Frequently Asked Questions

What Classes Should I Take First?

What's the difference between the Fundamentals course and the Introduction to Woodworking course?

  • The Intro course is designed for serious hobbyist or professional woodworkers.
  • The Fundamentals course serves as a great course for someone who is uncertain about their commitment to woodworking. Many people who have taken the fundamentals course return to take the Introduction course.

How much do classes cost?

What tools do I need?

  • The shop has an amazing assortment of quality tools, the list below is recommended only. Start with just a couple and as you learn more, increase your collection.
  • Recommended Tools

How do I sign up for classes?

When do classes start?

  • The best way for people to know what is going on in the wood shop is to join the Google Group
  • In General...
    • Fall starts (in general) in the third week of August
    • Spring Starts in the third week of January
    • Summer starts around the end of May

Where are you located?

Are classes only for people seeking a degree?

  • No, many students only seek to acquire or gain woodworking skills as a hobbyist. Roughly 60% of our students are just taking classes to gain knowledge for either a hobby or to see if it is something they want to pursue.

What do the other "material" fees pay for?

  • Some classes use a certain amount of provided lumber to complete the projects. We charge students for those materials we know they will need.

What sort of stuff should I plan on buying?

  • A good source is the RECOMMENDED TOOLS page. You should also expect to pay for what you use. We don't pay for your paper to take notes, we don't supply you with finishing material, safety glasses or sandpaper.


This survey asked past students for some information regarding the class - the focus being what could you tell a new class of students.

What's the most important thing you could tell a new student to help them maximize their experience?

  1. Practice what you are taught by your instructors and don't be hesitant about trying new things. Watch and learn from  others around you because there is tremendous talent at this school.

  2. Come to class, every day, and on time. I also recommend taking advantage of the shop hours as much as necessary to complete periodic goals. I highly recommend focusing on the instructor's class demo, asking questions, and deliberating challenging themselves with their project. Students should learn to become comfortable with all power and hand tools. I also think student's projects should be realistic to their abilities and aptitude, as many students are overly ambitious and fail to realize the commitment of time needed to complete their project. I also find the willingness and assistance of the TA's invaluable.

  3. Plan on giving a lot of time to your project...You'll never regret it.

  4. Patience, grasshopper.

  5. Listen carefully, watch closely and ask questions often.

  6. Ask questions, come to class.

  7. Watch, listen, and learn. Be a sponge. I know it sounds very simple, but this is the most valuable piece of advice I can give to students, or anybody (including myself) for that matter.

  8. Be patient and don't worry about screwing up everyone screws up that is how you learn the right way to do something and just have fun, and be safe.

  9. They will need to spend significantly more time then just the class time working on their projects especially if they are new to woodworking.

  10. Stay completely engaged and don't be afraid to make mistakes. We covered (by my count) at least 25 topics and I really enjoyed the breadth and depth. It was interesting to see how effectively the course covered material, regardless of prior experience. I liked the demo and then hands-on style with lots of room for questions both from students as well as from the instructor. I think the Socratic style really forced us to think and it was interesting to hear multiple answers or solutions to posed questions. I also liked the couple of small team exercises (e.g. bent laminates, and finger joints).

  11. Be willing to make mistakes to learn things (but be thoughtful & aware in the process).

  12. Understand that there are many acceptable ways to accomplish something in woodworking.

  13. Be inquisitive Look for new techniques.

  14. Pay attention and practice, practice, practice and ask questions of everyone

  15. Welcome to our woodworking world. This is a wonderful craft may you forever enjoy seeking to become a better woodworker than you are today. The staff here will truly help your passion for this craft grow.

  16. Be prepared to learn from everyone in the class and all the others in the shop working in other or similar areas. Following the progress of the multitude of projects is at once fascinating, rewarding and humbling. Every person in the shop is a resource and has something positive to offer.

  17. (1-3)

    1. Don't be shy about asking instructors for help instead of wasting unnecessary time potentially using ineffective approaches.

    2. Expect to work extra hours every week.

    3. Learn sharpening well. To keep from falling behind, plan to flatten backs of new chisels/planes outside of normal class time.

  18. Plan on spending at least twice as much time in the shop as the actual class hours. Ask for help along the way, instructors are more than happy to show you the right technique.

  19. Several things:

    1. Have a plan. Think about each step of what you're going to do, and how you're going to do it. And draw, draw, draw! Paper is cheap; wood and time are not.

    2. Learn the techniques, but also spend time thinking about design and aesthetics. A perfect joint in an ugly piece of furniture is not very satisfying.

    3. Take inspiration from the instructors and others in your class, and from the great work you see being done in the shop. Keep in mind that all of those people were once beginners like you.

    4. Be safe and be alert. Accidents happen in seconds, but the effects can last a lifetime. Respect the tools and what they can do FOR you and TO you!

    5. You don't need to spend a fortune on tools to do good work, but....

  20. Try not to get bogged down on a procedure if you are unsure of what to do. Spend time discussing next steps with instructors as often as you can to keep your momentum going. Don't be afraid to make'll learn so much from them and avoid being paralyzed by inaction because you're worried about messing up.

  21. Spent as much time as possible(with out ending up sleeping on the couch). Challenge yourself with the project and use the infinite knowledge of the teachers, TA's and other students to fully maximize your time here.

  22. Work Safe, take your time, there is more than one way to do anything and do not feel pressure to finish. For me,a geezer, enjoy the journey and learn from everybody.

  23. Don't be afraid to experiment with all you are taught. Ask a lot of questions.

  24. Don't get too wrapped up in the design process. Sometimes its best to just start with a basic idea and adapt as you go.

  25. Instructors and staff are very experienced and student friendly. Don't be afraid to ask questions and ask for demonstrations. No matter if you have done woodworking for a long time or not at all, this class will challenge you and enable you to learn new skills or refine existing ones.

  26. Take your time.

  27. Don't worry about mistakes - almost everything can be fixed.

  28. If you buy tools, don't buy cheap ones. You get what you pay for.

  29. Enjoy the class.

  30. Really stretch yourself and your idea of what you're capable of producing. A lot of projects will seem very daunting until you start to do them and realize that it is possible. Make sure you ask questions!

  31. This is an outstanding class because it introduces you to hand tools and power tools while building you skills and confidence.

  32. Marking pieces in out top bottom left right it all matters. Attention to detail in planning helps greatly as you build the piece. Enjoy what your doing.

  33. Come in as often as you can. Soak up the knowledge like a sponge because it is an amazing place to be. Don't be afraid to fail and experiment with the ideas in your head.

  34. Take advantage of the well equipped shop and the craftsman environment, as well as the years of instructor experience.

  35. For the first class, it is amazing how many mistakes one can fix with wood! Do not lose faith in completing your project. With a little time and patience, it will look great!  Also, it is worth plunking down some extra money upfront for some decent tools. They are worth it in the long run.