Rob Cosman's Training the Hand

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Forum topic by ChrisCrafts posted 02-20-2012 12:01 AM 2224 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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107 posts in 2791 days

02-20-2012 12:01 AM

I am thinking a taking Rob Cosman’s training the hand this Summer at my local woodcraft. It’s a big cost at $1295 plus a week of daycare for my boys at $400 or so.

Has anyone taking this class?? If so what were the positives & negatives of taking it? Was it that much better than the videos he hocks??

I am already taking a Tuned Wave class, a Raised panel door class & a chair building class this year. Then I take either take two Greene & Green classes from Darrel Peart’s longtime shop assistant or the 1 Rob Cosman class.

-- Chris, Washington The State!

6 replies so far

View Laurence's profile


3 posts in 2495 days

#1 posted 04-11-2012 04:40 AM

Chris, I”ve taken Robs two day dovetail course. it and he are excellent. Since taking his class i’ve gotten to know Rob on a personal basis and I can tell you that he is a huge wealth of knowledge. I can promise you that the value you recieve from his classes far ourweighs the cost.

I’d like to take the Green & Green class but if I were you, unless you are already a master woodworker, Rob’s class first will greatly help.

I do want to make one point. I’m sure your comment about ” the videos he hocks??” was made in innocents, but do let me assure you that Rob does not “hock” anything. He passes on knowledge that he has aquired from some of the worlds foremost woodworkers, many of whom he has personally worked with. I think he has a perfect right to make a good living for himself and his family by passing on knowledge that is pretty much unobtainable anywhere else. I’m sure you would agree.

Have fun! I sure did!!

View a1Jim's profile


117342 posts in 3783 days

#2 posted 04-11-2012 04:57 AM

I had someone PM me and say they were debating weather to take Rob Cosman’s class versus Charles Neil and he said he decided to take Charles class after comparing their finished projects Charles had dozens and dozens of pieces on his web site Rob had none. You know I’m a fan of Charles but to be fair I never looked to see if I could find any of Robs completed pieces myself. I know CN was not one of you choices but I thought that you could compare classes the same way.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

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105 posts in 3791 days

#3 posted 04-11-2012 05:39 AM

I guess you need to look at if what is being taught in the class will help your woodworking skills get to the next level. All I know is my handtool skills have greatly improved since I joined Robs Hand Tool Coach membership and he is not only an amazing teacher but also a very nice guy. If it were me and the class offered what I needed, and the cost wasn’t a dealbreaker, I would go for it. If you do take the class please let us know how you liked it.

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Jorge G.

1537 posts in 2681 days

#4 posted 04-11-2012 05:57 AM

I was going to build a kitchen on the G&G style, I purchased Darrel’s book a long time ago but for this project I had a few questions so I asked him about it through Facebook, he answered my questions and even gave me tips on the questions I had. If your goal is to make fine furniture (even if it is not in the G&G style) I would recommend Darrel’s class over Cosman’s. “Training the hand” is only a matter of practice, if you practice making dovetails every day for a month you will be a wiz in no time. Learning building techniques is another matter.

Jim makes a good point, I searched for Cosman’s furniture and found nothing, so I decided not to get any of his videos. I am not a fan of Mr. Neil’s videos, his delivery drives me nuts, but one thing is for sure the guy knows what he is doing. I would take his class over Cosman’s as well.

-- To surrender a dream leaves life as it is — and not as it could be.

View ChrisCrafts's profile


107 posts in 2791 days

#5 posted 04-11-2012 07:23 AM


Thanks for the information.

Since this posting was made, I have actually decided to enroll in a year and a half cabinet making & Fine woodworking program, or at least I am going to try to. Seattle Central offer a 5 qtr program that has a great reputation. A much better use of time & money for me. My only concern is that being disabled I am concerned about being able to go to school 35-40 hrs a week. Since my main limitation is sitting and driving I think hands on woodworking should be enough up and about to keep my hip from locking up too regularly. Since the only formal woodworking training I have had is a one day turning class I am thinking this is gonna be the perfect opportunity for me. Right now I am stuck with all these great furniture design ideas and not even close to the knowledge I need to build them.

In regards to your concern, I would hold off getting to upset. I find that on the internet it is pretty easy for people to get offended because there is rarely any reference as to the person writing. I have found that people that are easily offended are also often offended because they are usually looking for a reason to be offended. Seems like a petty miserable life to me, but to each their own. I was asking if, the in person class was any better than the videos he sells. Taken in that context, as it is clearly written, it makes no reference to his right to earn a living or sell videos. I climbed my way up the ladder at some of the Fortune 100’s most cut throat companies. I hocked tech products at the highest levels of of Corporate America for 20 years. Trust me, when I insult someone it is extremely clear to all parties. If you choose to attach a negative connotation with the word “Hock” that is your deal.


I would not factor in what someone was able to build in considering a class. A persons ability to build a piece of furniture has little to do with their ability to teach someone else how to build a piece of furniture. Now experience is always and can add valuable insight into a class. However, just because some guy can build a Chippendale table doesn’t mean he can teach a lick. I don’t think Rob Cosman or Charles Neil are the greatest woodworkers of all time, in fact I am sure they both have their shortcomings. But I do know that both of them are able to educate and capture the attention of an audience. Charles Neil is all over the Woodcraft website because his personality & delivery is appealing to a wide cross section of woodworkers. The most important factor in taking a class is the ability to understand and retain the knowledge being disseminated in the class.

-- Chris, Washington The State!

View helluvawreck's profile


32087 posts in 3072 days

#6 posted 04-11-2012 12:02 PM

I don’t have any experience with Rob Cosman and I’m sure that he is fine as a teacher. However, I am a member of Charles Niel’s website and receive his videos almost every month or so and I love his method of teaching. I think that he is down to earth and even adds a little humor so I guess something that some people don’t like there are others who do and this is the way that it should be because everyone is different. To me Charles Neil is an amazing man and I have never understood how someone can find the time to accomplish all that he does. I only wish that I had the time and money to go up to some of his classes in person.


-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

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