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School history and statistics

The first woodworking courses I offered were Understanding wood and Dealing with wood movement. This was way back in 2005.

I demonstrated tapered dovetail housing joints at the September 2007 East Rand Woodworkers' Association (ERWA) Fair. A number of ERWA members encouraged me to run a course on this joint. This resulted in my first router course, RW1 - Tapered dovetail housing joints, which was run on 19 April 2008 and was attended by five ERWA members. This course was repeated four times in May 2008 and I was encouraged to develop further router courses. I added RW2 - Pattern routing in June 2008, RW3 - Using a dovetail jig in August 2008 and RW4 - Mortice and tenon joints in October 2008. By the end of 2008, 72 students had attended one or more of my router courses.

January 2009 saw the announcement of, what has turned out to be my most popular course, RW0 - Fundamentals of hand-held routing. I have since added another four router courses. Understanding wood and Dealing with wood movement have been reworked and combined into a one-day course Understanding and using wood. Using a bandsaw was introduced in June 2015 and has been run six times. Fundamentals of woodworking joints was introduced in October 2015 and has been run four times. My latest course is a subset of Fundamentals of hand-held routing aimed at wood carvers who can certainly benefit from using the router as a preparatory tool. I ran this for the first time in November 2017.

The emergence of the COVID19 virus in March 2020 has had a major impact on my activities. I fall into a high risk group (80+, Type II diabetic) and have stopped running face-to-face, hands-on courses. My objective is to move my teaching on-line. My first on-line course, Fundamentals of woodworking joints, was run on 27 June 2020. My second on-line course, Understanding wood, was run on 25 July 2020. The third on-line course, Dealing with wood movement, was run on August 8. These three courses are now part of a regular schedule.

I have had a lot of fun the last twelve years. I have met some super guys and gals and made some very good friends. They forced me to learn, a lot more about routing. I have also had a lot of challenges developing router jigs and accessories which are the mainstay of my router shop.

I have run 558 courses and welcomed 610 students from 8 countries (4 continents) to my school. Collectively they have attended 1323 sessions: an average of 2,2 sessions per student. Some of them are gluttons for punishment: 63 have attended five or more sessions, 4 have attended ten or more sessions. The record stands at 13 sessions (1 student). As mentioned earlier the Fundamentals of hand-held routing course is the most popular: 432 woodworkers have attended this course. The other courses shape up as follows:

   RW4 - Mortice and tenon joints - 194 attendees
   RW2 - Pattern routing - 165 attendees
   RW8 - Fundamentals of table routing - 132 attendees
   RW1 - Tapered dovetail housing joints - 89 attendees
   RW9 - Edging man-made boards - 52 attendees
   RW5 - Advanced table routing - 32 attendees
   RW6 - Frame-and-panel construction - 23 attendees
   RW3 - Using a dovetail jig - 10 attendees

UUW - Understanding and using wood - 116 attendees
FWJ - Fundamentals of woodworking joints - 18 attendees
UAB - Using a bandsaw - 15 attendees
UW (on-line) - Understanding wood - 5 attendees
DWM (on-line) - Dealing with wood movement - 4 attendees
FWJ (on-line) - Fundamentals of woodworking joints - 12 attendees
UPT - Using a planer / thicknesser - 2 attendees

In addition I have run 24 training sessions on special topics such as Setting up and tuning a planer / thicknesser, Fitting cabinet hinges and locks , Design and construction of kitchen cabinets, Cutting finger joints, Routing recesses for military chest fittings, Edge-to-edge biscuited joints , Fitting a door lock, Using a slot morticer and Routing and fitting inlays.


Last updated 30 August 2020