These are THE Guys


We have two upcoming classes in July at our storefront that should – by all rights – be filled and have a long waiting list. But they aren’t.

If you can attend these classes, I encourage you to do so for two reasons. One, in both cases these classes are being taught by the premier instructor on the topic. Two, we won’t offer a lot of classes next year, so these opportunities will dry up in December.

Here are the classes:

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French Polishing With Derek Jones
July 11-12
Most people know Derek as the editor of Furniture & Cabinetmaking magazine. But Derek is way more than that. He’s a time-served professional woodworker who has an affinity for toolmaking and French polishing. His classes on French polishing sell out quickly in the U.K. and Europe because Derek has distilled the process so it contains 0 percent garbage. I’ve watched Derek teach it, and it’s brilliant. In fact, the reason I wanted him to teach the class here is so I could take it (as luck would have it, my Germany trip was extended, so I cannot).

Honestly, if you want to up your finishing game (or just establish your finishing game), this weekend will do it. Period. This class is for beginners. Intermediates. Experts.

Make a Carved Oak Box with Peter Follansbee
July 29-Aug. 2
Yup, we managed to lure Peter Follansbee west of the Allegheny Mountains for this class, and he is bringing primo red oak for the students to build and carve their boxes. Follansbee is one of my favorite woodworking writers, instructors and builders (I said it so right here). He’s also the author of our newest book, “Joiner’s Work.”

This class is the gateway drug to 17th-century-style construction methods and carving. You get to make this beautiful little box with traditional joints and then cover every surface with the geometrical carvings. Even if you’ve never carved a block of soap or a ham, you’ll do great. I’ve been amazed by what Peter’s students turn out their first time holding a gouge.

About Next Year
This year has been nuts. We offered so many classes that I found it difficult to keep up with the shop’s commission work and work on future books. While I loved having people teach here from all over the world, we’re going to dial things back – way back – for 2020 so we can regain our footing and catch up on commercial furniture work and toolmaking.

We’ll still offer a weekend class or so each month. Maybe a two or three week-long classes during the year. And we’ll bring back Chris Williams for another Welsh chair class. But for the most part, we’re going to hunker down and build stuff.

So if you want to take a class here, you might want to comb over the current list of classes for 2019. Next year is going to be quiet.

— Christopher Schwarz

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