Current Classes

All classes are open to the public for persons over the age of 18! Check out our current offings below!

Classes are organized by category/shop area. Each class title is a live link to an Eventbrite registration page with more detail about classes, instructor bios, prerequisites, and pricing.

Gift Certificates are also available, redeemable for all Artisan’s Asylum classes and membership services. Looking to redeem your gift certificate? Please fill out this form.

We currently do not offer any programming to youth under the age of 18.

If you already have training on tools and just want to qualify to use them here as an Artisan’s Asylum member, you can get tested out on most tools free of charge. For more information, check out our Tool Testing page.

Follow this link to view our refund and cancellation policies and classes evaluation form.


Assorted & Multimedia

  • Figure Drawing Sundays, 5-8pm Sundays in June, July, August – Join us any Sunday night for this fun and constructive drawing session with live models! Open to artists of all levels of experience — whether you’re looking for guided exercises or for free-form drawing time. Drop-ins welcome, but sessions will only run with 3 or more students signed up, so register in advance!
  • Kombucha & Ginger Beer: Introduction to Fermentation Workshop & Tasting, 4:30-7:30pm Saturday, July 25 — Join us for a fun “night out” maker style! Learn the basics of dealing with live cultures at home while tasting a variety of home-brewed kombuchas and ginger beers. Walk away with your own fermentation starter kit and all the information you need to get started on your first batch!
  • Watercolor Painting Workshop, Thursdays, 6:30-9pm July 2-30 – Watercolor painting offers some of the most immediate and exciting results in artmaking. Immerse yourself in the techniques and capabilities of a new art form in this 5-week introductory workshop!
  • Taiji For Engineers, 11am-12pm Sundays — Join us for this FREE class in traditional Chinese internal martial arts. It’s “for engineers” because there are a great deal of electronics metaphors and discussions of physics, but don’t come expecting to sit and ponder — we are practicing the athletic, combat-centric Chen style of Taiji, plus some Iron Palm and conditioning exercises from kungfu. Drop-ins welcome. Taught by Marie Staver — more information at http://www.yieldandovercome.com/

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Bicycle Building & Maintenance

  • Build Your Own Bike Frame, 7-10pm Tuesdays, June 2 – August 18 — Ever frustrated by riding a bike just not shaped well for you? Ever tempted to try and build your own frame, but not sure where to start? This is the class for you! Over three months, students will build a custom-fit bicycle frame from steel tubes, using lugged construction.
  • Traffic Skills for Bicyclists Workshop, Returning Soon! — Want to get your bike on the road this Spring, but feeling a little hesitant to head out into traffic on your own? Come and learn new or practice rusty traffic navigation skills under the expert guidance of experienced bike commuters. Students will leave the workshop armed with the techniques needed to get across town safely on their bikes when they’re ready to start commuting, doing errands, or going for a joyride.
  • Wheelbuilding, Returning Soon! — Build your very own hand-built bicycle wheel! You will learn to lace, center, true and tension your own rear wheel.
  • Bottom Bracket Overhaul Workshop, Returning this summer — Bottom bracket making a funny noise? Cranks a little wobbly? Tried to fix it but couldn’t figure out that one part? Then this is the workshop for you! Come and learn how to overhaul your bottom bracket–get inside, clean it, grease it, and reassemble it–and bring your personal bike maintenance questions to trouble-shoot with the instructor and group.
  • Three-Speed Repair & Overhaul Workshop, Returning this summer — Love that old English bike, but can’t get her to go? Strange ticking or clicking in the hub? Then this is the workshop for you! Learn how to disassemble and reassemble a classic Sturmey Archer three speed hub, and bring your personal bike maintenance questions to trouble-shoot with the instructor and group.

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Business & Marketing

  • Business Consulting for Artists & Makers: Office Hours, By Appointment — This is a FREE service offered to Artisan’s Asylum members. Dan Trajman holds open hours by appointment for anyone who would like consultation on business-related concerns: register now to reserve a slot!
  • Arts Marketing for Artists & Makers: Office Hours, 6-9pm Wednesdays — FREE consultations offered to all Boston area artists, makers, and craftspeople by Jesa Damora of FunnelCake Marketing. If you have a project you’d like to publicize or get off the ground; if you have creative goals that require resources, leverage, and nurturing; or if you just need to rant about (and maybe get some traction on) making an art life happen for yourself, this is the place to be. By appointment and drop-in.

