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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:
Tuition assistance is available. Click here to apply.
* 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.
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:
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
The toolbox is designed to safely store and transport hand planes, hammers and chisels. But you can use yours for any number of purposes. The box will be approximately 2 feet long, 1 foot wide and 6 inches tall. It will have a sliding lid that locks into place without hardware. There is no complicated joinery in this project. You'll use copper nails — but with a clever twist developed by Japanese carpenters that keeps them from popping out.
Instructor: Gary Bella grew up in western Pennsylvania. After college and art school, he moved to the Bay Area in California and began working in Marin County with several firms in residential construction. Later, he specialized in finish carpentry while developing a design/build business. He took classes with traditional Japanese teahouse carpenter Makoto Imai and later worked primarily with Makoto building traditional houses and tea houses in California, New York and Washington. After he moved to Bainbridge in 2003, he continued to build Japanese-inspired projects for private clients. He was among the craftsmen who restored the Japanese guest house at the Bloedel Reserve.
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 (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.
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.
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
“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.
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.
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.
** This class has prerequisites. Please see below.
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.
This class has prerequisites. Please see below.
Learn how to turn a stack of hardwood planks into fine furniture as you build a desk for the Bainbridge Island Historical Museum.
Working as a team under the guidance of three skilled BARN woodworkers, you will start by reviewing the design (crafted by Bainbridge Island furniture maker Bob Spangler). You will assess the grain orientation, figure and color of several big leaf maple planks to determine how best to use each piece. Then you will go on to mill the wood and cut the joints. You will learn techniques to make dados, bridle joints (shown in the detail picture), and modern mortise-and-tenon joints using the Festool Domino. You’ll learn how to glue up and clamp a complex project and how to prepare the surfaces for finish, including using epoxy to fill knotholes. And, finally, you’ll apply the finish and buff it out to create a silky-smooth, durable surface.
There is no materials fee for this class because the desk will go to the historical society. The museum asked for BARN's help in building two desks, which will be prominently located in the entry lobby of the museum. The first one, built by the instructors of this class, is on display in the downstairs Commons at BARN and is shown in the picture above.
Instructors: Dave Whitacre, Wayne Chang and Mike Gearheard. 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. Mike heads boatbuilding programs in the Woodworking Studio. When he isn't volunteering as a shop manager or safety monitor, he can often be found in the shop building challenging projects such as whole sets of chairs.
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.
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.
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
Instructor: Greg Engemann
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.
Join the BARN woodworkers in this free event as Jameson Hawn presents a look into the inner workings of Grizzly Industrial, a Bellingham-based company that has grown into offering what is probably the largest selection of woodworking and metalworking machinery under one brand in the world.
Hawn, who has worked at Grizzly for five years, will explain what it takes to get so many different kinds of tools made, what’s hot in woodworking and metalworking tools today (such as the CNC router shown in the picture below) and what new tools are likely to show up next. He'll discuss how his company decides which manufacturing options to choose choose — or reject — to keep prices down and yet make durable tools that customers will be happy to own. The talk should help you, when you're the customer, figure out which tool to buy if the specs from several brands all look the same.
Hawn has a unique perspective on the company’s tools: He produces and often stars in dozens of videos on the company’s website, www.grizzly.com. He shows how the tools work, explains their features, and gives tips on troubleshooting, replacing bearings and making adjustments to keep tools tuned up. Sometimes he even tackles whole projects. Want to turn pens? He shows how, using — of course — the perfect Grizzly tool for each step. Even Norm could be jealous.
The monthly meetings of BARN woodworkers are held the second Saturday of every month except July and December. The program offers an informative presentation on some aspect of this craft, plus a short business meeting. It's a good opportunity to meet other woodworkers of all skill levels, learn what's new in the shop, and share your thoughts on class offerings and shop operations.
These presentations are free and open to all, with no need to register in advance. We'll have coffee ready!
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.
Make an elegant address sign for your home as you learn basic skills in working with glass and wood.
The first day, you will make the tiles in the Glass Arts Studio. You will learn safety procedures for working with glass, how to arrange colored pieces of glass scrap on a base of glass, and to anticipate how it will all melt together to form a tile. If you don't want to cut and nip glass, it would probably be possible to create the tiles using existing shapes of the colored glass.
The tiles will be fired between the class sessions so that on the following Monday, you can fame the tiles, giving you experience with hand saws, drills and finishing techniques. You will affix your tiles to marine plywood, using adhesive, then cut grooved cedar strips for a frame and attach it to the backing. You will sand the wood, apply clear finish to the cedar, and add a chain to the back so the sign is ready to hang — or wrap up as a gift — when you get home.
Fine woodworking usually involves pieces that are straight and square, but curves add magic and even comfort, such as on the backs of chairs. In this class you will learn two ways to bend wood: by using steam to make it flexible and by laminating thin pieces. You will also learn to clamp curved shapes in a vacuum bag.
Bending wood so curves follow the wood grain results in pieces that are much stronger and more beautiful than if you just cut the parts into a curved shape. After completing this class, you will be able to create beautifully curved arms for chairs, strong ribs for a wooden boat, or any other creative application for nicely shaped wood.
This class focuses on techniques rather than on making a specific project. However, you may bring a specific project idea and the wood for it to the class and apply the bending techniques you will learn to make the parts you need. Working on individual bending challenges will add real learning opportunities for the whole class. The instructor will help you successfully apply the most effective bending approach. If you have questions about a project to work on in the class, please email email@example.com.
The first session will focus on lamination techniques and include a discussion of the practical aspects of steam bending. Session two will include a demonstration of steam bending. In the third session, students will have time to work on their own projects and will also learn to use BARN's vacuum bagging system.
Instructor: Leland Gibson. Leland has been a woodworker and a boat builder for a couple of decades. He started out helping his father build a wooden boat entirely with hand tools. He then moved across the country to attend the Northwest School of Wooden Boat Building in Port Hadlock. After graduating in 2007, Leland went to work for one of the premier wooden boat yards in Port Townsend, where he helped build new boats and repaired older boats for 10 years. He was then hired as an instructor at the boat school, where he has worked for the past three years.
Be a Maker for a Day!
Enjoy an afternoon of creative hands-on activities in BARN's 10 artisan studios. It's free, and open to all ages.
For more information contact: info@BainbridgeBARN.org
Instructor: Jeanne Huber