Woodwright's School

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chgorugbyref

Jonathan
Corporate Member
Just thought I'd share my experience last weekend at Roy's school. I was signed up for the class on Dovetails and Mortise and Tenon Joints as a birthday present from my better half (she rocks!). I have never attempted dovetails (read about 'em plenty, just never took the leap) but I have handcut some ugly m&t. I have pretty good skills, but still consider myself a relative novice.

I rolled in around 8:30am. Roy offered doughnuts and coffee. I met some nice folks (Joel, Maurice, James, Jeremiah, Kerry, Bill, and the guy right next to me that I can't remember his name/Sorry). After signing the obligatory waiver that we agreed that woodworking is dangerous and likely to end in bloodshed, the class kicked off at 9am (it was supposed to run to 5pm). We eased into the work by planing some grooves for pieces we'd need later. I have that game - so far so good. First project was through dovetails. About 3 hours later, we all had finished them up. They weren't pretty, but the sawing and chiseling technique work was valuable. I know I can do them now.

Next up, lunch next door at S&T's Soda Fountain/Sandwich shop. Great food, great people, great company, great prices. After lunch, Roy, the Tool Enabler:eek:ccasion1, graciously gave us a few extra minutes to visit the tool shop above the classroom. Mysteriously my wallet became lighter the longer I stood there but I somehow ended up with a brace and set of bits in my hand. Also while I was there, Amos the blacksmith who makes beautiful holdfasts, delivered a load of chests and tools that needed a weak mind and strong back to get up the stairs. Unfortunately I fit the description. Amos kindly gave me one of those beautiful holdfasts as a thank you. I am the one that should be thanking him....

Time flew in the afternoon as we headed into half blind dovetails and the M&T joints. All of a sudden it's 5pm and we're all still working. Instead of saying thanks and giving us the boot, Roy stuck it out until almost 7pm as we wrapped up. We then cleaned up the remnants of the wood we collectively butchered and headed home.

Roy's classroom set up is great for teaching old school hand work (a hi-def camera pointed at whatever he was demonstrating shown up on the big flat panel TV - handcranking that generator was tiring haha). His easy going demeanor and breadth of knowledge made for an interesting day. A number of passers by stopped in throughout the day and Roy spent time chatting them up as we toiled at our projects. Almost all were non-woodworkers who just wondered what was going on. I was especially impressed at the time Roy took to engage those folks in conversation and share what was happening.

Bottom line: If you are on the fence about taking a class at the Woodwright's School, get off your duff and sign up. You'll have a great time, the instruction is first rate, and the experience is unforgettable. I can't wait for my next time.

Jonathan
 

Timmy

New User
Tim
Glad to hear you had a good experience. I have been thinking about maybe attending so this urges me a little bit more. Guess your ready to start making some nice boxes now with dovetails!
 

BSHuff

New User
Brian
I will completely agree with this review. If you even think you may want to go, GO! it is time and money well spent.

I took this class late last year and the experience was identical, except for the store upstairs, it was rather bare when I was there as it was still in process of opening, but was FULLY stocked last time I stopped in.

Roy is a wonderful instructor, he goes from the bench of a complete beginner to a bench of someone with experience and provides one-on-one skill level tailored comments, help and critiques.
 

Joe F

New User
Joe
I too took Roy's dovetail and M&T class. I was amazed at the results.

I have also taken the Hand Plane Skills class with Bill and had a great experience.

I can't say enough about Ed's vintage hand tool store upstairs. It is a great place to pick up some user tools.
 

ScottM

Scott
Staff member
Corporate Member
I took that same class a couple years ago. It was a great experience.
 

Maurice Ungaro

New User
Maurice
Jonathan,
That was a fun day and great class. Your review is exactly what I would have written. I'm looking forward to taking my next class there. How are your brace and bits working out?

Maurice
 

chgorugbyref

Jonathan
Corporate Member
They're doing a great job of holding down the dust on my bench...I thought those were magic tools that made the holes for you and they haven't moved an inch since I put them down. haha
js:rotflm:
 
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