Classes

Classes are offered in a variety of woodworking disciplines. Classes are small group, hands-on instruction with highly qualified instructors. Each class will give you a three hour opportunity to learn new techniques and practice them on the spot. All required tools and materials are supplied. Enrollment is limited to 4-5 students per class.

Call 402-330-5444 or email gerry@midwestwoodworkers.com for enrollment information.

View schedule

Meet the Instructors 

Architectural Carving

3 hours – $69.00
Learn how to add carving to your woodworking pieces.   Participants will carve a small floral or leaf design and learn hand carving techniques from a master carver.  No prior experience required.

Bottle Stoppers

3 hours – $69.00 
Create beautiful wine bottle stoppers on the lathe using a mandrel.

Box Making

3 hours – $69.00
Learn basic box joinery including box joints, machine cut dovetails and other joint types that will produce strong and attractive boxes.

Cabinet Making Series

9 hours (three sessions) – $232.00 (Includes materials charge of $25.00 for the series)

A series of three classes cover the various skills required to create finished cabinets.  Students will build a small cabinet box in class using the techniques taught.  Then a raised panel door is made for the project using router bits to shape the components.  Finally a complete dovetailed drawer box is built and installed.  The final product is a small cabinet suitable for a night stand.

Cabinet Frames 

3 hours – $79.00
Learn techniques used to use build cabinet boxes. Students will create a small cabinet box in class using the techniques taught.

Carving Faces I

3 hours – $69.00  
This class will enable the student to successfully proportion, lay out and shape a human face using knives and gouges. Discussion will include caricature as well as realistic shapes. Students must provide their own “carving sharp” tools. Basswood practice blocks will be provided by the instructor.  Suggested tool list: Pencil, Carving knife, Detail carving knife (pelican knife or similar), Small gouges (dockyard gouges suggested but not required), 3mm U gouge, Small #9 gouge (flexcut), Small #11 gouge (flexcut), Flexible straight edge is helpful, though not required. Carving Figurines I, or prior carving experience required.

Carving Faces II-Eyes

3 hours – $69.00  
This class will enable the student to successfully carve a human eye, using knives and gouges. Discussion will include caricature as well as realistic eye shapes. Students must provide their own “carving sharp” tools. Basswood practice blocks will be provided by the instructor. Suggested tool list: Pencil, Carving knife, Detail carving knife (pelican knife or similar), Small gouges (dockyard gouges suggested but not required), 3mm U gouge, Small #9 gouge (flexcut), Small #11 gouge (flexcut), Flexible straight edge is helpful, though not required. Carving Figurines I, or prior carving experience required.

Carving Faces III-Noses

3 hours – $69.00  
This class will enable the student to successfully carve a human nose, using knives and gouges. Discussion will include caricature as well as realistic nose shapes. Students must provide their own “carving sharp” tools. Basswood practice blocks will be provided by the instructor.  Suggested tool list: Pencil, Carving knife, Detail carving knife (pelican knife or similar), Small gouges (dockyard gouges suggested but not required), 3mm U gouge, Small #9 gouge (flexcut), Small #11 gouge (flexcut), Flexible straight edge is helpful, though not required. Carving Figurines I, or prior carving experience required.

Carving Figurines I

3 hours – $69.00
Participants will learn to hand carve small figures from basswood.  Learn carving technique from a master carver.   No prior experience required.

Carving Whimsy Bark Houses

6 hours – $138.00 
Participants will design and carve a small whimsical house in cottonwood bark.  The class will cover everything from creating a design based on your particular piece of bark to hand carving it and embellishing with a wood burner.

Chip Carving I

3 hours – $69.00
Chip carving can be used to embellish everything from plates and boxes to almost any woodworking project.  This class is focused on chip carving which is a style of carving in which chisels or knives are used to remove small angular chips to define intricate designs that catch light and create patterns. No prior experience required.

Chip Carving II

3 hours – $69.00 
This class focuses on “Old World” style chip carving.  A popular style of carving from Western Europe, notably Yugoslavia. Technique differs from “Swiss Style” Chip Carving as taught by Wayne Barton and others. This is not a “project” class, but a technique class.  This type of carving requires a special knife that the instructor will provide for your use.  Knives wll be offered for sale as well.  Chip Carving experience helpful, but not required.

Drawer Construction

2 hours – $59.00
Build and install a complete dovetailed drawer box using a dovetail jig to create half-blind dovetails.  The course also covers other methods of drawer joinery.

Finishing

3 hours – $69.00 
This class will teach a basic method to produce a good looking finish on your projects.  It will introduce students to the basic processes of wood finishing including sanding, staining, dying, and it will also give an overview of many finishing and application styles available.

