Teaching

Spend a week in a professional chairshop building a Windsor chair. Starting with a log, you will split parts with a froe, work them down with a drawknife, and steam bend the back. You will hollow the seat with inshaves and travishers, bore the holes freehand, and assemble the chair using wet/dry joinery to lock the chair together. Turning instruction is covered. Turned parts are also available, depending on which skills you wish to emphasize.

My shop is located in the woods of Orange County, North Carolina. A five minute drive brings you to the quaint shops of Hillsborough. The lively college town of Chapel Hill is twenty scenic minutes to the south. A number of bed-and-breakfasts and hotels are located nearby, and Chapel Hill has more restaurants than a horse has fleas, if your appetite can withstand the analogy.

All tools are provided, but you are encouraged to bring your favorite tools, or any tools that you want help tuning and sharpening. Emphasis will be placed on learning skills and techniques that you can take home with you (of course you get your chair too).


FOUR-PERSON CLASSES

I think a four-person class is pretty nearly the ideal class size. It is small enough that each student gets as much attention as they need. Small enough that the class can be gently adjusted to match the students’ interests. The class doesn’t need to be as rushed as a big class would be. Having other students around makes for a jovial work environment and allows students to observe other’s work and to learn from each other. I truly think that many students get more out of a four-person class than they would from a one-on-one class.

FAN BACK SIDE CHAIR, May 18th to 22nd, 2015 –  $850
CONTINUOUS ARM CHAIR, October 12th to 17th, 2015 – $1000

Each fall subscribers to my class notification list receive an online survey where they can help pick the dates for next year’s 4-person classes.  Sign up on the sidebar (page right) to receive the survey.


ONE-ON-ONE INSTRUCTION

You have the choice of which chair to build. The best option for a first-time chairmaker is probably a fan back or loop back. Continuous arm and sack back are also possibilities. More complicated chairs may be possible if you have previously studied with me (or another instructor I can vouch for).

$1500 per person — subject to availability

Bring your friends! Additional students get thirty percent off.


CUSTOM INSTRUCTION

Need turning instruction? Want to make a stool? I am happy to teach shorter classes on a variety of topics, customized to match your specific interests.

$300/day

"I have been making Windsor chairs for 7 years and sell at craft shows. I came hoping to learn a few new techniques and left with a completely new method of chair making that will greatly improve the quality of my chairs."
– Doug McAvoy


Take a video tour of my new chair shop.


Take a glimpse into a chairmaking class in these photos of my rocking chair workshop at The Woodwright's School by student Emily Neel, and this series of videos by Shannon Rogers, The Renaissance Woodworker.


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I will be teaching the following classes at schools around the country:


See a tool list.
See a list of nearby places to stay.