Back in the Bay Area now just catching up on uploading a few more pictures from my time in Fort Bragg and also a moment to reflect on the past three weeks of lessons.
The knowledge that I gained from short time that I spent on this course has made a huge improvement on my woodworking abilities. I had a woodworking project lined up prior to taking the course and, upon returning, have spent a few hours in the woodshop working on it.( It’s way of easing back to regular life :) ) But even this little foray back into my own projects is now a different experience. My confidence of the use of tools- retuning the bandsaw or checking for sharpness on chisels. The level of detail that I look into even just rough sawing my materials is better. CR showed me a new and greater level of work and quality.
In short, I highly recommend both the Handplanes and Tools and Techniques courses to anyone who is looking to improve their woodworking. If I had the time, I would’ve gladly spent another month there for the Projects course and, if time were no limitation, the nine month course. The College of the Redwoods Fine Furniture summer classes were some of the best classes I’ve ever taken. A small measurement of the satisfaction that people had with the course is the time spent at school- we had class officially from 8:30-5:30 but nearly every day people would be at the woodshop by 8:05 and would stay well past 7 working away. The school is a great little spot, fantastic equipment, good atmosphere and a nice touch in that the benchroom is separate from the machine room. Most of your day is to the sound of handtools not a router. Lastly the people are the best thing about the program. All of the instructors, Jim Budlong, Greg Smith and David Welter were great to work with, knowledgeable and friendly. They are some of the of the best woodworkers in the country as evidenced by their work and techniques. The atmosphere that they cultivate is relaxed, open and nice place to be. I met a former student at a restaurant and she said “there’s something really nice about a bunch of old guys [and gals] who really know what they’re doing, imparting that knowledge to you everyday.”
It was a great summer, would definitely do it again.