Interior of Joshua Farnsworth's Wood And Shop Traditional Woodworking School with workbenches, woodworking hand tools, and wood stove

The Wood And Shop Traditional Woodworking School is a center for educating beginner and advanced woodworkers, featuring a broad range of 1-6 day classes and instructors. The school is located just outside historic Charlottesville, Virginia, and is the closest woodworking school of its kind near the metro Washington DC and Richmond areas. It sits just 18 minutes away from the Shenandoah National Park.  The school focuses mostly on using historical hand tools, but also incorporates modern techniques and modern styles. But one thing remains constant here: traditional quality and craftsmanship. Below is a list of classes currently offered at our woodworking school:

2020 CLASS CALENDAR:

We’ll be adding more classes, so please check back! Or get on our free mailing list (click here) if you want to be one of the first to know when new classes are added.

Feb 29: University of Virginia Students Hand Tool Woodworking Basics

Mar 12-14: “Introduction to Hand Tool Woodworking with Joshua Farnsworth”

Apr 10: “Hand Cut Moldings with Bill Anderson” (Cancelled because of COVID-19)

Apr 11: “Hand Plane Skills with Bill Anderson” (Cancelled because of COVID-19)

Apr 16-18: “Timber Framing with Ervin & Willie Ellis” (Rescheduled to Nov 5-7 because of COVID-19)

Apr 22-23: “Make a Handsaw Till with Tom Calisto”(Cancelled because of COVID-19)

Apr 24-25: “Make a Dovetail Saw & Tenon Saw with Tom Calisto” (Rescheduled to Oct 9-10 because of COVID-19)

May 1-2: “Restoring Wooden Handplanes with Bill Anderson”(Rescheduled to Sep 29-30 because of COVID-19)

May 11-12: “18th Century Wood Carving with Kaare Loftheim”(Cancelled because of COVID-19)

May 15-16: “Make a Colonial Ratcheting Table with David Ray Pine”(Cancelled because of COVID-19)

May 18-20: “Introduction to Hand Tool Woodworking with Joshua Farnsworth” (Rescheduled to Aug 24-26 because of COVID-19)

Jun 5-6: “Build a German Shave Horse with Ervin & Willie Ellis”(Cancelled because of COVID-19)

Jun 8-9: “Introduction to Wood Veneering and Inlay with Dave Heller”(Rescheduled to Aug 31-Sep 01 because of COVID-19)

Jun 11-13: “Bowl Carving & Spoon Carving with Mike Cundall”(Rescheduled to Sep 10-12 because of COVID-19)

Jun 27: “Wood Joinery by Hand with Joshua Farnsworth” (Merged into Aug. 29th class because of COVID-19)

Jul 11: “Make a Moravian Dovetailed Footstool with David Ray Pine”

Jul 16-18: “Introduction to Hand Tool Woodworking with Joshua Farnsworth”

Jul 31-Aug 1: “Carving Wooden Fans & Shells with David Ray Pine” (cancelled because of COVID-19)

Aug 24-26: “Introduction to Hand Tool Woodworking with Joshua Farnsworth” (Rescheduled from May 18-20 because of COVID-19)

Aug 29: “Wood Joinery by Hand with Joshua Farnsworth”

Aug 31-Sep 1: “Introduction to Wood Veneering and Inlay with Dave Heller”(cancelled because of COVID-19)

Sep 10-12: “Bowl Carving & Spoon Carving with Mike Cundall”(Rescheduled from Jun 11-13 because of COVID-19)

Sep 14-16: “Introduction to Hand Tool Woodworking with Joshua Farnsworth”

Sep 18-19: “Sharpening Woodworking Hand Tools with Bill Anderson”

Sep 21-26: “Intro to Chair Making with David Ray Pine”

Sep 29-30: “Make Workbench Fixtures with Bill Anderson”(Cancelled because of COVID-19)

Sep 29-30: “Restoring Wooden Handplanes with Bill Anderson”(Rescheduled from May 1-2 because of COVID-19)

