Resharpen Your Skills

Remember the very first thing you made out of wood? I do. It was a pair of white pine book-ends I banged together with tools that felt too big for my 7-year-old hands. My mentor was the guy who ran the woodworking course at the local YM. He'd make the rounds from one busv kid to an-

w other, telling us when our cuts were square (not a chance) and encouraging us to sand that edge just a little smoother. You wouldn't know it from looking at those bookends, but he taught me a lot.

From that moment on, I picked up woodworking skills where I could. I was luckier than most, because my father had tools around the house, my uncle was a shop teacher,and my grandfather had once been a carpenter. I don't remember too many formal lessons from these men, but they were always building something. Some of their knowledge was bound to rub off.

For most of us. woodworking education is a get-it-whcrc-vou-can proposition. Magazines, books and video tapes are valuable sources of information, but words and pictures can only take you so far. You can read about sharpening till the cows come home, but if nobody's ever showed you what a sharp edge feels like.

how do you know when you've got one?

So where do you go to get hands-on instruction? What are your options? There are woodworking classes all over the countrv where vou can see. first hand, the w w techniques you read about in AW. Classes can range from an afternoon workshop at a local woodworking store to a 4-year degree program at a college or university. In between, you'll find weekend and week-long workshops at schools such as the Oregon School of Ails and Crafts in Portland; Anderson Ranch Ails Center in Snowmass Village, Colorado; Conover Woodcraft in Parkman, Ohio—the list of schools goes on and on. If you've got the time for more extensive study, you'll find 1-year programs at such schools as the College of the Redwoods in Fort Bragg. California or the North Ben-net Street School in Boston. "Woodworker's Calendar" is full of workshop listings.

We're compiling a directory of woodworking schools, which we plan to publish early next year. We need your help to make it complete. If there's a community college, a vo-tech school or a YMCA near you that offers woodworking classes, let us know. We'd also like to hear from readers who have taken weekend or longer courses in woodworking. Tell us what you thought about it and what you learned. We'll publish the best of your first-person reports along with our school directory.

David Sloan, Editor

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Wood Working for Amateur Craftsman

Wood Working for Amateur Craftsman

THIS book is one of the series of Handbooks on industrial subjects being published by the Popular Mechanics Company. Like Popular Mechanics Magazine, and like the other books in this series, it is written so you can understand it. The purpose of Popular Mechanics Handbooks is to supply a growing demand for high-class, up-to-date and accurate text-books, suitable for home study as well as for class use, on all mechanical subjects. The textand illustrations, in each instance, have been prepared expressly for this series by well known experts, and revised by the editor of Popular Mechanics.

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