I had a great day today. My wife Leslie had one of her
BRILLIANT ideas back before the holidays and signed us up for a Shaker woodworking class at a small woodshop called Shaker Roads (around the Ancaster area near Hamilton- they have a website).
Their intro class was making a Shaker Step Stool. Since it was an intro class, the focus was about shop orientation, using simple power power and hand tools, assembly and simple finish. So we were not ripping and gluing up boards in this class - all the component pieces were prepped, cut and ready for us but we had to do final adjustments, and fitting together along with all the other assembly steps. Although the instructor Maurice and his friend Joe did do a demonstration of how to take a piece of cupped and twisted common grade board of cherry and cut it, flatten it, plane it, and true it up into a beautiful board of furniture grade wood.
The class was all day (8:00am to 4:00pm) and included a simple lunch of fresh made sandwiches on homebaked rustic bread, homemade pickles, good coffee and homebaked ginger cookies - it was yummy. Maurice and Joe demonstrated excellent simple shop techniques and explained things in a very understandable way. I'm no stranger around a woodshop (and it was great fun to play in someone else's toy box, especially someone who had way better toys that I have) but Maurice did an excellent job of de-mystifying the whole process, so everyone felt confident about what they were doing regardless of their skill level, and went home with beautiful hand made shaker step stools they could be proud of.
These are the photos of the ones Lelsie and I made today and it was great fun, but it did remind me of how long its been since I put a full day in a shop on my feet all day on concrete (my back is as stiff as the boards we were using). It also reminded me of how much I miss the smell of fresh saw dust.
Lelsie and I are signed up for the second class as well where we will be truing up our own boards and making a small cherry side table from start to finish.
I am very much looking forward to that.
I'm lucky I have such a brilliant wife.