Oct 9-10: “Make a Dovetail Saw & Tenon Saw with Tom Calisto”(Rescheduled from Apr 24-25 because of COVID-19)

Oct 9-10: “Make a Wooden Spokeshave with Tom Calisto” (Cancelled because of COVID-19)

Oct 19-20: “Make a Moravian Dovetailed Candlebox with David Ray Pine”

Nov. 05-07: “Timber Framing with Ervin & Willie Ellis” (Rescheduled from Apr 16-18 because of COVID-19)

Here at the Wood And Shop Traditional Woodworking School we feature some incredible woodworkers who also possess great teaching ability. Below are short bios of the teachers we have lined up for classes, and this video will show you the classes these instructors are teaching in 2019:

GETTING HERE

The school is located in historic Albemarle County, Virginia, just 8 minutes away from the Charlottesville airport. It is also within reasonable driving distance from major metro areas such as Washington D.C., Richmond, Philadelphia, New York, Pittsburg, and Charlotte. Many of these areas are also connected to Charlottesville via the Amtrak rail line.

The address of the school is 5700 Buffalo River Rd. Earlysville, Virginia 22936.

Flying into the Charlottesville airport is quite often more affordable than flying into Washington D.C. or Richmond.
Quite a few car rental centers, hotels, Airbnb’s, and restaurants are near the airport, so students will find it easy to join us from anywhere in the world!

HOTELS & GUEST HOUSES

There are many hotels within 10-15 minutes of the school. Here is a Google Map search of nearby hotels and also a TripAdvisor list of nearby hotels. A new hotel was recently built 8 minutes from us, which you can see here. You can also checkout AirB&B for nice accommodations near the school. AirB&B is where most students seem to find the best deals. Here are a couple nearby (and affordable) AirB&B properties that students have really liked:

CAMPING

Here are some google map listings for campgrounds in the area. We have stayed at Misty Mountain Campground, which is one of the closest (about a 30 minute drive), and it’s quite nice. They have a lot of good amenities, RV sites, tent sites, and also some more secluded sites. There’s also Shenandoah Hill’s campground (25-30 minutes away). We haven’t stayed there, but it looks nice. There are also camp sites in the Shenandoah National Park, which we’ve camped at many of them. The entrance to the park is about 17 minutes from our place, and the closest campground (Loft Mountain campground) is about 45 minutes from the school, and Big Meadows is about 50 minutes away. You can check out Shenandoah camp sites here. You will, however, have to pay a park entrance fee. There is also a KOA campground about 35 minutes away (here).

THE HISTORIC CHARLOTTESVILLE AREA

Thomas Jefferson's Monticello home reflecting in a pond of water

What better place to learn how to build historical furniture with antique hand tools than in the very same area where many of the American founding fathers kindled the flames of democracy? Just 30 minutes to the southeast, Thomas Jefferson laid the foundation for the Declaration of Independence and built an American landmark: Monticello. Practically next door to Monticello is James Monroe’s farm, Ash Lawn-Highland (one of my favorites). Just 30 minutes to the northeast James Madison formed the ideas for the American constitution at his famous Montpelier farm . Two hours to the east is Colonial Williamsburg and 45 minutes to the west is the Frontier Culture Museum. All around this area the Revolutionary war and Civil wars were fought to galvanize the new American republic. The Shenandoah National Park gate entrance is 18 minutes away from the school. And the historic downtown Charlottesville area (15 minutes away) will be a highlight of your trip. Make sure you plan some extra time to visit these historic landmarks!

Colonial Williamsburg capital building front gate and brick wall with cobblestone street

Wood and Shop traditional woodworking school with workbenches, antique hand tools, and wood stove

WHAT TO EXPECT AT OUR TRADITIONAL WOODWORKING SCHOOL?

