This DVD set includes all the DVD courses in the foundational series–over 16 hours of HD video instruction by award-winning master woodworker Frank Strazza!
The five courses in the series are:
- Sharpening Hand Tools
- Basics of Joinery–Three Joints
- Dovetailed Candle Box
- Wall Shelf
- Occasional Table
Sharpening Hand Tools Course
Few things determine your success as a fine, hand tool woodworker more than the sharpness of your tools. And nothing makes woodworking more frustrating than a dull edge. In this course, award-winning craftsman and instructor Frank Strazza will reveal to you his secrets for honing a razor edge on your woodworking tools.
First, he will go over the pros and cons of different types of sharpening stones and tell you which ones he uses, and why. Then he will walk you step by step through sharpening chisels, planes, saws and scrapers. Not only will you learn to sharpen them but Frank will be showing you how to restore a saw, complete with jointing and setting the teeth, as well as how to repair a damaged chisel and how to setup and tune a brand new one.
When you’ve finished this course, you’ll be inspired to head to the shop, pull all your tools out and sharpen them up. Then you’ll discover the sheer joy of working wood with a razor edge. Your saws won’t fight you anymore, your chisels will slice through end grain like butter and your planes will make shavings you can be proud of! Most of all, your projects will take a noticeable step up in quality.
Basics of Joinery Course
Three basic joints– the dado, dovetail and mortise and tenon–lay the foundation for all wood joinery. Learn these three well and you will be able to build just about anything out of wood. Of course, there are many advanced variations of each joint, such as half-blind dovetails, but the techniques Frank teaches in this course are the building blocks for the more advanced joints.
Frank starts by showing you how to use a handsaw, including proper holding techniques and posture, along with several sawing practice exercises. He then moves on to laying out and cutting a dado joint. This important joint is commonly used in bookshelves, dressers and more. Then, Frank takes the mystery out of the dovetail joint by showing you how to lay out and cut a single dovetail. You will further develop this skill in the next course, “Building a Dovetail Box”, by making a box with each corner joined by a double dovetail. The final joint you will learn in this course is the mortise and tenon, which is used in doors, chairs, tables and more. Frank shows you the importance of careful layout and then walks you step by step through cutting and fitting the joint. He also will show you several methods for securing the joint. Finally, even though it’s not a joint, since the hand plane is such an important tool we’ve included a bonus track on the basics of hand plane use.
Frank progresses methodically through each joint, building one on another with detailed instructions on proper technique for the many tools. After completing this course, you’ll have a fundamental grasp on the use of the basic woodworking tools; chisels, saws, marking gauge, hand plane and marking knife. You’ll feel confidence in laying out the basic joints as well as knowing where to use each joint in any given project. The joint exercises you learn in this course are perfect to practice with in preparation for the next courses where you will incorporate the joints into an actual project.
Dovetail Candle Box Course
In this course, Frank Strazza will show you how to put your newly-learned dovetail making skill to use in an actual project–a simple dovetailed box with a hinged lid.
Frank starts by walking you through laying out all the pieces to the box, carefully selecting for grain direction and color matching, which is an important first step for any project. Then he shows you how to lay out and cut the dovetail joints.
After carefully fitting and glueing the dovetails together you’ll move on to hand planing and shaping the bullnose edge on the top and bottom. Frank will lead you through planing, scraping and light sanding of the box to prepare it for assembly.
Finally, you’ll attach the bottom and learn how to cut the hinge mortises, which is the same technique you would use to hang a cabinet door or even a house door.
This project makes a great gift and can be made from any kind of wood you choose. After you’ve solidified your dovetail skills, you can move on to dress the box up with inlays, chip carving and more. Make a lot of these simple boxes and your dovetail joints will thank you!
Wall Shelf Course
In this course, Frank will show you how to build a simple wall shelf using only hand tools. This well thought out project will use and go in-depth and will help you hone your skills at cutting the dado and mortise and tenon joints that you learned in the Three Basic Joints course.
You’ll start by thinking through the layout of the project, taking grain orientation and such into consideration. You’ll learn how to mark all your pieces in such a way that they don’t get mixed up during the process of cutting all the joints.
Next you’ll cut your dado joints. In this project you’ll use two kinds of dados–a stopped dado and a stopped, stepped dado. Frank will show you several methods to cut these dados including the chisel method and the saw method. From there you will cut the mortise and tenon joints that connect the shelf supports to the sides. You’ll cut both through mortises as well as stopped mortises.
Frank will then show you how to cut an arch in the shelf support using just a dovetail saw, chisel and spokeshave! He’ll go over making a decorative chamfer with the hand plane and sanding before final assembly and glue up.
You’ll be using pine for this project, but you can continue to practice your new joinery skills using other woods such as cherry or walnut. Dado away!
Occasional Table Course
In this extensive and detailed course, Frank will walk you through building a small occasional table out of walnut. When you finish this course, you’ll have the knowledge and skills necessary to build a 4-legged table of any size.
Together with Frank, you’ll carefully think through the layout of each piece, considering grain orientation, knots and color variations of the wood. He’ll show you how to mark them so they stay in order before beginning to lay out the mortise and tenon joints that join the legs together with the aprons. You’ll mortise each leg and learn how to miter the ends of the tenons so they meet inside each corner. Finally, Frank will show you several methods for tapering the legs including sawing or using the drawknife to cut the taper.
After completing the base of the table, you’ll turn your attention to the top. Frank shows you how to make a perfect glue joint for your two-piece table top with a hand plane. He’ll walk you through squaring it up and flattening the top with a variety of planes and scrapers. You’ll be introduced to a special tool for making the buttons that hold the top in place so that it can expand and contract without splitting.
After cutting decorative arches in the aprons with a handsaw, chisel and spokeshave, Frank will guide you through dry fitting the table together and then glueing it up. You’ll do a final scraping and light sanding before polishing the surfaces with Frank’s secret polishing compound. He’ll then teach you how to apply and build up a beautiful hand-rubbed oil finish that will last for generations.
This project is the last lesson in the Heritage School of Woodworking’s Foundational Woodworking Series. After completing it, together with the dovetail box and wall shelf projects, you will have learned the basic joinery skills needed for just about any project. Of course, many variations of the joints as well as mastery and speed will come with years of practice. But you will be well on your way to a rewarding lifetime of hand-tool woodworking!
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|Lesson Name||Downloadable Resources|
|Basics of Joinery — Three Joints||List of tools and suppliers|
|Dovetailed Candle Box Project||Cut list, tools list and list of suppliers|
|Wall Shelf Project||Cut list and list of suppliers|
|Occasional Table Project||Cut list, list of tools and list of suppliers and 3D Drawings of the Table|