Port Townsend School of Woodworking
Preserving the Tradition


August 2009 Newsletter

Plan on joining us this fall to make some shavings and sawdust, with a bonus of Port Townsend fun! Early fall is a great time to be here: we have some of the best weather of the year, and some amazing events: the Wooden Boat Festival, the Sea Kayak Symposium, the Port Townsend Film Festival, the Kinetic Skulpture Race, Art Port Townsend and, of course, the Woodworker's Show. You can find a fuller listing here
Fall 2009 Schedule
The fall schedule has been firmed up. We're still developing some Historic Preservation courses but we'll announce those separately.

Hand Tool Classes
  • We've added a Build a Wooden Plane course with Steve Skonieczny. You'll leave this two-day class with a working Krenov style wooden plane. Improve your skills building a hand plane!
  • Jim Tolpin's Advanced Hand Tools class is now called Working with Hand Tools and reflects his new thinking about hand tools. You can get a sneak preview at the August 20th Lecture.
Furniture Making Classes
  • We've added a second Out of Square with Seth Rolland. Seth is an innovative and inspiring custom furniture maker based here in Port Townsend. Seth helps you think about contemporary design and shows how to develop a piece through extensive prototyping.
Turning Classes
Evening Classes
  • We added some evening classes in September and October. These classes are intended for the new woodworker. These are a mixture of hand tool and small power tool classes.
Hand Tool Classes with Garrett Hack in September
The response to our planning for classes with Garrett Hack in September has been fantastic! There are just two open slots left for the two day Decorative Details class on September 14-15 (Monday and Tuesday). This is a wonderful opportunity to learn from a master craftsman.
The Art and Craft of Working with Wood Lecture Series
Measure Once, Measure Not at All? with Jim Tolpin
on Thursday August 20th 2009 at 6:30

Jim is working on a new book on hand tools. The research he had done and his experience with hand tools are making him rethink the practise and philosophy of how hand tools are used and gives him even greater appreciation of how the old furniture makers worked.

The old furniture makers worked in a much more organic (should I say analog?) way. The furniture was fitted to the space and the wood fitted to the piece of furniture - largely without reducing dimensions to feet, inches and fractional inches. The precision of the joinery was more important than the measurement.

In this lecture, Jim contrasts the traditional approach and the modern measurement intensive approach. Jim explores each path and shows you how to work efficiently with either approach.

Illustrating the hand tool-primary approach, Jim will mock up a footstool to show how story sticks, full-size drawings and layout patterns drive the design and construction process.

Note: For residents of Whidbey Island and places east we will provide a shuttle service from to and from the Port Townsend / Keystone Ferry. So you don't need to bring a car or worry about a reservation. Please let us know if you need a ride.

Free presentation at the School
Special Offer -- discounts on Fall Classes and some free tools!

Get discounts when you take multiple classes in the Fall
Free tools from FastCap when you attend a class (starts September 28th).