Woodworking Classes?

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Hi,
I'm new to this newsgroup...been lurking for a week.
I live in Broward County, Florida, US and am interested in picking up woodworking as a hobby and to do home improvements like built-ins or trim work. The time I have available are night and weekends.
Last time I worked with wood was in high school (late 1980s) and I remember I wasn't very good.
I'm trying to think of different options available for me to learn. * Reading: * This newgroup * Searching google * Books * Hands-on: * Community College Class? (I'll have to search and see if this is available in my area) * Volunteering for FREE with a local woodworking business. May not make sense since they are probably on open the same hours I'm at work. * Find a new friend? I don't know anyone in the area that does woodworking. (I wonder if there are any clubs in the area that people meet physically instead of online.)
I really believe I would learn best by seeing someone do something, with me helping, and later doing it all by myself.
Any other ideas?
Who taught you? Your dad? friend? some other way?
Thanks in advance for your feedback.
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I have taken courses at area high schools. Look into local adult/continuing ed.

I can't see them letting you do anything but sand.

Personally I like being alone when woodworking, but perhaps others don't.
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Toller wrote:

Another person mentioning high schools. I really didn't even imagine high schools would offer such courses. I always thought local community colleges where the adult education venues.

Yep...I can image that also. They probably don't want to waste time training someone, watching them make mistakes that eat us resources, and incurring liabilities when they get very little in return.

I can see why this is probably true for many. You probably want to focus 100% on what you are doing without having someone else around bumping into you, creating noise, and distracting your artistic endeavor.
But perhaps an older person that stopped doing woodwork because they could no longer easily move large pieces of wood would welcome a helper and in return teach the knowledge they have acquired through a lifetime?
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Corner of My Mind wrote:

In this area, the local community college offers night classes in various locations, including several area high schools. The high schools themselves don't offer anything to adults... and damned little to the kids, but that's another story.
--
Mortimer Schnerd, RN
mschnerdatcarolina.rr.com
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Mortimer Schnerd, RN wrote:

I'll have to check locally to see if I'm lucky enough to be in a district that does offer high school adult education as a choice.
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Corner of My Mind wrote:

I wasn't referring to high school adult education. I was referring to the local community college holding its classes in several locations... on the main campus, at five satellite campuses, and at three local high schools (for night classes only). The place to start is the local community college.
These are college courses, not high school courses.... even if they're taught at one.
--
Mortimer Schnerd, RN
mschnerdatcarolina.rr.com
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I too, took woodworking i High School. As I recall it was a class in applied vandalism :^)
Since then, I have pretty much been on my own. I have learned a lot through hands on experience, mistakes, reading and challenging myself.
However, I did take a class in Intro Cabinetmaking at the local university several years ago; and I consider it very benificial. The class was taught by a very demanding instructor and they provided an excellent textbook. The book is available today (30 years later) - "Cabinetmaking and Millwork - Feirer". My book is technically dated with regard to equipment, adhesives, etc. However, it is an excellent source of "how-to" that will never be obsolete. My version is over 900 pages. I have seen it, and a teaching guide, in Amazon during recent years. Expect to pay for it - it is a textbook. However Amazon usually have previous versions or used books at a good price.

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RonB wrote:

I don't remember any destruction in my class unless you count the countless trees that died to make ugly looking benches, lopsided baseball bats, and countless other atrocities. :)
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"Corner of My Mind" wrote

I had a good high school shop experience. The teacher was a safety fanatic and forced all of us to identify and know every part of each tool before we could use them. We had to pass a written test for each tool. That kind of stuff stays with you for a lifetime. He was a part of the the first special forces in WW II.
We had a couple whackos in the class though. One guy decided to become an expert in making wooden penises. They were incredibly lifelike too. By the end of the year he could whip out two or three in one 50 minute class period. They were unfinished though. The teacher inspected all finishes.
He actually snuck around and carried a project with him to quickly subsitute if the teacher came near. He never got caught. He did develop excellent bandsaw and sander technique.
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Lee Michaels wrote:

Sounds like a very good idea. I tend to read owners manuals from front to back before using any new device.

