Looking for a place to learn in person

suzzsunshine

Suzanne
User
Years ago I worked part time in a woodshop "The Boardsmith" with David Smith. I had quit my comfortably paying job to try my hand at a woodworking career. I was hoping to become an apprentice. I hadn't done my research and I was informed repeatedly that times were tough and that plenty of seasoned woodworkers were looking for work and hiring an apprentice wasn't feasible.
I'm eternally grateful for my experience at the Boardsmith (which I found here on this forum).
I'm looking now for another opportunity to learn. I don't have access to industrial woodworking tools (planer, jointer, band saw, etc).
I would love to volunteer part time in a shop reacquainting myself with the tools of the trade.
As a side note, I'm a medieval reenactor, and I've built my own vardo (now sold). I would love to build another one.
The tools and skills I used to build it were mediocre. I want to learn more before endeavoring to build the next one.
If anyone can point me in the direction of a shop willing to help me learn I'd appreciate it.
I'm in Roxboro, NC but regularly spend time in Durham, Mebane, Hillsborough.
Here's a link to my vardo build...all done with circular saw, jigsaw, router and portable table saw.
Viking Vardo
 

Mike Davis

Mike
Corporate Member
David was a good friend and I wish I could help. I'm not a full time shop and only work on weekends, also probably too far.
 

suzzsunshine

Suzanne
User
It had been a while since I checked in with the business. I didn't realize he retired and from what you wrote I'm assuming he's no longer living. My condolences. I really enjoyed working with him and he was very supportive as an instructor.
I currently don't have the means to afford a wood shop or a place to put it. Thanks for reaching out good luck on your endeavors.
 

Hmerkle

Hank
Corporate Member
Suzy @suzzsunshine,
Isn't there a makers space in or around one of those places; Roxboro, NC, Durham, Mebane, Hillsborough?
That doesn't help you with the teacher, but it does with the equipment...
Maybe you can make a connection with someone in one of those spaces?
 

ScottM

Scott
Staff member
Corporate Member
You could try to send a private message to Jerome B. I think he was working on something along these lines.
 

ScottM

Scott
Staff member
Corporate Member

Charles Lent

Charley
Corporate Member
I volunteer time in the shops at Discovery Place in Charlotte. There are similar Science Museums in many of the larger cities in NC and other larger cities in the Country, and most of them have shops with woodworking as one of the primary jobs. Find one of these science museums that is convenient to where you live and see if they would like to have you as a volunteer/apprentice. You will learn by working with their paid as well as volunteer workers doing much more than just woodworking, like carving, model making, decorative painting, electrical, hydraulics, pneumatics, etc. As a volunteer you can pretty much choose what parts you would like to help with, but you will get to see up close, and maybe get interested in helping do some of the other trades if you become interested in them. Being a retired automation (EE) engineer and woodworker, my experience is quite broad, but I mostly end up helping them with woodworking and electrical automation of the exhibits that they are building or modifying. The graphic arts is something that I don't do, but they have a separate group that takes care of that.

Charley
 

Joe Scharle

Joe
Corporate Member
I just went through your WIP page on your blog and was quite impressed with that project. Many woodworkers could look to you for your experience and range of talents.
 

Hmerkle

Hank
Corporate Member
Just speculating here. Is it possible to have a Zoom setup for instruction? Maybe too complicated.

Roy G
Yes, Roy that works if instructor and student have tools and a place to work... in some cases you have to have the same tools so problems can be explained through the process...
 

suzzsunshine

Suzanne
User
I just went through your WIP page on your blog and was quite impressed with that project. Many woodworkers could look to you for your experience and range of talents.
Thank you! I loved planning and making it. To be honest though, it was a lot of just figuring out as I go. I know there are plenty of cleaner more efficient ways to accomplish what I did. Looking back I cringe at multiple steps and how I fenagled them.

I do think I improved road durability over the project I was modeling.
 

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