experience will learn new techniques for making more imaginative designs. The workshop covers all aspects of veneering, including when and where to use veneer, and how to find, choose and buy veneer. Each students will create a basic book match and then progress through four-, eight-, and twelve-way matches. You will learn to inlay these patterns into fields of other veneers to create standard and curved panels. Several methods for cutting, joining, pressing and finishing of veneers will be presented. You will also learn the process of hammer veneering with PVA glue, which requires no press or clamps at all. Meets daily M-F, 8 am - 4:30 pm. Not currently scheduled.

Private Lessons

We offer individualized lessons in woodworking and wood turning for $65/hour. Dates and times will be arranged between the student and the instructor. All lessons take place at our shop at One Cottage Street. Please call 413-527-6103 for more information.