Projects & Skills Mentorships/Workshops

LIST OF MENTORSHIPS / CLASSES AT-A-GLANCE

MENTORSHIPS

Mentorships are usually private one-on-one sessions, but can, if the student arranges it, be a small group session.  Mentorships are incredibly powerful custom designed and paced programs. Imagine having an expert practitioner in the fine art of making furniture bringing all of their experience to the worktable in service of your goals. The student being mentored has sole or priority access to the assigned instructor during their scheduled mentorship hours.  Private mentorships are usually project oriented (such as building a jewelry box or dining room table), but they can also be skill oriented (such as decorative carving or design essentials).

The student’s learning curve progresses dramatically with this kind of mentorship.  Their experience of the training combines the joy of creating something magnificent with the deep satisfaction of accelerated mastery.

Private Mentorship differs from Private Tutorials, which are geared towards helping a student keep pace with their class.  The tuition for Private Mentorships is based on the level of training and amount of supervision needed. Material costs are always extra.  The schedule for private mentorships is customized to fit the student’s needs and instructor’s availability.  The list of projects you see below is just a suggestion and is representative of some of our more popular requests (please note that the term “Course Fee” below refers to the tuition for a class and not for a private mentorship).  The sky is the limit – if you don’t see it, ask!

Please contact us if you are ready to catapult your training program from ordinary to spectacular with project results to match.  Policies: Can be found here.

GENERAL WOODWORKING CLASSES INFORMATION

Class Hours: Classes that run all day get 1.5 hours for lunch (deducted before total hours are calculated).

Materials Fees: If MSF supplies materials, a fee will be charged at the time of registration. This fee is non-refundable unless MSF cancels the class. If the student is expected to supply their own materials, that information will be supplied within the class description and will be at the student’s own cost.

Prerequisites: If you are unsure of your ability to meet prerequisites for a class, please email info@masterpieceschool.com. Include the class title and specifics about your background so that we can make a determination. Instructors may be available for private tutorials (for a fee) prior to a class in order to enable a student to meet prerequisites.

Policies: Can be found here.

MENTORSHIP/CLASS DESCRIPTIONS

Farmhouse Table

This is a simple but challenging, beautiful piece of furniture to build – one that will last forever and can be used every day without fear of damage. In fact, the more wear and tear, the better it looks! In this class you will learn how to cut out and prepare the wood for jointing and assembling a farmhouse table, which can be used as a dining table, entry table – for any purpose really. We’ll use traditional, hand crafted joinery, including mortise and tenon joints with pegs through the joints, half lap joints, and straight edged, rubbed glue joints for the top. Additional butterfly style inserts will be added to the top board joints to give it some detailing and provide the table with unique styling. The table will be hand planed to give it an authentic, hand finished look, and will be long oil varnished and waxed to an antique patina. Please arrange for special transport (truck or SUV/wagon) to get your table home.

  • Instructor: James Bowie
  • Date/Time:   48hrs as a class
  • Course Fee: $1300
  • Materials Fee: $500 (for hardwood and finishing materials)
  • Prerequisite: None – Open to all, but novices must have taken our Basic Machine Tool Use & Safety Class.
  • Class size limit: 6
  • Bring to class: No requirements. Experienced woodworkers may request a tool list. Otherwise, tools will be supplied.

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Farmhouse Bench

In this class we will teach students to make a simple, beautiful bench seat – perfect on it’s own or to go with a Farmhouse Table. No jointing skills are required in this class as the bench is assembled and held together using screws, glue, and plugs. It is hand planed, finished with a long oil varnish, and then hand waxed to an antique patina. We’ll also show you how to design a cut out of your favorite animal or fish into the seat area, which acts as a nice handle to lift the bench.

  • Instructor: James Bowie
  • Date/Time:  18hrs as a class
  • Course Fee: $270
  • Materials Fee: $150 (for hardwood and finishing materials)
  • Prerequisite: None – Open to all.
  • Class size limit: 6
  • Bring to class: No requirements. Experienced woodworkers may request a tool list. Otherwise, tools will be supplied.

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Hand Tool Sharpening

Working with dull tools can be frustrating and dangerous. And sharpening them incorrectly can make them unusable. This class is open to novices who want to learn how to sharpen their tools correctly, as well as professionals wishing to brush up on their tool sharpening skills. Our focus will be on chisels, hand-planes, and card scrapers. There will be plenty of hands-on time to practice newly acquired sharpening skills. Participants will finish the class feeling confident in their ability to maintain sharp and safe bench tools.

