Woodworking lessons?

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Phil Pascoe

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Hmm dunno I always think making repeats of the same thing is best learning practice. By the time you've made 10 off you should be getting good at it and much faster.

Certainly - but practising the same mistakes doesn't make you any better. That's where input from other people is sometimes valuable.
 

isaac3d

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akirk, given that having one on one lessons is proving a problem, have you seen Matt Estlea's videos? He has a free "online school" which is a series of comprehensive videos some covering specific topics like "how to sharpen a chisel etc" or "how to saw properly" and some dedicated to actual projects like how to make a simple box or a small cabinet. He also does tool comparisons where he will give evaluations of the pros and cons of various types of tools and also brand comparisons. I find his style of teaching fun and he is quite detailed and clear in his explanations. Worth a look if you haven't seen them... and it's free.
 

baldkev

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I read you post the other day and struggled to work out how to respond in an effective way.... i think ive got it now.

In your original question, you stated that ideally you want someone to come to your workshop to teach you. Firstly, what do you ultimately want to make?
If, for instance, it is mainly furniture, look for a localish but highly reputable furniture maker, go see them and lay it out like you did..... that you would like to pay by the hour for lessons. You may well find they would be happy to give you two hours on saturday mornings as a 'slot'
This will mean you have to work out when you can regularly commit to being there, as just like music lessons, people ( even teachers ) like a routine
 

akirk

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routine isn't an issue… I think what you say makes sense, and I just need to talk to some local people. Not entirely sure what I want other than to broaden and deepen my skills… I like the idea of furniture, but equally I love wooden games… made a Jenga set recently, but am stumped as to how to make a nice strong box for it - knowledge of trad. joinery would help… I think I like the idea of projects as that is how my brain works, and then tackle the skills needed each time and gradually build up experience…

I do also have a lathe, but it is easier to find tuition for that…
 

Terry - Somerset

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A few years ago I started a fine furniture making course at Bridgewater College. Not completed due to ill health at the time.

They run a number of courses - the one I did was one day (afternoon + evening) a week for ~35 weeks (term time).

The basic course, having recently retired, met my fairly simple needs - tuition was excellent. Well equipped workshop - basic hand tools + planers, thicknessers, table saw etc. Course covered basic joint making, sharpening, tool use, projects etc. From my perspective it was ideal - generally at a level of someone used to general DIY wanting to progress.

The key learning points for me were more about behaviours - accuracy, patience, proper marking out, sequence of working as much as specific skills which could be practiced back home.

They do more advanced courses for those starting with more advanced capabilities. Cost very reasonable if this is a consideration.
 

baldkev

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Not entirely sure what I want other than to broaden and deepen my skills

Sit down with a cider and write down a few of the things you would like to try.... take the list with you. A time served cabinetmaker or furniture maker will be able to cover most things.... and will know their job well enough that teaching it is fairly straightforward.

The key learning points for me were more about behaviours - accuracy, patience, proper marking out, sequence of working as much as specific skills which could be practiced back home.

This is very appropriate
 

akirk

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Thank you - I think that at the moment I would most like to learn some of the key skills - but to do so in useful projects - I work best when focused on something with a purpose, so give me a week of tuition randomly making dovetails and it will bore me to death, but the same time spent on building a box with a specific purpose and it makes sense!

Agree - behaviours are important - but combined with skills!
 

Sgian Dubh

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... so give me a week of tuition randomly making dovetails and it will bore me to death, but the same time spent on building a box with a specific purpose and it makes sense!
It's a shame you're so far away because if you were closer I'd be more than happy to come to your workshop intermittently and work with you. I mention this because very occasionally I get such contracts. A typical example is similar to your description of a box making exercise whereby the person that engaged me had a cabinet building project. About every two to four weeks I'd go to his workshop and help him with all the tasks needed to build a solid wood free standing cabinet with several drawers and drawers bottoms that had to be veneered. Naturally, such a project offers many opportunities to demonstrate the necessary skills, and for him to practice them whilst I supervised and offered corrective guidance. In conjunction with helping him develop those skills there are plenty of opportunities to demonstrate everything from using a bench saw properly, to machine planing, tuning and sharpening hand planes and so on.

In between my mentoring visits my mentee got on with practicing the skills taught, and sometimes got into a bit of a hash with them meaning here was yet another opportunity, i.e., the one showing the 'how to get out of a hole' lesson, ha, ha. For this kind of mentoring role I have a day rate with a minimum half day charge, plus travel expenses if I have to travel more than a fifty mile round trip. My day rate covers anywhere between about seven hours up to about nine. The reason for the day rate is simply that it's not worth the palaver to me to do this kind of thing by the hour, so day rate it is. Slainte.
 

Jameshow

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It's a shame you're so far away because if you were closer I'd be more than happy to come to your workshop intermittently and work with you. I mention this because very occasionally I get such contracts. A typical example is similar to your description of a box making exercise whereby the person that engaged me had a cabinet building project. About every two to four weeks I'd go to his workshop and help him with all the tasks needed to build a solid wood free standing cabinet with several drawers and drawers bottoms that had to be veneered. Naturally, such a project offers many opportunities to demonstrate the necessary skills, and for him to practice them whilst I supervised and offered corrective guidance. In conjunction with helping him develop those skills there are plenty of opportunities to demonstrate everything from using a bench saw properly, to machine planing, tuning and sharpening hand planes and so on.

