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Author Topic: Beginner Woodworking Classes in MA?  (Read 2045 times)

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Offline Piston

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Beginner Woodworking Classes in MA?
« on: May 06, 2011, 07:01:55 AM »
Hey guys,
I'm no woodworker by any means but seeing all the pics and reading the threads you all post on the nice work you do, it has inspired me to learn the basics. 

I have been looking for classes in MA but can't find anything to fit in my horrible schedule.  I have tried Woodcraft, Rockler, Heartwood, The Furniture Institute of Mass, and nothing will fit in.  Does anyone have any other ideas for places to take some beginner classes?  I'm used to working with tools and know a lot for a 'beginner' about wood and some basic tools.  I've read books on hand tools and subscribe to "Traditional Woodworker" as well has have a lot of experience 'fixing up' my home.  I just need some direction from someone knowledgeable that can get me started.  I am really looking for a class that will teach me the proper use and maintenance of hand tools and then I can go from there as far as attempting to build things or follow specific plans to gain some experience. 
Any recommendations? 

If I can't find anything this summer I'll keep trucking along reading as much as I can and making mistakes trying it out on my own, I seem to be very good at that!

By the way, I really enjoy using handplanes after Dave Shepherd was kind enough to give me one of his old ones, I was hooked the first time I used it!   ;D
-Matt
What the Lion is to the Cat the Mastiff is to the Dog, the noblest of the family; he stands alone, and all others sink before him. His courage does not exceed his temper and generosity, and in attachment he equals the kindest of his race.

Offline thecfarm

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Re: Beginner Woodworking Classes in MA?
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2011, 07:17:59 AM »
I know of one old guy in town that would enjoy showing you the ropes. Too bad you could not find a guy like that.
Model 6020-20hp Manual Thomas bandsaw,TC40A 4wd 40 hp New Holland tractor, 450 Norse Winch, Heatmor 400 OWB,YCC 1978-79

Offline metalspinner

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Re: Beginner Woodworking Classes in MA?
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2011, 07:22:02 AM »
Finding a local woodworker sounds like your best bet with your schedule.  Plus, he can tailor the lesson to you and your needs.  All too often, I was disappointed following a class or seminar because it did not meet my expectations or cover what it advertised.  With private lessons, that shouldn't be a problem.
I do what the little voices in my wife's head tell me to do.

Offline Burlkraft

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Re: Beginner Woodworking Classes in MA?
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2011, 07:44:09 AM »
I have "mentored" a couple of guys in my shop.
One was a very fulfilling experience for me. He was smart, and had a bit of skill before he came to me.
He learned to turn in about 6 hours, kind a like Jeff did when he was here.
The other one didn't know how to use a hammer.
We had a very difficult 2 months and he finally told me that he wasn't cut out for woodworking.
I did not argue  :D :D :D
Why not just 1 pain free day?

Offline stumpy

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Re: Beginner Woodworking Classes in MA?
« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2011, 08:00:50 AM »
I don't consider myself a "Woodworker " yet either.  The way I learned was to pick something I wanted to make and just start makin it.  Course it helps that I have an unlimited supply of wood.  Funny thing is, I still have the same amount of wood, it's just in different shapes now :D  If you can't find a class, just keep readin the forum.  You won't find a place with more knowledge than here.
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Offline Holmes

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Re: Beginner Woodworking Classes in MA?
« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2011, 07:10:36 PM »
Try your local trade school . Spring classes may still be open, fall classes will be available. Maybe an instructor will give you private lessons.  Holmes
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Offline jamesamd

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Re: Beginner Woodworking Classes in MA?
« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2011, 09:59:37 PM »
Go visit Jim Rodgers,at His mill.
Now,That man Knows,hand tools!
I was very impressed,with His teaching skills (bedside manner) with the green woodworkers at the timber framing woorkshop My Son and I attended at His place.
A true,genteel giant.

I hope to meet Him again,one day.
Jim
All that is gold does not glitter,not all those that wander are lost.....

Offline Piston

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Re: Beginner Woodworking Classes in MA?
« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2011, 02:15:18 AM »
Thanks for some ideas guys.  The problem is that I'm home for anywhere from 2-4 weeks at a time, and then i'm away for the same amount, so a lot of the problem is just finding something that coincidentally fits into my schedule.  This is just like the timberframing class I want to take at Heartwood, I've been trying 3 yrs for it.  Also missed Jim's workshop he did last year.  I also checked with Yestermorrow and Foxwood for classes with TF and no luck.  I swear these places look at my schedule before making theirs!  :D
I looked at a lot of woodworking classes in MA and CT and they haven't worked out either.  I'm gonna do some evening classes at Woodcraft if they have something I'm interested in. 
I would certainly be excited about some one on one woodworking instruction, I think I just need a jump start of the basics and I can spend time honing my newfound skills  ;D
I've been up to Jim's place 3 or 4 times and have always been overly impressed with his unique gift of teaching and patience.  He came to my house to teach me how to use my mill and that was the single best thing I ever did when it comes to milling. 

In the meantime, I'll be reading as much as I can and just diving in on my own.  I've learned a lot over the years with reading books and this forum and applying what I've learned on my own.  I tend to do pretty good once I apply myself but I get overwhelmed in the beginning. 
-Matt
What the Lion is to the Cat the Mastiff is to the Dog, the noblest of the family; he stands alone, and all others sink before him. His courage does not exceed his temper and generosity, and in attachment he equals the kindest of his race.


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