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Get started on your woodturning adventure with this three-session beginner's class, where you’ll complete small spindle projects as you learn safety, tool control and how to create the basic shapes involved in spindle and bowl turning.
By successfully completing this class and our free, one-hour Orientation to the Woodshop class, you will be cleared to use the wood lathes for spindle turning during Open Studio. You will also be eligible to take a bowl-turning class, although it is strongly suggested that you spend time turning in Open Studio a few times before you enroll in that class. (Note that you still must take Tool Safety Classes before using other power tools in the Studio.)
Apparel: Short-sleeve or tight-cuff tops and closed-toe and comfortable shoes are required. No bracelets or necklaces; earrings must be no longer than 1". Long hair must be tied back.
Instructor: Jamie Straw has been turning wood for several years, working on both spindle and bowl projects, and has taught woodturning at BARN since July 2017. She also serves as coordinator of BARN’s woodturning classes. She is past Vice President for Education and Training for the local chapter of the American Association of Woodturners. Her focus is on helping students build skills progressively as they design and create their woodturning projects.
This is a rescheduled class due to weather closures. The class is full. Please "join waitlist" if you want to be alerted to a future class.
Bring in your steel-string acoustic or electric guitar and learn how to get it sounding and playing its best.
We'll start with a refresher on terminology and the factors that impact tone and playability. Then we'll evaluate the instruments for structural integrity and discuss the importance of temperature and humidity control. (Please note that if your instrument is deemed to need more than a basic setup, you'll be offered a refund or the option of working on another instrument.)
Then comes the hands-on tweaking of truss rods for perfect neck relief, nut and bridge adjustments for great action, and saddle adjustment for intonation improvements.
Electric guitar players will also learn how to adjust their pickups.
Finally, we'll discuss string differences, put on a set of fresh strings, and test out our improvements. You'll go home with a better guitar, a better understanding of how it works, and a checklist for future reference.
Instructor: Doug Salot started playing the guitar about 10 years ago and occasionally tries to distract himself by building guitars and ukuleles. He studied instrument building with local luthier Alan Simcoe.
Did you ever wonder how to get a really professional-looking finish on your woodworking project? In this hands-on class, you will learn about different types of wood stains and clear finishes and get a chance to experiment with them on a sample board that you can take home and use for future reference.
The class is four sessions to allow drying time as you go through all of the steps, from preparing the surface to applying stain and finish, to rubbing out the finish. You will learn how to prepare the surface to help ensure an excellent finish, which stains and finishes work best on different types of solid wood and plywood, and which tools and techniques to use when applying stains and finishes by hand (ie, without spraying). You will also learn which products are compatible with one another — and which ones aren't.
"With her professional background, Carol provides you with information that takes you beyond the easy way out of Minwax products at the big box store to the world of waterborne finishes vs alcohol-based or petroleum-based products. You get to see and work with a variety of wood species and grain patterns using penetrating and topical finish products and — what was most exciting — dyes. Most importantly you get the instructions in what not to do as well as what works for you. This is a level of information and hands-on trial that every serious woodwork needs to experience."
— Jeff Williams, former BARN woodshop lead
Instructor: Carol Fiedler Kawaguchi is a professional woodworker who specializes in restoration of antique furniture through her business, C-Saw, on Bainbridge Island. She also makes custom furniture, including the slab coffee table in the Commons at BARN.
Get checked out on the Woodworking Studio’s major power tools not covered in the Tools 1 safety class. This Tools 2 safety class may be taken without first having taken the Tools 1 safety class. Provided you have also attended our free Orientation to the Woodshop class, completing Woodshop Tool Safety 2 will qualify you to use the following tools during Open Studio time or in classes that have this as a prerequisite:
Instructor: Dave Roe
Instructor: Jeanne Huber
Gain confidence in using a wide array of power tools safely in this three-week component of BARN's Intro to Woodworking series.
You will build a sturdy, two-step stepstool of solid wood and plywood. The project was specifically designed to give you experience with the most common stationary and portable tools in the woodshop:
This class has prerequisites. See below.
Learn the basics of designing and building Euro-style cabinets, also known as frameless cabinets.
With other students, you will build one or more cabinets with a drawer, a shelf, and a door. There is no materials fee for this class because the cabinets will be ones needed by BARN or another local non-profit organization.
