If you want to learn woodworking with lessons and woodworking classes our first recommendation is “find a mentor”. It is one of the better ways to go about gaining knowledge about woodcraft.
Today, there is no shortage of do-it-yourself information on a wide array of subjects, and easy accessibility to learning material, thanks mainly to the Internet. Woodworking is no exception.
There are many online learning resources for woodworking and we will get into that as well towards the end of this article. There are some amazing woodworking schools out there which are fantastic places to go and learn some. We will look at those names as well.
But first let me expand on the benefits of finding a mentor to learn woodworking and how you can find yourself one.
You might also like to read : Is a woodworking career a good choice?
Find A Mentor To Learn Woodworking
Who Is A Mentor
A mentor is someone who guides you on your path to achieving a goal. He/she teaches you through his own knowledge and experience and puts you on the fast track to learning the things that he/she had to learn the hard way.
A mentor can come in many forms. It can be someone who teaches you, guides you, or someone whom you work for. The commonality is that a relationship with a mentor is a long term affair. It’s a great idea to find someone like this if you want to learn woodworking.
A mentor doesn’t have to to be someone whom you meet everyday, although that wouldn’t be so bad either. It’s someone you develop a relationship with to guide you and teach you.
Woodworking mentors can be other woodworkers who teach you in a classroom or workshop. Or you can assist or works for a mentor and learn during the course of the job. Becoming an apprentice is like being mentored by someone. The position can be paid or unpaid.
Now that you have a fairly good idea of who a mentor is let’s quickly go over the most obvious benefits of finding one.
Advantages Of Learning Woodworking Through A Mentor.
* You learn through hands on experience. * You work with real woodworking projects and not simulated work for the sake of practice. * You learn many real aspects of making money as a wood worker. * It’s real world knowledge. * You may even get paid.
There are downsides to getting mentored, of course. If you consider them downsides, that is. If you want the mentor to take an active interest in your learning, you will have to show dedication. You will have to show up at and for a designated number of hours and work diligently. In fact this is to your benefit considering that you have a lot to learn.
How To Find A Mentor To Teach You Woodworking
Well, the first thing to do is ask around. It’s great to get a reference and someone in your family or social circle might know about a woodworker some tribute. Getting a reference will make it easier to approach the person and might even make a difference to getting excepted as an apprentice.
The other way is to discover active woodworkers in your area yourself. Most of them will have phone numbers and addresses listed in some directory. Hopefully, many of them will be technically savvy enough to have a presence online as well through their own websites or social media accounts. Ultimately, you will have to pay a good old fashion visit to the workshop to see the place and talk things over.
Another opportunity for mentorship presents itself through woodworking jobs. Woodworking businesses both large and small post woodworking job openings on various platforms. Woodworking Clubs and woodworking shows are places where a lot of seasoned woodworkers happen to be. And they are often in the frame of mind to help others who don’t know how to take the next step. In other words, these are good places to find potential mentors lurking about.
However, most of these jobs are looking for a person with a certain amount of existing woodworking knowledge and expertise. If you are a complete novice this might not be an option for you. Besides, only the smaller woodworking business owners will be able to mentor. The jobs that are available with large woodworking factories will not enrich your working experience with individual attention and teaching.
You can find some great woodworking teachers in other places as well. Like I said before, a mentor is someone with whom you develop a long term relationship. He guides you for a long time till you are ready to tackle the challenges of woodworking yourself. You might find a great teacher in a woodworking workshop but not necessarily a mentor.
Woodworking Classes Close To You – The Next Best Thing
If you cannot find a mentors to teach you woodworking or that’s not the route that you want to take, the next best thing is to discover classes close to you, or even a woodworking school which is not so close to you.
As with getting knowledge from a mentor, there are several advantages to learning woodworking in a woodworking school as well.
* The focus is on learning. * They have some of the best craftsman with decades of experience behind them teaching the lessons. * You get to interact with many skilled craftsmen as well as fellow students which is an uplifting and inspiring experience on its own. * Woodworking schools tend to be places of calm and creativity which not only gives a boost to your working skills but also to your overall well-being. * They are practical and time saving option where know what you are going to be learning and your schedule schedule. So in a way it is a more planned approach than others.
