Monday, August 24, 2009

Fall Historic Preservation Workshops at the Port Townsend School of Woodworking

Port Townsend, Washington.
Owners of older homes in the Pacific Northwest will be particularly interested in this fall's series of classes and lectures at the Port Townsend School of Woodworking, as it continues its Historic Preservation program. Maintaining old homes presents major challenges: paint peels, wood rots, floors sag. Heat leaks through old single-pane windows, uninsulated walls, and gaps in the siding. Understanding traditional construction methods can help homeowners make intelligent decisions on how to maintain and insulate without compromising the the historic fabric of their old buildings.

Continuing its Historic Preservation classes, Port Townsend School of Woodworking will present "Maintenance of Old Homes in the Pacific NW" on October 3; "Weatherization of Old Homes in the Pacific NW" on October 4; and a two-day "Wood Window Restoration Workshop" on October 17-18. Taught by Kevin Palo, a historic preservation consultant and wood window expert, the "Maintenance" and "Weatherization" classes mix lecture, site visits and hands-on practice. The Window Workshop will be hands-on: by restoring windows in a building at Fort Worden, students will learn how to remove old windows, carry out minor repairs, re-glaze, re-rope a double-hung sash window, and weatherize windows.

In the first of a new Historic Preservation lecture series, on September 17 at 6:30 p.m., consulting architect Gee Heckscher offers a "A Primer on Seismic Stabilization." We live in an active earthquake zone, so many of our older buildings are at risk from seismic damage. Gee will explain how earthquakes affect buildings; identify the types of seismic risks of various types of building construction; and describe structural solutions to buildings with seismic risks that address foundations, frame stiffening, and tying building components together. Gee was responsible for designing the stabilization for the Jefferson County Courthouse Clocktower; he is on the board of the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation and serves on the City of Port Townsend's Historic Preservation Committee. The lecture will be at the School; admission is pay-as-you-can.

Earlier this year at the School, veterans from Clallam and King Counties learned the fundamental theory of Historic Preservation and completed the restoration of the eastern facade of the Motor Vehicle Pool building (Building 365) at Fort Worden. These classes, offered by the School for the Washington State Veterans Conservation Corps, were supported by a generous grant from the Friends of Fort Worden and with materials and staff assistance from Fort Worden State Park.

Looking ahead, there are big plans afoot for the Port Townsend School of Woodworking: we are in early stages of planning for transition to non-profit status and we will be partnering with the City of Port Townsend, the Fort Worden Collaborative, the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation, and the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission to create a center for Historic Preservation at Fort Worden.

The Port Townsend School of Woodworking is located at Fort Worden, Port Townsend, in Building 315 (the Old Power House -- behind Copper Canyon Press).

Tim Lawson
(360) 440-7660
Port Townsend School of Woodworking
200 Battery Way, Fort Worden
Port Townsend WA 98368
(360) 344-4455

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

August 2009 Newsletter

Plan on joining us this fall to make some shavings and sawdust, with a bonus of Port Townsend fun! Early fall is a great time to be here: we have some of the best weather of the year, and some amazing events: the Wooden Boat Festival, the Sea Kayak Symposium, the Port Townsend Film Festival, the Kinetic Skulpture Race, Art Port Townsend and, of course, the Woodworker's Show. You can find a fuller listing here
Fall 2009 Schedule
The fall schedule has been firmed up. We're still developing some Historic Preservation courses but we'll announce those separately.

Hand Tool Classes
  • We've added a Build a Wooden Plane course with Steve Skonieczny. You'll leave this two-day class with a working Krenov style wooden plane. Improve your skills building a hand plane!
  • Jim Tolpin's Advanced Hand Tools class is now called Working with Hand Tools and reflects his new thinking about hand tools. You can get a sneak preview at the August 20th Lecture.
Furniture Making Classes
  • We've added a second Out of Square with Seth Rolland. Seth is an innovative and inspiring custom furniture maker based here in Port Townsend. Seth helps you think about contemporary design and shows how to develop a piece through extensive prototyping.
Turning Classes
Evening Classes
  • We added some evening classes in September and October. These classes are intended for the new woodworker. These are a mixture of hand tool and small power tool classes.
Hand Tool Classes with Garrett Hack in September
The response to our planning for classes with Garrett Hack in September has been fantastic! There are just two open slots left for the two day Decorative Details class on September 14-15 (Monday and Tuesday). This is a wonderful opportunity to learn from a master craftsman.
The Art and Craft of Working with Wood Lecture Series
Measure Once, Measure Not at All? with Jim Tolpin
on Thursday August 20th 2009 at 6:30

Jim is working on a new book on hand tools. The research he had done and his experience with hand tools are making him rethink the practise and philosophy of how hand tools are used and gives him even greater appreciation of how the old furniture makers worked.

The old furniture makers worked in a much more organic (should I say analog?) way. The furniture was fitted to the space and the wood fitted to the piece of furniture - largely without reducing dimensions to feet, inches and fractional inches. The precision of the joinery was more important than the measurement.

In this lecture, Jim contrasts the traditional approach and the modern measurement intensive approach. Jim explores each path and shows you how to work efficiently with either approach.

Illustrating the hand tool-primary approach, Jim will mock up a footstool to show how story sticks, full-size drawings and layout patterns drive the design and construction process.

Note: For residents of Whidbey Island and places east we will provide a shuttle service from to and from the Port Townsend / Keystone Ferry. So you don't need to bring a car or worry about a reservation. Please let us know if you need a ride.

Free presentation at the School
Special Offer -- discounts on Fall Classes and some free tools!

Get discounts when you take multiple classes in the Fall
Free tools from FastCap when you attend a class (starts September 28th).