If I have only one complaint about my life, it is that with all the teaching, writing and building that I do, I have no time left to take woodworking courses for myself.
I don’t drool over tool catalogs. My personal pornographic publications are the brochures and web sites from woodworking schools that teach skills that I want to master.
So when I had dinner with David Savage last summer, you can imagine how long it took me to say “yes” to his following proposition: I teach a class in building a tool chest at his school in Rowden, then stay on for a second week to assist and take a class in sunburst veneering.
Savage has long been one of those woodworkers I wanted to learn from. He does amazing work. And, equally important to me, he is one of the most daring woodworking writers alive today. He is, simply put, nobody’s tool. He is fearless in exploring the craft and his own human failings. Check out some of his articles here.
So this summer I head to Rowden to lead a class in building a dead-nuts traditional tool chest, one I have specially designed for this course. During the first week, Aug. 24-28, we’ll build the chest using hand tools and traditional production methods and joints – dovetails, tongue-and-groove, miters, breadboards etc.
The second week (Aug. 31-Sept. 4) we will embellish the interior lid of the chest with a sunburst veneer pattern designed for the course, plus traditional veneer and crossbanding on the lid of the top till. The goal is for all of the students to walk away with a finished chest, a boatload of newfound skills and a slightly swollen liver.
When David announced the course last week, it filled up immediately. But the wait list is very short right now and these classes always have a certain amount of churn. If you’d like to read more details about Rowden, David’s crack team of instructors and the course, check out these pages here and here. You can sign up for the course’s wait list here.
I’ll be writing more about the chest design in the coming months. It is based off a number of historical examples that have survived quite well and has some features you might consider for your tool chest.
— Christopher Schwarz