Woodworking Classes At The Community College
Let’s start with the option of woodworking classes at a community college. Many community colleges offer woodworking classes on weekends and during the evening to make it convenient for people to come and learn.
It is a good place to learn your initial woodworking skills and make yourself a better contender for woodworking apprenticeship or commercial woodworking jobs. It shouldn’t be very difficult to get some lead on woodworking classes being held close by.
Find A Woodworking Club Near You
Woodworking clubs are a great place to visit and become a part of. They is also a very high likelihood of finding a mentor in another seasoned wood worker here. They have super friendly people who also happen to be woodworkers, and they are very happy to have new people come and join their throng.
These woodworking clubs will hold classes and demonstrations for free and if you haven’t done this before, they will even make arrangements for you to have the necessary tools so that you can join in. Sometimes the woodworking clubs have a minimal fee that pays itself over several times in the value and benefit that you will receive from being a member.
Pay special attention to art centres, woodworking clubs, woodworking guilds and even woodworking stores like Home Depot. Do an online search to begin with and see what comes up.
The availability of instructors and woodworking classes also depends on where you live. It is just more prevalent in some places than others.
Going to Woodworking Schools – 7 Renowned Schools
There are wonderful woodworking schools all over the US that offer short-term to mid-term courses in woodworking, if you are willing to travel to another town and stay. These programs are often very flexible and you can attend classes for a few weeks are just a single day, depending upon your schedule. Some of these places offer accommodation within the campus whereas in others you will have to stay in a hotel or make other living arrangements.
Anderson Ranch Art Center
Another woodworking school at Cambs high on the list is the Anderson Ranch Art Center. It was established more than five decades ago and boasts of a sprawling campus, a variety of courses and a history of excellence in promoting and teaching fine arts.
They offer residential programs in woodworking including accommodation. But their accommodation can fill up fast so you need to book well in time. They also have residential programs for other forms of art like ceramics and painting.
The Anderson Ranch Art Center is located in Snowmass Village, Colorado. The most convenient way to get to the ranch is to fly into Pitkin County airport, Aspen. There are other ways to get it to the ranch as it is located 10 miles west of Aspen.
One of the things you want to consider is whether you want to learn woodworking to start your own business or do you want a certification as well?https://www.andersonranch.org/workshop-types/furniture-design-woodworking/
Degrees can only be got by doing a college course but the Anderson Ranch Art Center is able to give you an under graduate college credit for most of its workshops through the Colorado Mountain College. The student handbook available here gives you all the details about the campus and stay. You can see all the furniture design and woodworking workshops for the year 2020.
The Marc Adams School Of Woodworking
This is a great school for woodworking and all encompassing in the variety of courses and workshops they offer. They already have the entire calendar for the year 2020 Blanda planned it out which includes the entire range of woodworking workshops Plus featured workshops in metal-smithing, glassblowing, was it work, painting, mastering chocolate, making neon signs, blacksmithing, bookbinding, leatherwork, basket making, calligraphy, paper sculptor, forging kitchenware and special workshops designed specifically for philanthropic purposes.
The Marc Adams School Of Woodworking boasts of a student base from the world over. Their instructors are the best craftsmen they can find and their facilities are top-class. They even offer a masters program in woodworking.
The campus for the woodworking school is conveniently located just 10 miles south of Indianapolis. It is one of largest woodworking schools in the world with 40,000 ft.² of space. The campus encompasses six different workshops that can be run simultaneously at the same time. It has a large cafeteria for serving a 100 people at the same time.
Their facilities are technologically sound with access to Wi-Fi, air conditioned buildings, FEMA approved Tornado shelter for 80 people, state of art Digital camera system at every instructor’s bench that ensures every student has a clear view of what’s going on.
Get more details on their website : Marc Adams School Of Woodworking.
Here is another do-it-yourself school that offers courses in woodworking, sewing, textile art,, fibre art, leather work and more. They were established in the year 2009 and offer more than 60 classes currently.
They have a free open house every first Friday of the month. That is a good way to explore what they have to offer. They are located on Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Workshop and class details are available on the website workshop-pgh-square.site.
