2021 Courses

Schedule and Pricing

Jan. 30/31

Tuition: $375.00

Feb. 13/14

Tuition: $375.00

Feb. 27/28

Tuition: $375.00

March 13/14

Tuition: $375.00

March 27/28 plus April 3 and 4

Tuition: $795.00

April 17/18 plus April 24/25

Tuition: $875.00

May 8/9

Tuition: $375.00

May 29/30 and June 5/6

Tuition: $900

June 26/27 plus July 3 and 4

Tuition: $900

Aug. 2 to Sept. 3 

Tuition: $4,800

Oct. 4 to Nov. 5

Tuition: $4,800

Nov. 13, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, and then Dec. 4 and 5 for a total of 15 days.

Tuition: $4,000

Call now to register at (613) 292-1985

Precision with Hand Tools

Sharpening, tuning, and using Smoothing Planes, Block Planes, Chisels, Cabinet Scrapers and Burnishing tools.

We will teach you how to tune your tools, and then how to properly use them. We have a full complement of tools here for your use. You are welcome bring your own tools so that you leave ready to use them at home. We suggest you take the course before spending money on tools so that you make informed choices.

By the end of this course you will know how to sharpen and use your smoothing plane and block plane, tools used daily in fine woodworking. You will know how to grind plane irons, and chisels. You will know how to hone both the plane blade and the chisel to a razor sharp edge you can actually shave with. It is a joy to finish your parts with a sharp hand plane. You will use these fundamental skills on every project you do from now on.

Machinery and Millwork

We will teach you how to set up and use woodworking machines safely. We will show you the millwork process – what machines to use in the correct order. Machines covered include Table Saw, Jointer, Planer, Band Saw, Router table. We will mix in topics like how to break out parts from a large plank. We will show you how to mark out the plank, picking the best grain orientation for the specific furniture part. We will each make table aprons and legs, cutting mortise and tenon joints using the band saw, or table saw, and routers.

We will go over the broad range of processes you can do on a band saw. You will learn how to rip hardwood safely on the bandsaw rather than the table saw, and then how to get the part to perfect dimension using the jointer. We will show you how to set up your jointer for best performance, with neither too much snipe, and how to correct tapering.

You will learn how to use the router table to slot parts, cut edge profiles, and mill very small rabbits onto a guitar bridge.

We will explain why table saws kick wood back, and how to avoid this machine room safety issue.

This course will increase your confidence, safety, and efficiency with machine tools.

Making Dovetailed boxes

We will mill our wood to size using skills learned in the Machinery course. We will then layout and hand cut dovetails to create a decorative dovetailed box with a floating bottom and sliding lid.

We will show you how to use a gents saw to carefully cut out dovetail pins, and then how to refine them with a sharp chisel. We will then transfer the pattern onto the “tails” board, and cut the tails. Chopping the dovetails and paring them becomes an enjoyable art resulting in snug wonderful dovetail joinery.

You will learn how to lay out decorative dovetail patterns with small and large dovetails which is much more visually interesting than equal sized dovetails. You will learn where to place the groove in the bottom edges of the sides and box ends to receive the box bottom. The top will be a raised panel sliding top. There are many small details to enjoy in this program.

Pre-requisites: Hand Tools plus Machinery and Millwork courses

Making Solid Wood Tables

In this two-weekend, 4-day course we will use all of your hand tool skills and machine tool skills to make your first piece of classic furniture. Our tables will have solid tops, tapered legs, mortise and tenon joinery, and the tops will be installed so they can move with the seasons. These sweet tables will outlast your children’s children.

Pre-requisites: Hand Tools plus Machinery and Millwork courses

Making Guitar Molds and Guitar Side Bending

In this 2-weekend course you will make your first acoustic guitar mold and bend your first guitar sides. We will discuss the shape of your designs, and then make up a plywood mold. We will refine the mold and install hardware to allow us to split it when required.

We will then thickness our guitar sides, cut in the front taper, and soak the wood. Next we use “hot pipe bending” to shape the sides to fit the mold. Once we have the side shapes we desire, we will attach end blocks. These are fundamental skills that go into every guitar. Steam bending is an amazing process that allows you to bend wood into wonderful curves.

At the end of the course you will take your new mold home, as well as your bent sides, end blocks, and guitar back material. Sides and backs come as a set. The materials cost is covered in your tuition.

Making and Tuning Guitar Backs and Tops

Part of our series of guitar making skills, this course shows you how to join the book matched back, thickness the back, and how to apply the seam bracing. We will then mill and install the ladder bracing. Next, we get into carving the bracing in a way that we maintain strength in the brace, while reducing mass and making the back a responsive part of your guitar.

We will also show you how to shoot the joint for a perfect top joint. Thicknessing here is paramount to obtain a responsive top. Top bracing is more complex, and key to the sensitivity of the guitar. We will cover traditional X-bracing and scalloping the braces. Tap tuning will be introduced as a way to discover what happens as we adjust the mass and shape of each brace. We tune the braces looking for dynamic response and a certain musicality. This process is key in guitar making, and subject to endless discussion…

Guitar Making – Short Course, 15-days

This 15-day course is designed for the student that has a full-time job but can get away for two weeks plus one weekend for their Guitar Making Course!!

It differs from our 5-week Acoustic Guitar Making course in that we provide you a package of parts that has some of the millwork completed to save you time. We are doing some of the labour, but not doing the interesting parts that are part of crafting a fine guitar. You will be doing a significant amount of machining and hand work to make your custom guitar.

Millwork package provided for you:

  • back panel halves glued together
  • top (soundboard) halves glued together
  • bridge slot cut and holes drilled
  • fretboard provided with slots
  • end blocks cut to size
  • sides thicknessed, ready for steam bending.
  • 3-piece neck laminated – rough only, no shaping
  • back joint support strip provided.

You will take this package and carry on doing all of the following:

We start by bending the sides, bending the bindings, and installing end blocks. We will then install the back braces and shape them by hand to reduce weight and add tonality to your guitar. We will install linings and attach the back to the sides. Next, we will use a router to cut the mortise in the top for the rosette and install the rosette. We will cut the top to shape and install the top braces. Next, we will scallop the braces to reduce weight, and tune the top. Closing the box is next as we glue on the top. We then cut the binding rabbets and install the bindings.

Now that we have the body closed up, we move onto routing the neck joint mortise in the top of the body. Neck shaping is next, then we install the headstock veneer, and drill the holes for the tuners. We now shape the neck, set the neck angle to the body, and route out the neck tenon. We will alternate now between finishing the body with French Polish and applying the same shellac finish to the neck. Time to shape the bridge. Now we fine fit and install the neck. We then hand plane in the camber in the fretboard. Once we have enough finish on the top, we attach the bridge.

With the neck attached and fretboard cambered we can move onto fretting. We install the frets, and then carefully dress them for perfect planarity.

Finally, we install the tuners, and string up our instruments for the first time!

Just so you understand, this course starts on a Saturday. We do not work on Sundays; you need down time. We work all week and the middle Saturday. Off Sunday, then we do the next week including Saturday. We then come back the following weekend for Saturday and Sunday to complete our guitars.

So, the course runs November 13, 15, 16,17,18,19,20,22,23,24,25,26,27, and then December 4 and 5 for a total of 15 days.

Tuition: $4000.00

Deposit to hold your bench: $500.00

To register, please call 613 292-1985.

We look forward to working with you. Cheers, Ted Brown, Luthier.

Call now to register at (613) 292-1985

Blackwood Guitar Company | (613) 292-1985 | info@blackwoodguitar.ca