Wood and Woodworking is one of the great candidates for the oldest profession or at least the oldest worked material. The evolution of twig technology* (as Douglas Adams so memorably termed it) has been one of the drivng forces of civilization.
Wood has been used as fuel; to build homes, boats, wagons, bridges, furniture, tools, weapons etc - the list is long. Battles have been fought over the ownership of forested land.
The love for wood and working with wood is deeply embedded in the human psyche. Furniture made of glowing polished wood draws the hand to caress it. Old wooden buildings inspire awe at the craftsmanship of the artisans who built them.
Working wood by hand is an old set of skills that, in the last 50 years, has been displaced by the increasing use of machines and an high volume production / engineering approach to manufacturing furniture and homes. The traditional skills of woodworking (and historic preservation) are steadily being lost.
The School's goal is to preserve the values, skills, standards and insights of the traditional ways of working wood.
We also acknowledge that one of the deep traditions of woodworking is innovation - finding creative solutions to building quickly and efficiently with wood.
We're not stuck in the past - we're rooted in it. We draw sustenance and inspiration from the traditional methods of woodworking.
Wide variety of woodworking topics:
Classes for Beginners:
In each of these areas we offer classes for the beginning or novice woodworker. We believe that new woodworkers need good supportive instruction, and to be able to explore woodworking without making a large commitment to tools.
Each of our workbenches is well equipped with high quality hand tools. You do not need to purchase tools until you know that you have a real passion for woodworking.
We've recently expanded the set of hand tools in each bench to include a jackplane (both traditional and low angle bevel up), a fore plane, mortice and swan neck chisel, rip and cross cut carcass saws, carpenter's mallet and more layout tools. You get to work with the best in traditional hand tools.
Plus we have a wide array of specialist hand tools in our teaching collection for you to try.
Working with Power Tools
The School has a well equipped machine shop and we teach students how to use them in our longer intensive courses. In our shorter courses we prepare the materials and let students focus on the joinery and working with hand tools.
In case you were wondering.... Here is the first reference Douglas Adams made to Twig Technology. I (Tim Lawson) was lucky enough to be in the first row of a Douglas Adams' presentation in Cambridge, Mass in 1990. When you attend the school encourage me to give my account of the presentation - beers are a good currency!