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Forum topic by posted 09-15-2008 05:40 PM 4991 views 0 times favorited 22 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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593 posts in 3966 days

09-15-2008 05:40 PM


22 replies so far

View gerrym526's profile


274 posts in 3803 days

#1 posted 09-30-2008 11:06 PM

Welcome to the US. You might want to look into Gary Rogowski’s Northwest Woodworking school in Portland.

Here’s the website-

The school features a 9 month resident Mastery Program that may fit your needs. I’ve talked to two students who took his Distance Mastery program (also 2 years, but you work in your own shop, not the studio), and both seemed very satisfied with their experiences.

-- Gerry

View schroeder's profile


702 posts in 4120 days

#2 posted 10-01-2008 01:03 PM

Give me a call when you get here Jojo, I’ll tour you around and buy you a beer!

-- The Gnarly Wood Shoppe

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593 posts in 3966 days

#3 posted 10-01-2008 01:47 PM

Gerry: Thank you for pointing me to Gary’s School. I’ve already requested and got back some information from them about their curriculum. Unfortunately they aren’t the ideal for me given my particular circumstances but I have to say that their ”Mastery Program” is quite appealing (although somewhat expensive for only 9 months).

Schroeder: I sure will do! Although I’m shooting for the Puget Sound/Olympic Peninsula area, I do have some friends closer to your quarters—think Hood River Valley—so I’ll be around from time to time. Also, at the price gas is going nowadays, is n¡ce to have somebody to actually fill up the car for you for the same cost, don’t ya think? ;o)

View Taigert's profile


593 posts in 3835 days

#4 posted 10-21-2008 03:03 AM

I went to Seattle Central Community College, they have a 2 yr. progam in Cabinetmaking and Fine Woodworking. You come out with a Associates in Applied Science.
Great program they have been around since 1934
Check out their website, they have a great video about the school.
You cant ask for better instructors, my hats off to them.
Good luck any questions feel free to contact me

-- Taigert - Milan, IN

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593 posts in 3966 days

#5 posted 10-21-2008 05:12 AM

Thank ou Ed!

Actually I’ve already been in touch with them, as they seem to be the only valid option for me.

Alas, I’m still undecided because nowadays they have a waiting list up to TWO YEARS to enter the cabinetmaking program! :o((( I was kinda thinking into getting there for the fall term but it seems somewhat unrealistic. Still, I think I will apply to get in line and decide later on when the time comes.

I will PM you because I’d really like to have more first hand information on them.

Again, thank you.

View daiku1's profile


24 posts in 3793 days

#6 posted 12-02-2008 07:40 AM

If you are not set on Washington, have you considered the College of the Redwoods in Fort Bragg? Competition is very strong for their 9 month program, but you might consider it. This is the school that James Krenov founded. It is very strong on hand skills and super fine woodworking. A couple of my friends graduated from the 1 year program. Check out for more info

-- jim

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593 posts in 3966 days

#7 posted 12-11-2008 04:20 PM

Hi, daiku1.

Sorry for my late answer. After your comment I did check James’ school but, unfortunately, I don’t seem to be able to qualify for the courses they offer. Also, I like their program very much but, objectively, it is not the best suited to my present needs.

Maybe some years into the future I would be able to attend it and to enjoy it as it deserves.

Still, I’d like to thank you for your great suggestion.

View RichinsCarpentry's profile


44 posts in 3460 days

#8 posted 12-14-2008 02:30 AM

Its tough to get into the schools that you want to. I lived in Everett Washington for a few years and checked out several schools that were very apealing. Unfortunately I was not able to attend any of them and ended up working for a great furniture builder. I moved to Utah after that and looked up recomendations for the best of the best master wood workers and was able to get on in his shop. The rest is, as the say, history.

Obviously It dosent work for everyone but for me it did. Good luck on your searching.

-- See our blog at

View a1Jim's profile


117090 posts in 3571 days

#9 posted 12-14-2008 02:45 AM


I know this way out there but I always thought If I were to start over I would attend North Bennet street school in Boston(a long drive from the northwest) I believe their school is over 100 years old and have wide area of study Re woodworking. I notice when reading fine woodworking all of the top craftsmen seem to have studied there. I know this might late and not in the area you want but I wanted to let you know about this school.