  • Instructor: Ron Anderson
  • Date/Time:  3hrs as a class
  • Course Fee: $60
  • Materials Fee: None
  • Prerequisite: None – Open to all
  • Class size limit: 12
  • Bring to class: Safety glasses, bench chisels, hand-plane, and card scraper.

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Shaker Wall Clock

The Shakers developed a uniquely American style of furniture. By removing unnecessary ornamentation, the Shakers kept their furniture pieces functional and their designs beautifully simple. In this class, students will each build a handsome, Shaker-style wall clock similar to the ones used in the Sabbathday Lake Village (the last active Shaker community today). This version of this classic timepiece has a solid panel lower door and will be made using cherry wood, known for its beautiful hues, smooth texture, and straight grain. Students may choose to build their clock using a standard quartz movement, or they may upgrade to a high-quality Hermle mechanical mechanism – guaranteed for life. This will be a fun class and everyone will leave with a gorgeous, functional clock they can use and admire for years to come.

  • Instructor: Ron Anderson
  • Date/Time:  30hrs as a class
  • Course Fee: $480
  • Materials Fee: $115
    • Optional Hermle Mechanical Mechanism Upgrade Fee: $160 additional
  • Prerequisite: Basic woodworking skills or Basic Machine Tool Use & Safety Class. Please let us know your woodworking experience level on your registration form.
  • Class size limit: 8
  • Bring to class: Safety glasses, ear protection, tape measure, and pencil

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Basic Machine Tool Use and Safety

Every shop project begins and ends with proper safety protocol. Shop machines are very unforgiving and we teach our students to prevent accidents before they happen. This class is designed for the beginner who has never even powered up a machine – as well as the experienced woodworker that has been away from their craft and wants to brush up on machine use safety. Each participant will get instruction and hands-on time using major machine tools such as joiner, planer, table saw, miter saw, band saw, and drill press.

  • Instructor: Ron Anderson
  • Date/Time: 6hrs as a class
  • Course Fee: $90
  • Materials Fee: $10
  • Prerequisite: None – Open to all.
  • Class size limit: 12
  • Bring to class: Safety glasses and your preferred type of ear protection.

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Introduction to Woodworking

This is a basic, informative, and fun course for beginners, which covers the ABC’s of woodworking. In this course you’ll learn:

  1. Hand tool selection, use, and care (with an emphasis on safety),
  2. All about wood: types, practical considerations, and aesthetic characteristics
  3. Joinery: mortise and tenon, and half-lap
  4. Shop setup considerations

After the ABC’s, you’ll put your new knowledge/skills to use Designing and Building a Wooden Project. Each session (date series) will focus on a unique project so that students can sign up for multiple classes and complete a different project during every class.  Students who have taken the class before, will focus on taking their skills to the next level.

  • Instructor: Ron Anderson
  • Date/Time:  14hrs as a class
  • Course Fee: $210
  • Materials Fee: $20
  • Prerequisite: None – Open to all
  • Class size limit: 12
  • Bring to class: Safety glasses and your preferred type of ear protection.

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Blanket Chest

This is a beautiful, hinged-top, cedar-bottom chest that is challenging to build, but is heirloom quality and designed to last for generations. Based on a design from the 18th century, this traditional chest can be used to store blankets at the base of your bed, or used for books, as a coffee table, or for any decorative storage. This project will allow both the novice and experienced woodworker to learn or refresh their knowledge of a variety of traditional joints, including dovetails, and to practice traditional gluing techniques. We’ll then hand plane the entire chest and finish it with long oil varnish and hand wax it to a fine patina.

      • Instructor: James Bowie
      • Date/Time:  48hrs  as a class
      • Course Fee: $1300
      • Materials Fee: $500 (for hardwood, including cedar base, plus finishing materials)
      • Prerequisite: Basic woodworking skills (such as Traditional Hand Joinery)
      • Class size limit: 6
      • Bring to class: No requirements. Experienced woodworkers may request a tool list. Otherwise, tools will be supplied.

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Woodturning

Woodturning has become a satisfying form of art, as well as, an exciting form of producing utility items and precious keepsakes. This class will provide you with an opportunity to work with an experienced turner and receive the instruction needed to make you a better turner. You will learn tool selection and the use of each tool (dos and don’ts to keep you and those around you SAFE). Tools are not dangerous, but how they are used can be very dangerous. This class is for the beginner to the experienced turner, with opportunities for all to learn. You will learn to turn a project and to also apply the finish while the item is tuning on the lathe. Also included in this class is how to sharpen your tools to maximize the cutting edge. Depending on your experience and knowledge of turning, this class can provide you with the skills to turn bowls (natural edge and fixed edge), hollow vessels, round boxes, rolling pins, or a variety of projects. This is an opportunity to have the satisfying experience of starting and finishing an item in a relatively short period of time.

