august, 2020

17aug(aug 17)9:00 am21(aug 21)5:00 pmBeginning Woodworking: Hand Tool Heaven - Working with Saws & Planes (Tools Provided!)Port Townsend School of Woodworking9:00 am - 5:00 pm (21) PST Port Townsend School of Woodworking Event Organized By: Port Townsend School of Woodworking

Event Details

This class will be held in Building 315

A class for beginners new to hand tool woodworking (or just to woodworking).

Hand Tool Heaven was developed as Jim Tolpin wrote The New Traditional Woodworker. Purchasing this book is not required but we have copies for purchase when you arrive at the school for class.

While attending this class, you will learn a boatload of tips, tricks and core techniques that will convince you that hand tools—once properly setup, sharpened and handled—are not difficult to master or tedious to use and are anything but obsolete. Contrary to the “norm,” you will discover the pleasure of working wood with tools that don’t make noise, don’t make dust, and therefore don’t require protection from them.

Throughout the week, you will make (and take home with you) a selection of layout tools and workbench accessories that are essential to hand tool woodworking. With each project you will learn to choose the appropriate tools for the task at hand, set the tools up properly and practice the skills you’ll need to work as efficiently (and therefore as enjoyably) as possible.

We arrange the projects to present progressively more challenging tools and techniques. In most cases, you will actually use the tool or accessory you just made to help build the next one. (You can use the layout and bench tools in the images shown above in the slideshow.)

You will understand:

“The more power you apply to the process, the further you get from the product.”
(from “Woodworking Wit and Wisdom” by Jim Tolpin)

What our students say…

“I was excited to hear the history and principles behind every cut we do.”

“This class did not leave me with the idea that I need different tools to be a better craftsman – this is a plus.”

“It was good to have the use of wicked-sharp tools.”

“Excellent information, good pace and reasonable progression of projects. Did not expect to pick up so many excellent tips.”

Class Description

Here’s what you will experience over the five days:

Handsaws: Learn efficient and accurate ripping and crosscutting tricks and techniques. Build and use a shooting board to quickly true endcuts.

Hand planes:
Tune and sharpen a hand plane for maximum performance; how to efficiently dimension and smooth a board to a flat, mirror-like surface and with a straight and true edge. Use specialty hand planes to make grooves, rabbets and profiled (molded) edges.

Learn efficient techniques for chopping and paring with a razor-sharp chisel honed to the proper angle. Create simple jigs to ensure accuracy in joint-making.

Curved work with hand tools: 
Saw to a curved line with a frame saw (a hand-powered version of a bandsaw); smooth and true the curved edge with a compass plane; and shape the edge with a tuned and sharpened drawknife and spokeshave.


You do not need to bring any tools to this class; the school has workbenches fully equipped with high quality hand tools. We strongly encourage you to put off tool purchases until you have taken this class. You will understand what a good tool looks like and how well it can work.

More about this class



Class Information and Registration

Full Disclosure: This course was designed and developed by Jim Tolpin.  We usually visit Jim at his Hand Tool Woodworking shop during the class.

Class runs from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday through Friday in Building #315 at Fort Worden.
Read our What to Expect page for general information about the school.
Please also read our Registration Policy.

Class size: 10
Cost: $795
Materials Charge: $65

When you click on the Register link you will be able to register for the class or, if the class is full, sign up for the wait list.


17 (Monday) 9:00 am - 21 (Friday) 5:00 pm PST


Port Townsend School of Woodworking


Port Townsend School of WoodworkingFine woodworking classes, including carving, timber framing, and furniture making, by some of the most respected woodworkers in the Classrooms are in Buildings 315 & 304 at Fort Worden