Port Townsend School of Woodworking
Preserving the Tradition

Build the Cabinetmaker's Sector


Build a Cabinetmaker’s Sector

All Levels


Join us in welcoming, Brendan Bernhardt Gaffney, woodworker, teacher and writer based in Covington, Ky. He’s teaching the weekend class, Build a Cabinetmaker’s Sector.

After learning cabinetmaking from his father (and a stint in academia designing and researching musical instruments) he attended College of the Redwoods (now The Krenov School) where he honed his talents as a designer and maker of fine furniture.

Brendan has worn the hats of toolmaker, teacher, writer and furnituremaker, building everything from ancient rulers, geometer’s tools, gallery furniture and greenwood chairs, with his work published in Popular Woodworking and Mortise and Tenon magazines.

Class Description

In this two-day class, students will build their own Cabinetmaker’s Sector, my modernized design for the ancient geometer’s tool, used for drawing, drafting and (in my shop) the layout of dimensions and joinery on woodwork. The class will revolve around the skills of modern hand-tool makers, including careful marking and measuring, mixing metal and wood, hand shaping, finishing and (of course) how to use the tool.

Each student will be provided the wood and the necessary brass hinges and pins, everything needed to produce the sector. The first day will revolve around affixing the brass and wooden tabs into the tools, riveting the leaves together, flattening and lapping the tools and reviewing the principles behind the geometry of the sector. The second day will revolve around shaping the sectors, stamping and inking the sector marks, finishing the sectors and learning to use them in the shop. Every student will leave with a completed sector, plus the knowledge of how it works and how to use it.

Tool List

Students please bring;
Micron pens (02 width in black, red and blue work best)
Scratch awl (or an awl you don’t mind sharpening into a scratch awl)
Number & letter stamps (along these lines: https://www.amazon.com/Steel-Metal-Letter-Number-Stamping/dp/B079YVYM4Y/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&qid=1540999605&sr=8-9&keywords=number+stamps+for+metal)

– “One word of caution with these stamps – spend more than $15. My experience with the really cheap ones is that they’ll work, but they can be sloppily manufactured. They should cost something like $30 or more.”


This class is open to all. You do not need to have woodworking experience.

Class Information and Registration

Class runs from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm Saturday and Sunday.
This class takes place in Building #315 at Fort Worden. Map
Please read our What to Expect page for general information about the school.
Please also read our Registration Policy.

Class size: 10
Cost: $295
Materials Charge: $0

When you click on the Register link you will be able to register for the class or, if the class is full, sign up for the wait list.