2013 Schedule for New Legacy Schools

DSC_0033 Winter hails a new springtime

Traditionally, winter solstice fans a flickering ember of warmth into a time of past reflection and future hopes yet to unfold. With that comes forward planning and thoughts of planting seeds, of preparation and beyond that preparation some kind of harvest. In some cultures, nothing can happen during the winter and winter extends far beyond our winter here in the western hemisphere. I like the idea of slowing down in the winter, unwinding muscle and sinew if you will, but love the necessity that we plan a future of planned sustainable growth within the sphere of limitation in which we amazingly live and survive. Look back in history and you find more sober facts surrounding cultures: the leanest times with low survival rates occurred in the emerging months leading to spring and its provision of new life on which life itself depended. Still, people lived in hope and a future was born day by day. As the days lengthen minute by minute I think of outreach for all of the things we do and of course that involves the lives of others. Our schools are still limited but we continue training those who can carry on the vision we undertook for training new woodworkers around the world. I of course am indeed limited. What I sew now will hopefully yield fruit and perpetuate that aspect of my craft I feel most sustainable and far reaching: Solid wood continues to grow whether naturally seeded or replaced by a human hand; having passed the greediest age of man when havoc reigned hard on forest-covered lands around the world, I live in hope that we can replenish what we so sadly lost in madness, be it not in our time but our children’s time  – canopies tightly spanning interlocked branches are a dream I dream of as are woodlands teeming with wildlife. That said, here we are planning this coming year when the solstice is halfway through. Our world is now more artificial than real, but of course working real wood with real tools using our own real energy to its maximized potential is indeed real, even when others say to me, “Get real.”

DSC_0722 Part 1 – Three-month Woodworking Apprenticeship Course

This year I find myself limited all the more because of travel and teaching. In my last blog I hinted about our Part I Three-month training module as our continued apprenticing strategy. This apprenticing for 8 new-genre young people who want to learn, train, change and become is not a beginning but a continuation of an existing work in progress as these future Fellows of New Legacy have all completed foundational courses with the school and even completed our month-long furniture making course.

The continued course will expand over the months and years ahead until completed.

Foundational and Two-day Discovering Woodworking Courses

Beyond the three month program beginning mid September, we have new Foundational Courses planned between and this is the point of my blog. The opening workshops begin in April here in the UK and in May on the USA. These courses are indeed filling quickly and we will not be offering overspill classes as we have in previous years. That means that bench spaces are more limited than in previous years.

DSC_0798 Two-day Discovering Woodworking Course

Many people new to working wood, and even seasoned machinist woodworkers, inevitably realize that the two distinct and separate worlds of hand tool woodworking and using only machines. In our two-day workshop, Discovering Woodworking, we equip woodworkers to become competent with the important hand tools essential to fine woodworking. This workshop trains you to discover just how the ancient masters developed and used these tools beginning at the bench. Sharpening and setting tools may at first seem confusing and so too creating joints and mastering ancient methods and techniques. We pass on this knowledge alongside training at the bench as sustainable methods that work as well for today’s woodworker as they did in times past.

Two-day Discovering Woodworking Course

Day 1:

Sharpening hand tools

Planing and sawing

Squaring stock four-square

Making the three important joints


Day 2:

Stock preparation

Project layout

Making a jointed project – a chisel box

Conclusion – Critique and evaluation


DSC_0698 Two-day Discovering Planes and Saws

Most woodworkers inevitably discover the complex issues surrounding hand planes and saws go beyond their knowledge and skill sets. Paul Sellers has used both categories for five decades now and knows them from the inside out. His daily use of them throughout his lifetime as working craftsman enables him to pass on the vital information that makes them create perfect work. Join your fellow woodworkers at the bench with Paul and learn how to restore, sharpen and use these classic hand tools.

In this workshop we cover the different sizes of saws and also the two types of handsaws –  handsaw and tenon or back saws.

Bring along your own plane and saw or use tools provided by the school to develop your skills on.

 Day 1:

Choosing and using hand planes

Which planes do what

How they work

Planes and planing issues

Restoring and using the smoothing plane

Cleaning and repairing parts

Flattening soles

Flattening and polishing cutting irons

Planing wood

Setting planes to task

Hand plane types and their function

Bevel-down planes

Bevel-up planes


Day 2:

Choosing and using different hand saw types

Which saws do what

How they differ

Saws and sawing issues

Saw files and saw sets

Restoring and using hand saws

Cleaning and repairing parts

Jointing and cutting saw teeth

Sharpening saw teeth – ripcut saw method

Sharpening saw teeth – crosscut saw method

Setting saw teeth – methods


UK Workshop dates

6-7 April 2013 – Discovering Woodworking

13-21 April 2013 – 9-Day Foundational Woodworking Course


US Workshop dates

4-5 May 2013 – Discovering Woodworking

11-19 May 2013 – 9-Day Foundational Woodworking Course


For a full description for the Discovering Woodworking click here and for the Foundational Course description click here.

We have other scheduled dates hovering on the background but will firm them up this week, so please check again later. I will post when the year’s schedule is complete.



  1. Thank you for all of your efforts recording and transmitting this art. The one month intensive seemed to offer a unique opportunity that is unmatched by anything I’ve seen at any school to go from beginner to managing real projects involving carcase (tool chest), table, and chair. Is there hope for a one month intensive in the US? Maybe I’m misreading that only the classes you listed will be offered, although with other additional dates to be announced, but I wanted to put a plug in for the month-long.

    1. Actually it’s the UK that suffers this year. Yes, we have a month-long planned for the USA this year. We have our apprenticeship social enterprise three-month class scheduled for the last three months of this year

      1. Any news on dates? (I’m not sure if I missed the “check back later” posting after the firming up a couple weeks ago. Probably you’re swamped with all the travel and other activities.)

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