Rosewood Studio School of Fine Woodworking; Tools, Courses, Workshops and Instruction

News Article


Rosewood Studio Newsletter April 2014


“I frequently describe entrepreneurship as jumping off a cliff and assembling an airplane on the way down”.          Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn


  February 2014 marked Rosewood’s twelfth year of helping people improve their furniture making skills, and as of July I will have been “calling the shots” for the last seven of them. You might think that after a dozen years of teaching we would have it all figured out, that things would run like a well-oiled machine. But you would be wrong. Think of it more as a work in progress. We continue to learn about what works for people, and what they struggle with. As instructors we constantly tweak, fine tune and adjust how we present material based on what works for our customers as they build and refine a set of skills that can only be mastered with time and practice. Through all of this though, it remains a pleasure to serve those of you in the pursuit of excellence.

    As we wait impatiently for some spring like weather, the last couple weeks of our 12 week program have students putting the finishing touches on the four furniture projects they have each been working on since the beginning of the year. The consensus seems to be that the time has flown by, though this could just be a slight sense of panic as the final deadline for completing things approaches. In any case, a couple of weeks from now our latest group will be packing up and going home, and we will be headed into our spring series of guest instructor classes.             Can you hear the cheering?!

Michael Fortune


   Furniture designer and maker Michael Fortune just returned from teaching in New Zealand, and will be back to Rosewood for two classes this spring. April 21st to 25th we offer Jigs and Fixtures with Michael Fortune. We refer to Michael as “The Jig Meister” for his extensive use of jigs to precisely and efficiently create components for his award winning furniture designs. Students will have the opportunity to make versatile and useful jigs during the class that will save time and improve accuracy back in their own shops. From mortise and tenons to dovetails to tapered laminations and more, Michael will share loads of his favourite jigs and fixtures for furniture making.


     The following weekend, April 26 and 27, Michael will demonstrate the technique of Creating a Waterfall Edge, a sophisticated and elegant edge treatment for creating volume and depth in your work. This more advanced technique is not as difficult as you might suspect, once you’ve been shown how to do it! As of this writing, there is still space available in both of Michael’s classes. Give Mary Anne a call if you can join us.  

Garrett Hack


   Of all of the classes Garrett Hack has taught over the last dozen years here at Rosewood, his Demilune Table has to be among the most popular. It has been years since we last offered it, and are pleased that the class filled up very quickly when we posted it. While the class is fully booked, we can put you on our wait list and we’ll be happy to let you know if anyone has to cancel, making a space available.


Tom Fidgen

  The Unplugged Woodshop  The Taunton Press recently released Canadian woodworker, musician, blogger and author Tom Fidgen’s second book, the Unplugged Woodshop. We are looking forward to having Tom join us at Rosewood for the first time to teach his hand tool intensive It Starts With a Box class, running May 12-17, 2014. This six-day class offers students an opportunity to choose from a number of projects, all of which are built with the techniques of solid wood box construction. This is a hand tool intensive class, ideal for those who have no access to a shop full of machinery, or anyone that would like to improve their hand tool skills across the board.

Summer Classes

     Last summer we ran a two-week Basics of Fine Woodworking class for the first time with great success. It always seems difficult to entice people away from golfing, fishing and enjoying the all-too-brief Canadian summer to come into the shop for woodworking classes, even if the shop is air-conditioned. So we combined the two most popular classes we offer (which are also the pre-requisites for many of our other classes) into one two week session, and offered it at a 20% discount in price. It starts July 7th this summer and if last year is any indication, could fill up rather quickly. If you would like to join us, please give Mary Anne a call and she will be happy to reserve your space.

Adrian Ferrazzutti


   In Fine Woodworking magazine #207 (October 2009), an article by Adrian Ferrazzutti described how he makes the Exquisite Boxes he builds with students here each year just before Christmas. When he was here teaching Studio Veneering Techniques earlier this month, he had just returned from Taunton headquarters in Connecticut where he was shooting a Fine Woodworking video series on the making of his boxes. We don’t have a release date yet for the video, but it should appear on the FWW website some time later this year.



Shop Improvements

       Between classes we’ve been able to get a few things done around the school that have been on the “to do” list for quite a while. While the large windows in the bench room give us great light to work by most of the time, some sunny winter afternoons when the sun is low in the sky and things are covered in snow (like they have been most of this winter), the bench room can be blindingly bright. The installation of vertical blinds allows us to keep the room well lit without anyone resorting to sunglasses like the crew illustrated here.
   Keeping our veneer flitches in a safe and orderly fashion has always been a bit of a challenge – they tend to get shuffled out of sequence, cracked and broken as they are moved around, getting stored wherever they seem to be least in the way at the moment. A set of eight foot long, nesting boxes made of 9 mm Baltic birch with ¼ “ mahogany ply bottoms seem to have solved the problem admirably. They store up high, out of the way when not being accessed on some heavy gauge steel shelf brackets from Lee Valley.

In Our Tool Store


  We continue to try and carry some of the products we like that folks find hard to get. We’ve recently restocked on the very precise honing guides from Richard Kell in England, the DMT 4”x10” DuoSharp diamond plates with the combination of coarser 325 and 600 mesh surfaces, Glen Drake Tools micro-adjustable Tite-Mark marking gauges, and super blonde shellac flakes in ½ lb packages. If you were looking for any of these, please give Mary Anne a call, and she will be happy to have what you need set aside or shipped to you.


Woodworks 2014

     After a lot of planning, the Ottawa Woodworker’s Association will be presenting Woodworks 2014 the weekend of September 26th to 28th at the Algonquin College campus here in Perth. The list of scheduled speakers continues to grow, so far including Tom Fidgen, Garrett Hack, Mark Harrell, Konrad Sauer, Christopher Schwarz and yours truly. Presentation topics haven’t been announced yet, but I can tell you that I am scheduled to speak about finishes in “Beyond the Label”. Details can be found on the event website as they are announced. It promises to be a great weekend, and I hope you can make it; I look forward to speaking with you there.


     Ron Barter

     Rosewood Studio







Posted 2014-03-27 | Last Modified 2016-03-03 07:54:00