The Essentials of Fine Woodworking
Building a dovetailed utility box with a focus on traditional hand skills.
- Mark Whitcomb—June 17–23
There are as many approaches to designing and making boating projects as there are woodworkers. In this six-day course with woodworker and furniture maker Mark Whitcomb, students will learn the intricacies of fine joinerwork in a project that will combine elegance with utility.
Each student will choose the size of the box they want to build and the types of woods they’ll incorporate into the piece (pine, cherry, walnut, and mahogany). The project will incorporate hand-cut dovetails and other types of essential woodworking joints.
Mark will first introduce students to the components of designing and laying out the chest. He’ll then move on to wood selection, coping with wood movement, types of joints, and the correct procedures for gluing up material. Mark will also offer extensive instruction in the sharpening, tuning, and use of planes, chisels, and other tools.
During the week, students will practice the step-by-step process of cutting dovetails by hand and crafting the parts of the box. Practice is the most essential component to mastering craftsmanship. In this course you’ll learn from your mistakes and successes, and, above all, learn from your hands.
Mark will also discuss finishing, although time may not allow for any applications of oils, varnishes, or paint during the course.