That sanding skill may have also come in handy for him with the non-wooden version of the appendage.
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Lee Michaels wrote: <SNIP>

I require the same of every student in my classes. No student can use any power machine until he/she can draw the tool from memory, label the parts, and list the safety rules from the book. NO EXCEPTIONS!
I was called in by this new,young and inexperienced guidance counselor. (I am in my 33rd year of teaching) She thought it was unfair that I required this of the special ed kids in my classes. I told her I would think about it. I returned to her office with a letter that I drafted stating that since she knew more than I did on the subject that her signature was proof that the student knew enough to use the tool safely, and if there was an accident that she would assume all legal and financial liability and that I would be held harmless (BTW, I knew that this letter was meaningless in any legal way. As she read the letter and I asked for her signature I saw her eyes get wide. I made my point, and she got off my case.
Glen
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Feirer was one of the first woodworking books I got as well, though not for a class. I like it as a reference, and it is very thorough. However, it is more about the manufacturing side of woodworking than the craft side, so while the principles and resource info is valid, much of it is not applicable to the hobbyist. I'd suggest Tage Frid Teaches Woodworking from FWW as a better text for learning woodworking as most hobbyists do it.
--
Alex -- Replace "nospam" with "mail" to reply by email. Checked infrequently.

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Corner of My Mind wrote:
| I live in Broward County, Florida, US and am interested in picking | up woodworking as a hobby and to do home improvements like | built-ins or trim work. The time I have available are night and | weekends. | | Last time I worked with wood was in high school (late 1980s) and I | remember I wasn't very good. | | I'm trying to think of different options available for me to learn. | * Reading: | * This newgroup
This is a good place to ask questions. Many of the people posting have links to their web sites in their sigs, and you can find answers to questions you'd never think to ask by browsing them.
Keep an eye on news:alt.binaries.pictures.woodworking to see what people are working on (or have just finished working on).
There's a home repair newsgroup that might be helpful for some of what you're interested in.
| * Searching google
STFW is always a good idea. Sometimes an image search turns up what you might have difficulty finding with a site search.
| * Books
Of course. Browse your library as well as the web.
| * Hands-on: | * Community College Class? (I'll have to search and see if this is | available in my area)
Don't forget to check for high school adult ed programs.
| * Volunteering for FREE with a local woodworking business. May | not make sense since they are probably on open the same hours I'm | at work.
Somehow I suspect that you won't be received with much enthusiasm, BICBW.
| * Find a new friend? I don't know anyone in the area | that does woodworking. (I wonder if there are any clubs in the | area that people meet physically instead of online.)
Unless you already have too many friends, this is a great idea. Keep your ears peeled for the sound of woodworking equipment coming from garages in your neighborhood on Saturday afternoons. Avoid wasting peoples' time, but don't be bashful about asking if they'd be willing to answer future questions.
| I really believe I would learn best by seeing someone do something, | with me helping, and later doing it all by myself.
Ok - but don't be afraid to learn the safety rules for the tool 'something' takes and then giving it a try on your own.
| Any other ideas?
I found it helpful to learn to work with hand tools before I bought the power tool to do the job faster. It wastes less wood and perepares you to use the power tool more safely.
| Who taught you? Your dad? friend? some other way?
Mostly I learned by making mistakes - but that was before the advent of usenet and on-line sharing of experience and advice. There's a lot to be said for making mistakes and spending the time to figure out /why/ it was a mistake. Just don't make mistakes that cause bodily damage.
HTH
-- Morris Dovey DeSoto Solar DeSoto, Iowa USA http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto/solar.html
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Morris Dovey wrote:

I'll spend some time navigating the links. Thanks.

ok.
found it... alt.home.repair

"image search"... great idea.

That's interesting... I always assumed adult education was handled by local community college. I guess high schools do that also.

That's interesting, I would have thought power tools used up less wood because you could make more precise cuts.