-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

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593 posts in 3966 days

#10 posted 12-14-2008 03:41 AM

Thank you RichinsCarpentry and Jim.

No, it’s not late and yes, all suggestions are very much welcomed, even if they are outside of the Pacific Northwest.

The thing is that we (SWMBO and I) are trying to establish ourselves in the Puget Sound area (West of Seattle for those of you out of state) and, once we get to do it, we don’t intend to move anymore. We’ve been living all over the world and now want to settle in for good. Obviously, the optimal solution would be to find a school in the area to start with, but we’re open to other venues if needed. Presently I’m on waiting list for the Cabinetmaking program in the Seattle Central Community College… but they told me to brace up because it’s between one and two years long!

Obviously I know about the NBS but I wonder whether it is very expensive or somewhat affordable, and not only the school but also the cost of living in the area.

And yes, I’d love to get a job—even as an apprentice—. This would be the ideal situation that will allow me to save $35K and get me on my way faster. Any tips on that? ;o)

View DrDirt's profile


4424 posts in 3736 days

#11 posted 12-14-2008 04:19 AM

Jojo -
I would look again at Gary Rogowski – With the present economy – the schools are struggling to find students, so that 2 year waiting list has probably shrunk a lot.

Also the North Bennett Street school is really top notch. I would also look at college of the redwoods in California.
Just one thought though – if you really want to live (After School) in the Pacific Northwest – the I would choose a school there so that you would make local contacts. KNowing a lot of people in Boston won’t help you land many commissions in Oregon.

Just my $0.02


-- “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain

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593 posts in 3966 days

#12 posted 12-14-2008 06:19 AM

You hit the nail in the head Dave. That’s why I want to keep it local. It’s all about networking, isn’t it?

There’s no problem at Gary’s… except the fact that I need a place where they qualify to get a student visa and they don’t. Otherwise I’d already be there. I’ve been in the area before and it’s not that far away from my final destination and Oregon is also a very beautiful place.

The same reason (visa’s sake) prevents me from going to Inside Passage. I love it… but it is in BC.

Regarding the Redwoods I’ve looked at it but not only the costs of living in the area are very expensive but also I don’t quite qualify for the requirements. I do have the experience but it is not demonstrable enough as to prepare the detailed curriculum they ask for. Also, I encounter the same problem of being outside the future area of influence I am interested in. On the other hand, they focus almost completely in hand-tools, and I need a mixed way of working because, as much as you fancy it, you can’t expect to be a professional furniture maker and a galoot at the same time.

Thank you for your insight though. I appreciate all of it so, please, keep it coming!

View GFYS's profile


711 posts in 3465 days

#13 posted 12-14-2008 11:20 PM
Dave Richards the sketchup instructor is teaching a class there in june 09. I know nothing about the school other than what their website indicates. Dave has a blog here

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593 posts in 3966 days

#14 posted 12-15-2008 03:00 AM

Thank you mics54.

I’d like to attend there as I am subscribed to Dave’s_ RSS feed.

I was aware of that course. Actually, having lived in Sequim in the past (a mere few miles off PT), it was the very first place I looked into. Alas, they don’t offer any long program (over 9 months) so they don’t qualify for the vissa issuance part.

By the way, for those of you who are able to attend, Fort Worden State Park is a lovely place in a beautiful victorian small town, Port Towsend. I love that place. And one of the area ferries arrives right there so transportation from Seattle is quite easy.

View azor's profile


62 posts in 3437 days

#15 posted 12-26-2008 01:17 AM


If Gary’s NWWoodworking isn’t what you are looking for you want to check out the Oregon School of Arts and Crafts. Address is: 8245 SW Barnes Rd, Portland, OR 97225

I think Gary Rogowski used to teach there. They have a nice woodworking shop. I have never studied there only visited during a meeting of the Oregon Woodworker's Guild. Good luck on finding what you are looking for.


-- It isn't as easy as the demos make it seem.

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