There are many ways to learn woodworking. Books and DVDs are a great source of information, and there's nothing wrong with trial ans error. But if you really want to sharpen your skills or pick up a new technique, nothing beats a woodworking class. If you live within traveling distance of one of the many Rockler Woodworking and Hardware store's that offer classes, you're really in luck. The woodworking classes held at Rockler retail stores are taught by experienced woodworkers who are enthusiastic about their craft. Class sizes are small - 10 students or less in most cases - so you can expect the kind of individualized instruction that really helps when you're learning something new. Here's a sample of the great woodworking instruction upcoming at Rockler retail stores around the country:
Description: A sharp tool is a turner's best friend. If you are having difficulty achieving smooth cuts and relying on scraping rather than cutting then this is the class for you. In this class you will learn a quick and easy way to repeatedly and consistently sharpen all of your wood turning tools using the Wolverine sharpening system on a slow speed grinder. The Varigrind jig will be demystified and you will be show a simple method to sharpen all of your bowl and spindle gouges. Sharpening the spindle roughing gouge, skew, and scraper will also be discussed and demonstrated. Bring your turning tools - as many as you want to sharpen to practice your skills in class.
Description: This is a more in depth class about bench planes than above. In this class, let period furniture maker Ray Journigan show you how to make using a bench plane your new favorite go to tool. Lean what makes one plane better than another? Then Ray demonstrates the steps of flattening a wide board using hand planes followed by each student having the opportunity to surface a board to "finish ready" without any sanding using their hand planes. In this class we take the plane apart and explain all the adjustments to properly tune up your hand plane. Then block planes are discussed showing their importance in furniture work. Next, for those REALLY interested in learning how different types of handplanes were used, Ray will show and demonstrate the use of specialty planes such as Rabbit planes, Shoulder planes, Dado planes, Dovetail planes, Scraper planes, and molding planes. Lastly we turn our attention to sharpening to a razor edge. Student leave with an eye opening experience having learned thru practice, the joy and ease of using hand planes.
This corner stone joint of western woodwork has also been used in the Japanese tradition for a long time. Class we will cover: sizing, proportioning, choice of angle, layout and cutting as well as where to use dovetails. You will see examples of full, half blind and blind dovetails. There will be a full cutting and assembly demonstration as well...
Description: This class is the next step in fine woodworking and furniture making. This elegant keepsake box features period furniture details and will improve any woodworker's skill level. In this two-day class you will learn dovetail joinery, building a bracket foot, routing decorative moldings and how to applying moldings to compensate for wood movement. This box design can easily be scaled up to create a jewelry box with multiple trays and/or drawers and even larger to build a blanket chest. During the process of building the Keepsake Box, the student will learn about the fundamentals of design and layout, the approach to building a multi-component furniture piece and the safe use of shop tools such as a router, drill press, jointer, planer and tablesaw.