Woodworking schools

Be interested to hear about your woodworking school experiences. I'd like to attend some sessions this summer and would interested to know what you thought about the various schools. It would help me to know the following:
1) Did you get the experience/teaching expected? 2) Did you finish the projects in class or were you sent home with a bunch of parts and a set of plans? 3) Was there adequate workshop space and tools? 4) Was the school run under strict safety regulations and practices? Did they mandate guards, drill you in safety, etc? 5) Where the instructors helpful?
I could ask probably ten more questions, but I'll stop there. Specifically, I'd be interested to hear from those who have gone to the more nationally known schools - Marc Anderson, American Sycamore, Mike Dunbar's, etc.
I know this question, in one form or another, gets asked periodically, but I've never seen anyone answer the questions I've asked, so I hope this will be interesting to many.
Thanks,
MJ Wallace
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On 4 Feb 2004 20:42:40 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@onebox.com (MJ Wallace) wrote:

CT Valley School of Woodworking

Yes, in fact I'm continuing to take classes there. They often have guest instructors, such as Garret Hack, Teri Masachi, Mario Rodriguez, and others. The instruction also seems to get adjusted to the individual. Those with experience can pick up extra info above and beyond the scope of the class.
I have yet to leave a class there without the feeling that I didn't get a good value. I've also noticed at least one woman in every class I been in or seen in progress there. They go a long way to keep people of all experience levels comfortable and unintimidated.

Never a set of parts and plans, but some classes do not include finishing time. This was noted up front. Folks that don't finish the class objective can arrange time to finish. Some classes have "homework", those without their own shops can arrange for shop time. This is also noted up front. I don't know if the extra shop time costs extra money, as I've never needed it.

Absolutely! Plenty of quality tools, like Starrett squares and Lie Nielsen planes. Power tools include a DJ-30, many router tables, etc... NOTHING was less than what was called for. Plenty of benches and space. Bringing your own tools is encouraged, as you should be comfortable with your own gear.

To a reasonable point. However there were some situations where guards are noted to make a task less safe, which requires removing them.

Helpful, and some instructors are available outside of the classroom and via email for questions.
I've felt these classes were money well spent.
Barry
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in message >

Agree with Barry on this school.
I'd also check out the classes at American Sycamore. They have some week long classes and I saw what they make at a recent show. I also met with Mike and his wife (forget her name right now). I would not hesitate to sign up. Ed
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MJ,
Sorry to tag along, but was wondering if any body has any comments on the Mar Adams School of Woodworking in Franklin, IN. http://marcadams.com/index2.shtml
Thanks, Jim

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I've taken a couple classes there and will take a veneering class there this summer. The shop is top notch - large building, fully outfitted in powertools with multiples of everything. Each student gets a bench. The class itself will depend on the teacher. Marc is an excellent instructor but it's pot luck with his guest instructors. He gets some big names but being "known" isn't any guarantee of being a good teacher. Teaching is a skill in itself and there's nothing to say a top notch craftsman or a guy who writes lots of magazine articles can teach. It's best to decide on a particular class then ask here and elsewhere about the specific teacher.
Also ask Marc specific questions about the techniques that will be taught in the class. I once came *very* close to taking a weeklong class to build an entertainment center. The blurb in his catalog didn't mention it, but the entire thing was screwed together with pocket screws. Not a bit of proper joinery to be found. I'd have been awfully pissed if I'd have given up a week's vacation and a bundle of money to build a piece of Walmart quality screwed together furniture. Ask questions to avoid surprises.
--
Scott Post snipped-for-privacy@insightbb.com http://home.insightbb.com/~sepost /

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I highly recommend.. http://www.americansycamoreretreat.com / Give them a look - I think you will find just what you are looking for. I've attended 3 sessions with them and they meet the criteria you have set down.
Wally Grant
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http://www.folkschool.org
i took a weekend class in shaker box making. My wife took a intro basket making class the same weekend.
We are going to schedule a week long class in the fall this year.
Got more info and experience that I had guessed I would.
4 out of 5 members of the class finished all 5 boxes, the other person left with all the materials to finishes at home. 3 women and 2 men in the class.
shop was stocked to handle up to 10 students, we never had to share any tools or workspace.
Yes safety was paramount but most of this class was neander. Safety glasses were provided if you didn't bring your own.
their chair classes fill quickly and they do some one of classes like metal spinning so getting the catalog or checking the web site is necessary.
BRuce
MJ Wallace wrote:

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The Rosewood Studio, just outside of Ottawa, Ontario
http://www.rosewoodstudio.com /
1. Absolutely - the instructors are grads of the College of the Redwoods in California (James Krenov's school) and guest instructors include Garret Hack and Yeung Chan.
2. It's not a parts and plans type of program - the focus is on skills, which are developed with specific projects/tasks. I was able to finish all activities in the allocated time.
3. Everyone gets their own bench (made at the school), lots of high-quality tools (Starret, Veitas, General, Delta)
4. Yes. You can't use a machine until you've been 'checked-out' and students are not allowed to rip on the tablesaw and must use a bandsaw (a bit extreme in my opinion, but then they have a great safety record)
5. Highest recommendation - class sizes are small engough to be able to get one-on-one coaching
On 4 Feb 2004 20:42:40 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@onebox.com (MJ Wallace) wrote:

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