Furniture Making

6 hours (two sessions) – $153.00 (Includes $15 materials fee)
Prerequisite: Router basics and Table saw basics class.
Furniture making is a two part series class that provides students with a hands on experience to common furniture building applications. Students will learn furnitureplanning methods and experience using both hand and power tools, along withstationary machines including the table saw, planer, jointer, and power mortiser. Students will learn various common joinery techniques used in furniture making, including mortise and tenon, sliding dovetail, dowel, pocket hole and more. Students will be able to construct their own personal shaker style end table and they will be able to add their own personal unique details including custom routed legs,custom table rails and more.

Furniture Turning

6 hours (two sessions) – $138.00
For the wood turner ready to expand their skill set, this class covers spindle work, duplication, and faceplate work.  Participants will create a 3-legged stool in class to practice duplicate spindle turning.  Requires completion of Intro to Spindle Turning and/or prior turning experience.

Gothic Carving

6 hours (two sessions) – $138.00
Create a profile relief carving” of a gothic gargoyle face suitable for a wall plaque or door decoration.  Participants will design and hand carving techniques.  No prior experience required.

Green Man Carving Series

12 hours (four sessions) – $275.00
The ‘Green Man’ class is an advanced, four session carving class.  Each participant will create their own Green Man in the class and will learn advanced carving techniques.  Participants will need to have prior carving experience and will need to have their own tools so they can work on the project in between classes.

Hand Cut Dovetails

3 hours – $69.00 
Learn the centuries old art of laying-out and cutting through dovetails by hand.

Hand Planes

3 hours – $69.00 
Learn the parts of your plane, how to properly tune-up and set-up a plane, how to recondition your old plane, as well as rust removal using electrolysis.  A discussion of plane iron sharpening techniques is provided as well as the opportunity to try them out.  Students should bring their own planes and plane irons.

Inlay Edge Banding

3 hours – $69.00 
This course covers making custom edge banding and the techniques required to let it into your piece.

Intro to Bowl Turning

6 hours (two sessions) – $138.00
This course is designed for the beginning wood turner.  Learn about the parts of the lathe, the types of tools and their uses, and how to sharpen lathe tools.  Topics include lathe safety, basic bowl turning, and the use of lathe chucks.  Students will create usable bowls in class.

Intro to Lathe Chucks

3 hours – $69.00 
Find out what you can do when you add a chuck to your lathe.  Learn about various types, drilling and counter boring with different types of bits.  Recommend previous lathe experience and/or pen making classes.

Intro to Spindle Turning

6 hours  (Two sessions) – $138.00
This course is designed for the beginning wood turner.  Learn about the parts of the lathe, the types of tools and their uses, and how to sharpen lathe tools.  Topics include lathe safety, basic spindle turning, and basic faceplate turning.  The final project is a candlestick holder.

Intro to Woodburning

3 hours – $69.00
Learn the art of Pyrography! Discussed will be the tools and supplies necessary to get started in wood burning (pyrography), methods to apply or transfer your artwork, and the techniques for burning your image. This is a hands-on class, and is designed for those who are new to pyrography or those looking for the basic techniques.

Joinery

3 hours – $69.00
Participants will be actively involved in learning about the different common joinery techniques and the how they are used in woodworking through hands-on activities that will produce an end project. Some of the joints include Pocket Hole, Dowel, Biscuit, Lap, Dado, Rabbet, Miter, and Mortise & Tenon.

Jointer / Planer / Bandsaws Basics

3 hours – $69.00
This is an excellent course for those just getting started in woodworking.  The course covers the basic machine features, safety, and proper set-up.  Students will build a project using all of the machines to get hands-on experience.  This course is a great opportunity to get familiar with these core woodworking machines.

Marquetry

3 hours – $69.00
Use pieces of veneer to form decorative patterns, designs or pictures.

Natural Edge Bowls

6 hours  (Two sessions) – $138.00 
Learn the techniques for turning one-of-a-kind natural edge bowls.  Participants will learn two different techniques for the creation of natural edge bowls.  Discussions include an overview of drying green wood and its issues, wood blank preparation and considerations, tool usage, sanding techniques, and what to do about bark.

Pen Turning I Wood

3 hours – $69.00 
Learn to turn wooden pens including pen blank preparation, barrel trimming, working with a mandrel, sanding and finishing and assembly.  Participants will leave with a finished pen.  No prior experience required.

Pen Turning II Acrylic

3 hours – $69.00
Turn acrylic pens and key chains.  This course covers preparation and gluing of the blanks an tubes, rough turning, wet sanding and polishing.   Participants will complete a n acrylic pen or key chain in class.  Requires Beginning Pen Turning.

Raised Panel Doors

2 hours – $59.00
Create a raised panel door using router bits to shape the rails and stiles and a raised panel.