Entrance of the Wood and Shop Traditional woodworking school with stone steps leading into a brick building

Wood And Shop Traditional Woodworking School brick building covered in a blanket of snow

  • Classes start promptly at 9:00 am, so students should plan on driving up early or arriving at their hotel the night before (book your hotels early). But please don’t arrive earlier than 8:30 am.
  • Classes start with getting to know each other, followed by safety instruction and a gathering of the project material fees (if applicable, and if it hasn’t already been sent in the mail). Then the instructor(s) will dive into the subject matter.
  • Each student will have a traditional workbench to work on, and students are welcome to bring their own hand tools (properly sharpened, of course). But all necessary hand tools will be provided, so don’t worry if you don’t have your own hand tools.
  • A one hour break will be taken around noon. To allow students to make more progress on their projects, students are encouraged to bring their lunches to eat at the school (we have a fridge). However, there are some convenience stores a few minutes away that make sandwiches, and also restaurants are a short 8 minute drive from the school. Don’t be late getting back from lunch or you might get behind!
  • Classes will generally end around 5:00 pm, after which students are encouraged to join each other for dinner & socializing at one of many nearby restaurants (8+ minutes away). The historic downtown Charlottesville area is known for it’s amazing local restaurants.
  • Most students are typically working earnestly to finish their projects toward the end of the class, but we’ll always take time for a class photo!
  • Not every detail of every project gets completed by every person, but students should be able to leave the class feeling confident in their newly learned ability to complete the project on their own.

Will Myers demonstrating woodturning to students at Joshua Farnsworth's Wood And Shop Traditional Woodworking School

Students of our school are entitled to discounts from two of the top heirloom hand tool makers, Lie-Nielsen (10%) and Lee Valley / Veritas (15%). You can use the discount between the day you signed up and the last day of class. After registering for your class, reach out to us and we’ll email you a student discount form.

female woodworking student using a crosscut hand saw to cut a poplar boards on saw horses at Joshua Farnsworth's Wood And Shop Woodworking School

A woodworking student tightening backsaw nuts on a new dovetail saw at Joshua Farnsworth's Wood And Shop Traditional Woodworking School

a male woodworking student using a chisel to cut a sliding dovetail joint on a table spindle at his workbench at Joshua Farnsworth's Wood And Shop Traditional Woodworking School

male woodworking using an antique boxwood plow plane to cut a groove on a woodworking workbench at Joshua Farnsworth's Wood And Shop Woodworking School

A young male woodworking student using a try square to check squareness on a board at Joshua Farnsworth's Wood And Shop Woodworking School

male woodworking student chopping a mortise with joiner's mallet and mortise chisel on a woodworking workbench at Joshua Farnsworth's Wood And Shop Woodworking School

a woodworking student using a chisel at Joshua Farnsworth's Wood And Shop Woodworking School

male woodworking student using a stanley bailey No. 7 jointer plane to flatten the face of a poplar board on a woodworking workbench at Joshua Farnsworth's Wood And Shop Woodworking School

female woodworking student using a tongue and groove come and go plane at Joshua Farnsworth's Wood And Shop Woodworking School

Wood And Shop Traditional Woodworking School brick building covered in a blanket of snow

Hancock Shaker Candle Stand sitting on a woodworking workbench in Joshua Farnsworth's Workshop

Antique moulding planes (molding planes) lined up on a shelf in Joshua Farnsworth's Wood And Shop Traditional Woodworking School

Antique hand saws lined up in a saw till in Joshua Farnsworth's Wood And Shop Traditional Woodworking School

Interior of Joshua Farnsworth's Wood And Shop Traditional Woodworking School with workbenches, woodworking hand tools, and wood stove

Antique hand planes and plow plane and moulding planes lined up on a blue hand tool shelf in Joshua Farnsworth's Wood And Shop Traditional Woodworking School

Antique hand tools and tool boxes on a rustic wooden bench in Joshua Farnsworth's Wood And Shop Traditional Woodworking School

The traditional outhouse just steps away from the school building:

Red outhouse near the Wood and Shop Traditional woodworking school

Wood And Shop Traditional Woodworking School brick building covered in a blanket of snow

Click here if you want to vote on which types of classes you’d like to see offered here in the future.