Skill Savvy

Educational Sessions Planned

Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned woodworker, taking any one of hundreds of woodworking classes and seminars offered across the country will help you fine-tune your hobby and professional skills.

This year, more than 9,000 demonstrations and seminars are scheduled to be taught in Woodcraft Supply Corporation’s 61 retail store locations nationwide. The sessions –­­ ranging from beginner to intermediate to advanced level classes ­­ will be held on dozens of topics, including woodcarving, whittling, furniture making, scroll sawing and tool sharpening. The most popular classes in 2002, router basic techniques, pen turning and bandsaw basics, will also be offered again.

“We’re extremely committed to supplying building industry professionals with a wide variety of educational programs,” says Shawn Draper, vice president of marketing for Woodcraft Supply Corp. “On an average, each of our stores offers 150 educational programs every year. That’s a tremendous service to builders, remodelers and contractors at all skill levels. In addition to the one-on-one seminar opportunities in the stores, we also offer outstanding educational support via our web site,, and through a variety of books and videos we sell.”

Educational Commitment

“To illustrate our commitment to education, Woodcraft has just hired a director of education, Bob Spencer. He will be responsible for developing multi-media instruction on a national level and for supporting the ongoing development of educational programs on our web site and at the store level. He’ll also spearhead our efforts to establish an outreach program to academic and non-academic schools so that Woodcraft can better serve as an educational partner.” Spencer’s teaching and communications skills make him the ideal person to accelerate Woodcraft’s educational plans.

According to Draper, more than 40,000 people participated in Woodcraft’s educational classes in 2002. ‘Our most popular classes are those that offer basic instructions for beginners in a specific area, like table saws or tool sharpening,’ says Draper. ‘Attendance for these classes is always strong, regardless of the geographic location of the store. We find that people are extremely eager to expand their woodworking knowledge into different areas, and our classes offer them a fun and informative way to do this.”

Greg Plum, principal partner of the Woodcraft store in Bloomington, Minn., has especially seen more and more builders and remodelers participate in woodworking classes. “Our daytime series of courses is packed with building industry professionals,’ says Plum, a 10-year veteran of Woodcraft. ‘These are people fine-tuning their existing woodworking skills, and other folks who are exploring entirely new areas of interest. Furniture making, raised panels and architectural millwork are courses builders and remodelers seem to gravitate to in our store.”

The Minneapolis location, which will offer more than 270 classes this year, tailors its coursework to the needs of local residents. “We find out exactly what type of seminars and demonstrations our customers want and then we find the talent to conduct the sessions,” says Plum. “Our selection is extensive. Everything from a three-hour introductory course to an in-depth 10-week program. The key is the one-on-one instruction offered that puts the building industry professional at ease and helps advance their interest in woodworking.”

To discover the educational programs offered in a specific geographic area, visit your local Woodcraft store or The web site lists store locations and course offerings on a regular basis.

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