Listed below are some of the more common questions about our school and our workshops. You’re also welcome to call us at 413-527-6103 or send us an email.
Where are you located?
We’re in a wonderful old restored mill building in Easthampton, Massachusetts. It’s in the western part of the state, about 5 miles from Northampton, 15 miles from Springfield, 90 miles from Boston, and 45 miles from Hartford. You can find directions here.
Can I stop by for a tour?
By all means! You’re even welcome to drop in during one of our workshops, as long as you notify us in advance. Just send us an email with your request and we’ll get back to you right away.
I’m from out of the area. Is there a place I can stay?
While we don’t currently have student accommodations, there are a number of nearby hotels. You can find more information on housing options here.
I’m interested in becoming a woodworker for a living. Can you help me?
Well, hurrah! We love hearing that. Our workshops are certainly a good place to start, if only to help you decide if you really do want to spend your days working with wood. The summer intensives are particularly helpful for people contemplating a career or career change because they run every day, all day for a week.
However, our workshops are not intended to teach the craft of professional cabinetmaking. For that, we suggest you take a look at our career training program, offered by the New England School of Architectural Woodworking (NESAW).
If you’re more interested in making furniture, we can give you some recommendations for schools throughout the country.
What workshops do you offer?
You can find a complete calendar online. Just click on each workshop name for a more detailed description. If you don’t see a particular workshop listed on the calendar, it’s likely that the next session has simply not been scheduled yet. You can check back or contact us to see when we expect to schedule it.
How do I register for a workshop?
Simply add the workshop to your shopping cart and proceed to checkout. If you’d like to pay by check or over the phone, just give us a call at 413-527-6103.
Do I have to sign any special forms?
On the first day of class, you will be asked to sign a Release of Liability and Photo Permission Form, as well as our Safety Guidelines. You only have to do this the first time you register for a workshop, unless the form substantially changes.
Each student also needs to complete an Emergency Contact form, which includes your health insurance provider and number. Please have this information readily available.
What do I need to bring with me to class?
Students in all workshops should bring a 16′ tape measure, a pencil, and paper. You may also bring your own safety glasses and ear protection, although we can provide both for your use during class. Some workshops may require additional tools, so please check the course description prior to your first session.
On the first day of your first workshop with us, you will be asked to complete an Emergency Contact form which includes your health insurance provider and number. Please have this information available.
Please see the FAQ entitled “What should I wear?” for guidance on clothing.
What should I wear?
Dress for both comfort and safety. Wear layers, as the temperature in our old mill building can fluctuate, and your level of activity in the workshop will vary.
Wear sturdy, close-toed shoes at all times. Tennis shoes are fine; closed-toed sandals are not.
Pull back long hair and avoid wearing dangling necklaces or bracelets. You may wear low-profile rings and watches; otherwise, please remove them before you arrive as we are not responsible for lost or stolen items.
Some students like wearing light, tight-fitting work gloves when handling rough lumber; that’s completely up to you.
Why do I need to have health insurance before participating ?
We require you to sign a Release of Liability stating that you have health insurance before you can participate in a workshop. Our safety record is outstanding and you will be guided in how to safely use the equipment, but the fact remains that these are power tools and we need all of our students to be covered by health insurance in the event of an accident.
What happens if I miss a day of the workshop?
If you miss a day, other students or the instructor will complete the operations that were scheduled for that session on your project. Unfortunately, we can’t schedule individual make-up days.
What’s your policy for canceled and rescheduled workshops?
A weekend workshop is only canceled when less than two students have signed up to take it. Night workshops longer than three sessions may be canceled if fewer than three students have signed up. Workshops may be rescheduled for weather or instructor illness. If that occurs, a make-up day is scheduled that meets the needs of all the students in that workshop.
Can veterans attend your program using VA funds?
Our individual workshops do not qualify for VA funds because they do not represent a continuous course of study that earns a certificate. If you are interested in becoming a professional cabinetmaker, the VA will cover the training program offered by NESAW.
Can I decide what project I’d like to build?
The majority of our workshops have predetermined projects that are designed to teach a specific set of skills. Once you’ve taken Level I and Level II, you may enroll in Open Shop. In that workshop, you bring your own materials and plans, and build your own project under the guidance of an experienced instructor. We do have some size limitations, so please let us know before you register if you plan on building something large.
How do I become one of your teachers?
Contact us and let us know what you’re interested in teaching. If we don’t already have a teacher with those particular skills or interests, we’ll invite you to submit a proposal for a class.
Do you accept ideas for new workshops?
Absolutely! If there’s a particular skill you’re interested in learning or teaching, let us know. We’re particularly interested in adding to our list of short weekend classes.
How do I get on your mailing list for new classes?
Simply email us and make the request! You can expect to be included in the next mailing, which usually occur every six weeks. If you want more immediate information, please call us at 413-527-6103.
What about cancellations for weather?
Ugh. Snow days…
Our first priority is always your safety, so we will cancel if driving conditions are unsafe.
We will try to notify you by 4 pm on the day of the class, so it’s important that we have your cell phone number as well as your email.
During the winter months, we allow for one make-up session per workshop to accommodate weather issues.