Classes

2016 classes

Here is the line up of classes for 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: Sunday, April 17, 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!

Tools

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.

Fundamentals of Furniture Making: Side Table

  • Date: Five days, April 25th – 29th, 8:30 – 4:30
  • Cost: $900
  • Materials: included
  • Skill Level: Intermediate/All
  • e-mail

Course Description

This lovely Arts and Crafts side table has most of the elements in it that you will encounter in making furniture. Don't like Arts and Cafts, make a federal style table or a Shaker style table instead! Skills covered include mortising, dovetailing a drawer, and finish planing surfaces. You are welcome to make it your own by making minor design changes. Mortising and tenoning will be done by hand and machine to expedite completion.

Tools

Bring what you have! Backsaws, planes, chisels, mallet, marking gauges, mortise chisels, marking knife, square

Sharpening and Using Handsaws: Sharpen a Handsaw, Making a Saw Bench

  • Date: Saturday, May 7th, 8:30 – 4:30
  • Cost: $140
  • 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 use our sharp saws to make a saw horse/saw bench, giving you the opportunity to practice your sawing skills and make an important workshop accessory.

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.

Making a Moxon Double Screw Vise, a Marking Gauge, a Mallet, and a Marking Knife

  • Date: Saturday and Sunday, May 21st and 22nd, 9:00 – 4:30
  • Cost: $290
  • Materials:Included
  • Skill Level: All
  • e-mail

A gateway skills class

Course Description

We will be making a traditional double screw vise as shown in Randal Holme and Moxon. Also a mallet, a marking gauge, and a marking knife. You will use hand tools to make these four very useful items for your shop and gain the knowledge to make more of them as needed. Hand chopped mortises, boring with a brace and bit, threading with a screwbox and tap are all covered. We will do a bit of metal work on the marking knife, 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

  • Chisels
  • block plane
  • spokeshave
  • mallet

Sharpening, Tuning and Using Chisels, Planes and Scrapers

  • Date: Saturday and Sunday, June 4th and 5th, Saturday, 8:30 – 4:30, Sunday 10:00 to 4:30
  • Cost: $265
  • 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! On Sunday we will put our properly sharpened and tuned planes to work. Mike will demonstrate work holding techniques to make your planing simple and accurate. We will try out speciality planes for cutting grooves and dados and making sash and moldings, also hollows and rounds and complex molders, try them out, understand how they work. Learn to use winding sticks to flatten boards. We will make glue joints and use a shooting board to trim end grain.

Tools

  • Bring your planes and chisels and your sharpening stones.

Hand Tool Immersion- Woodworking 101 (This class is full)

  • 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, mike@schoolofwood.com

Sharpening Bucking Saws

  • Date: 1 day, Saturday, June 25th,
  • Cost $125
  • Materials, None
  • Skill Level, Beginner on up
  • e-mail to sign up

This class is taught by my friend and bucksaw user John Sumner. John volunteers to clear trails in national parks where chainsaws aren't allowed so knowing how to set up and sharpen the saws is an asset. We will clean up a saw, file and set the knickers and set up the rakers.

Hand Tool Immersion- Woodworking 101 Session II (This class Is full)

  • Date: 5 days, Monday – Friday, June 27th – July 1, 8:30 to 5:00.
  • Cost: $500
  • Materials: Included
  • Skill Level: beginner
  • e-mail to sign up

This course is primarily 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. Unlike the first session this class is not subsidized. It is for those who can afford the tools but want the experience. This is not a typical woodworking class. 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 Session I 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, mike@schoolofwood.com

Build a Nicholson Workbench

  • Date: Saturday, Sunday and Monday, July 16th, 17th and 18th: 8:30 – 4:30
  • 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 Of $20 for an 8 foot bench (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. https://www.youtube.com/watch?…. Sign up early so I can get the materials in!

Tools Needed:

  • Sharp Chisels
  • Mallet
  • Square
  • Marking knife

Just Joints: Handcut Joinery

  • Date: Saturday and Sunday, July 30th and 31st, 9:00 – 4:30
  • 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

Huntboard

  • Date: 5 days August 15th – 19th, 8:30 to 4:30
  • Cost: $900
  • Materials: Included
  • Skill Level: Intermediate/all

Course Description

We will build a Federal Style Huntboard. We will use walnut or cherry for the Huntboard. You will practice mortise and tenon construction, hand cut dovetails, and handplaning

Tools

  • Dovetail and/or carcass saw
  • Your Planes
  • Chisels
  • Mallet
  • Square
  • Marking Knife