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CAD, Programming, Design & Engineering

  • HTML Ahoy! Designing for the Web, Thursdays, 7:30-9:30pm May 21-July 2 — Oh CSS… you seem so straightforward, yet you are so difficult. This class provides an overview of the fundamentals of web design, through in-class exercises and discussion. You’ll learn how to customize templates for content management systems like WordPress and Drupal, create responsive layouts for mobile devices, and become acquainted with commonly-used javascript frameworks like Bootstrap and jQuery.
  • Introduction to 3D Modeling: SolidworksReturning Soon! — Come learn how to use Solidworks at Artisan’s Asylum to create 3D models of parts you can make in our shops! 3D modeling software is used worldwide in professional settings like engineering, product design, and more to develop and test ideas and guide part production. Made possible by our sponsors Solidworks & CADD Edge.
  • Art to Part Intensive: Laser Cutter, Returning Soon! — Learn how to design for a laser cutter!  This three-session class will take you from idea to ready-to-cut design files using free, easy-to-use software anyone can learn.  Students will learn how to use Sculptris, 123D Make, and some parts of Blender.  Their finished designs will be laser cut out of acrylic after the class finishes.
  • Fundamentals of Mechanical Design, Returning soon, with a new instructor! – Have you ever wanted to make a thing, but had no idea how to design it? Take Mechanical Design for Makers, where you’ll learn the fundamentals of mechanical design by competing in a series of light-hearted, increasingly more difficult design/build exercises over the course of 2 months!
  • Introduction to 3D Modeling: Autodesk, Returning soon, with a new instructor! – If you’re designing something with moving parts, wouldn’t it be great to know how they’ll work together before you build them? In this class, learn to build virtual models in Autodesk Inventor that mechanically behave like real objects, before investing any money in manufacturing. Made possible by our sponsor Autodesk.
  • Introduction to Pneumatics and Hydraulic Systems, Returning soon, with a new instructor! — Learn how to design and build the types of actuation systems that power Stompy and other high end robots and vehicles! Harness the power of compressed air and hydraulic fluid to generates hundreds, to thousands, to tens of thousands of pounds of force instantaneously. The systems are much simpler to design and assemble than you think they are, and are simpler to work with than most other forms of actuation.

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CNC Prototyping & CAM

  • Tool Training: 3D Printer, 2:30-4:30pm Sunday, June 14 — This class trains students to operate the uPrint SE Plus 3D printer independently, whenever they need projects made. Training in generating 3D models in STL file format available separately, in the Introduction to 3D Modeling class (see below).
  • Introduction to ShopBot CNC Router and VCarve Pro, Sundays, 4-7:30pm June 7, July 12 — Learn to use the Artisan’s Asylum new ShopBot CNC Router — the best professional-grade but hobbyist-accessible version of this tool — and the easy-to-use CAM software required to make it run, while making a project out of wood or plastic from a 2D drawing! For students with previous experience in 2D CAD/vector software such as Inkscape, AutoCAD, or Solidworks.
  • Tool Training: Asylasaur Laser Cutter, sessions available 7-9pm Thursdays and 2:30-4:30pm Sundays, May, June, July — The laser cutter is the most flexible and accessible rapid prototyping tool in any shop. This 2-hour training class will cover some basics on how laser cutters work and review full operating procedures for the Asylum’s 2 laser cutters. Every student will get to create a small item as part of the class! Testing will be required before students are signed off to use the tool independently as members.
  • Tool Training: CNC Plasma Cutter,11am-1pm Sunday, June 14 – Learn how to use the Asylum’s new computer-controlled, water-cooled plasma cutter to cut any shape you want out of a 4′x8′ sheet of metal! In this class, we’ll show you how to translate your hand sketches and CAD drawings into patterns cut out of any metal sheet up to an inch thick at rates of up to 200 inches per minute.
  • Intro to Inkscape: Design for Laser, Router, and Vinyl Cutting, 11am-1:30pm, Alternate Sundays, May, June, July — Get ready for laser cutting! Inkscape is an easy software tool to use to prepare your design for cutting on a CNC cutting machine like a laser or vinyl cutter, and you can download it for free on your laptop or home computer. This class covers Inkscape basics, how to work from photographs and drawings and create files you can export.
  • Introduction to the Multicam Industrial CNC Router 10-12pm Fridays, July 17-August 7 — Want to build big? Learn to use the industrial Multicam CNC router! Able to cut 2- and 3-dimensional shapes from full-size, inches-thick sheets of wood, plastics, and aluminum, this machine is the largest computer-controlled cutter currently in our shops. In this month-long intensive training, learn everything you need to know to operate the machine safely and independently. HSMWorks training a prerequisite (see below).
  • HSMWorks for CNC Machining, Wednesdays, 7:45-8:45pm July,– Looking to use higher end CNC machining tools to create 2-D and 3-D forms and prototypes? Get familiar with the controls software you’ll need to take a solid model for a wood, plastic, or aluminum prototype and select tools, speeds and feeds, and machining operations and translate them into G-code. Necessary to use the Multicam Industrial CNC Router, for which tool training will finally be available in July. Made possible by our sponsors HSMWorks & Autodesk.

