The Furnituremaking Workshops @ J. Miller Handcrafted Furniture offer a wide range of expertly taught hands-on classes in the craft of making furniture. 

Classes are small in size - 6 to 8 students - and can accommodate a wide range of skill levels, from novices to professionals;  anyone looking to refine their craft or explore a new area of furnituremaking. The workshops range from a single weekend afternoon to a full 5 or 6 day week. I concentrate on teaching sound fundamentals, and building from there. I believe that when you start by getting the fundamentals right, everything else makes more sense and is easier to master.

For a simple schedule of workshops offered, click here.

For more general information about the workshops, the shop itself, and a brief bio of Jeff Miller, click here.

Private lessons are also available, where you can work with Jeff one-on-one on the topic or project of your choice. Please call for more information.

2016 Winter/Spring/Early Summer Workshops

A Day of Hand Tools

There are few other things that will have as big an impact on your woodworking than mastering the use of hand tools. This class combines the essential sharpening, tuning, and set-up of your hand tools with skill building and hand tool techniques. We'll work carefully on proper use of your body to get the most efficient and accurate work out of your tools.
The course covers primarily chisels and hand planes, with some discussion of scrapers and spokeshaves.

Tuition.......... $225.00

A Day of Hand Tools: Saturday,  January 23, 2016, 9 AM -  5 PM

Also offered: Saturday, May 7, 2016, 9 AM - 5 PM

Dovetail Workshop

In our Dovetail Workshop, you'll learn to cut dovetails two ways: by hand, and using the tablesaw and bandsaw (with a simple, terrifically versatile jig). A one-day, hands-on workshop devoted to this functional and sometimes frustrating joint. Why settle for the mechanical look of routed dovetails when you can learn to cut beautiful dovetails with these methods? Work on the key skills for hand-cut joints, and see how these skills can be applied elsewhere in your woodworking.

Tuition.......... $125.00

Dovetail Workshop: Saturday, January 30, 2016, 12:00 - 5:00 PM

Also offered: Saturday May 21, 2016, 12:00 - 5:00 PM

Mortise and Tenon Joinery by Hand

The most important and widely-used joint in furniture making is one that many people spend much time and effort trying to avoid. But cutting and fitting the joints by hand is not only possible; it's surprisingly quick and fun to do. We'll work on chopping mortises, sawing tenons, and then the crucial fitting of the joint. Lots of tips, tricks, and techniques.

Tuition.......... $125.00

Mortise and Tenon Workshop: Saturday,  Feebruary 6, 2016, 12 - 5 PM

Also offered: Saturday, June 4, 2016, 12 - 5 PM

Shaping and Bending Curves

Mastering curves can open up a whole range of projects, and help bring your woodworking to a new level. We'll discuss layout, cutting, smoothing, and refining curves, including three dimensional curves. Then we'll move on to bending curves by laminating thin layers together. a variety of tools and jigs for doing curved work will be covered.

Tuition.......... $125.00

Shaping and Bending Curves: Saturday, March 5, 2016, 12 - 5 PM

Build a Tool Tote with Angled Dovetails

This tool tote (or garden tote, or cheese and crracker tote) combines classic design with a challenging variation of the dovetail joint. You'll learn how to lay out, cut and assemble these fun dovtails, and master the shaping of the tote's handle. Prior experience with dovetails required.

Tuition.......... $475.00 includes materials

Tool Tote Workshop: Saturday and Sunday, April 9 and 10,  2016, 9:00 - 5:00 PM

Building the Shaker Side Table by Hand

Shaker Side Table

Build this stirking yet simple Shaker side table with hand tools. We'll start with a kit of prepared parts, and work on jointing, gluing up and planing  the table top. We'll bevel the underside of the top, chop the mortises on the legs, and saw out and fit the tenons on the aprons. Then we'll taper the legs and work on the table buttons that attach the base to the top.

You'll master a wide variety of hand tool skills, and learn how to put these skills to use in the context of a making a significant piece of furniture.

Tuition.......... $1095.00

Shaker Side Table Workshop: Friday - Sunday, April 18-22, 2016, MWF 10:30 AM - 6 PM, TTh 9 AM - 5 PM

Furniture Design Workshop

Student's Bench ModelStudent's Chair ModelTwo student models from previous furniture design workshops.