  • Instructor: Russ McAnulty
  • Date/Time:  2hrs as a class
  • Course Fee: Beginner Class: $50; Advanced Class: $60
  • Materials Fee: None, except for pen parts, duck call parts or other speciality parts.
  • Prerequisite:Beginner Class: None – Open to all; Advanced Class: Some turning turning experience.
  • Class size limit: 3-4
  • Bring to class: Safety glasses, or a face shield, turning tools if you have them especially when the class focuses on sharpening of turning tools.

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Traditional Veneering with Hide Glue

Get down and get sticky! Hide glue has been around for centuries and, in this class, you’ll find out why it’s the glue professionals choose. Hide glue allows the woodworker to have a lot more versatility than modern glues and veneers. Though this glue is a bit messy, it is one of the best adhesives available because it gives the worker plenty of flexibility at the point of their project and is very user friendly. Using hide glue and a veneer hammer you will learn how to apply veneers to a small wood box (provided). We’ll also teach you how to make your own veneer hammer using simple methods and materials.

      • Instructor: James Bowie
      • Date/Time: 18hrs  as a class
      • Course Fee: $400
      • Materials Fee: $50
      • Prerequisite: None – Open to all.
      • Class size limit: 12
      • Bring to class: No requirements. Tools will be supplied.

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Build a Long Board

Time to play – and express your inner skateboarder! In this class, we welcome all levels of woodworkers. Students will learn how to design, laminate, shape, and finish their own custom long board deck. (The deck will be templated so that you can later bolt on the trucks/wheels).

      • Instructor: Ron Anderson
      • Date/Time: 15hrs  as a class
      • Course Fee: $250
      • Materials Fee: $75
      • Prerequisite: None – Open to all.
      • Class size limit: 6
      • Bring to class: Safety glasses and your preferred type of ear protection.

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A Special Place to Sit: Part 1 & Part 2

This class is about making a very special Oak stool from the late 15th Century, found in England and showing Gothic and Norman influences in it’s design and manufacture. It was part of a collection in the Victoria and Albert museum in London. It’s amazing to think this stool’s design has been around for almost 600 years!
The class is available in two parts.

Part 1: In the first session of the class, we will actually make the stool, including the seat, sides and a rail. The sides are joined by a rail and through, wedged, mortice and tenons and the sides are morticed and tenoned to the top. No glue is used and the entire piece is held by wedges and an engineered tension to the sides and top. You can stop at this point and take home a lovely, small stool to use around the house.

Part 2: The second part of this class focuses on decorative carving of the stool. This involves chip carving in Medieval style. There are flowers, circles, and arches and most of the carving is fretted through the wood to make it look lighter. Not for the faint hearted, this carving project is intense, time consuming, and demands focus and full attention. Sharp tools and good hand and eye coordination are a must to do this level of detail work on your stool. However, the end result is a beautiful work of art and an heirloom treasure you will cherish forever.

Although the actual making of the stool is relatively simple and rewarding, the carving part is a bit challenging and the amateur or professional carver will learn some new skills.

      • Instructor: James Bowie
      • Part 1:
        • Date/Time: 24hrs as a class
        • Course Fee: $400
        • Materials Fee: $100
        • Prerequisite: Open to those with basic woodworking skills.
        • Class size limit: 12
        • Bring to class: No requirements.
      • Part 2:
        • Date/Time: 36hrs as a class
        • Course Fee: $600
        • Materials Fee: None
        • Prerequisite: Basic carving skills recommended but not required
        • Class size limit: 12
        • Bring to class: No requirements

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Cigar Box Ukulele

This is an incredibly fun project and, when done, students will have new woodworking skills as well as a cool looking, working instrument! In this class, each student will build a unique-in-appearance, functioning ukulele using a wood cigar box that they supply or recovered Douglas Fir supplied by the school. Cigar box instruments date back to the 1800’s and really became popular during the depression when supplies were hard to come by. We’ll be building ours while teaching a few basic woodworking skills. We’ll use a nitro cellulose spray to put a nice finish on the instrument. Be prepared for jamming sessions after class!

  • Instructor: Ron Anderson
  • Date/Time:  36hrs as a class
  • Course Fee: $576
  • Materials Fee: $115 (for tuners, strings, frets, fingerboard, nut/bridge bone, etc.)
  • Prerequisite: Basic woodworking skills or Basic Machine Tool Use & Safety Class. Please let us know your woodworking experience level on your registration form.
  • Class size limit: 8
  • Bring to class: Safety glasses, ear protection, tape measure, and pencil

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Basic Machine Joinery

Learn the techniques for creating a variety of joints used in woodworking and furniture making in this fascinating, hands-on class. All students receive individual attention in a relaxed yet professional environment while learning solid joinery skills. These joints will be “machine” produced (as opposed to hand-cut) and include mortise and tenon, dovetail, tongue and groove, lap, dowel, and biscuit joints. These joints will be fabricated using the table saw, mortise machine, router table, biscuit joiner, and doweling jig. Some handwork, glue selection, and clamping techniques will also be covered. Each student will create the six joints listed above. Tools and materials are provided and the class will include a written reference manual.

