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.
Upcoming Summer 2016 Woodworking Courses
- Sharp tools are absolutely essential to safe and effective woodworking. However, many have difficulty setting up an efficient sharpening station. In this one day workshop, each student will build his own "Ultimate Sharpening Rig", featured in an American Wood-worker Magazine article by Mario Rodriguez. Easily stored and readily accessible, this compact sharpening station can accommodate any tool from plane irons and chisels to turning tools and carving gouges; this rig can handle them all. With this rig in your shop, sharpening will become an integral part of your woodworking instead of a dreaded chore to avoid. Saturday June 18, 2016.
Other courses are on calendar as well. Please join us at PFW for a great learning experience.
Basic Sharpening - Newly Added
- 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, July 9, 2016.
- - Newly Added-
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
Joiner's Workbench - This class teaches the design and construction of a traditional joiner's workbench. At the end of a busy 5-day week, each student will have built a serious workbench. A sturdy, flat topped bench capable of firmly holding work in a variety of ways is perhaps the single most important woodworking tool in any shop. Each student builds a bench to be used for generations. If you love woodworking but have never had the privilege of working on a serious bench, you are in for a treat as you will build your own bench on one of the Studio's traditional woodworking benches built by Alan Turner and Mario Rodriguez. Five weekdays, Monday through Friday July 18-22, 2016.
Nod to Nakashima - The late George Nakashima's tables can be found in homes, galleries, and museums around the world. His unique designs are unmistakable; often featuring gorgeous book-matched slab tops and highlighted with his signature dovetail or butterfly keys. PFW's design was inspired by the timeless beauty of George Nakashima's furniture. The construction of this project will be a thorough and thoughtful introduction to important furniture-making skills, involving: wood selection, re-sawing, milling and gluing up, inlays, and complex joinery. The completed coffee table will be a piece for a lifetime; one to be enjoyed for years to come. Five weekdays, Monday through Friday July 25-29, 2016.
Waterbury Pembroke Table - We think the design of this table hails from the Connecticut Valley based upon its clean and elegant lines and superb craftsmanship, reminiscent of the late 18th Century work of Eliphalet Chapin, from East Windsor, Ct. Although this table employs traditional mortise andtenon joinery, the design features two hinged knuckle-joint leaf supports that swing out to carry the leaves. When open, the main section of the top and the leaves are perfectly registered by traditional rule joints. When closed, the spurs of the top lay perfectly on the tapered legs. This is a project that will develop the necessary skills to produce precise joinery; both machine and hand executed. The knuckle joint, the rule joint, complex shaping; all of these are skills learned in this exciting project course designed for the intermediate woodworker. Monday through Friday August 1-5, 2016
Windsor Chair - The Windsor chair form has captivated woodworkers for over 300 years. It is economical, graceful, exuberant, & comfortable. Rooted in tradition, it offers exciting design possibilities. In thiswork- shop, participants will spend the first part of the workshop (5 consecutive days) carving, steambending, and turning, all the parts needed for a comb-back Windsor arm chair. Employing a combination of machine and traditional hand tool techniques designed to facilitate the learning experience and maximize student efforts, students produce all the parts for their own chair. At the end of the week, students go home to sand, gauge, and embellish their chair parts. They return, several weeks later, for part two of the workshop: to fit, to assemble, and to decorate their chairs. Monday through Friday August 8-12 and Saturday/Sunday September 17-18, 2016.
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