2016 classes

Here is the line up of classes for the spring of 2016! 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!

A Place To Sit: Make a Bench

  • Date: Saturday, January 30, 8:30 – 4:30
  • Cost: $150
  • Materials: included
  • Skill Level: All
  • e-mail

A gateway skills class

Course description

This is a great place to get your feet wet in woodworking and make a useful and attractive piece of furniture. The handcut joinery is strong and simple and easy to repeat at home. We will plane a taper, use a bow or coping saw, chisel a dado, and auger holes for wood pegs with a brace and bit. Depending on how fast you are you should be able to complete 2 benches of different styles!


Plane, panel saw, backsaw, coping or bowsaw, brace, 1/4 and 3/4 inch bits, 1/2 or 3/4 inch chisel, hammer, rasp. Bring what tools you have, I have some I can loan you if you don't have them.

Just Joints: Handcut Joinery

  • Date: Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 6th and 7th, 9:30 – 5:00
  • Cost: $270
  • 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 to your mark. Working our way up to dovetails on day two. 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, we will cut mitered 1/2 pins and learn how to cover up the groove in drawer and box bottoms.

Tools Needed:

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

Windsor Chair

  • Date: 2 weekends, February 19th, 20th and 21st; February 26th, 27th and 28th. Don't wait until the last minute as you will have some turning to do prior to start of class.
  • Cost: $850
  • Materials: Included
  • Skill Level: All

Course Description

Beautiful, elegant, and strong the Windsor chair dominated chair manufacture in the 18th century. Learn the many techniques needed to build your own. Depending upon your turning abilities you will build a bamboo leg, or a tapered leg, Bow Back Windsor Chair from start to finish. Primarily using hand tools, you will be riving, steam bending, shaving, sawing, boring and turning to create this traditional chair. Two instructors will guide you through the many steps needed to complete your chair. We believe you should make your own project so we don't supply turned legs as others do. We will send you materials and a patterns so you can turn your own legs and rungs. If you need help we can set up a time to come in and get some rudimentary turning instruction. We can do either a baluster leg if you are an experienced turner or a simpler bamboo leg for the beginner. Both are period appropriate and look good.


You do not need to buy any tools for this class. If you have your own chair making tools bring them along.

  • Tools you could bring include
  • Drawknife
  • Spokeshave
  • Small Froe
  • Brace and Bits
  • Bevel
  • Travisher
  • Scorp
  • Protractor
  • Small hammer

A more comprehensive list will be sent when you sign up

Build a Nicholson Workbench

  • Date: Saturday, Sunday and Monday,March 5th, 6th and 7th: 8:30 – 5:00
  • Cost: $575
  • Materials: Included
  • Skill Level: All
  • e-mail

Course Description

We will be building the Nicholson workbench in a 6 foot length. If you want a longer bench let me know when you sign up. There will be a materials up-charge for longer benches (cost of materials only, shorter bench is OK too, same price). In order to get done in 3 days we will primarily be using power tools. We will go over flattening the bench top but you will do that at home after your bench settles in. If you want to see one of these benches in action watch my youtube video.…

Tools Needed:

  • Sharp Chisels
  • Mallet
  • Square
  • Marking knife

Hand Tool Immersion- Woodworking 101

  • Date: 5 days, Monday – Friday, June 13th – 17th, 8:30 to 5:00.
  • Cost: $450
  • Materials: Included
  • Skill Level: beginner
  • e-mail to sign up

This course is for young adults, to give them the confidence and training to get serious about woodworking with only a basic set of hand tools and a once in a life time learning experience at a minimum cost. This is not a typical woodworking class. In order to assist woodworkers who are trying to get started in life and the craft, we are offering this class to people 18 to 35 years of age. To keep costs down and have some communal fun we will be camping here at the school (bring your own tent). And we'll also be cooking together every night as a group to save money on food. There is a shower! Chris Schwarz and I had planned this class last year. Since Chris is on hiatus I have decided to go forward with the class with his support and blessing. The biggest difference will be my bad jokes instead of his. We both feel this class is an important service to budget minded nascent woodworkers. The goal is a head full of skills and a boxful of tools ready to work!

Most importantly, this will be a full-immersion course in setting up basic hand tools and putting them to work on a serious project, a tool chest.

Key Points:

Fix up the vintage tools in your kit and sharpen everything using inexpensive sharpening media
A crash course in understanding wood from a joiners perspective, stuff you will never find in books
How to process rough stock entirely by hand
Building a tool chest using basic hand-tool joints, Rabbets, dados and nails
A historical and complete understanding of modern and traditional glues
Painting with milk paint
Furniture details made by hand: curves, bevels and moldings
Installing hinges
An introduction to dovetails

If you would like to help by donating tools or money or time to the cause use the information below. Sorry but donations are not tax deductible.

ship to:

The New Anarchist c/o: Mike Siemsen, 9912 Green Lake Trail, Chisago City, MN 55013, 651–257–9166,