the recent joined stool class

Just back from teaching the joint stool class at Roy Underhill’s Woodwright’s School. This class went better than any joined stool class I have done. My thanks to all the students who came from near & far (Dave from New Zealand took the mileage prize -if there was one. Other than he had to eat all the local food they put in front of him. “What, no possum?”) Very nice people, and all worked very hard in tough weather…

When I travel I don’t usually check email, blogs, etc. It’s nice to be disconnected, but also I have lots to focus on when teaching. We had 9 students making joined stools at Roy’s last week. That’s lots of chances for stuff to go wrong. So night-times I was trying to figure out the next move. And recover from the heat & humidity. So now I’ll run down some of what we did. Here’s a look at the first day’s work. First off, we had a great batch of oak logs. Three sections that were 24″ long, and almost that wide. AND they split flat in the radial plane. That meant no twist, thus easy planing. But these guys didn’t know that yet. 

first splits
splitting open the oak sections

It looks like this one got opened into thirds, then broken down into the eighths I had marked out. I only saw this now while sorting photos. And I took the picture! The humidity was so high that my camera lens fogged up at one point. 






split how
the peace oak

Here’s Jamie using a very large froe to bust out some stiles from the 1/8ths. We wanted 40 stiles and got ’em. 


Then it was into town for lunch, then some bench work begun – starting to plane the rail stock. Very green oak, with an extremely high tannic acid content. We learned about cleaning tools quickly. 




6 thoughts on “the recent joined stool class

  1. Jennie here
    What a workshop! In this one wood was the blessing. Nothing like it.I remember teaching a one slat chair course at John Makepeace’s School in England back in 1982. We were given oak from the Queen’s Forest. The only problem was that every stick was from limbs,not butt logs. What could we do? We used it. I suspect the chairs all rest in peace today. But we had a great learning course.Greenwoodworking has come a long way since then! Look again at the wood you used. The stool course has come a long way since we first taught it we first taught it at Country Workshops back aways. I am surprised how many people are familiar with the stpp; and the Stool Book.
    Hey! I did a bunch to get this joinery stuff started but you have passed me way by. You got the stool text together beautifully, the course too. Have you seen Charles Hummel’s book review in the last Amerian Furniture? I can smell that oak!

  2. I plan on writing a blog post on this class soon, so for now I’ll just say that this class was amazing. The best class I’ve ever taken and the most fun I’ve ever had during a week of woodworking. Great bunch of students, great host, and a fantastic teacher. Thanks for a great week Peter.

  3. I was one of the lucky ones who had the opportunity to attend Peter’s joint stool class at Roy Underhill’s. The class was truly exceptional in every way – a wonderful woodworking experience even though I was very short on skills (I normally carve competition duck decoys – joinery is another thing entirely …). All my classmates were terrific – helpful, encouraging and just plain fun to be around. Roy and Bill Anderson were there as well most of the time and always available to assist. I can’t, though, say enough about Peter – an extraordinary teacher in every way. Even with my basic questions and mistakes (upon mistakes …), Peter was unflappable – always having the right advice for moving forward. His knowledge, patience and way of communicating with the students was amazing. Judging by comments I heard, everyone had a terrific week.

    The classes at the Roy’s Woodwright’s School are always top notch and this one was no exception. If you haven’t already, I would encourage you to make the effort to attend a class with Peter – somewhere, anywhere – it will be an great experience you will not forget!


    PS: Hey Jamie – fantastic work you did on yours!! Great blog too!

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