Errington School of Woodwork and Design, Vancouver Island British Columbia
Woodwork classes, Vancouver Island, British Columbia
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Course 5 –

Composite Construction and
The Elements of Design

Course Schedules

Course Description

This course is suitable for students with experience in Frame Construction in Furniture and Carcase Construction. Students should be practiced in making joinery which includes mortise and tenon work as well as dovetail and lap or dado construction.

The focus for this course will be to construct a cabinet with a drawer or a door or both. The cabinet might be made of panels in a frame, or solid boards joined in carcase fashion. It might also incorporate a stool or table structure as an underframe.

There is a recommendation for this design to be resolved in the form of a full size drawing before construction begins.

The first few hours of the course will deal with the various factors governing furniture design. We will deal with the importance of function, aesthetics, suitable construction and materials. Projects might be developed at this stage with sketches and mock-up construction. This period will also provide an opportunity to practice sample joinery and review the requirements of grinding and sharpening certain edge tools.

Orders for hardwood often take as long as a week to be processed, so it is important for materials to be in place if the student is involved in an intensive one week or two week course.

Course Content

  • Design of a furniture piece
  • Orthographic drawing at a board
  • Safety in the workshop
  • Measurement and lay-out
  • Use of the bench and the vise
  • The datum of face-side and face-edge
  • The rules of planing
  • Sharpening edge tools
  • Choice of suitable tools
  • Dealing with difficult wood grain including end grain
  • The choice of suitable hardwoods and their sources
  • Making the slape joint
  • Making a large panel from several boards
  • Constructing and fitting a drawer
  • Constructing and fitting a door
  • Constructing and fitting a paneled back
  • Use of the band saw
  • Use of the table saw
  • Use of the compound mitre saw
  • Use of the drill press
  • Use of the chisel mortiser
  • Use of the jointer
  • Use of the thickness planer
  • Procedures for clamping and gluing
  • Preparing wood to accept a finish coating
  • Exploring various types of finish coatings
  • Exploring various options for developing the appearance and ultimate shape of the furniture piece
  • Selecting and fitting hardware
  • Manufacturing handles and drawer pulls
  • The possibilities of decorative features

The cost of all materials (wood, glue, abrasive paper, finish coatings, hardware
and fastenings etc.) is the responsibility of the student