Rosewood Studio School of Fine Woodworking; Tools, Courses, Workshops and Instruction

6 - Week Craftsman Program

Start Date: January 14, 2019
                   April 15, 2019
Tuition: $5,090 Cdn

Materials Fee: students will require approximately $150 of materials for projects, depending on wood species chosen


   Our six week program is designed for those who can arrange a continuous period of intensive, hands-on study, whether they are considering a career in furniture making, or wish to pursue the craft for their personal satisfaction and development. They enjoy the advantage of an uninterrupted stretch of time in which to immerse themselves in their work, with a degree of continuity not available when individual courses of the series are separated by time. Because each student arrives at Rosewood with a unique skill set, throughout these longer programs we encourage the improvement of existing skills, while ensuring that challenges are paced appropriately for each individual.

   The six week program provides students with a thorough grounding in the basic skills of fine furniture making. In application of the skill building exercises, participants will create a small table featuring a finely fit drawer built with hand-cut dovetails. Upon completion of the six week program, students will have the skills gained and the experience of having taken a rough sawn board from lumber to a finely made piece of furniture they can be proud of.

     Curriculum Summary


  The program begins with an examination of traditional woodworking hand tools. Gaining proficiency with these will pay long-term dividends in your ability to create accurate work with speed and efficiency. We begin with hand planes; their varieties, configurations and uses. We go over how to select your plane from the many on the market, then tune and sharpen them for optimum performance. We finish with a “perfect board” exercise, where each student takes a board from rough sawn to six square and ready for finish using only hand planes. Each student will also make and learn the use of a shooting board as a means of trimming perfectly clean and square end grain surfaces.

  We undergo a similar process with the rest of our hand tools including chisels, scrapers, spokeshaves and handsaws. As the program proceeds, students will also use a variety of layout, marking and measuring tools and techniques in order to create accurate components and minimize measuring errors. An examination of choices in tool steels is wrapped up with a demonstration of annealing, shaping, hardening and tempering our own custom cutting tools using simple and commonly available equipment and materials. As time permits, students will have the opportunity to make their own wooden planes, specialized chisels and spokeshaves.





  The ability to safely, accurately and efficiently use machinery is an essential skill in most furniture making shops. We cover the safe operation, set up and maintenance of common wood shop machinery including the band saw, table saw, jointer, planer, mortiser, shaper, drill press and hand power tools. The breaking out and selection of materials is covered in depth, with particular attention to the selection of material from the standpoint of both aesthetics and physical properties. The use of cabinetmaker’s marks to maintain orientation of parts, and variations in the order of milling operations are examined with an eye towards safety and efficiency as students learn the process of creating accurate components from rough lumber using  machinery. Finally, we look at the selection of machinery for the small shop, whether for professional or personal use, as well as efficient and practical shop layout.


  Traditional joinery techniques have been utilized for hundreds of years, and have stood the test of time as furniture has passed from generation to generation. We demonstrate, then have students put into practice, the range of joinery used in fine furniture making. We start with the mortise and tenon joint - blind, through, haunched, wedged, floating, draw-bored, angled and doubled, as well as variations like bridle joints and breadboard ends. Carcass joints come next; dado, rabbet, spline, shiplap, tongue and groove. Of course no examination of joinery would be complete without the hallmark of craftsmanship, the dovetail, whether through, lapped or tapered-sliding. In addition to traditional joinery techniques, we will also look at more contemporary fastening methods including dowels, biscuits and pocket screws. Adhesives and their application form an important component of long lasting joinery: we will cover gluing and clamping strategies, as well as the variety of adhesives available to the furniture maker, their characteristics and applications.


Hand tools you'll be using:

Complete tool kits are available for student use free of charge, but attendees are encouraged to bring any of the tools listed below that they already own.

- smoothing and jack planes                            - marking gauge
- adjustable mouth block plane                        - sliding bevel gauge 
- shoulder plane                                             - dovetail saw
- 12" combination square                                - .5 mm mechanical pencil 
- 1000 and 6000 grit water stones                   - carpenter's pencil
- honing guide                                               - notebook
- set of bevel edge chisels                             
- small chisel hammer 
Please be aware that safety glasses are required for all courses. Hearing protection is also recommended. 

Pre-requisites: Open to everyone
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Last Modified 2019-03-11 10:38:27