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Electronics & Robotics

  • FREE! Circuit Hacking Night, 6-8pm Wednesdays — Come play with electronics at Artisan’s Asylum! For newbies and experienced hackers alike, one night a week the electronics & robotics lab will be open to the public — there will be a free introductory soldering lesson, electronics kits on hand for sale for those who wish to make things, and experienced hackers and engineers around to answer all your questions. Feel free to bring your own projects to work on if you have them!
  • One Day Arduino Workshop, 10-2:30pm, May 31, June 28, July 26, August 23, – This course is based on a successful Introduction to Arduino class taught at Autodesk. It will focus on building things with the Arduino quickly, teaching the basics, and getting hardware running, rather than on the finer points of software. Students will learn the Arduino platform basics, how to the Arduino is programmed, how to use the included programs, and the basics of sensor and output devices.
  • Quick’n’Dirty EL Wire Workshop, 12:30-5:00pm Saturdays, June 21, July 25 — EL wire is short for electroluminescent wire – meaning a flexible, durable, waterproof string of light! It’s a quick, cheap, and low-skill medium with a high visual impact. In this workshop you’ll gain the skills necessary to produce long-lasting, durable, eye-catching EL wire costume pieces or decorations, and you’ll go home with a project that will wow your friends and family.
  • Introduction to Raspberry Pi, Returning Soon! — The Raspberry Pi is one of the most groundbreaking pieces of electronics of the last year. This single board computer is inexpensive yet comes packed with ethernet, USB, a high powered graphics engine, digital I/O ports and enough CPU power to accomplish your projects. In this class, learn how the Raspberry Pi can bridge the gap between the Internet and the physical as the brains behind all your projects.
  • Analog Electronics: Building Synthesizers, Returning Soon! — Join us for a six-week exploration of basic electronics through sound. In this hands-on series you will build a variety of sound-generating and -manipulating circuits, leaving with an understanding of the basics of analog and digital electronics, and the beginnings of your own modular synth system.
  • Introduction to Robot Control Systems: Arduino + Simulink, Returning Soon!– In this exciting class, learn robot control systems software straight from the experts! Over 5 weeks, This project-based course will teach you how to design control systems with Simulink and deploy them onto a Rover 5 platform-based robot automated by the Arduino Mega 2560. Taught by employees of MathWorks (makers of MATLAB and Simulink) this course will highlight how simulation of systems can rapidly accelerate controller design. Sponsored by MathWorks, all proceeds from this class will go to benefit Artisan’s Asylum.

