Popular Woodworking 2007-08 № 163, страница 63

Popular Woodworking 2007-08 № 163, страница 63

Great Woodshops

classes and workshops are also offered, and many of the students I met used attendance at these shorter classes as a way to evaluate the school and their desire to participate in the longer program.

Many Call, But Few Are Chosen

Admission to the school is a combination of talent and luck. Applicants submit examples of their work, but many are accepted with minimal woodworking experience. They also must submit a letter stating their objectives, and this is given as much consideration as previous work or study. Ultimately, selections are made by a random drawing from a pool of qualified applicants.

Those accepted to the program will spend 8-10 hours a day, six days a week in the school's building on the edge of Fort Bragg, Calif., a small rural community on the Northern California coast, about a four-hour drive north of San Francisco.

The school's building is a fairly typical shop structure, with separate machine and bench rooms and an abundance of natural light. The machine room takes up about one-third of the space, and is well equipped with wide, industrial-strength jointers and planers, and the band saw is the preferred machine for ripping.

The students' benches are arranged on each of two long walls in the bench room. Benches are back to back, and while the space isn't cramped, there isn't a lot of extra room. Most projects are small in scale, and the back-to-back benches lead to bench mates being handy when help, advice or conversation is needed. The work is demanding and intense, but the pace (at least during my visit) is relaxed and friendly. The emphasis is on getting the work right, not getting it out the door.

In September and October, the Highlight

Gallery in nearby Mendocino, Calif., will be hosting a special exhibition in commemoration of the woodworking program's 25th anniversary. All graduates of the program have been invited to display their work, and it will be a unique collection of work from this unique woodworking program. PW

Bob is the author of "The Complete Kitchen Cabinetmaker" (Cambium) in addition to other books. More information is available at his web site: craftsmanplans.com. Contact him at 513-531-2690 x1327 or robert.lang@fwpubs.com.

Bench room. Roughly two-thirds of the building is dedicated to this quiet, well-lit space devoted to workbenches and handwork.

Small in scale, but large in detail. Mark Chidis-ter, of Ames, Iowa, works on the joinery for this frame that is destined for the small cabinet waiting on the bench.

Help is close at hand. With benches placed back to back, students are there to help each other, either with discussion of design and technique or an extra pair of hands. Here, Ron Wiggins (right), of Atlanta, Ga., is helping Plessi to set clamps.

72 ■ Popular Woodworking August 2007

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