Woodworking Courses

Good news! The first of the association’s rescheduled courses will take place at the end of this month (September).

It’s great that this part of our activities is back in action. Places in the remaining courses are filling too. Below is a list of the dates showing how many places are still available. Descriptions of what each course offers can be found in the September Newsletter.  If you would like to book a place please email philnanlohy@gmail.com

All the courses will be held at the Association’s workshop at 50 Spring Street in Abbotsford. They start at 10 am and usually finish by 4.00pm.  Tea and coffee can be had in the workshop but participants are advised to bring a lunch. All courses need between 4 and 6 participants to run and will be conducted with full social distancing precautions in place. Confirmation emails advising what you will need to bring will be sent one week prior to each event.

As part of our ongoing mission to promote the appreciation of fine woodworking and skill development for all woodworkers, we aim to provide high quality and engaging courses in woodwork for people of all levels. Whether you are a beginner, amateur, or professional, if you have an interest in refining your skills it is our aim to help you get what you need while creating a strong community of people with a shared passion. Check out our woodwork education programs below.

Outline of upcoming courses

Hand Cut Joints with Matt Dwight  FULL
Sat 26th September
No places left @ $120

Veneering Course with Peter Harris
Mon, Tue, Thu, Fri 5th, 6th, 8th 9th October
2 places left @$250

Box Making Course with Alex Springall & Peter Harris  FULL
Mon, Tue, Thu, Fri 19th, 20th, 22nd, 23rd October
No places left @$250

Introduction to Finishing with Shane Wiechnik  FULL
Sat 7th November
This course is full @ $120. A second day will be arranged if there is demand for more places.

Shaker Step Stool with Brian Dawson & Steve Townsend  FULL
Sat 21st November
This course is full @ $120 each.

Introductory Woodworking No 2 with Peter Munro
Sat 5th December
2 places left @ $90

Please email Phil Nanlohy to secure a space or for further information on any course that interests you     philnanlohy@gmail.com
More detail on the courses:

Hand Cut Joints with Matt Dwight on Sat 26th September

In this one day class you will learn how to accurately mark out and cut woodworking joints by hand using a basic set of tools.

The course will cover the design, layout and cutting of three fundamental woodworking joints, the T-Halving or Lap Joint, Bridle Joint and the Through Dovetail. Alternatively, if you would like to focus on a specific joint, contact me before the day so I can prepare suitable tools and materials.

The focus will be on developing the marking out, hand sawing and chisel techniques necessary to successfully cut joints by hand. A range of suitable timbers will be available so you can also experience how different timbers work. Tools will be supplied but if you have your own feel free to bring any of the following:

Try Square, Marking Knife, Marking Gauge, Cutting Gauge, Mortice Gauge, Tenon Saw, Dovetail Saw, Japanese Saw, Chisels, Mallet.

Throughout the day we will also discuss tool selection and preparation, joint design and selection, and the use of jigs and aids.

Veneering Course with Peter Harris to be held over the 4 days of Mon, Tue, Thu, Fri the 5th, 6th, 8th 9th October

This course will cover:

  • Introduction to veneers.
  • Cutting and joining of veneers.
  • Gluing veneers to substrate using press or vacuum bag.
  • Design ideas
  • Fret and scroll saw cutting
  • Double bevel technique.

We will supply a range of veneers, Veneer shooting board, Glue, veneer tape and Some ply/MDF backing board. Participants ae encouraged bring their own veneers, a scalpel/cutting knife (Some will be available to borrow/try), a straight edge/rule, a cutting mat, a fret saw and a scroll saw (not on the first day)

Box Making Course with Alex Springall and Peter Harris running over the 4 days of Mon, Tue, Thu, Fri the 19th, 20th, 22nd, 23rd October.

In this course, you will firstly look at the many options available when designing boxes – shapes, the types of joints used and the styles of lids trays, legs, linings and other features. You will sketch your design, then mark out, cut and dress your materials to size, before cutting whatever type of joint you have chosen to use. We will also look at the various glues, finishes and linings that you can use on boxes, before you assemble your box. You will learn how to separate and fit the lid using various types of hinges.

You will be assisted through this by Peter and Alex, and guided towards designs that can be completed during the course, while building on your existing skills. You are encouraged to get checked out on the various workshop machines before the course, but Peter and Alex will assist those who aren’t qualified.

