Welcome to The Folk School of Fairbanks

Principles of Woodworking!

 

This is an ongoing program in which we explore all aspects of woodworking from the most elementary to extremely complex. The idea is to try out tools and techniques of all kinds and begin to develop proficiency in many of these. Each project will involve design, planning and layout. We will work with both hand and power tools and cover all kinds of joinery. We will study the physical properties of wood and begin to intuit how these properties relate to our projects and tool use. We will also cover many of the manufactured products used in furniture and cabinet making such as plys and composites, hardware, glues and finishes.

This program is designed around the individual and students can join in at any time (when the program is in session). The student and instructor jointly develop a unique curriculum. Projects will be chosen that push the limits of our experience while building confidence. The nature and complexity of these projects will depend on prior experience, and personal goals for the course.

In addition to instructional time and guided work we will, as a group, set up times for “open shop” in which students can, on their own, continue with their projects.

*Note: Though you may join this class at any time (when the program is in session), please register at least one week before you would like to begin. This will give the instructor a chance to contact you and begin the process of developing your individualized curriculum.

We started this program in January of 2015 exploring physical characteristics of wood, learning terms that allow us to talk about wood as it pertains to woodworking and design, and discussing joinery and how that relates to wood morphology. We then moved into the Shop and this is what we’ve been up to:

  • First we made marking gauges which exposed us to layout challenges, simple mortise, tapered mortise and tusk tennon.
  • We then used our marking gauges to help layout simple dovetails – learning to both saw and chisel to a line was a big part of this exercise.
  • At this point we tackled a simple dovetailed box with floating bottom which brought into play hand planes, grooves, rabbits and assembly.
  • Next we built a simple joiners bench complete with vise and tool well. The bench project exposed us to mortise and wedged tennons, bigger dovetails, splines and biscuit joinery, grooves and floating panels, edge gluing and assembly, continuing to refine flattening, dimensioning and squaring stock.
  • We even visited a commercial custom cabinet shop to see how the “Big Guys” do it.
  • Since that beginning we have done some steam bending, bent laminations, turning, made furniture, restored old furniture, made cabinets, a door for a boat, learned to make threads on wood, did some chip carving, made some rustic furniture and began to experience the challenges of joinery with unusual shapes, made new friends and had a lot of fun.

Principles of Woodworking usually runs 4 days a week from late September through early May. During the 2016 session, classes met from 9:00am to 12:00pm on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and from 6:00pm – 9:00pm on Thursdays.

Please stay tuned for the upcoming season of Principles of Woodworking!

Check the class calendar for class listings and registration information.

*Note: We are always open to adjusting the schedule to better meet the needs of our students.

Since each of you will be on your own trajectory, which and how many sessions you can attend is entirely up to you, it will only effect the rate at which you progress. As interest grows we will expand the program and offer more sessions. We plan to develop this program into a year round series. The shape it takes is ultimately up to you.

Cost: Students buy 5 sessions at a time for $220, in advance of starting the program.

Principles of Woodworking” is for ages 15 and older. For youth woodworking courses please see “Woodworking Program for Youth” under “Programs”, or visit the class calendar.

It is never too late to sign up for this series as it is taught on an individual rotation basis. If you are interested in participating, please go to one of the class listings on the calendar and fill out the registration form or contact John Manthei at 451-0445 or john.folkschool@gmail.com.

Principles of Woodworking

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Upcoming Events

Jun
24
Sat
all-day Week in the Woods 2017
Week in the Woods 2017
Jun 24 – Jun 28 all-day
Week in the Woods 2017 @ Tanana Valley State Forest | Fairbanks | Alaska | United States
Week in the Woods 2017 (5 day course) Week in the Woods (WITW) is an opportunity to leave our everyday routines behind and gather in the remote boreal forest, learning and creating in a multi-generational[...]
Jun
26
Mon
1:30 pm Composting – Building a Compost ...
Composting – Building a Compost ...
Jun 26 @ 1:30 pm – 4:30 pm
Composting – Building a Compost Pile @ Calypso Farm and Ecology Center | Fairbanks | Alaska | United States
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1:00 pm Create in Clay! – A Summer Progr...
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9:00 am Introduction to Spoon Carving
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all-day Summer Rhythm and Roots: A Folk ...
Summer Rhythm and Roots: A Folk ...
Jul 10 – Jul 14 all-day
Summer Rhythm and Roots: A Folk School Youth Exploration - Session 1 @ The Folk School Fairbanks | Fairbanks | Alaska | United States
Summer Rhythm and Roots: A Folk School Youth Exploration – Session 1  (5 day course) Primary Instructor: Gillian Harwin and Reese Bullen Camp Directors: Kerri Hamos and Christine Russell Summer in Fairbanks, Alaska is a[...]
Jul
17
Mon
all-day Summer Rhythm and Roots: A Folk ...
Summer Rhythm and Roots: A Folk ...
Jul 17 – Jul 21 all-day
Summer Rhythm and Roots: A Folk School Youth Exploration - Session 2 @ The Folk School Fairbanks | Fairbanks | Alaska | United States
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