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Connecticut Valley School of Woodworking

2 Reviews
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Connecticut Valley School of Woodworking

2 Reviews
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David M wrote a review Sep 2015
Wilton, Connecticut174 contributions36 helpful votes
I have taken 4 classes at CVSW. Bob Van Dyke is a walking repository for woodworking information. And, owing to his professional skill and the quality of his school, he attracts some of the most talented and well-known teachers in the woodworking community. All of the classes take place in the schools dedicated space. You are not sharing the space with a woodworking club or trying to hear an instructor over the sound of machines being used for projects not related to your class. The equipment in the school is top quality and expertly maintained. The chisels are sharp, the table saws are aligned to the miter slots, etc. etc. Most importantly, all of the classes are well planned. Each day has a set of objectives, and the instructors do a good job of keeping you on track. I have seen several classes in which a few slower, less experienced students, were more than able to keep up with the class without dragging down the pace for the more experienced.
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Date of experience: August 2015
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CTStach wrote a review Mar 2012
Tolland, CT63 contributions22 helpful votes
Review of Connecticut Valley School of Woodworking Class---Fundamentals of Furniture-Making If you have been building furniture and other woodworking projects as a hobby and think you have a really good grasp of woodworking, think again. I had been designing my own pieces, building from plans and taking on various projects over the years. My humble workshop contains lots of hand and power tools and budgets being what they are, it may never be a dream shop. But projects got done, with kudos from family and friends. Upon retirement, I was the fortunate recipient of some gift cards to the Woodcraft store in Manchester, CT. Since I had been salivating over the classes offered there forever, this was a desire that could no longer be denied. I signed up for the Fundamentals of Furniture-Making class. Thinking I might be overqualified for what is essentially a combination of two prerequisite courses, Woodworking I and II, I was willing to learn whatever I could. Taught by Bob Van Dyke and Steve Kain, it was a five-day intensive hands-on class. The class concentrates on the basics of woodworking and furniture making. Each student makes a Shaker style cherry hall table, a perfect vehicle to practice the machine and hand-tool techniques. Subjects covered include basic shop safety, machine use (with particular emphasis on the table saw, joiner and planer), using hand planes, card scrapers and chisels effectively to surface and hand-fit the mortise and tenon joints, hand tool sharpening, making tapered legs grain matching and gluing up a top. My particular epiphany came with using a card scraper, hand planes and chisels. I had heard of scrapers, never knew how effective they can be at removing machine marks when sharpened and used properly. Learning how to sharpen those nicked plane blades and chisels sure makes a difference too. Another delight was Bob�s instructional style which brings his years of experience together with the ability to communicate well with students. It seemed like every mistake I ever made in my own workshop was discussed and highlighted as a reason why you �do it this way�. So now I have a well-constructed hall table, came away with a wealth of tips and tricks for my own humble shop, a hankering to do more work with better quality and efficiency, and of course, an implied need for better tools (and more classes).
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Date of experience: January 2012
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