Participants will receive a comprehensive set of notes before the course, and will complete the course with a box that they have made to their own individual design. Wood, glue and finishing materials are supplied, and there will be some hinges and fittings for sale, but if you have that special piece of wood that you’d like to use, please bring it along. The Association has the essential tools available for your use, but if you prefer to use your own you are encouraged to do so.

Introduction to Finishing with Shane Wiechnik on Sat 7th November.

While this course is full Shane has said that he could run a second day on the 24th of November if there is demand.

This one day crash course in furniture finishing is designed to guide you towards an intuitive understanding of finishing materials, tools, and techniques. Finishing can be an intimidating subject for a lot of woodworkers. Traditionally, the finishing trade has been separated from the joiners, but the home craftsman is now also the finisher and there is a lot to be gained by having the knowledge and skills of both.

While many techniques are not possible in a single day, this course will help demystify a lot of finishing concepts in order to give you the tools to understand and enjoy different finishing options. We will explore historic and modern materials, get into the chemistry behind what is happening, and make our own simple varnishes. Every student should walk away with a sample board of different techniques, but more importantly a grounded understanding of what is actually happening on the surface of our pieces.

Shaker Step Stool with Brian Dawson and Steve Townsend  on Sat 21st November.

The Shakers were a Christian sect that flourished in the US in the 18th and 19th centuries. They were dedicated to simplicity, practicality and perfection. They developed a range of furniture that reflected these virtues. The Shaker step-stool is a perfect example.

Tutor Brian Dawson says: “This is one of the most useful things I’ve ever made. I use it every day in the workshop. It’s a step to help me reach high shelves and a stool when I’m working down low. It’s light, easy to move and easy to store. It’s also a very elegant piece of furniture.”

Our step-stools will be made from 22mm western red cedar and there will be a choice of designs and joinery techniques: dovetails, Domino mortises and floating tenons, or butt joints with cleats.

Machines you will use: a tablesaw to cut to width along the grain, a drop saw to cut to length across the grain, a bandsaw to cut curves, a drill press to drill holes, a Festool Domino to cut floating tenons and a router to round-over edges.

Hand tools you will use include saws, chisels and planes.

All timber, glue and finish will be supplied. It is intended that the step-stools can be completed in one day but the final coats of finish may need to be done by the participants at home.

Introductory Woodworking No 2 with Peter Munro on Sat 5th December.

This one-day course will step participants through the 6 basic stages of timber preparation known by the acronym FEWTEL; F – flatten face of timber; E – square an edge; W- rip the width; T – plane to the thickness needed; E – square one end; L – cut to length.

Participants will then design and construct a bread board/ serving board from the timber they have prepared, cut out a chosen pattern on the bandsaw & use the router to complete the edges of the boards. Hopefully participants will take home a completed breadboard/ serving board at the end of the day.

There will be a range of patterns to copy and an interesting selection of timbers available.

External courses offered by our members:

Check out the links below for incredible workshops and learning opportunities provided by a few of our members.

Richard Crosland School of Fine Woodwork

Sydney’s Oldest School of Fine Woodwork with Richard Crosland

Richard’s classes consist of many students, some with engineering or design backgrounds, and some with no previous experience in woodwork at all – but they all learn the craft of furniture making. Students can try it or stay on to design & make their own furniture, custom designed for their houses, presents for other people or pieces taken from existing designs on the net. It’s a collaboration.

Find our more – Richard Cosland

Heartwood Creative Woodworking

Woodwork Classes in Sydney for the Creative at Heart

At Heartwood Creative Woodworking you can master the traditional skills of creating beautiful objects in wood.

Using finely crafted hand tools in our well equipped workshop, you will discover your own surprising abilities, and find new levels of patience and appreciation for beauty in the items you craft by hand.

Find out more – Stuart Faulkner

Terry Gleeson School of Woodwork

Want to improve your skills or learn new ones? Need a new hobby? We teach woodwork, turning, carving, dovetailing and other joinery in our fully equipped workshop at Middle Dural in Sydney’s North West.

Find out more – Terry Gleeson

Thirston Morris – Woodworking Classes

I teach beginners and intermediates, the necessary skills to create and finish a piece, first through a number of set pieces and then through furniture they want to make for themselves.

I help with everything from the design through to the final finish.

Through this process we will learn to value the materials with which we work, the knowledge which has come down to us and ourselves through our work.

These classes will suit anyone with a desire to create a fine piece of furniture that is both practical & beautiful, while attaining woodworking skills & a sense of achievement at having made it yourself.

Find out more – Thirston Morris

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