Woodworking Classes, Courses and Training Program Information
Woodworking courses are available at colleges and trade schools across the country. Students have the opportunity to earn degrees and certification in this craft, and can often take classes as part of a non-degree program. Students in these programs learn skills like veneering, carving and furniture design and construction.
Introduction to Woodworking
Through hands-on coursework and lectures, students gain the skills needed to create a project of their own design. In this course, students learn basic woodworking techniques like cutting and measuring wood and the use of tools like saws and hammers. Topics covered might include the safe use of power tools, shop set-up, customer relation skills and safety protocol.
Joinery classes emphasize the different types of connectors and hinges. Students study joint types like mortise-and-tenon, dovetail and bridal carcass and have the opportunity to put their knowledge into practice during shop time. They also learn how to use hand tools, such as chisels and planes, to create fitted joinery samples. In addition, aspiring craftspeople discuss how environmental changes can cause wood to move and expand and how to allow for these changes during the woodworking process.
Veneering involves using thin slices of wood to create decorative designs. Students learn to design and create pieces of veneer for decorative or finishing purposes. They also learn how to cut and lay different types of wood and use adhesives to secure their designs. This is usually offered as an introductory course but is often taken by advanced woodworkers.
This course teaches students how to make cabinets with European hinges. Students learn how to mill rough lumber, build a face frame, use stiles and hang doors. In addition to topics in cabinet installation and fitting, the course may include a discussion of customized cabinets.
Students in these courses learn how to bend wood without causing breakage or other structural damage. Different methods of wood bending are usually covered, including vacuum, steam and cold lamination bending. Students also have the opportunity to make a piece of furniture or other project using bent wood and other woodworking techniques, and as such, these courses may not be open to beginners.
In this course, students learn how to use a lathe to carve designs into wood and gain practice in the spindle, bowl and split turning techniques. They also find out how to sharpen and care for lathe tools and use the machine to create surfaces and textures. Some examples of projects that may use the wood turning technique are legs and arms for furniture, banisters and doorknobs.
Students in wood carving classes learn how to use and care for carving tools like gouges, chisels and skews. Students also learn how to design small woodworking pieces and use different hand-carving techniques like relief carving and chip carving. Students usually finish this course by completing a hand-carved object or ornament.
Training Program Information
Formal education is not usually necessary for careers that incorporate woodworking, but earning a degree or certificate can be a good way to prove competency in this field. There are many levels of woodworking training available through community centers, colleges and universities. Some schools offer Fine woodworking as a concentration for a Bachelor of Fine Arts or a Master of Fine Arts degree. Associate degrees and certificates in woodworking or related topics like cabinet and furniture construction are available through some community, vocational and technical colleges.
Seminars and workshops are often taught individually for beginning and advanced students topics such as veneering and wood bending. For hobbyists, non-degree woodworking programs may be available through continuing education or community centers.
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