Centre For Furniture Craftsmanship
This woodworking school is located in Rockford, Maine. It has to be one of the most comprehensive woodworking schools offering education options for hobbyists as well as the professional craftsman. It has a gorgeous campus housed in several fiery red brick buildings, surrounded by thick forested lands.
Maine is a beautiful and serene county and this woodworking school is situated right in the middle of it.
The Centre For Furniture Craftsmanship has two very popular woodworking programs with attracts professional as well as the serious amateurs : 12 weeks and a 9 week woodworking program.
Apart from that they also offer 1 to 2 week immersive workshops for learning various woodworking skills. Community classes are held to impart instructions on weekends to interested students.
The school also offers many opportunities for the students and professionals in the shape of assistanceships, employment opportunities, fellowships, financial aid, jobs in woodworking, individual scholarships, institutional scholarship, veterans benefits and volunteering.
With roomy and airy workshops open to students 24 hours a day, they are well equipped with machine tools as the school believes in twofold approach to woodwork through both machine and hand tools. It recognises the imminent need of machinery in woodworking while acknowledging that the finest woodwork is created using hand tools.
More details for the centre of furniture craftsmanship can be found on the website woodschool.org.
The Sam Beauford Woodworking Institute
This woodworking school is a non-profit organisation situated in Adrian, Michigan. They offer courses for both the personal and professional woodworker.
They offer classes for students, hobbyists and professionals as well as job training, workforce development and and rehabilitation services.
They offer a professional accredited job training to create highly skilled workers. Their personal development art classes which involve project-based woodworking classes are geared towards those who are interested in pursuing woodworking as a form of art.
They also open the studios and workshops and tools to the community members to give easy access to learning woodworking.
The Sam Beauford Woodworking Institute takes in students as young as 12 years old for some of their woodworking classes such as the making cutting boards and the hand-tools introductory class.
Classes like building a guitar and a concert Ukulele are interesting. The offer several scholarships every month. Find out details for all the woodworking programs and workshops from their website: sambeaufordwoodshop.com
Bainbridge Artisan Resource Network (BARN)
BARN offers a beginners woodworking certificate program that lasts for three semesters. Besides that they have several other workshops on offer that are 1 to 6 days long. Bainbridge is an interesting place to learn many other things apart from woodworking such as jewellery making, metal fabrication and more.
Some of the interesting woodworking workshops in Bainbridge include:
* 3 weeks workshop on becoming skilful at woodworking using hand tools. * A 10 day woodworking workshop on building and electric guitar that’s open to 14 to 18 years. * A seven day session for to building a sailboat.
Bainbridge also conducts a guided open workshop for parent and child who would like to get introduced to playing and making things with.
Bainbridge is located in Bainbridge Island Washington State. More information can be had on the website Bainbridgebarn.org
Back Channel School Of Woodworking
The school functions from an old firehouse located just west of Pittsburgh in McKee Rocks, Pennsylvania. They have weekly classes on week nights, mostly geared to the south western Pennsylvania residents. But they also offer one day and weekend classes for out-of-town students who cannot do weeknights .
They recommend their beginner classes for someone who wants to learn woodworking from the scratch. These comprise of: The core class, fundamentals part one and two and basic cabinet making classes.
These classes are designed to make you feel adept at trying your hand at a wide range of wood projects.
Apart from the beginner woodworking lessons they have several workshops on offer like advanced veneering, bench making, table making, chair making, machine maintenance and more.
In order to get more information and to register for the classes visit backchannelschool.com.
The Rosewood Studio, Perth, Ontario, Canada.
If you are in Canada, one such place offering flexible with working courses is Rosewood Studio. They are located in the beautiful and scenic town of birth. All the details about their woodworking courses are available online on their website rosewood studio.com.
The Ploughshare is another source that doesn’t just offer woodworking courses but also programs in crafts like basketry, blacksmithing, fibre craft, pottery, sewing, quilting, beekeeping, animal husbandry, food preservation, bread-making and cheese making. They are located in Waco, Texas, 90 miles south of Dallas Fort Worth and 100 miles north of Austin.
