Best woodworking 1-2 week classes to really take it up a notch?

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Forum topic by diito posted 11-21-2016 10:48 PM 1148 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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30 posts in 2102 days

11-21-2016 10:48 PM

Hi All,

I’m a self taught (hybrid) hobbyist woodworker with a little over 10 years of experience I’d count. I’d place my skill level somewhere around advanced intermediate. I’m not building Bombay chests, intricate inlays or carvings, or complex angled joinery on chairs, but I can design/build you a dresser or bed etc that is as nice or nicer than what you can go out and buy commercially. At this point I still pick up new knowledge/tricks etc from the higher end youtubers, magazines, other sources, but the vast majority is a rehash of something I already understand fairly well. Similarly with the online premium content, I learn more but am still left wanting. At this point I think I really need to spend some face time with a high end woodworking that can watch me work and tell me what my bad habits/techniques and how to fix them. I really don’t want to spend $800-1200ish (domino money) to be stuck in a class full of novices or to deal with someone super opinionated. I can afford to spend 1-2 weeks (tops) away from work to do this. I also think taking things to the next level for me is using my hand tools more effectively for final refinement.

I’ve looked at a couple programs, but open to anything really:

Lonnie Bird’s: Top notch workworker but there seems to be mixed opinions about his classes/personality, mostly positive though.
North Bennet: Good school, not sure about this
Charles Neil: I’d love to take a class from him, especially when it comes to finishing, but he doesn’t seem to be offering anything more general/handtool related.

For those of you that have taken a class what was your experience/recommendations?

10 replies so far

View Logan Windram's profile

Logan Windram

347 posts in 2972 days

#1 posted 11-22-2016 01:13 AM

Honestly, if you’re a intermediate/ advanced woodworker, you probably don’t need additional skills… I’d recommend a project/ concept design class… Asher Dunn does one at Center for Furniture Craftsmanship in Rockport, ME. They also offer 2 week courses, but usually around a specific concept, i.e., curve work, chairs, chip carving, turning… to enhance your overall technique these school offer 3 month intensive that teach you a ton, but that’s 90 days. I did the 9 month in Maine, learning about designing and planning a project was the most valuable skill.

View CL810's profile


3961 posts in 3498 days

#2 posted 11-22-2016 02:22 AM

I would encourage you to check out Marc Adams School of Woodworking in Indianapolis. They have top notch instructors, programs and facilities.

-- "The only limits to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today." - FDR

View JeramieG's profile


3 posts in 1061 days

#3 posted 11-22-2016 02:29 AM

I’ve been considering a class at Marc Adams school of woodworking in Franklin Indiana. I can’t recommend them or not I have only read good things about them they have week long and weekend classes and instructors form all over travel there to teach, just something else to check out their 2017 class list is posted on their website.

View BulldogLouisiana's profile


326 posts in 1650 days

#4 posted 11-22-2016 03:56 AM

If I had the opportunity to take a class with someone, it would be Phil Lowe.

-- There are 10 types of people in the world. Those who understand binary and those who don't.

View JAAune's profile


1871 posts in 2826 days

#5 posted 11-22-2016 07:35 AM

Marc Adams is good. I try to get there every year to add new skills and have done over twenty workshops by now.

-- See my work at and

View shipwright's profile


8381 posts in 3308 days

#6 posted 11-22-2016 04:01 PM

You could try French marquetry.
or (shameless advertising).

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View OggieOglethorpe's profile


1276 posts in 2620 days

#7 posted 11-22-2016 04:20 PM

CT Valley School of Woodworking could be worth a look.

I’ve taken 15-20 classes there since ~ y2k. His week long classes normally happen during summer vacation season, hence the lack of them on the current schedule. He normally issues the summer schedule in early spring.

Many of the instructors on the weekend schedule do week long classes during the summer. I’ve studied with Steve Latta, Will Neptune, Mickey Callahan, Mike Pekovich, Don Williams, Glen Huey, and many others. Most of the instructors come from well known schools like North Benet St. Bob VanDyke, the owner, may not be as well known, but is a very capable, experienced, and knowledgeable teacher. He usually sits in with all the traveling instructors.

I’m local, but have had classmates from all over the US and Canada. Every class I’ve taken there has had an instructor with excellent class management skills, buffoons were kept in check. ;^) Email Bob with what you’re looking for, he may be able to suggest something upcoming that can fit your wants and needs.

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23789 posts in 3193 days

#8 posted 11-22-2016 08:47 PM

Might see when the next Class is over at Paul Sellers place…in London, UK…...

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View greenvalley8956's profile


4 posts in 1060 days

#9 posted 11-23-2016 05:48 AM

Marc Adam’s is good.I would like to take classes from there someday.

View Myles Standridge's profile

Myles Standridge

92 posts in 3452 days

#10 posted 11-29-2016 07:57 PM

I’ve taken classes from The American School of French Marquetry and think they are worth it but is very specialized.
I’ve also taken two with William Ng, also worth it but more specialized, although I believe he has some more general classes but you may be with lower skill level people and get a bit frustrated.

I’ve met Gary Rogowski and he seems like a good guy. He has a week long Joinery Basics class in Feb. you may want to try then he also has a two year distance Mastery program if you think you are the committed type.

What I learned at the classes I took is that if you have a slow person, help them get caught up so the whole class can move on. Cut and joint some of their project, etc.

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