The class will start with an overview of cabinet styles, with an emphasis on Euro-style cabinets and their components. There will also be a discussion about cabinet materials and useful tools.
Then you'll build, starting by preparing a cut list from a drawing. You'll learn how to accurately and safely cut down sheets of plywood and how to assemble the pieces into sturdy, square cabinet boxes. You'll also learn how to add components: shelves, doors and drawers. You'll learn how to use story sticks, how to choose and install hinges and other hardware, and how to install the cabinets in a room.
Tuition assistance is available. Click here to apply.
Instructors: Dave Whitacre and Wayne Chang. Dave moved to Bainbridge in 2013 after he retired as a petroleum engineer in Alaska. Woodworking has been his hobby for the past 40-plus years. He's enjoyed designing and building traditional-styled furniture and hopes to broaden his skills and techniques now that he has more time to devote to the craft. Wayne enjoys the challenge and problem solving that goes along with woodworking. In the past, most of his woodworking involved rebuilding his 100-year-old house. Now it revolves around anything that his daughter asks him to build. He also coordinates the community service projects done in the Woodworking Studio.
*This class has prerequisites; please see below.
You will make the box from maple and walnut. With the lid, the box will be 5¼ inches long, 4 inches wide and up to 3 inches high. At the end of class, your box will be ready for sanding and finishing.
Instructor: Chris Stanley is a model maker, artist and educator. For 19 years, he taught model making and design as a full-time instructor at the Art Institute of Seattle. He currently teaches classes here at BARN in jewelry, metal fabbrication, sheet metal, and now woodworking.
No experience necessary. We will be on hand to help as needed.
Start a project, finish a project, or just play with wood and see what happens. We will have some extra wood available or bring in your own.
To use the shop, you will also need to attend our free one-hour Orientation to the Woodshop class.
Woodshop Tool Safety 1 will qualify you to use the following tools during Open Studio time and in classes that require certification in these tools:
Effective and enjoyable woodturning is dependent on sharp tools that have quality profiles. Learn to sharpen the tools you need to turn spindles, bowls and other projects on the wood lathe.
This class is strongly recommended for students enrolled in Introduction to Bowl Turning and graduates of Introduction to Woodturning. This class is required for any turners who wish to use BARN turning tools on an ongoing basis. You will receive hands-on training for sharpening gouges (spindle and bowl), and a brief overview of sharpening other tools such as parting tools, skews and scrapers.
Get a good foundation in carving techniques, including push, stop and draw cuts. In this three-session class, you will learn the basics of safe handling and use of carving knives the first night, then go on to learn how to deal with changes in wood grain, hollowing techniques, and other concepts as you make a spoon and carve a figure during second and third sessions.
This class is open to both beginning carvers and those who already have some carving experience. Each time BARN schedules this class, the carving projects are new.
Instructor: As a third-generation woodworker, Jeff Iller learned about woodworking tools and knives early on. By high school, he was winning ribbons with his wood carvings at his hometown fair. Around 1996 Jeff found room for a shop and he has carved ever since. He’ll carve most anything, but prefers to innovate with the working tools to carve multiple parts inside one piece of wood and to make physically detailed and accurate carvings of women's faces. Carvings on the entry sign to the BARN Woodworking Studio shows the quality of his work.
Iller says he was taught early on that he could make anything from wood. He is still trying to prove that statement wrong.
Designed as a user's guide to BARN's Woodworking & Small Boatbuilding Studio, this free orientation session is required for all who wish to work in the Woodworking Studio. It will cover everything from shop etiquette to specifics of how to use the shop's dust collection and compressed air systems. Overall BARN policies, as well as shop-specific ones, will also be covered.
Participants will also learn about the leadership structure within the shop and about opportunities to participate in helping everything run smoothly. Volunteer jobs range from serving as safety monitors to helping on Maintenance Mondays.
This class is free, but please register so we know how many to expect.
Instructor: Jeff Williams
* This class has prerequisites. See below.
Build a unique slab bench or small table in this six-session class.
Create a piece that highlights the natural beauty in a slab's swirling grain or intriguing color known as spalting. Preserve a live edge, rip a straight-line edge or combine the two styles into your design.