They are available online at sustainlife.org. An additional fact about the Ploughshare is that they also provide interested students the option to purchase several of the courses on DVDs.
Apart from these schools you will find many woodworking schools in every state and cities, often going by the name of “Woodworking School Of [insert name of city/state]”. So do a search online and find one you like the most. Here are two more:
Chicago School Of Woodworking, Vermont Woodworking School.
Free Woodworking Classes And Workshops
Woodcraft is the name for one of the major merchandisers for woodworking supplies including tools, hardware, project kits, woodworking plans, books, magazines and DVDs.
But apart from selling woodworking supplies they often have free woodworking classes in the store locations which can be found spread over many contiguous states of the United States. Go to the website on woodcraft.com to locate a store near you. On the store details page will also be mentioned upcoming classes and demonstrations. Visit WoodCraft.com
You have probably heard of Rockler. They are an enormous hardware and woodworking supply store. Go to their site and they will make every effort to meet your hardware and woodworking supplies needs. They sell online as well as through a nationwide chain of stores. The stores are where Rockler also has frequent demonstrations and conducts woodworking classes. So see if you can find a store near you. You can see what classes are scheduled in the Rockler store close to you by visiting their website.
Apart from the class schedule they will also give out more resources for interested woodworkers .
For example if you look up the happenings for the Cincinnati store, you will learn about the woodworking clubs and the woodworking guilds in the area that give local woodworkers, amateurs and complete newbies the opportunity to learn and share with working knowledge on a regular basis.
The best part about woodworking clubs is that they are very welcoming places for participants of all skill levels, and all activities, including their woodworking workshops are free or at a very minimum charge. They will even go out of their way to provide you with tools if you have never done the work before.
Beginner woodworking classes at your local Home Depot store.
Speaking of department stores with free woodworking classes try your local Home Depot store as well. They usually have some class or demonstration scheduled during the week. However, these classes are not always on woodworking as the Home Depot caters to all kinds of home and garden needs as well.
Online woodworking lessons.
Like we said before , woodworking courses and lessons are also part of extensive Internet content on do it yourself tutorials. While I advocate learning in a physical space of a wood shop from an experienced woodworker if you’re a complete novice, the advantages of online hard-working lessons are obvious and several.
Ease of access – You can view the lessons any time or an array of different devices. You can watch the tutorial as many times as you wish. You cannot hit the rewind button on a real life instructor. But with video lessons you can go back for a refresher whenever you want.
A very large library. You can get access to thousands of courses and hundreds of woodworking topics. You are very likely to find many nuanced topics for several woodworking skills.
Cost effective. Well, online woodworking courses cost a lot less than attending a woodworking school. The biggest reason is that there is no repeat overhead to the makers of the digital lessons. And since the same lesson is made available to thousands of people at the same time, the potential for return still remains high inspite of the low pricing.
But for all the above reasons digital and online woodworking lessons are a great SUPPLEMENTARY source of woodworking knowledge. If you are a complete newbie start with an instructor.
There is bound to be an opportunity for you. Check out local community colleges, art centres, woodworking clubs, woodworking shows and of course try getting yourself a mentor.
Right, the following are some places where you can acquire online woodworking do-it-yourself instructions.
Woodworking Guild Of America (WWGOA).
The entire website of Woodworking Guild Of America is about online woodworking lessons in the form of streaming, downloading videos and DVD sets. They also offer woodworking plans, tools, books, accessories and woodworking apparel for sale. If you are looking for an online resource on woodworking instructions Woodworking Guild Of America is a pretty comprehensive one. They can be found online on their website at wwgoa.com
Udemy and SkillShare also have online lessons on woodworking but in my opinion is it is not extensive enough on the topic of woodworking at this point to be recommended as a viable learning source.
Podcasts on iTunes
If you have an apple device, you also have access to hundreds of podcasts on various subjects. On a Mac computer, open the iTunes application and in the left top corner drop-down menu, choose podcasts. On a mobile device like the iPhone or iPad, download the Apple Podcast app, if it isn’t there already. This app is an official Apple app and might be already installed on your device.
Open the podcasts and search amongst hundreds of subject, including woodworking. There are both audio and video podcasts on woodworking available.
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