Relief Carving 

3 hours – $69.00
Experience the art of woodcarving while creating a relief carving.  A relief carving is as a type of wood carving in which figures are carved in a flat panel of wood.  Participants will learn to hand carve a small scene from basswood.  Learn carving technique from a master carver.  No prior experience required.

Router Basics

3 hours – $69.00
Basic Router will provide tips and techniques for using the most versatile tool in the woodshop.   Learn to use a router both as a hand-held tool as well as in a router table.  Types of routers, bits and safety will be covered.   If you have a router and bits please bring them along so you can learn on your own equipment.

Scroll Saw I Beginning

3 hours – $69.00 
Fundamentals and techniques of scroll sawing.  The course covers preparation and saw set-up, blade selection, cutting techniques and tips and tricks.

Scroll Saw II Intermediate

3 hours – $69.00 
Learn advanced scrolling techniques including bevel cutting, basic 3-D cutting, stack cutting and plywood cutting.  Requires Beginning Scroll Saw.

Scroll Saw III Advanced

3 hours – $69.00
Learn advanced scrolling techniques including complex (internal) cutting, ‘thin wall’ cutting both the inside and outside of an object, detail cutting layout (using two layers for decorative cutting) and tips for ‘clean’ cutting.  Requires Intermediate Scroll Saw.

Scroll Saw Name Cut

3 hours – $69.00 
This is an advanced Scroll Saw Class that will help you develop your cutting skills and techniques to do very accurate cutting, which is a must for names & numbers.  You will also receive resources for patterns, templates, and computer applications to develop names & projects you may want to use.

Scroll Saw 3-D

3 hours – $69.00 
Create free standing projects cut at 90 degrees

Scroll Saw Photo Cut

3 hours – $69.00
Learn how to create scroll saw pictures from photos.  Requires intermediate scroll saw classes and prior experience.

Scroll Saw Puzzles

3 hours – $69.00
Cut intricate puzzles with your scroll saw.  The course emphasizes planning, preparation and cutting techniques.  Requires intermediate scroll saw classes and prior experience.

Scroll Saw Figured Clocks

3 hours – $69.00
We will be cutting advance scroll saw figures from walnut or oak, and fitting them with clock faces. You will have a choice between–musical instruments, animals, sports figures, and more.  It is recommended that you have completed the Beginning and Intermediate Scroll Saw classes, or that you are very experienced in scroll saw work.

Scroll Saw Fret Work

3 hours – $69.00
We will be cutting the traditional scrolling fret work which was most popular in  the early 1900s.  We will learn the techniques of mirror image and stack cutting as will as the selection and proper use of blades.  It is recommended that you have completed the Beginning and Intermediate Scroll Saw classes, or that you are very experienced in scroll saw work.

Segmented Turning

6 hours (two sessions) – $138.00
Learn to cut, glue up and turn a segmented bowl.  Students will be exposed to various techniques to cut segments and glue up rings.  The completed segments will be turned to produce a basic bowl.  Requires prior turning experience or completion of Intro to Bowl Turning.

Sharpening

3 hours – $69.00
Sharpening is a critical woodworking skill.  Learn the how to keep your tools razor sharp.  The class will cover the full range of tool sharpening from wet grinders, to stand grinders with a wolverine jig to hand sharpening with stones.  Participants should bring in their hand tools and chisels to sharpen in class.

Skew Turning

3 hours – $69.00
The Taming of the Skew.  Skew chisels are, for many, the most challenging of all lathe tools.  Learn the techniques to master this versatile tool while gaining confidence in it’s use.  Topics include common problems, how to turn pommels – both round and square, tapers, beads, v-cuts, and sharpening techniques.  Students may bring their own skews, however, an oval skew will be provided as well.

Table Saw Basics

3 hours – $69.00
This course is perfect for those just getting started in woodworking and will help you expand your saw’s capabilities.  The class covers basic table saw procedures and strongly stresses table saw safety.    Hands-on experience will include saw set-up, various blade usages, cutting techniques, jigs and joinery.

Turning Boxes

6 hours – $138.00
Learn how to make lidded boxes on the lathe.  Discussion includes design considerations, how to fit the lid, hiding the lid joint, techniques for hollowing end-grain, and cross-grain turning issues.  Students will make one or two boxes, as time allows.  Students are free to bring their own turning tools, otherwise a basic tool set will be provided for use in the class.

Veneer

3 hours – $69.00
Learn creative ways to use veneer, how to apply it, how to do inlays and how to use veneer to simulate inlays.

Window Method Marquetry

3 hours – $69.00
The window method of marquetry is a technique that uses only a scalpel to cut the veneers.  First, a template is used to draw a design onto the background veneer. Then the template design is cut out from background veneer, creating a window. The window in the background veneer is then filled with another veneer, called the insert.