There are two main assignments for the course, a pencil box and a final project.

Pencil Box

For the pencil box assignment, the class is instructed on the steps required to build a very simple pencil box, roughly 8" long. The box is made of simple pine or ash, and assembled entirely using hand tools and wood joinery. The sides of the box are connected with hand-cut dovetail joints, and the top and bottom are held in place by grooves cut in the top and bottom. This introduction to woodworking through hand tools serves as a good beginning to the craft, and teaches the students skills that might be overlooked if they had started with power tools.

Final Project

For the final project, each student must design and build from rough lumber a final project that will support 200 pounds. Traditionally, this is a design for a table, desk, or chair, but students in the past have taken liberties with the design parameters. Students will design the piece, drawing at full scale, and then order all the rough lumber they will need for the project. They then learn how to mill and square the lumber, sizing and shaping it to fit their needs. Laminate techniques and wood bending are taught, depending on the design needs of the class. Wood joinery is used to assemble the piece - metal fasteners are avoided. The final steps before the review are to finish the piece, sanding and applying whatever finish is decided upon.

Images of both of these projects can be seen in the projects section.