Moving from the idea of a piece of furniture to an actual piece requires skills and techniques. There are also tools available that can help. This workshop introduces the fundamental skills, techniqes and tools that you need to work up your ideas and turn them into successful designs. We'll also go through a number of exercises that can help explore your design ideas, including creation of a small model.

Tuition.......... $225.00

Furniture Design Fundamentals Workshop: Saturday, April 30, 2016, 9 AM - 5 PM

Also offered: Saturday, July 9, 2016, 9 AM - 5 PM

Building a Chippendale Chair

Image of Chippendale Chair

Building a chair is one of the great challenges in woodworking. The combination of curves, angles, and the need for a structure able to withstand the abuses of sitting are all part of the challenge. This chair adds a classic and simple elegance into the mix. The Chippendale Chair is a project that you’ll want to show off; and building one will greatly increase your capabilities as a woodworker.

We’ll do most of the work on this chair by hand (although there will be some bandsaw use). But Jeff has carefully worked out methods and a process to make this all possible for a woodworker who feels comfortable with mortise and tenon work. Starting with a kit of parts prepared in advance, we’ll use planes, chisels, and a few less-familiar tools resurrected from the 19th Century, Jeff will guide you through chopping and paring mortises and angled mortises, sawing out the tenons, shaping the legs and the faceted side rails and stretchers, and dealing with the intriguing curves and angles of this classic chair. You’ll learn how to approach a chair project, and the process for dealing with its complexities.

We rarely get these chairs glued up in class (even though this is a siz day class), but the basic joinery should be complete. Past experience indicates that most students do not get to the stretchers, but we'll cover the necessary techniques.

Tuition.......... $1225.00 plus $200 materials fee

Chippendale Chair Workshop: Monday - Saturday, June 6 - 11, 2016, MWF 10:30 AM - 6 PM, T ThS 9 AM - 5 PM

Advanced Dovetails Workshop

There's more to dovetails than just the standard through-joint (taught in our regular Dovetail Workshop). Here, we'll investigate half-blind, compound-angle, and if there's time,  full-blind (or secret miter) dovetail joints. These variations give you more options when building case pieces, drawers, and  tapered pieces. 

Tuition.......... $225.00

Advanced Dovetails Workshop: Saturday, June 25, 2016, 9 AM - 5 PM

Chair Design Workshop

There are three basic ways to approach the design a chair; each one focusing on one of the three most significant elements of a good chair design. You can start with either the comfort, the structure, or the visual aspects. I find that starting with comfort leads more reliably to a useable chair, and often adds to the visual appeal of the chair as well, since comfortable curves tend to be ones that are quite interesting visually.

This will be a chair design class where we start off with an exploration of what makes a chair comfortable, building a variety of comfort prototypes and discussing ways of testing out ideas for comfort. You will then develop your own ‘comfort prototype’. From this prototype, you will develop your own chair design. In the process of working out the overall design of the chair from the comfort prototype, we will cover significant  issues of structural integrity and successful visual appeal as well. We’ll experiment with different methods for examining and refining the evolving design. The ultimate goal of the class is for each student to put together a functioning prototype of their chair design, utilizing a number of different ‘short-cut’ joinery techniques.

Tuition.......... $1295.00, includes materials

Chair Design Workshop: Monday - Friday, July 18 - 23, MWF 10:30 AM - 6 PM, T Th 9 AM - 5 PM

Advanced Mortise and Tenon Joinery

The mortise and tenon is the foundation upon which most of woodworking is based. But it goes well beyond the basic joint. In this class we'll cover a number of variations: haunched mortise and tenons, angled mortise and tenons (two ways), twin mortise and tenons, and through mortise and tenons. I'll introduce you to a variety of approaches, techniques, and jigs, that will help you to master each of these joints. Although we will concentrate on hand-cut joints, we'll discuss options for machining these joints as well.

Tuition.......... $225.00

Advanced Mortise and Tenon Workshop: Saturday,  July 30, 2016, 9 AM - 5 PM

Top of page