Sunday, February 15, 2009

Woodworking Schools

I'm a big fan of woodworking schools. Watching a master woodworker show his or her techniques in person where you can ask questions and where they can look over your shoulder and tweak your actions has proven to be invaluable in improving my skills.

And just as soon as I hit the lottery, I plan to become a full-time ww student.

So far, I've taken classes at Olde Mill Cabinet Shoppe, Cedar Lakes Conference Center, The Woodworks Shows, and Woodcraft. Each one has been well worth the cost and time. And two things in particular I've found to be true: 1) even if you think you know the subject well, you will always learn something new, and 2) even if you take a woodworking class you think you might not like*—whatever you learn will prove to be useful somewhere along your woodworking journey.

A friend took a class at Marc Adams School of Woodworking and says it was one of the best experiences of his life. Another friend has taken classes at Country Workshops and highly recommends it. Someone else just told me about the John C. Campbell Folk School which looks like lots of fun.

The Center for Furniture Craftsmanship is on my list of places where I plan to take classes someday. And I hear that Roy Underhill is soon to open his own school. (I am so there.)

If you've had good experiences at woodworking schools, I'd like to hear your thoughts and recommendations.

Note added 2.24.09: Links to all of your recommendations can be found on the links page in the side bar.

*I wasn't so sure I'd like chip carving, but was proven wrong. Plus, I learned another way to sharpen.

The photo above is a cherry plate I turned in class yesterday (without finish) and a poplar lidded box I turned in class last week.