I'm looking hi and lo for intro courses on furniture making/woodworking
in the Chicago area.
I've already found Bauhaus Institute and J. Miller.
Any other courses/classes in my area (less expensive?).
Some of the Chi Park Districts have WWing classes. Never tried one so I
don't know how good they are. Horner Park on the north side of town has
one. Maybe there are more in other neighborhoods??? Mark L.
Look at the adult ed programs at Oakton Community College- I've seen
lots of WW classes in the past. If you're not in the north suburbs- try
some of the other small colleges for adult ed or community ed programs.
SOme of the local high schools also sponsor Adult Ed and after school
Don't limit your search for woodworking or furniture either- you may
have some luck looking for a theatre or stage craft program. Some very
well equipped shops, low student/instructor ratio, plenty of shop time
unless they're building a set.
Well, I was just at Bauhaus today. I just finished the power tools class
and go into the design class next. I'm not a newbie but there are still
tips and techniques that I've picked up in the last couple classes that make
it worth my time and money. Generally speaking, they have a four-class
series: Intro to Woodworking, Hand Tools, Power Tools, and Furniture
Design. Intro to Woodworking is just that. They discuss the properties of
wood, some design elements, and you practice making dovetail joints,
half-lap joints, shallow mortises, etc. In the hand tools class, you make a
table with mallet, chisel, saw, and plane. The elements of the table are
roughed out for you by the instructors, and then you chop all 16 mortises
and cut the mating tenons. In the power tools class, you make a telephone
stand and use most of the power tools in the shop, including table saw,
jointer, band saw, router, mortiser, and planer. The last class is a design
class where you come in with a project you would like to make, and you, the
other students, and Berthold Schwaiger (founder of Bauhaus) discuss how to
go about designing the piece, how it would be built, etc. Once you have
completed all four classes, you are eligible to join the Chicago Furniture
Society and can also get shop time for what I believe is a very nominal fee.
Overall, I've been pleased with the classes. If nothing else, it almost
forces me out of the house once or twice a week for a few hours to do some
woodworking. If you have any questions, let me know.
This is probably out of the way for you, and you probably don't fall
into the district, but College of DuPage (http://www.cod.edu ) has a
pretty good intro program. They don't teach it at the college, but
instead use the facilities (and teachers) from a few local high
schools. I have taken the class they offer at Fenton High School in
Bensenville. There are two guys who teach ww'ing there--I've had
classes with both of them, and they're both great. Dunno--maybe even
out of district you could still sign up...check with COD to see.
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