Port Townsend School of Woodworking
Preserving the Tradition

Tools for Design


Tools for Design



Design is always a challenge. Early in your development as a woodworker / furniture maker you’ll start to ask yourself a whole bunch of design related questions:

·         Does this look good?
·         Are the proportions right?
·         Will it be strong?
·         Can I even design this piece?
·         What joinery do I need?
·         Can I make this?
·         How much wood do I need to buy?

Class Description

Our goal in this class is to introduce you to set of pragmatic tools and techniques that you can use to design a piece of furniture or a small building. We build on techniques explored in George Walker and Jim Tolpin’s book By Hand and Eye and By Hound and Eye. We’ll take you through a series of processes that we believe develop a good design process:

  • Understanding proportion through traditional artisanal techniques
  • Developing a design
  • Techniques for creating a detailed drawing by hand
  • Developing cutlists and story sticks
  • How to use CAD to experiment, modify ideas, and create detailed drawings and templates
  • Developing creative ideas through quick-fire sketching and critique
  • This class is jointly taught by Jim Tolpin, Tim Lawson and Andy Pitts


What to bring:

  • Drawing Pad (12 x 17) and 8 ½ X 11 quadrille paper
  • Mechanical pencil and extra leads (HB)
  • Eraser
  • Straightedge (12-in.)
  • Dividers (6 to 8-in.)
  • Compass (6 to 8-in.)
  • Sharpening pad for compass lead
  • Sector (Students download paper version from Jim's By Hand and Eye website and construct or purchase a sector from Jim in class)



Class Information and Registration

Class starts at 9:00am on the first day.
This class takes place at the Goddard College Building #298 in schoolroom J 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: 15
Cost: $200

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.