In between my mentoring visits my mentee got on with practicing the skills taught, and sometimes got into a bit of a hash with them meaning here was yet another opportunity, i.e., the one showing the 'how to get out of a hole' lesson, ha, ha. For this kind of mentoring role I have a day rate with a minimum half day charge, plus travel expenses if I have to travel more than a fifty mile round trip. My day rate covers anywhere between about seven hours up to about nine. The reason for the day rate is simply that it's not worth the palaver to me to do this kind of thing by the hour, so day rate it is. Slainte.
Which region are you in?

Cheers James
 

baldkev

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According to his website he's in Leeds, so not far from you James.

And i recently discovered he literally wrote the book:

😯
 

Allen Quay

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And i recently discovered he literally wrote the book:

Yes I noticed that as well. Also noticed the book is available to buy from a Woodcraft business in Tyneside (local to me) which I've never heard of before. I'm hoping to treat myself to a copy of that book one day.
 

akirk

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It's a shame you're so far away because if you were closer I'd be more than happy to come to your workshop intermittently and work with you. I mention this because very occasionally I get such contracts. A typical example is similar to your description of a box making exercise whereby the person that engaged me had a cabinet building project. About every two to four weeks I'd go to his workshop and help him with all the tasks needed to build a solid wood free standing cabinet with several drawers and drawers bottoms that had to be veneered. Naturally, such a project offers many opportunities to demonstrate the necessary skills, and for him to practice them whilst I supervised and offered corrective guidance. In conjunction with helping him develop those skills there are plenty of opportunities to demonstrate everything from using a bench saw properly, to machine planing, tuning and sharpening hand planes and so on.

In between my mentoring visits my mentee got on with practicing the skills taught, and sometimes got into a bit of a hash with them meaning here was yet another opportunity, i.e., the one showing the 'how to get out of a hole' lesson, ha, ha. For this kind of mentoring role I have a day rate with a minimum half day charge, plus travel expenses if I have to travel more than a fifty mile round trip. My day rate covers anywhere between about seven hours up to about nine. The reason for the day rate is simply that it's not worth the palaver to me to do this kind of thing by the hour, so day rate it is. Slainte.

Almost worth moving north!
Exactly the kind of thing I had in mind, and would have no issue with the expectation of proper recompense… however I think that Bristol might be stretching the geography :)
If you know anyone similar in the SW….
 

clogs

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akirk,
I'm even further away but as soon as the new workshop is built I will offer wood and metalwork courses to those who
1, want a holiday here ...
2, need to learn.....hours and specialist wants catered for........
can offer everything from wood turning, Wadkin RS and a bit smaller....plus a full prof shop of machines with pretty much (duplicate) all the diy/portable machines most use.....
as above for metalwork....
just sayin.....
will make a workshop tour vid when complete.....
 

Beanwood

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Maybe it's a Bristol thing - I find myself in exactly the same position as @akirk - I want to improve - need to improve actually but have no particular project in mind, until the next bit of wood bashing comes along. I end up making all manner of things, but they always look agricultural or rough and ready - not 'nicely constructed'.

I think my personal (Wood related) issues lie in tool preparation (e.g. My mitre saw NEVER cuts at 90deg) measuring up, cutting on/off the line, and of course choosing the right joint for the job, and finishing.

Watching with interest to see where you end up... Perhaps us South West boys need to club together to hire in a northern expert for a day a month, so they could travel down, train us, and disappear back up north ;)

Maybe I'll just wait for @clogs to finish, and get a holiday as well...
 

akirk

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Thank you clogs - greece is tempting, more that I am looking for regular input and while I could work from greece, my wife might object as she can only operate in her hospital!
 

Sgian Dubh

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If you know anyone similar in the SW….
Sorry, I'm afraid not.

Also sorry for the somewhat delayed reply; the delay was caused because I've been mostly, but not exclusively, preoccupied with getting a repaired computer up and running again after it futzed out which meant getting a replacement hard drive installed. After that, of course, there was all the installation of programs, and getting them set up just so. The most infuriating was getting MS Outlook to behave, ha, ha. Slainte.
 

BucksDad

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I came across this guy recently which might be of interest.

David Stephenson Bespoke Furniture. Handmade in Hampshire since 2009 - Welcome (stephenson-furniture.co.uk)

Although he's not going to come to your workshop, it looks like he's prepared to offer 1 day courses and surely would be amenable to whatever you wanted. He also has a nice roubo workbench course for 3 days. Maybe he'd be happy to split that into 1 day a week over 3 weeks to fit into you and your wife's schedule.

Bristol to Andover is certainly doable in a day, albeit not that nice of a journey!

Anyway, Bristol definitely seems to be the trendy place everyone moves to once they get married and have kids from London, so there must be plenty of hipster woodworkers living a subsistence life who would be happy for some extra £ in exchange for some tuition :) Best of luck finding someone locally
 

akirk

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Thank you BucksDad - he looks very interesting - probably a bit further than I would want to travel, but as you say, doable.
 
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