Guild of Oregon Woodworkers

7634 SW 34th Avenue Portland, OR 97219

Hands-On  Fundamentals

Here we are focusing on developing new classes for beginners. They will vary in topic and complexity, but the unifying theme will be hands-on and project based learning. We hope to offer many different styles of classes to appeal to different learners: small group, independent study, work party, etc...

Check back often to see how this new initiative  grows! 


Upcoming events

    • 18 Nov 2017
    • 09 Dec 2017
    • 4 sessions
    • Madrone Studio, 8900 B NE Vancouver Way Portland Oregon 97211
    • 2

     Make a Greenwood Stool 17-1

    Instructor:  Norm Baird

    Begin with a green log of suitable species—dripping wet greenwood.  Oregon white oak works well.  With sledge & wedges, and then club & froe, split out blanks for legs and rungs.

    On the shave horse, using the drawknife, experience the sensations (sight, sound, and feel) of shaping green wood with a sharp blade.  Learn to read the wood—it will tell you how it wants to be shaved.  Refine the parts to size and shape as much as possible while green, and then put aside to dry.  For a couple of years.

    With dry parts (we will swap green for dry using a Pay-It-Forward approach) refine size, shape and surface finish with spokeshaves, then drill mortises, fit tenons, and assemble the frame.  Finish by weaving the seat from cotton Shaker tape.

    That is the centuries-old, traditional procedure for making a greenwood stool or chair.  This 4 day class will be held over 3 weeks allowing time between classes for students to practice new skills and do some work at home.  Everyone should be able to complete a stool in class.  Along the way you’ll learn to safely use the tools of the trade, local sources for suitable green wood and where to find other needed materials. 

    All materials will be supplied.  We have plenty of drawknives, spokeshaves, froes, etc. you will be welcome to use them throughout the class.  If you want to buy your own, a tool list will be provided to students who register.  But, we suggest holding-off on purchasing new tools until instructor Norm Baird shows you what to look for and shares his buying tips.   

    Don’t need a stool?  It also makes a nice foot rest or a casual side table.  And you will begin to master the skills needed to make a chair.

    Successful completion of the Guild's free Safety & Orientation session is required before the class starts; i.e., you must have a Guild White Card.   There are no other prerequisites for this class.  It is suitable for beginners and advanced woodworkers alike.  If you have questions about the course content please contact instructor Norm Baird at  If you have questions about registration and logistics, please contact class coordinator Rick Alexander, at (enter Guild Greenwood Stool in subject line.)

    Guild classes are Member only classes. Not a member? Visit the Membership webpage and click on the Join the Guild link. 

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