Educating America's Craftspeople
  • Hand Tool Joinery

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    The case for hand tools in a machine environment

    Instructor:           Ernie Conover
    Prerequisites:         Some knowledge of hand dovetailing (Read Ernie's Book Woodworker's Guide to Dovetails)
    Max Enrollment:     3
    Price:                      $900 (includes all instruction time, materials) Students supply their own lunch. A $200 deposit is required to secure a spot in this class with the         balance due two weeks prior to the course beginning.
    Dates Offered:        (Monday-Friday) August 16-20, 2021 from 8:30am-4:30pm
    In this course you will learn authentic joinery from the time when furniture was built to last. The good news is that this joinery is just as applicable today as it was in the 18th century. In Handtool Joinery participants are shown that hand tools are still unmatched in a machine environment. This is learned in the making a small cupboard out of sassafras (measuring 12” wide x 31” high x 6” deep). Sassafras is a beautiful wood that is easy to plane and chisel and smells heavenly in the working. The cupboard has one drawer below the panel door. In the building process you will learn to hand cut through and half-blind dovetails, mortise and tenons, grooves and dadoes.

    The proper use of hand planes will be demystified and these indispensable tools will be stalwart old friends by the time you leave for home. Carcass construction (the main body and drawer) is taught employing two types of dovetail joints, through and half-blind. Mortise and tenon joints will be employed in the face frame and haunched tenons in the panel door. The two shelves for the cabinet are adjustable via a time honored, all wood set of notched racks.

    These construction details will give you complete familiarity and confidence in the back saw, bevel chisels and mortise chisels. This foundation course is a must for any aspiring woodworker. No prior experience is necessary but it is strongly recommended that participants view the Bench Planes DVD and attend the Hand Cutting Dovetails seminar offered the Sunday prior to the course.

    Please note our cancellation policy: Thirty days or more prior to the start date, your deposit/fee is 50% refundable. If you cancel less than thirty days from the course beginning, the deposit/fee is non-refundable. To cancel email, write or telephone and leave a message on our answering machine. If for any reason we cancel a course, your entire payment will be refunded promptly.

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