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Fiber Arts

  • FREE! Fiber Arts Work Night, 6-9pm Wednesdays – Come hang out and play with fibers at Artisan’s Asylum! This one night of the week, come in and use our fiber arts equipment machines and space for FREE. Learn basic knit and crochet skills in traditional and unconventional fibers, exchange materials, get guidance from experienced quilters, costumers, and crafters, or just bring your own projects to work on in the company of like-minded makers!
  • Introduction to Sewing Machines, Mondays, 7-9:30pm July 13-27, August 10-24 – Learn your way around a sewing machine while making a pair of comfortable drawstring pants. You can learn on our machines or bring your own! This 3-week basic intro class brings students quickly through the process from pattern to cutting to pinning, sewing machine basics, to seams and buttons and hems.
  • Sewing 2: Sewing from a Pattern, 7-10pm, Mondays, June 8-29 — If you’ve mastered threading a machine and changing stitches, but you still want some help moving on to the next step and figuring out how to layout and read a pattern, this is the class for you. It will be taught in an ‘independent study’ manner, where each student will decide on their own individual project, much of the work will be self-driven, and the instructor will be there to mentor and assist as you go. Your instructor will be in contact via email prior to the first class to discuss what kind of project you had in mind, and what kind of patterns and fabrics are appropriate. You will need to have your pattern, fabric, thread, and notions purchased prior to the first class.

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Jewelry & Metalsmithing

  • Jewelry Shop Guided Projects Workday, Saturday, 10-5pm June 13 — Taken some classes in jewelry-making and ready to start out on your own projects, but still uncomfortable working by yourself? Perhaps there is a technique you learned briefly in Jewelry I or II but you’d like to explore it more? Want an expert’s opinion to help when you reach a project snag? Join Karen for a full day of Directed Open Studio! Students can work on a project of their choice. With personalized attention, students will be guided into problem solving, tackling more complex design, soldering solutions and introduction to different tooling.
  • Jewelry Guided Projects, Thursdays 1-4pm, June 11-July 23 This is a class for those will some jewelry-making skills who are looking for guidance on pursuing their own projects. Each week, students will work on projects of their own choice. With personalized attention, students will be guided into problem solving, tackling more complex design, soldering solutions and introduction to different tooling not covered in Jewelry I or Jewelry II.
  • Jewelry I: Introduction to Metalsmithing, 1-4pm Mondays June 8-July 30– Come learn the arcane and secret techniques of making fine jewelry! In this introductory series, students will learn some of the metalsmithing tools and techniques used in jewelry construction, including cutting, texturing, cold connections, soldering, and finishing. At the end of five weeks, you’ll have made at least two pieces of your own design! 
  • Jewelry II: Intermediate Metalsmithing, Thursdays, 6-9pm, July 9-August 13 – Build on the basics you learned in Jewelry I! Students will gain new skills including making ear wires & clasps, setting stones, drawing tube, creating chain, and adding color. Students will have the opportunity to put these skills into practice fabricating a set of sample pieces. January session taught by MassArt grad and new member of the jewelry faculty Victoria Hall (victoriaelizabethjewelrydesigns.com); March/April session open to a wide variety of guided projects and taught by Karen Burke, professional jewelry maker and returning Artisan’s Asylum instructor.
  • Hot Craft Jewelry Shop Orientation1-5pm Sunday,  June 14 — Learn everything you need to know to start out working in the Jewelry shop in one afternoon! Testing also required before students are cleared to use the space unsupervised.
  • Advanced Beginners’ Supplemental Jewelry Classes, Returning Soon! — No projects! Just techniques, skill-building, and practice are the focus of this series of short supplemental beginner classes. For students looking to build on intro-level jewelry skills. See registration pages for specific list of skills covered in each.
  • Tool Training: Hot Craft Studio Jewelry Shop, Returning Soon! — Students will learn the proper use and location of all the tools in the studio and to operate the acetylene gas tank, set up a soldering area, turn on and off the tank, use the polishing set up, the rolling mill, and the flex shaft. The perfect way to get trained up to operate independently in the Jewelry shop if you don’t have time for a long-form class. Testing necessary to be checked off to work on your own — available by appointment.
  • DIY Kinetic Sculpture: Tabletop Flying Machine, Returning Soon!– Motion is mesmerizing, especially when it’s art. In this weekend workshop, make a kinetic machine that mimics winged flight to grace your tabletop. Learn brazing and small metal working skills as well as basic mechanical concepts of rotary to linear motion.
  • Introduction to Chainmaille, Returning Soon! — In this exciting workshop, learn the simple, portable, age-old craft of making chain by hand, applicable for everything from delicate jewelry to sculpture to armor. Start two bracelets in classic weaves while learning tricks, techniques, and possible variations for future projects. Taught by Karen Burke, professional chainmaille jewelry maker and member of the Artisan’s Asylum jewelry shop faculty.
  • Make a Ring(s)! Returning Soon! — Spend a day in the Artisan’s Asylum jewelry studio making several rings that will impress your friends while learning the basics of measuring, sawing, shaping, hammering, roller mill, soldering and polishing.
  • Stone-Set Ring(s) Returning Soon! — Build on your basic jewelry fabrication skills with extended practice in stone embellishment techniques. Gain comfort working with bezel settings, soldering, and flex shaft while building three beautiful sterling silver rings!
  • NEW! Beading for Beginners, Sunday, 1-3pm June 28 — Take this fun, informative class to learn the basics of beading, including principles of composition and durability designing for different lengths and bead types. Leave class with a beaded necklace of your own design, and greater confidence & inspiration for approaching beading projects on your own! Taught by Arlene Elkins, artist, jeweler, and dancer, and new member of the jewelry shop faculty.
  • Jewelry Soldering Bootcamp, Returning Soon! — Soldering is one of the most involved and difficult parts of jewelry fabrication. Immerse yourself in torchwork for the day and come out of it with a better understanding of the components, materials, and range of capabilities of the jewelry torch system, as well as feeling fully confident using the torches unsupervised for your work in the shop!

