I am in the process of opening a woodworking school. It will be about 12k
sqr feet in size. I will be able to have about 15 students per session. I
also plan to have big names come from all over to teach these classes. My
question to you is if you could have anyone teach a class what would the
class be and who would you want to teach it??
Thanks in advance,
The best teacher is someone that knows more than me. Nothing wrong with the
big names, but say, Mr. Bigs class is $500 and he will teach me how to make
a table, but Mr. Nobody that has 30 years of experience, works in his own
little shop, and can teach me how to make as good a table at a $200 class,
I'm interested. Of course, a lot of people know more that me so I'm easily
(and cheaply) impressed.
The subject could be anything I'm interested in at the time. Right now I'm
thinking over the next year or so of a bed, a table, and maybe some boxes.
Following that, cabinet doors for the kitchen. I'd pay for a door making
class. Raised panel, flat panel some exposure to different types so I can
better decide what suits me.
I guess it also depends on your market. Are you looking to take beginners to
an intermediate, and take intermediates to a higher level, or are you
planning to offer a class geared to the pro shop?
It is in Anaheim CA. We are about 5 miles from Disney.
So far, we have decided on about 20 classes for 2005. We are in the process
moving to bigger facilities, purchasing more equipment and finializing the
If you want more info, drop me an email at kev@manicdesigndotcom please
replace the word dot with a period. I dislike spam.
I have no suggestions on teachers. I don't know at what level your
teachers will be instructing students, so I'll assume they are at the
beginner to intermediate levels.
CAD for woodworkers
If you create a beautiful design, people will want to copy it. Being
able to draw your project precisely before you build it will make
construction easier, and great drawings are always in demand.
This subject seems never to be addressed. Dust collection is critical if
you generate fine dust (like from milling MDF, for example). These tiny
particles of wood can become embedded in your lungs and create health
Selecting high quality tools and maintaining them
Buying junk tools takes some of the pleasure out of woodworking.
Learning to keep hand-tools as sharp as reasonably possible will make it
easier to focus on the project. If you can't tune a saw, you won't get
good results no matter how expensive it is.
I can't even count the number of times I've seen or heard of new
businesses going under in a year because the owner's passion for
woodworking overcomes his or her business sense.
Individual classes on specific tools
Mastering Windsor chairs requires the ability to turn wood on a
well-tuned lathe if you want to build from scratch. Basic carving skills
are handy too.
Just a few thoughts...
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I would like to attend a class that has more classroom time than shop time.
Like 3 ours class 1 hour shop (evening)
I have a shop but no classroom.
Class 1. Safety
Class 2. WW tools power, battery and hand.
Class 3. Lumber
Class 4. Joinery
Class 5. Dovetails ( this would be mostly a hand on class)
Class 6. WW Glues
Class 7. Drafting
Class 8. Design
Class 9. Etc etc
Jeez, this is hard because many of the big names
already teach - Dave Marks, Mike Dunbar, etc.
I would advise you to look at the current schools
and see who they are gettting for "guest" lectures/classes,
and see if you can get them.
I'd take a class from Kelly Mehler on tablesaws
any day, Dave Marks on veneering, and so on. But
I think they already do teach.
I think the best thing is to develop a solid set of classes
you know people will want to take in your local area -
which you haven't said where you are. I do part time web
work for a local school in the SF Bay Area -
www.woodworkeracademy.com - and what
they have done is to concentrate on the core
skills everyone should have - basic woodworking,
router, table saws, etc. They have other classes that are
more "project related" like bandsaw boxes, etc.
When you come out of any of the classes, you feel you
learned a lot because ot the dedication of
the instructor/director of the Academy - Jerry Konicek
to make sure you have a successful and safe class.
My thought on this would be to to build
your reputation on something that is independent
of getting a name to teach. Teach good, safe
woodworking and I'd be you will be succesful. Then
over time, if you want to bring in a guest instructor,
you can "re-invite" those who have taken the
other courses back for this special.
Learn to listen to the people taking your courses
and respond to them.
My 2 cents anyways.
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