The Furnituremaking Workshops @ J. Miller Handcrafted Furniture offer a wide range of hands-on classes in the craft of making furniture.
Four of the workshops this fall deal with making your own tools,
including a new workbench class, a class on making wooden hand planes,
on making a marking gauge, and finally one on building some terrific
jigs for accurate mortise and tenon work by hand. The rest of the
workshops are our technique classes. I concentrate on teaching
good fundamentals, and then building from there. If you start by
getting the fundamentals right, everything else both makes more sense,
and will be easier to master.
Classes are small in size - 6 to 8 in a hands-on workshop - and can accommodate a wide range of skill levels, from novices to professionals looking to refine their craft or explore a new area of furnituremaking. In general, the workshops range from a single weekend afternoon to a full forty-hour week.
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.
We also offer an apprenticeship program for the woodworker with a demonstrated commitment to furniture making.
Winter/Spring 2014 Workshops
A Day of Hand Tools: Saturday, January 11th, 2014, 9 AM - 5 PM
Also offered: Saturday, April 19th 2014, 9 AM - 5 PM
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 that you can easily make at home). 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.
Dovetail Workshop: Saturday, January 25th 2014, 12 - 5 PM
Also offered: Saturday, May 3rd, 2014, 12 - 5 PM
Mortise and Tenon Workshop: Saturday, February 8th, 2014, 12 - 5 PM
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.
Furniture Design Workshop: Saturday, February 15th, 2014, 12 - 5 PM
|Designing a Chair
This class is an outgrowth of an exercise I've been doing at some of my chair classes on the road. I will lead the class through the design process of a chair, from working together on the idea we want to work with, to figuring out how best to develop the idea through mock-ups, models, and other techniques, and finally, to prototype it so we can actually sit in it and critique the design. And all of this will happen in a day! If there are enough students, we'll break into two small groups each designing their own chair.
This class will give you hands-on experience with the design process, and will give you an inside look at what goes on as a piece is designed and developed.
Designing a Chair: Saturday, February 22nd, 2014, 9 AM - 5 PM
Shoji are the wood and paper screens that have been an
integral element of Japanese homes for hundreds of years. Used as doors
and windows,they filter harsh daylight as it enters the home and imbue
a warmth to interior spaces at night.
Students will develop and strengthen their hand tool skills
in constructing the mortise and tenon and half-lap joinery common to
shoji. Layout of the lattice, known as kumiko, is a critical aspect for
achieving good results. A simple formula allows for marking joints
accurately. Additionally, the student will be encouraged to use
handplanes to finish the wood. Shoji are traditionally finished in this
way and reflect the skill of the craftsman. No additional finish is
applied. After assembly, Craig will show how to apply the paper,
sizing it to achieve a snare drum tightness with the wood. Finally,
options for mounting the shoji will be explored, including traditional
wood tracks and simpler alternative methods.
Materials Fee: $25.00
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. We'll also do some hot pipe bending.
Shaping and Bending Curves: Saturday, March 15, 2014, 12 - 5 PM
workshop will introduce you to the pleasures and rewards of making
chairs, in this case, our elegant and extremely comfortable Slat-Back
good workbench is at the core of your shop. It's almost indispensable
for hand work, and valuable even for those who work mostly with
machines. I've just finished up my second Roubo-style bench, and I have
a third one almost done. Why so many? These are the best benches I've
used. They are rock solid, with amazing work-holding abilities.
This is the bench I wrote about in Fine Woodworking (Tools and Shop
You can size the bench to suit the space you have available
(mine are 54" and 84" long), and you can choose and will need to
provide the vise
hardware (mine have Benchcrafted vise hardware, which is incredibly
You'll need to supply your own wood, and have it milled and
cut to size before the class starts. If you prefer, I can supply
wood (ash) - price will depend on the length of your bench, but will
Tuition.......... $ 1200.00 (does not include materials)
Build a Roubo-Style Workbench: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, June 6th, 7th, 8th, 13th, 14th, and 15th, 9 AM - 5 PM