At the first session, the instructor will discuss design considerations, suitable wood and several options of styles for top and base. The instructor will walk you through the process of drawing up your design ideas into working plans.
The next sessions will be devoted to building your project and preparing it for final finish.
The final session will cover finish options and application techniques. You will go home with enough finish to apply multiple coats to your completed project.
Tuition assistance is available. Click here to apply.
"An inspirational class! So much cool stuff to practice on many slab projects to come!!"
— Ryan Boone, www.ryanboonedesign.com. (The picture shows his hall bench.)
Instructor: Carol Fiedler Kawaguchi is a professional woodworker who specializes in restoration of antique furniture through her business, C-Saw, on Bainbridge Island. She also makes custom furniture, including the slab coffee table in the Commons at BARN. Mo Ellis and Marvin Crosland will assist.
By successfully completing this class and our free, one-hour Orientation to the Woodshop class, you will be cleared to use the wood lathes for spindle turning during Open Studio. You will also be eligible to take a bowl-turning class, although it is strongly suggested that you spend time turning in Open Studio a few times before you enroll in that. (Note that you still must take Tool Safety Classes before using other power tools in the Studio.)
Learn how to use hand tools skillfully in this three-week component of BARN's Beginning Woodworking series.
You will build a two-compartment tote, handy for storing or carrying silverware, garden tools or other items. The project was specifically designed to give you experience with the most common hand tools. You will learn to use:
Instructor: Mike Morgan
** This class has prerequisites. Please see below.
In this class we will work with an intriguing and challenging lathe tool, the skew chisel. This versatile tool is especially useful in spindle turning, and one that can give you very smooth final cuts. In class, you will practice peeling cuts, V-cuts, making tenons, planing cuts, round-overs and beads, as well as parting, in the process of making an egg and spinning tops. Proficiency with the skew requires practice, but the rewards are great – it is a traditional tool used by all master turners!
Students need to have completed the Introduction to Woodturning class, and will do best in this class if they’ve put in a few practice hours on basic spindle work.
**Open to students who have taken BARN's Intro to Woodturning class or demonstrated equivalent lathe safety and turning skills during a private studio session with the instructor. If you have not take this course, please contact Bruce Claiborne, 206-498-3045, by February 10 to arrange a review of your skills before you register for this class.
Instructor Bruce Claiborne has been actively turning wood since 2007 and has taken lathe workshops from Kirk DeHerr, John Jordan, Richard Raffan, and others since that time. He has been teaching at BARN since 2015.
* This class has prerequisites. Please see below.
This class is designed for woodworkers who want to understand the subtleties of using the four bandsaws in the Woodworking Studio. A bandsaw seems like a simple machine, but to use it effectively and get the best results, one must understand the types of blades, the guides that support the blade, the size and power of the saw, and how the teeth cut wood. And some cuts — such as resawing, curve-cutting curves and beveling — require special techniques.
In this class, you will learn how to choose which saw to use, how to check and adjust the guides for each saw, how to safely feed material through, and how to make a few specialty cuts, such as cutting round stock, repeating curved designs, and cutting perfect circles. Students are encouraged to ask questions relevant to their own project interests, and to share any problems they’ve had using bandsaws.
* This class is open to those who have completed Orientation to the Woodshop, Woodshop Tool Safety Checkout 1 and Woodshop Tool Safety Checkout 2.
Jamie Straw has been woodworking for over 20 years, with experience on all of the standard stationary tools of a wood shop. Her first floor-model tool was a bandsaw, which she uses for both sawing large woodturning blanks and processing dimensional lumber.
This class is strongly recommended for students enrolled in Introduction to Bowl Turning and graduates of Introduction to Woodturning. This class is required for any turners who wish to use BARN turning tools on an ongoing basis. You will receive hands-on training for sharpening gouges (roughing gouges, and spindle and bowl gouges) A brief overview of sharpening other tools such as parting tools, skews and scrapers will be included, based on the skills learned in this class.
“Where do you get your wood for turning?” -- Perhaps the most common question woodturners are asked by people new to the craft! In this class you will learn not only where to find or buy wood, but also how to evaluate wood for different projects; how to cut, preserve and store it (if it is green); how to lay out bowls, vessels and spindles on your stock to ensure good project success; and how to maximize the yield from your wood. Much of the wood local turners use is free “found” or “fallen” wood, and there are many details to learn about how, when and where to obtain these treasures.
