The Beginning Woodworking Certificate prepares students for entry-level jobs in the woodworking industry, with pathways such as furniture building and repair, cabinet building and installation, refinishing, carpentry and niche fields, such as carving or lutherie. Classes cover hand and power tools, including industrial machines such as the shaper and CNC router. Students also learn to maintain and repair shop equipment. And they participate in the studio’s numerous community service projects, which in the past have involved building cabinets, desks, trail kiosks, memorial benches, replacement historical windows, and other challenging projects requested by local non-profits. Students have access to the studio’s 30 hours a week of open studio time to work on class or personal projects as well as their capstone project. Students learn how to create an online portfolio of their work, which they submit for review at the end of each quarter — and can later show to prospective employers or clients.
The fall quarter focuses on learning how to use hand and power tools safely and efficiently. Students also explore specialized aspects of woodworking through introductory classes in carving and woodturning. They learn how to sketch and make detailed shop drawings, and they will put these concepts to use as they design and make at least one independent project. As they do all year, students participate in the community service projects going on in the woodshop, gaining more hands-on, guided shop time.
The winter quarter focuses on more advanced joinery and a deeper dive into understanding properties of wood and panel products, design trends, and how to combine design ideas and wood properties into projects that last. The main focus this quarter is on making cabinets — both Euro-style cabinets built entirely of plywood and furniture-style cabinets, with frame-and-panel doors and dovetailed, solid-wood drawers. Students also get to explore other topics through classes such as computer-aided design, using the CNC router, choosing and applying finishes, and building tables or benches from slabs of wood.
The spring quarter includes classes on even more advanced topics, such as shaper use and jig making, veneering, and coaxing wood to curve. But there are fewer formal classes so students have more time to design and make a capstone project. Students get an introduction to welding as they create a metal base for a wooden table or bench. And they learn practical aspects of running a woodworking business or landing a job.
The next 9-month session will begin in September 2020. Registration opens in February. Tuition is $2,300/quarter, for three quarters. Scholarships up to 90% of tuition are available. Additional materials costs will range from $250-$450 per quarter. Download an application form here. For more information, contact Certificate Program Coordinator Nanz Aalund at 206-842-4475, x223.