Port Townsend School of Woodworking
Preserving the Tradition

Hand Tool Woodworking Classes

Classes in hand tool woodworking and traditional joinery.

Hand Tool Woodworking

Why Use Hand Tools?

Working by hand allows you to feel and understand the nature and grain of wood. We believe woodworkers should start their journey to craftsmanship by learning to use hand tools. Like a musician, precision and fluency come from a combination of good technique and practice.

We teach traditional techniques, refined by our experience: for hand tool selection, use, sharpening and maintenance, as well as for joinery, furniture making, and finishing.

Hand Tool Woodworking Series

The Hand Tool Heaven Series and the Weekend Hand Tool classes are developed and designed by Jim Tolpin and Matthew Straughn-Morse. Jim continues to train our new faculty and long-term instructors, Abel Dances, Steve Eastwood, and Raphael Berrios work closely with them to ensure Jim’s methods are carried out in classroom instruction.

Each course may be taken separately; however, we recommend the weekend courses as a series.  Five to eight days of basic hand tool instruction is recommended before attempting the more advanced courses. Call 1-360-344-4455 or email for more information. 


Jim Tolpin's Weekend Hand Tool Series

Our weekend Hand Tool Woodworking Series was created by Jim Tolpin.  Jim's easing into retirement, but not to worry! Our instructors are carrying on with Jim's curriculum.


Hand Tool Heaven: 
Working with Saws and Planes

Steve Eastwood
5 Days, Level 1

Get the foundations of hand tool woodworking in a single class. Based on Jim Tolpin’s book “The New Traditional Woodworker.”
+Details & Registration

Hand Tool Heaven: 
Joinery with Saws and Chisels

5 Days, Level 1

This class expands on those basic skills with an introduction to the essential joinery techniques you'll need to start building projects and furniture. Learn the fundamentals of layout, sawing, and chisel work.
+Details & Registration

Joinery classes 

Specialty Hand Tool Woodworking