I just got back from a week in Pittsboro NC working with Roy Underhill. The class was a lot of fun and I learned a ton. It was definitely worth the price of admission and travel. The course project was a small tool chest made from poplar. Over the course of the week we learned dovetailing, mortise and tenon joinery, tongue and groove joinery, basic sharpening, and whole lot more.
The course was made up of a variety of folks – from a 19 year-old to an 80 year-old. Everyone learned at their own pace, some were experienced, some were not. Roy did a good job of keeping everyone happy and engaged.
Some of the best parts of the course were not related to the woodworking, per se. Listening to Roy’s anecdotes from his years of working with wood, and seeing him use some of the old machines was a real treat.
Bill Anderson is having some health issues so he wasn’t able to help out with the course as he usually does, but he did stop in for a day. It was very nice to meet him and get to know him a little bit. Both he and Roy had some very nice things to say about Joshua and this site, too.
My biggest regret is that I was unable to go out to Peter Ross’s blacksmith shop. I had to do some work on the evening everyone went out there. Other than that, it was a truly great experience.
Be advised – enter into Ed Lebetkin’s tool store at your own risk… I left several hundred dollars there before I even realized it! BUT, I came away with 5 molding planes, an awesome 150 year-old dovetail saw, a saw set, some saw files, a saw jointer, one of Roy’s books, a DVD by Joshua and Bill Anderson, and a few other things.
So if you’re considering going to the Woodwright’s School, don’t hesitate – just go. It’s easy to put off the expense and time commitment, but don’t do it. We’re all getting older and guys like Roy and Bill and many others will not be around forever. Go experience them while you can.
I’m going to write up a more details review of the course with some more photos on my blog, so check back there in a few days if you’re interested.
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