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Build Your Own Classic Wooden Ship’s Wheel

A rare opportunity to work alongside a third-generation master craftsman.

Tuition: $900

Materials: $1,575

Note: This is a six-day course ending Saturday evening. Previous woodworking and joinery experience are a must for this advanced course. It is strongly suggested that each student be proficient in marine joinery or cabinetmaking.

Ships Wheel

We are excited to offer another in a series of advanced woodworking projects that we’ve presented to students over the years. Bob Fuller has built over 900 wooden ship’s wheels over the past 40 years, having learned the art from his father and grandfather. His family’s company, Southshore Boatworks, located in Plymouth, Massachusetts, has been building wooden ship’s wheels for generations, passing down the little-known, unique skills of wheel construction.

In this six-day class, students will be given the rare opportunity to learn some of those same skills as they build their very own wheel. Each individual will build and finish a 24”-diameter, six-spoke mahogany wheel. To enable this advanced woodworking project to be safely assembled in a week, Bob will design and build some of the components at his own shop and bring these with him. But make no mistake about it, there will be plenty of detailed measuring, meticulous shaping, and precise fitting for students to accomplish as the wheel takes shape. Using only hand tools, students will be faced with the daily challenges of achieving precise joinery through the wheel’s entire construction.

The centerpiece of the ship’s wheel will be a highly polished bronze hub which students will have the option to have custom engraved. A bronze wall mount and wheel nut will be included to display the finished wheel.

This promises to be a demanding, informative week that each student will find rewarding. For insight into what will be involved in this course, see Bob Fuller’s article “Building a Classically Inspired Ship’s Wheel” in WoodenBoat No. 279.