Woodturners use bandsaws to prepare much of their stock, and are often challenged by irregular pieces of wood that require special safety tactics. In this class you will learn how to determine which approach you should use for a particular piece of wood, be it a log, a burl or a piece of spindle stock. Students who have taken Tool Safety II will gain hands-on experience cutting turning stock on one of the Studio’s bandsaws.
You are welcome to bring one or two pieces of wood you want to evaluate for turning stock.
What distinguishes well-designed furniture? In part, that depends on what you want the furniture to do. Is it art? Or is it functional? Or both — or is that even possible?
In this four-session class, you will learn about design trends in hand-made and factory-made furniture, and how the materials available have shaped designs over the years. You will also learn about proportion, ergonomics, the psychology of shape, and the importance of understanding the properties of the materials you use.
With all that as the base, the instructor will discuss the process he uses to come up with designs that art galleries are eager to display. And he will guide you as you develop an original design based on what you have to work with — materials, skills, tools, workspace, budget. The process, if you follow the instructor's lead, will include hand sketching, a computer drawing using a program such as SketchUp, a physical model made of simple materials, and a work plan that includes the sequence of fabrication and assembly.
Instructor: Warren Pollock. Warren is a registered architect noted for his modernist designs. He worked for several design firms as well as his own over a 50-year career that began after he graduated with a bachelor of architecture degree from the University of Washington in 1968. He designed houses, offices, multi-family, mixed-use and retail projects through Warren Pollock and Associates and later Warren Pollock Architect, both in Seattle. Interspersed were stints at MulvanneyG2 Architecture and Su Development, both in Bellevue, and Metrica Architects in Seattle, a firm he helped found that also had an office in Bogota, Columbia. After retiring from architecture, he became active in the BARN Woodworking Studio. Tables he built have been featured and sold at a local gallery.
Make two bowls 6 to 7 inches in diameter in this two-session class as you build your woodturning skills and learn some of the special techniques and insights needed for bowl-turning.
The best (and most fun) way to hone your bowl-turning skills is to use green wood for the blanks. In this class you will turn two green-wood bowls, working on smooth and efficient cuts. In the first session, you will learn the best bowl shape for a novice turner, how to safely mount the blank on the lathe, and how to use of a scroll chuck and bowl gouge. You will also learn how to maintain even wall thickness, and how to treat the bowl to prevent cracking while it dries. In the second session, in addition to turning a second bowl, you will learn the basics about balancing grain and which Northwest woods are best for turning.
By successfully completing these two sessions and turning two bowls, you will have a good understanding of the process and techniques, and be qualified to turn bowls of this size independently during Open Studio time in the BARN Woodworking Studio.
Photograph by Joy McCallister Photography.
Wooden spoons can be completely utilitarian — or real works of art. In this class, you will learn to make the more challenging, artful kind. You'll be well prepared if you later want to make purely utilitarian spoons on your own.
Spoon carving involves grain changes, curves and hollowing — all techniques that are useful in many kinds of carving projects. The instructor will explain a variety of tools you might want to use and how to use them safely. You will also learn how to hold or secure the wood safely and the steps involved in carving spoons efficiently. You will work from prepared basswood blanks.
Learn to give plane blades and chisels a razor-sharp edge so you can experience the joy of doing fine woodworking by hand. Having sharp tools, whether they’re BARN’s or your own, is not only safer, it’s also key to dramatically improving the quality of your work.
In this single-session class, you will learn:
How to flatten and polish the back of the blades (and why that's important).
How to shape the lower front edge to the required angle, using BARN's WorkSharp tool.
How to polish the bevel using water stones.
How to hone a polished edge to razor sharpness.
How to flatten a waterstone using a diamond pad.
Bring one or two plane or chisel blades that need sharpening, if you have them. If they are in really bad shape, you might not have time to get them fully tuned up during the class.
If you don’t have tools to bring, no problem. You can learn on BARN’s tools. BARN’s tools must be sharpened according to specifications that the studio has adopted. You can use other angles or processes for your own tools.
The sharpening systems are also available for use during Open Studio times, provided you have first taken our free, one-hour Orientation to the Woodshop class. Open Studio is free for members and $20 for guests.
Instructor: Todd Butler