      • Instructor: Vincent Wilcoxen
      • Date/Time:  5hrs as a class
      • Course Fee: $100
      • Materials Fee: $20
      • Prerequisite: Basic Machine Tool Use & Safety Class – or equivalent.
      • Class size limit: 5
      • Bring to class: No requirements

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Traditional Hand Joinery

Whether you are a novice learning these sophisticated joints for the first time, or a professional wanting to brush up on your skills, there is nothing so basic and beautiful as traditional hand made joints. Traditional handmade joints have been used for hundreds of years to make beautiful furniture. There is a great deal of satisfaction and pride in learning to make your joints by hand. This is a very hands-on class where you will learn solid hand made joinery skills from a master. Joints will include mortise and tenon, dovetail, and lap joints. If you have your own favorite tools, bring them. However, if you do not have tools, they will be provided, along with materials

      • Instructor: James Bowie
      • Date/Time:  12hrs as a class
      • Course Fee: $300
      • Materials Fee: None
      • Prerequisite: None
      • Class size limit: 12
      • Bring to class: Band-Aids

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Build a Hardwood Side Table

In this fun, interactive weekend class, students will build a beautiful Hardwood Side Table, selecting from either a traditional or modern predetermined design. A material selection of walnut, maple, will allow students to “customize” their projects.

Day one will involve material selection and preparation, dimensioning, and glue-up. Day two involves sanding, assembly, and oil finish.

Students must submit their wood choices when they register – at least 7 days in advance or the instructor will make the choice on their behalf.

          • Instructor: Vincent Wilcoxen
          • Date / Time: 13hrs as a class
          • Course Fee: $245
          • Material Fee:  $200
          • Prerequisite: Machine Safety Course
          • Class Size Limit: 6
          • Bring to class: Small hammer, chisels, marking tools, eye and ear protection, small block plane, quality tri-square

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Making a Heirloom, Maloof-Style Rocking Chair

Sam Maloof (1916-2009) began his making furniture out of necessity using salvaged materials. Soon, his pieces gained recognition and became collectors’ items. Museums such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Smithsonian American Art Museum have Maloof exhibits and several past presidents, including Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan owned Maloof Rocking chairs.

Only four students will be accepted into this intensive class, which will be taught in a mentoring fashion – with a great deal of individualized attention. You will learn to design, construct, and finish a Maloof-style rocking chair that will become the focus of your home and an heirloom piece of furniture lasting for generations. You will refine your use of the band saw, hand held grinder for shaping the seat, crest rail and arms of the rocker, learn the construction of bent laminations, and refine your use of numerous hand tools, during this course. You will learn how to select and maximize wood for its natural beauty and also in a manner that allows you to match grains harmoniously. You will also learn joinery skills and finishing techniques, which will yield a comfortable and stunning piece of furniture.

Please contact the school about this exciting opportunity to learn critical woodworking skills and take away a truly beautiful piece of furniture. This will be a very focused class with attention to details being paramount. Safety will also be of utmost importance.

                • Instructor: Russ McAnulty
                • Date/Time: 76hrs as a class
                • Course Fee: $1500 – By Application Only*
                • Materials Fee: None (see Bring to Class section for materials students must supply at their own cost)
                • Prerequisite: Basic Machine Tool Use & Safety Class – or equivalent. Intermediate woodworking skills required, advanced woodworking skills preferred.
                • Class size limit: 4
                • Bring to class: Materials to build your rocker. During the application process, each student will be given a list of materials and coached on where to order wood for building their rocker. Please allow as much time to pre-order your supplies as possible – we recommend one month in advance of the class if possible, but at least 2 weeks. We estimate that materials to build your rocker will cost between $400-$800.

*Application Process: If you would like to submit an application for this class, please send an email to info@masterpieceschoolcom with the subject line: Maloof Application. Please only apply if you have met the prerequisites and can attend class during the scheduled session. In the email, please send a detailed synopsis of your woodworking experience along with full contact information. Also include general availability for a telephone interview with the instructor. Once approved by the instructor, you’ll be sent information on how to register. When registration along with payment has been received, your enrollment will be confirmed, and your seat will be reserved in the class.

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