Classes

Summer 2018

More to be added! Here is the line up of classes for Summer 2018! Classes are held in my shop on a quiet rural setting 35 miles North of the Twin Cities. We do our best to make our classes fun and relaxing as well as educational. With a maximum of 8 students in a class you will get plenty of one on one time with your instructor. Beverages will be on hand throughout the day and a healthy lunch will be provided. The shop is air conditioned. For the sake of other students you will be asked to please turn off your cell phone during class, you can check messages on breaks and at lunch. We also have a Wi-Fi connection. You will be expected to sign a liability waiver before you can work in the shop. The easiest way to sign up is to send me an e-mail confirming that you are coming. If you need to cancel let me know asap so I don't get materials for you. You can pay on the first day of the class. If you have any suggestions for classes please send me an e-mail. See you soon!

Private Lessons

I teach private lessons to people who can't make it to a scheduled class or want a focused approach to what they want to learn. Private classes for groups can be organized as well. The rate is $60 per hour for 1 person, $40 each for 2 people, $30 each for 3 or more. Send me an e-mail for more information or to set up a session. If you are not too far away I can even travel to your shop! Your subject on your schedule!

Woodworking in the Cayman Islands

I had a request from a student from the Cayman Islands for a class in mid- July similar to the Hand Tool Immersion Class. This is what I came up with. It is actually several classes strung together in case you would like to join in with James for part or all of the fun. Camp in the yard!

Day One- Sharpen Plane irons, chisels and scrapers. Learn to sharpen the chisel and you learn to sharpen most woodworking tools and woodworking is a lot more fun and enjoyable with sharp tools 9:00 to 4:30

Night One- Using Planes. We go over the basics of handplane use, joint an edge and flatten a board. 6:00 to 9:00

Day Two- Sharpen Handsaws. We will sharpen an 8 point cross cut saw giving you the knowledge to sharpen rip saws along the way. We will clean up, joint, shape, and file fleam in a crosscut saw. We will go over basic sawing technique. As a bonus we will also sharpen an auger bit!! 9:00 to 4:30

Night Two- break

Day Three- Basic Joinery. We will go over the characteristics of wood so we understand why joints are cut the way they are and how the tools cut the wood. We will then hone our sawing and chiseling skills as we cut basic joints in wood.

Night Three- Sea chest. the first of three nights making a small sea chest. We will layout and cut our parts on the first night.

Day Four- Dovetail a small box. You will learn to layout and cut dovetails and then make a small box.

Night Four- Sea Chest. Plow grooves and cut angled dovetails as we continue to make our sea chests.

Day Five- Mallet and Marking gauge. We will make a Square Head Joiner's mallet and a Marking Gauge. Lots of mortising on the marking gauge. We will also make file the steel knife and harden and temper it for a basic intro. into metal work.

Night Five- Finish Dovetailing and assemble the Sea Chest. Talking about various types of glues.

Day Six- Wrap Up

Here are the various classes Sign up for one or all of them!

Woodworking in the Cayman Islands(Hand Tool Immersion Style)

  • Date:6 days July 7th through July 13th
  • Cost: $750
  • Materials: Included
  • Skill Level: all
  • e-mail

Course Description

Six days of fun and hard work! The class will be as described above.
The goal is to elevate your hand skills to as high a point as possible in six days. You will tune up your tools and use them to build a small chest. For those of you on a limited budget, we will be camping on the grounds of the school (please bring your own gear) and cooking communally in my house. There is a shower and places to camp. If you choose to stay in a hotel, that’s totally cool and understandable. Know that you are always welcome to hang out late into the evening working on your project. The school is open 24 hours a day for you.

Tools

I’d like everyone in the class to have a complete tool kit when they finish the course. Below is a list of the tools needed for the class. If you want to purchase tools that you need for the class and would like help selecting tools or need recommendations on where to buy them e-mail me and I will be happy to help. I have tools I can loan you for the class if need be and we may be able to acquire tools while you are here or have them here when you arrive if need be.

No. 5 jack plane, such as a prewar Stanley with a clean iron (no rust) and a tight chipbreaker.
Lowangle block plane, such as Stanley 60 1/2 with a clean iron and movable toe piece.
Wooden rabbet plane (skew or straight iron). Wedge needs to work. Iron ones can work as well
Card scraper.
Large router plane, such as Stanley No. 71 or No. 71 1/2.
Hand drill, sometimes called an “eggbeater,” such as a Millers Falls No. 2 or 5 with a 1/4” chuck and intact chuck springs (i.e. the jaws are spring loaded and work)
Brace with a 10” sweep. Good chuck with its springs still intact and a tight pad.
Beveledge chisels with wooden handles (1/4”, 1/2” and 3/4”).
16 oz. hammer with a wooden handle. Striking face should be smooth and slightly crowned. -Squarehead joiner’s mallet.
12” combination square that is square, locks tight and has clear markings.
Marking gauge. The metallic ones, such as the Stanley No. 90, are preferred.
Backsaw with a 10” to 14”long blade. Straight sawplate, comfortable wooden handle and little or no rust.
Coping saw that takes pinend blades and locks tight.
10” cabinet rasp (older and sharp is better).