That's probably my main concern right now... not cutting off a finger... I kind of like having 10 of them. Wasting time and material isn't as big of a concern but would also like to avoid.
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Corner of My Mind wrote: | Morris Dovey wrote:
|| I found it helpful to learn to work with hand tools before I bought || the power tool to do the job faster. It wastes less wood and || perepares you to use the power tool more safely. | | That's interesting, I would have thought power tools used up less | wood because you could make more precise cuts.
That was my initial thought, too - so I started out with a RAS ("does everything" <g>), a bandsaw, a shaper, and a drill press. What I discovered was that 90% of the mistakes were complete before I actually realized that I'd made a mistake, and that 90% of the time the mistake called for a "board stretcher" or an "unsaw" for recovery.
When I backed up and forced myself to learn to use hand tools first, I began paying attention to the grain and how different woods responded to being cut. The most-used tool in my shop today is a CNC router - but for those jobs in which I have any emotional investment, I still pull out my chisel roll, a plane (or three), and a scraper to clean up things my eyes can't see but my fingertips tell me aren't quite right yet.
When I moved back from hand to power tools I discovered that I'd developed a better sense of what would "work", higher standards and expectations, and an inclination to consider what I'd experienced using hand tools before I fired up the power tool.
-- Morris Dovey DeSoto Solar DeSoto, Iowa USA http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto/solar.html
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Morris Dovey wrote:

How much do those specialized tools cost and what is a good brand to buy? :)

Another vote for hand tools. I'm noticing a pattern.
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Corner of My Mind wrote: | Morris Dovey wrote: || mistake called for a "board stretcher" or an "unsaw" for recovery. | | How much do those specialized tools cost and what is a good brand | to buy? :)
Board stretchers are generally made of a special alloy of Unobtanium, and if you need to ask the price, then you're disqualified forever as a purchaser.
I don't know much about unsaws - I think you' probably have to ask this question in news:alt.trinaries.sorcery.woodworking. I recall hearing a rumor about mounting a sawblade backward and chanting "wasnu" as the stock is fed, but there is some danger of kickback (not the stock - the unsaw.)
|| When I backed up and forced myself to learn to use hand tools || first, I began paying attention to the grain and how different || woods responded to being cut. The most-used tool in my shop today || is a CNC router - but for those jobs in which I have any emotional || investment, I still pull out my chisel roll, a plane (or three), || and a scraper to clean up things my eyes can't see but my || fingertips tell me aren't quite right yet. || || When I moved back from hand to power tools I discovered that I'd || developed a better sense of what would "work", higher standards and || expectations, and an inclination to consider what I'd experienced || using hand tools before I fired up the power tool. | | Another vote for hand tools. I'm noticing a pattern.
I like both powered and unpowered (and good software) tools. Using hand tools provides some useful preparation for using power tools well. The pattern /is/ there, but don't rush to a misinterpretation...
(I cringe at the idea of ripping 150 lineal feet of ipe, for example, with even the best of hand saws)
-- Morris Dovey DeSoto Solar DeSoto, Iowa USA http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto/solar.html
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Morris Dovey wrote:

I heard they work best if primed with a piece of quarter sawn sapient pearwood. But my stash is too low to take a chance, just in case it reassembles all of the boards into a tree. Joe
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On Wed, 04 Apr 2007 10:57:42 -0400, Corner of My Mind

There are numerous books, although it's more difficult to grasp a technique from words. There are a few woodworking shows on TV/Cable. I've learned techniques even though I did not build the specific project. Classes can be expensive but if you have the cash that will work well. Our local Woodcraft has classes. I learned what I know from my dad, TV, books, videos, craft fairs, etc. Woodworking is mostly a solitary activity.
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SWDeveloper wrote:

Yes, I feel that way too. That is why I was more interested in hands-on type learning.

I think the only shows I get are the ones that air on HGTV. I only pay for basic cable.

I'm hoping the initial upfront costs of buying tools and learning are soon recovered (and then some) by savings between building things versus buying them. Plus I'm hoping custom built built-ins look better than store bought shelves.
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