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Machining

  • Tool Training: Manual Milling Machine, alternate Tuesdays, 7:15 pm June 2, June 16, July 7, July 21, August 4, August 18 — A two-session basic training on the Asylum’s Bridgeport Vertical Milling Machines. See registration for exact dates available.
  • Manual Machining & Layout,Thursdays, 7:45-9:45pm July 9-August 13, Sundays, 1-3pm July 12-August 13 — This 6 week intensive class will have you machining aluminum alloy and carbon steel to exacting specifications. You’ll practice a variety of operations on a mill and lathe which will prepare you for creating parts for anything from robots to coffee grinders to bicycles with confidence.
  • Tool Training: CNC Mill, Returning Soon! — Basic training on the Asylum’s Sharp Vertical Milling Machine with MillPwr CNC Servo Controller. Requires previous training on manual milling machine operations. No additional testing necessary. See registration for exact dates available.
  • Tool Training: Manual Metalworking Lathe, Returning Soon! – Basic training on the Asylum’s Colchester/Clausing Metalworking Lathe. No additional testing necessary. See registration for exact dates available.
  • Threading 101: Taps, Dies, Mills & Lathes Returning Soon! — Need your pieces to screw together? Learn to use taps and dies, mills and lathes like a pro to cut threads into and onto metal stock in this fast-paced one-night workshop!

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Metalworking & Welding

  • Introduction to TIG Welding, 7:30-9:30pm Mondays, June 8-29, July 6-27, August 3-24 – Come learn how to weld with Skunk! TIG welding is a precise type of welding generally used to make space frames (like bicycle frames) and small pieces. Students learn operation of a TIG welder and a large range of supporting equipment for a variety of materials and joint types. Taught by Skunk, metal sculptor, graphic designer, bike builder, Grand Poobah of the nerd bicycle gang SCUL, and long-time Asylum TIG welding instructor and member.
  • Metalworking Intensive 7-10pm Wednesdays June 3-24, July 8-29, August 5-26– In this class, the instructors will guide students through professional-grade steel construction skills in the building of industrial steel stools, storage racks, and work tables for the shops of the Asylum. By the end of the session, students will have learned all the skills necessary to building load-bearing steel structures, including cutting, grinding, jigging, and MIG welding.
  • Sculptural Metalworking Saturdays, 12-3pm June 6-27 — Ecco’s popular metal sculpture class returns! This class is intended to be an introduction to sculptural metalworking techniques, featuring MIG welders, spot welders, and cold forming. Students will learn how to express themselves artistically through steel.
  • Tool Training: Hands On Metalworking Tools, Returning Soon! — Basic training and testing on jump shear, bending brake, the abrasive cutoff saw, horizontal & vertical band saws, angle grinders, belt sander, drill press, and spot welders. Successful completion of both portions checks students off to use tools independently as members!
  • Basic MIG Welding, Returning Soon! — One-session basic MIG Welder training for those entirely new to welding and those looking for a refresher.
  • Introduction to Brazing, Returning Soon! – Brazing is a uniquely useful metal joining process that allows for joining dissimilar metals and joining metals that could not otherwise be joined by welding. Learn about joint design, brazing technique, and practice joining dissimilar metals; join very thin steel (.010 thick!) to thick steel plates, and join thin walled steel tubes without welding.
  • Advanced TIG Welding/ Intro to TIG Welding Aluminum, Returning Soon! — Hone your TIG welding generally and gain comfort with the settings and practices associated with working aluminum specifically.

