Furniture Making Courses
Welcome to Philadelphia Furniture Workshop, a tax exempt, nonprofit, full service teaching studio for those interested in woodworking. PFW's goal is to provide a broad range of hands-on classes for woodworkers of all levels, including beginners. Throughout the year, furniture making courses are offered on weekends and in the evenings. In the summer, PFW offers week-long project based courses targeted to differing skill levels at our woodworking school. Come work in one of the finest shops while learning both beginning and advanced skills.
Current woodworking instruction tends to primarily focus on either machine work or hand work, and many woodworkers tend to embrace either one or the other at the beginning. This singular approach can limit the scope of one’s work, and one might never develop his full creative potential. Here at PFW our goal is to open doors for our students, not close them. We believe that the most enjoyable and successful woodworking is achieved by striking a balance. We teach the use of machinery and power tools for the preparatory and mechanical aspects of a project in order to achieve the best results in a safe and efficient manner, and then turn to hand tools and other traditional techniques. It is these hand tool methods that permit the distinctive details and refinements which will elevate your project from the common to the outstanding.
So no matter your skill level, interest, or direction as a woodworker, the Philadelphia Furniture Workshop has much to offer. Come join us and learn furniture making and woodworking skills in a supportive and invigorating studio environment. Our school provides instruction in furniture making such as woodturning course or lathe woodturning techniques, how to use a plane (planecraft), tablesaw techniques, mortise and tenon joint classes, dovetail classes, techniques in veneering, chisel techniques, and instruction in finishing such as French Polishing and Oil and Varnish. There are many more woodworking courses so check our calendar to see them all.
Do you have a small workshop that is in need of a workbench. Consider taking our Small Shop Workbench Building Course. At the course the student builds an adjustable height workbench that is 24 inches wide, five foot long and has a top of hard maple at 1-3/4" thick. Check our calendar for when it is offered.
Summer is over!
The warm weather and lazy days of summer are coming to an end but the shop at PFW is just starting to heat up. Now is the time to plan your Fall activities. Here at PFW, we've put together a great line up of challenging project and technique classes, both for the beginner and the more advanced woodworker.
Our classes are small, with a great student-teacher ratio. Everyone gets plenty of attention. Our shop is beautifully equipped with professional quality machines and are maintained to the highest standard.
Your shop experience will be unmatched. You'll learn plenty in a safe shop environment and take home a beautiful piece of furniture.
Please come join us!
Alan, Mario, Lesley and Doug
Upcoming Fall 2016 Woodworking Courses
Router Basics 1 - In two evenings learn the basics of the hand held router. Few tools are as versatile and accurate as the router. Learn to begin to master this important weapon. Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, September 6 and 7.
Total Beginner 1 - This beginning woodworking class is designed for the woodworker with little or no experience. The class is being taught twice this Fall. One is being taught on seven consecutive Wednesday mornings beginning September 7. Another is being taught on seven consecutive Thursday evenings beginning September 8. If you are interested in either of these classes, please contact us via email or phone.
Basic Sharpening - No matter how much you spend on your tools, if they're not sharp, they won't work! Learn how to get from dead dull to razor sharp in minutes. This one-day workshop covers the proper preparation, grinding, and honing of plane irons, chisels, marking knives, carving tools, cabinet scrapers, carving gouges and turning gouges. Saturday, September 10, 2016.
- This is a one day crash course on hand plane basics. Examine the three principal types of hand planes and learn how to select the right one for the job. With sharpening under your belt, learn to refine your blade to a proper shape. We cover the proper and effective selection and use of hand planes so that you will get the most enjoyment - and the best results - from hand planing. Sunday, July 10, 2016
- The contemporary flavor of the design lets the maker explore wood grain without the distraction of complex joinery and a busy array of supporting members. The slab seat is of a lighter wood than the legs, and will be chosen for attractive grain and color. The legs will be of a darker hardwood with straight grain. This is an excellent first piece of furniture for the novice or beginning woodworker. Three Monday evenings, September 12, 19 and 26.
Measuring and Marking - If you can't mark out a joint, you can't cut it correctly. This offering is a brief, one evening workshop on measuring and marking out your work. We'll guide you through the selection, preparation, and use of the most common and useful measuring and marking tools. Thoroughly covered will be: marking knives, rulers, marking gauges, squares (combination and fixed blade), dividers, and the depth gauge.
Tuesday evening September 13.
- This is the original finish, and in our view
one of the most beautiful. In this one evening
course, learn to buy, mix, and apply shellac. We will cover brushing and rubbing, as well as dis- cussing the spraying of this versatile finish. Included will be tinting shellac and applying it as a toner to even out irregularities in color. Wednesday evening September 14.
Router Basics 2
- This workshop concentrates on the router table, a popular and useful shop fixture that expands the range of what a router can do while increasing production and accuracy while improving shop safety. We will also cover the design and fabrication of a router table, commercial accessories available for router tables, and some of the jigs used with the router. Tuesday and Wednesday evenings September 20 and 21.
Hand-cut Dovetails - The dovetail joint in all its variations is considered the bench- mark of fine furniture and solid construc-
tion. This is the joint that separates the masterpiece from the mundane. Learn the process and skills to execute beautiful hand-cut dovetails with confidence and ease. The class is next offered the weekend of September 24 .
Busker's Stool - This unique 3-legged stool was originally designed to fit into tight corners while providing a generous and comfortable seat. However, another immediate need required the installation of a footrest midway between the seat and the lower stretcher. This curved, projecting perch is perfect for guitar players. The simple pattern of the legs is turned on a lathe of oak and the butternut seat is carved on a gimble jig using a router. This class is taught over the three consecutive day Columbus Day weekend, October 8, 9 and 10.
Asian Influenced Stool - This attractive stool is suitable for sitting at a kitchen counter or island. It features splayed, curved legs and a scooped seat. There are almost no 90 degree angles in this piece which will be an eye-catching addition to your home. This course teaches not only a great project, but also how to build and use various jigs which make difficult details easy to execute such as angled mortise and tenon joinery. For the first time, this class will be taught over two non-consecutive weekends and each student w
ill make two complete stools. Two weekends, October 22-23 and November 5-6
Arts and Crafts Gothic Table - The Gothic style was developed from the notion of individual expression, honesty of construction, and simple design. This small table is a good example of that unique style. The outline of the sides is relieved by smooth, arching curves that flare at the feet to provide stability. Then the outline of the sides is further lightened by the ovoid cut-outs that shape the feet, just above the through tenons. A unique aspect of the table's construction is the trefoil cutout. This pleasing Gothic device is often found in architectural members. This class will be taught the weekend of November 19-20.
Other courses are on calendar as well. Please join us at PFW for a great learning experience.
We look forward to seeing you soon at PFW.
Notice -- In administering its affairs, educational policies, admissions policies, financial aid programs, and other school programs, Philadelphia Furniture Workshop does not discriminate against any person on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, age, religion, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, veteran status (special disabled veterans, disabled veterans and Vietnam-era veterans), or any other characteristic protected under applicable federal or state law or local law.
Philadelphia Furniture Workshop
A Woodworking School for PA, NJ, NY, DE & MD
Woodworking Classes and Furniture Making Courses for those in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Delaware and Maryland
5212 Pulaski Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19144