Admitting that we need a woodwork course is like asking for directions – we simply don’t like to do it. Clearly, we can build anything with our favorite hammer and a couple of old nails – at least in our own minds. In reality, our limitations often hit us round about the time that we miss the nail and our favorite hammer gets cursed!
We’re always gung-ho and brimming with confidence when we start our latest, greatest new project but we tend to find out very quickly that it will never end up looking like it did in our heads, or that we simply don’t have the skills to finish it. When this realization hits (and once we’ve finished blaming our tools, our workshop, the government, etc), we face the tough choice of either giving up and calling a professional, or taking the time to learn the skills that we’re lacking. In this article, we’re going to consider 3 things that are important when choosing a woodwork course.
Step 1 – Look for an Industry Expert.
Anyone with a little more experience that you in any area can teach you a little on that subject, but it takes an expert to help you really raise your game. For a woodworking course, you should be looking for someone with at least 10 years experience and preferably, someone who’s been published in the professional press.
Step 2 – Look for a Course with Multiple Projects.
If you take a night class in woodworking, you’ll probably learn to make a bird house or a stool or something. These courses will teach you the basics – and you can practice until you’re the best stool builder in the area – but you need more than this in order to apply any new skills to other projects.
Keeping this in mind, make sure you only consider woodwork courses that offer a large variety of projects so that you can keep broadening your horizons as you become more skilled. As an absolute minimum, and woodworking course should offer at least a few hundred projects, and I’d recommend that it should be much higher (i.e. several thousand is best) you’ll have significantly more choices when looking for that perfect project for your abilities.
Step 3 – Find a Course that Embraces All Skill Levels.
Following on from step 2, you want a woodwork course that delivers projects for all skill levels. Sure, to start with you’ll probably be focusing on the easier projects but as your abilities improve you’ll want to tackle more challenging builds. A course aimed only at complete beginners won’t cater for your needs for very long and your skills will quickly move beyond what the course can teach – even if the course you’ve found seems to meet the first two criteria really well.
Make sure your woodworking course caters for all levels from beginner to advanced and offers tried and tested projects across the board. This will provide you with appropriate plans and designs for many years to come.
It’s up to you. I’m not going to stop you working with your trusty hammer, some rusty old nails and a grim determination. Alternatively, you can use these three steps to find yourself a great woodwork course!
Jim Holz –
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