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Screen Printing

  • Single-Color Screen Printing: A One-Day Introduction 11-4pm, May 30, June 13, July 18, August 8 — Ever wanted to make your own custom t-shirt, tote bag, sticker, poster, or greeting card? In this one day intensive introduction to screen printing, you’ll learn all the basics and by the end of the evening create a screen using your artwork and print a one-color design on your choice of t-shirts or paper.

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Woodworking

  • Tool Training: Tablesaw Fundamentals4-6:30pm Sundays, June 7-28, July 12-Aug 2 , August 9-30, — Almost all woodworking projects, from fine furniture to general construction, use a table saw. When used incorrectly, however, it is one of the most dangerous tools in the shop. In this class, learn to use a table saw safely and accurately, and reinforce these techniques by constructing a small, simple project.
  • NEW! Build a Table, 5:30pm-8pm Fridays, June 5-19, July 10-24, August 7-21 — The table saw is an amazing tool that enables even novice wood workers to cut perfectly square joints, miters that are exactly 45 degrees, and repeat cuts of a set length or width. This class will use the table saw to make a parson’s table, including cutting stock to width and length and mitering the legs to make a square splined joint. Students will leave the class with a greater understanding of what is possible to accomplish with the table saw and more familiarity with how to use it skillfully.
  • Tool Training: Router Table Fundamentals, Mondays, 7-10pm June 8-22, July 13-27 – The router table is a versatile tool in any woodshop, used to cut a variety of edge profiles, duplicate patterns, and make dados. In this two-part class, learn to use a router table safely for a variety of woodworking operations, and reinforce these techniques by constructing a small, simple cutting board project.
  • Intro to Woodworking: Build a Box, Tuesdays, 7-10pm June 16-July 21, July 28-Sept 1 — This class is an introduction to fine woodworking techniques, including reviewing types of wood and their appropriate uses, joinery techniques, finishing techniques, and learning the proper use of most of the tools in the woodshop.
  • Introduction to Wood Lathe, Returning Soon! — Woodturning is the art of curves and cylinders, smoothness and symmetry. This 3-week class will teach you how to use the Asylum’s wood lathe safely and effectively, providing a survey of tools, techniques and tricks. You’ll learn techniques for turning wood on a spindle and a mandrel. And along the way you’ll make a few pieces to take home.
  • Tool Training: Rough to Smooth — Using the Miter Saw, Band Saw, Jointer & Planer, Returning Soon!– The first step in any woodworking project is dimensioning your stock. Lucky for you there are four tools specifically designed to take rough sawn lumber and process it into boards that are straight, flat, and true! In this 3-week class, learn the maintenance and safe operation of these tools, and the techniques for using them to dimension rough stock, and get checked out to use them as members in the Asylum shop.
  • Tool Training: Basic Woodworking ToolsReturning Soon!– Looking for an intro woodshop crash course or refresher for basic work around your home or shop, or to begin your first foray into fine woodworking? This class reviews standard saws and tools like the power drill, jig saw, circular saw, panel saw, and reciprocating saw, and adds tools that provide details and finish to your woodworking: scroll saw, drill press, spindle sander, and belt and disc sander.
  • Woodworking: Build A Chair, Returning Soon! — In this fast-paced introduction to woodworking techniques, learn to build a piece of attractive wooden furniture (in this case, a wooden kitchen chair) from start to finish. Learn to work rough lumber to finished surface, introducing every major tool in the shop on the way. Appropriate for beginners and those looking to expand existing skills alike; tool training and testing available for complete newbies.

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