Woodworking Courses Question

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Forum topic by Grasshopper000 posted 09-04-2017 06:01 PM 492 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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101 posts in 1373 days

09-04-2017 06:01 PM

Hey folks, I’m a hobby WW and wanted to ask if people had experience or just good info about WW schools in the US that may offer anywhere from 1 to 5-day courses on different aspects of woodworking. I can do basics like sharpening and have a more than decent array of tools for the work. I’m more interested in using hand tools so wanted to focus on that, but not against some hybrid work, too, but want to focus more on use of hand tools to build furniture, and I’m hoping to maybe accelerate my learning curve so I’m not learning only from youtube and reinventing the wheel over and over again. I’d love to sign up for a Paul Sellers class but that’s not in the budget. Any help or suggestions are helpful. I live in Louisiana and there’s not a huge WW community here compared to other areas of the country so might consider going somewhere else in the US. Many might think it’s a bad idea and better to just spend time in the shop solo, so I appreciate any and all ideas. Thanks.

12 replies so far

View Loren's profile


9938 posts in 3551 days

#1 posted 09-04-2017 07:06 PM

Woodworking schools with a few exceptions
seem to have a hard time staying active.
YouTube has probably made it even harder
to get students.

Both the Kelly Mehler and William Ng schools
seem to have gone mostly inactive. Both were
promising schools some years ago.

View TaySC's profile


270 posts in 237 days

#2 posted 09-04-2017 07:35 PM

Not sure how common it is, but Mann Tools, which is about an hour from me, does classes.

Looks like a lot on the list deal with either wood turning or festool….

There are also some online woodworking classes. Woodworkers Guild of America has a good many.

View jdh122's profile (online now)


982 posts in 2721 days

#3 posted 09-04-2017 08:04 PM

Depending on how close you are to the northeast, you might consider the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship in Rockport, Maine.
I did a one-week carving course a couple years ago and was very impressed. They also offer 8-week, 12-week and 9 month general woodworking courses that are more comprehensive. Idyllic spot, good instruction and 5 minutes down the road from Lie-Nielsen factory and headquarters in case you have money you need to spend and a hankering for nice hand tools.

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2614 posts in 2825 days

#4 posted 09-04-2017 08:56 PM

Have you looked into adult education classes in your area? That is where I got started.

-- No PHD, but I have a GED and my DD 214

View TraylorPark's profile


212 posts in 1502 days

#5 posted 09-04-2017 11:22 PM

I took a one day dovetail course here,, it was the first part of a five day course in hand tool cabinet building. I, unfortunately, wasn’t able to spend the whole week, but truly enjoyed the day and even though I had done a fair amount of hand cut dovetails I learned a lot. For me the best parts weren’t the nuts and bolts of mark it this way cut it that way, it was okay you made a joint and it’s not the best, but here is how we are going fix it. I would highly recommend Ernie’s courses to anyone.

-- --Zach

View Grasshopper000's profile


101 posts in 1373 days

#6 posted 09-04-2017 11:46 PM

Thanks for all the responses, very helpful. Nothing really in the New Orleans area where I am unfortunately.

View ChuckV's profile


3093 posts in 3431 days

#7 posted 09-05-2017 12:17 AM

It’s not near you, but I took several great workshops at the North Bennet St School in Boston.

-- “Big man, pig man, ha ha, charade you are.” ― R. Waters

View shipwright's profile (online now)


7894 posts in 2701 days

#8 posted 09-05-2017 12:23 AM
Or just a few miles outside the USA,

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees.

View Runner's profile


48 posts in 677 days

#9 posted 09-05-2017 12:33 AM

This place is another alternative, but it is far away from New Orleans:

View jbee's profile


63 posts in 599 days

#10 posted 09-05-2017 01:12 AM

The Heritage School of Woodworking is near Waco, Texas.
They offer a week long Foundation course in handtools.

-- Life is good! Make the most of it.

View Betsy's profile


3391 posts in 3799 days

#11 posted 09-05-2017 02:03 AM

I second the Heritage School of Woodworking in Waco. Their classes are well laid out and taught. The whole heritage center is very nice and the pace is peaceful. I’ve taken quite a number of classes on varying topics besides just woodworking and I’ve enjoyed every single class without exception. You’ll get your money’s worth there.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View helluvawreck's profile


30112 posts in 2770 days

#12 posted 09-05-2017 03:32 PM

I’m sure that you have heard this many times from a lot of people. However, you would be surprised at how much you can teach yourself from woodworking books and DVDs. Never the less, if you have a Woodcraft store in your area you can get some one and two day courses at the Woodcraft Stores. They have a number of courses that give you the basics that will get you started in a safe way.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

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