Saturday, August 2, 2014

CCAE Fall 2014 Class: Shaker Step Stool


Build this Shaker step stool with hand tools.

Registration is now open for the Fall session at Cambridge Center for Adult Education, where once again I'll be teaching a class on building a Shaker step stool entirely with hand tools. Register at this page.

This will be nine Saturdays, 2-5PM, starting September 27. The Center is located in Harvard Square at 42 Brattle St., Cambridge, MA. Cost is $225, plus a $20 materials fee payable to me. I provide all necessary tools, or you can bring your own.


You'll learn stock preparation from raw lumber to precisely-dimensioned parts, plus several joinery techniques. You'll also learn about wood and why the wedges as shown here are oriented incorrectly.

There are two ways to think of this class. First of course, it's a class on how to build a Shaker stool. But another way to look at it is purely as a skills class, where the stool is just the vehicle for developing those skills.

I point this out because some people like to focus on a finished project, but others are more interested in the raw skills themselves, without the pressure of a finished project. So you can approach the class from either perspective. Either way, you'll come out with good skills. Whether you actually want to complete the project is up to you.

Here are the last sessions from the Spring 2014 class.


Matt marking the top step mortise width from the thickness of a side.


Becky chopping a mortise.


Paul chopping a mortise.


Anita sawing a dovetail.


Matt paring a mortise to final size.


Anita planing the top step, her partially completed stool with dovetailed lower step on the bench.


Paul driving the wedges in the top step tenons. Here you can see the correct orientation of the wedges.

I hope to see you there!

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