Three-Month Furniture Making Intensive

July 25, 2019
Barbara Rutkowski
Student cutting dovetails

Open to beginner and experienced woodworkers alike, NBSS offers an in-depth, comprehensive furniture making course to build a solid foundation in the most essential woodworking skills. It is designed for beginners just starting their woodworking journey and lifelong enthusiastic hobbyists looking to build expertise—and everyone in-between.

Dave McCormick, who attended the winter 2019 session, has been a woodworker for over 30 years and was curious to see what he could discover by going back to the classroom. “At least twice a week, our instructor would demonstrate something that involved a new technique I had not used before, and many were simpler than the ones I had been using,” he says. “In the 140 years the school has been teaching, they have narrowed in on the best ways of working.”

Over the course of the three months, instructors (who are all NBSS alumni) guide students from basic hand and machine skills to advanced techniques. With both group and individual instruction, students gradually build up their skills and know-how to construct a shaker nightstand and a cabinet on a stand by the end of the course.

“I intuitively felt like woodworking was something that made sense for me to pursue based on my general interest in handcraft and design…”

For students thinking about applying to one of our Full-Time programs who don’t have much prior woodworking experience, this course offers a great skill-building opportunity and sets them up to hit the ground running.

Eve Radovsky CF ’20 (pictured above), now Cabinet & Furniture Making graduate, took a summer Three-Month Intensive before enrolling in her Full-Time program the following fall. “I felt intuitively like woodworking was something that made sense for me to pursue based on my general interest in handcraft and design, and was at a crossroads in my life where I wanted to pursue a more creative career, but I had no actual woodworking experience,” Eve says.

“It provided a good foundation for the two-year program, as a lot of what was learned in the Three-Month was repeated in the first semester of the Full-Time program—I found that since I was so new to the trade, it was helpful to learn some of the basics twice.”

This story is part of the Summer 2019 issue of Benchmarks magazine. See more Benchmarks stories here, or download a pdf of the entire issue.