Building My Woodworking Skills

As I’ve been working on more and more creative projects around the house, I’ve come to realize how much I don’t know about basic woodworking skills. While there are plenty of YouTube videos out there that show you how to do these sorts of things, I can’t learn from videos. I really need a hands on experience to figure things out. I started looking around the Indianapolis metro area to try to find a place that offered classes.

I’d seen classes advertised at a few of the woodworking stores around town, and seriously considered taking a class with them. But taking a class where they also sell you things is a bit off putting for me as a beginner. They’d be biased towards the tools they sell (if for no other reason than they are more familiar with them). I thought about seeing if any of the community colleges in the area offered classes. But when I was driving to work I heard an advertisement for enrollment at the Indianapolis Art Center. I hopped on their website, success! They have beginner classes, and there were openings in a convenient time slot for me.

Over a course of 8 weeks, I learned different woodworking techniques. I learned how to use power tools (like table saws) that had previously been pretty intimidating to me. I learned how to pick the proper wood for my project, and how to take it to a finished project. I learned I am really not good at precision (but I’m working on it). I made a lot of mistakes, but I learned from each and every one. What worked for me in this class is it forced me to keep going when I would normally get frustrated and give up. Or make my husband do something for me because I was tired of trying to understand it. No one was going to do something for me in this class. The project and the end result were on me.

When the class was done, I had built a simple box to store some of my guitar supplies in. (Although I’ve gotten more supplies since the project started, doh!) It might seem like a simple thing, but I’m really proud of it. I even added some dividers to the box outside of class, using some wood I thought was unusable from a mistake I made on one of my first days.

So if you’re in Indianapolis, I strongly recommend checking out the Indianapolis Art Center and what types of classes they offer. I’ve already registered for my fall session class.

And in case you’re curious, the box is built out of quarter sawn white oak with cherry splines. Finished with Danish Oil in natural and wipe-on polyurethane in satin.

2 Responses to “Building My Woodworking Skills”
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