Master Craftsman/Craftswoman

Certificate in Woodworking

Custom furniture makers design and build a wide variety of furnishings. This work requires a thorough knowledge of the furniture making process, including proficiency with design, hand and power tools, functional engineering, materials, finishing, and a capacity to problem-solve. In the Certificate program students learn through a series of classes how to:

  • Design and construct multiple different types of furniture
  • Estimate costs and select materials
  • Prepare working drawings
  • Mill lumber to specifications
  • Layout and cut woodworking joints by hand and machine
  • Operate stationary power equipment safely
  • Service and maintain all hand and power tools
  • Construct furniture using appropriate techniques, glues and clamping strategies
  • Finishing processes – sanding, filling, staining, finishing, polishing
  • Select and install furniture hardware
  • Use furniture ornamentation techniques such as inlay, carving, bending, and veneering
  • Understand the economics of furniture making

Students are encouraged to challenge themselves to learn new techniques and skills in each project they execute.

At the end of the course, the student is expected to present a body of work and clarity of knowledge developed over their time at the School. We expect students to graduate with confidence and the necessary skills to design and build fine furniture of their own.

Who is the Program For?

This program is for individuals who find the physical, mental, and emotional challenge of designing and building furniture rewarding. Individuals of any age who are exploring woodworking as a more fulfilling second career or those who wish to learn more about furniture making as a life-enhancing avocation will find this certification valuable.

Curriculum Requirements

A student must complete all of the following classes to receive their Master Craftsman Certificate of Woodwork:

Beginning Woodwork

This class will establish the foundation for all classes going forward.  You learn about design, milling, get an intro to joinery and contruction and make your first pieces.  You will also learn about safe use of all power tools along with the sequence of woodworking projects.

Handtool & Joinery

Along with learning about and making a wide variety of joints you will improve your layout skills, radically improve your measuring and accuracy and gain a better understanding of joint selection and wood behavior.  Sharpening and use of chisels, handplanes, spokeshave is an integral part of this class.

Box Making

Building on your woodworking and power tool knowledge and is a great stepping stone class to larger projects, like cabinets or drawers.  You’ll learn about joinery that can be used in a wide variety of situations, resawing lumber, jigs and construction.

Chair Making

Making a chair pushes a maker to consider a wide variety of woodworking challenges – ergonomics, engineering, aesthics, and construction process.  There are several chair class to select from all of them will take your skills to the next level.

Case Work – Elective

Building a case piece – buffet, desk, night stand –  under the guidance of an master funiture maker will help you to understand how to tackle larger scale, more complex piece of furniture.


An you advance through the Furniture Maker program, you will find that you have a particular interest in a certain type of work – perhaps it is marquetry, surface embellishment work, or creative box making – this elective should be used to help you focus and develop those skills.  There are also electives on the Business of Woodwork, CAD drawer and photographing your work.


A piece isnt done till it’s finished and often woodworkers fail at this last task.  A good finish is what makes your piece portfolio worthy in many cases and its good to understand how to select a finish based on your requirments and how to apply it.


Turning has an important place in furniture making – whether it is knobs, legs, or decorative elements knowing how to turn will provide choices and flexibility in your pieces.


There are several styles of carving, but all of them can bring dimension and finess to your work.  The School offers classes in traditional, classic carving, in the round carving and occassional power carving.

Two Week Apprenticeship

This final class will bring everthing you have learned during the course together.  You’ll work with two renown makers to bring a piece of your design into being.

Turning Your Craft Into a Business (webinar)

This online class is provided as part of general studies for a student if they intend to make build a business out of their work.


Recommended Order of Classes

The classes in the course curriculum below are shown in the general order that they should be taken. Each new class often builds on the knowledge of the one before it.

There is some general flexibility. For example, once you have taken the Beginning Woodwork class, you can take Box Making, Joinery & Handtools, in any order. Once these are complete, plan on tackling either the chair making or casework class. The remaining classes Finishing, Carving, Turning, etc. should be completed before the last class. The last class should be the Apprenticeship class.

Books & Tools



On Completion

On completion of the course, the student will receive an evaluation and a certificate. The School will also provide a reference where appropriate for those seeking work in the professional field.

How To Register and Pay

Use the form below to register for the program and then sign up for your classes.

There are three ways of paying for your classes:

    1. Pay for classes one by one.  You can this online by selecting the class and completing the registration process for each class.
    2. Pay for the entire program and complete your certificate based on your schedule and class availability. If you choose to register for the entire program, you will receive a 5% discount on tuition fees. 
    3. Establish an installment plan. The balance for each class should be paid in full before you can register.  The installment plan is available in a 6 month, 12 months, or 18-month plan.  

The cancellation and refund policy is the same for all classes.