Materials included

Sharpening, Tuning and Using Chisels, Planes and Scrapers

  • Date: Saturday,July 7th, 9:00 – 4:30
  • Cost: $140
  • Materials: Included
  • Skill Level:All
  • e-mail

A gateway skills class

Course Description

Getting your tools sharp is possibly the most important skill a woodworker can learn. Sharpening should be a quick and easy task. Mike will show you what it takes to obtain and maintain a good sharp edge. We will discuss various sharpening systems as well as different bevel angles and why they are used. You will also get ideas for setting up a sharpening station in your shop. Our goal is for you to achieve the 5 minute edge, the time it takes to remove and sharpen a plane iron, replace it, and get back to work. You will also learn what it takes to make a plane work properly, whether you are flattening a board and removing lots of material, jointing an edge, or smoothing for a finished surface. We will discuss when an iron needs camber and when an iron should be straight, and the nuances in between. You will learn what to look for in a plane, and what to avoid and how to correct deficiencies in your planes. We will flatten plane soles, adjust frogs and make your planes sing!

Tools

  • Bring your planes and chisels and scrapers to work on and your sharpening stones for assessment. I will have sharpening stations set up for your use.

Using Planes

  • Date: Saturday evening,July 7th, 6:00 – 9:00
  • Cost: $60
  • Materials: Included
  • Skill Level:All
  • e-mail

A gateway skills class

Course Description

This will be a basic introduction in how planes work. We will learn to joint an edge and flatten the face of a board.

Sharpening and Using Handsaws: Sharpen a Handsaw(and an auger bit!)

  • Date: Sunday, July 8th 9:00 – 4:30
  • Cost: $125
  • Materials: included
  • Skill Level: All
  • e-mail

A gateway skills class

Course description

Most people have never used a properly sharpened handsaw so they don't realize how well they work. Find out what you are missing! In the morning Mike will demonstrate how to bring an old saw back to life. We will go over what to look for in a handsaw and how to sharpen a saw. We will supply files and vises. Bring a saw to sharpen, between 10 and 6 points per inch and a saw vise if you have one. If you don't have a saw that you want to practice on Mike has some practice saws. He sometimes has a few saws for sale. In the afternoon we will file an auger bit.

Tools

Bring a 10 to 6 point saw that needs to be sharpened and a saw vise if you have one, an 8 point saw is best. If you don't have a saw you want to practice on Mike has some practice saws. You can bring extra saws for evaluation. Many students bring an 8 point crosscut saw and a 5 or 5 1/2 point ripsaw.

Just Joints: Handcut Joinery

  • Date: Monday and Tuesday, July 9th and 10th, 9:00 – 4:30
  • Cost: $260
  • Materials: Included
  • Skill Level: All
  • e-mail

Course Description

On the first day we will learn to lay out and cut several basic woodworking joints. We will cut mortise and tenon and bridle joints. Learning to saw straight, cut to the line and chop and pare with a chisel to your mark. Working our way up to dovetails on day two. We will also cover wood movement and why joints are made the way they are. Whether for drawers or case work dovetails are actually pretty basic woodworking. At first it can be a bit difficult to keep it all straight. Pins first? Tails first? What's a pin or tail? Which piece is the waste? What's a half pin? How do you keep the pieces organized? It will all become clear as you learn to layout, saw and chop this signature woodworking joint. We will do through and half-blind joints, then make a box!

Tools Needed:

  • Dovetail saw (for small joints)
  • Carcass saw (for casework joints)
  • Sharp Chisels
  • Mallet
  • Marking Gauge
  • Marking Knife
  • 6" Square
  • Smooth Plane

Tool Making, make a Marking Gauge and a Mallet

  • Date: Wednesday July 11th 9:00 to 4:30
  • Cost: $140
  • Materials:Included
  • Skill Level: All
  • e-mail

A gateway skills class

Course Description

We will be making a mallet and a marking gauge. You will use hand tools to make these two very useful items for your shop and gain the ability to make more of them as needed. Hand chopped mortises and a bit of metal work on the marking gauge, grinding and filing the blade to shape then hardening and tempering the steel. The tools alone are worth the cost of the class!

Tools Needed: Bring what you have

  • Sharp Chisels
  • block plane

Build a Small Sea Chest.

  • Date:Three Nights July 9th, 10th and 11th 6:00 – 9:00
  • Cost: $220
  • Materials: Included
  • Skill Level: Intermediate
  • e-mail

Course Description

We will be building a small „Sea Chest“ with angled sides. The finished chest will be about 12×12×24 with dovetailed corners. You will learn to make angled dovetails as you build this traditional form. We will only be using hand tools to create this chest.

Tools

  • Dovetail saw
  • Block Plane
  • #5 sized plane
  • Chisels
  • Mallet
  • Square
  • Marking Knife
  • Crosscut Saw
  • Marking gauge
  • Bevel