INTERMEDIATE STUDENT REVIEWS
From Intermediate Students following completion of Practical Woodworking 101
I finally have a moment to sit and tell you how much I enjoyed the course. I feel fortunate to have come upon your website and to have learned at your bench-side. I enjoyed your no-nonsense, practical approach to woodworking, refreshing after reading so many magazine articles filled with dogma. The mix of power tool and hand tool use was just what I was looking for. The course was filled with useful content, and I learned more than I thought possible in a short week. But it was really your skill as a teacher that set this course apart. You have a way of making the material clear, easy to understand, and memorable.
As a bonus, I learned several handy expressions such as "kattywompus" (?spelling) and the eternal "all things will be revealed." I think I'll use that last one in my own lectures to medical students, if you don't mind.
Thanks again for everything. Young Kim, Boston, MA.
Thanks again for the wealth of information you conveyed throughout the week. I have just finished the table with boiled linseed oil, found some Waterlox, and in a week or so will have the project done.
I really appreciated the time and effort along with the patience for guiding me through the week. You were absolutely correct in the advertising about the school. Studying under a master craftsman and the years of experience and information that you passed on were excellent and would be hard to surpass.
I try to approach these things with an open mind and appreciation of learning from an accomplished artist. The school fully surpassed all my expectations. Having loaded up on machines and tools with no experience or training had damaged my confidence that I would have ever been able to do anything worthwhile working with wood. My accuracy and measurements were major problems for me in everything I tried to do.
Your common sense approach, commitment to safety, and the practices that you have learned over the years and taught to us, restored my confidence and once I was able to see the proper way to do things, I realized that there were many things I had to change.
Two things that really struck me during the class: 1, the way you taught multiple ways of doing the same task were great, but following it up with how to do it and make it repeatable, accurate and successful and safe, was tremendous and very eye-opening, and 2, taking us through the genesis and lifecycle of your jigs and how to do things that were not readily apparent, not only gave us insight to how to approach and overcome challenges, but was very inspiring and enlightening. I believe that there are lessons there to use throughout any many aspects of life.
Thank you for an experience that I will be able to draw on for years to come. Please let me know if you decide to write a book.
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Thanks again, Mike Friedel, Round Hill, VA,
I wanted to let you know how much I appreciated the effort and dedication you put into the practical woodworking 101 class. When describing the class to my wife I said it was somewhere between fantasy camp for woodworkers and woodworking boot-camp. The commitment and intensity you brought to class everyday was simply outstanding. You impressed us daily with the attention to detail that always began with safety, lead to proper execution, and ended with professional quality results. And you never waned in that intensity throughout the entire six days. In short, you gave more than you had to every day. I can easily think of a dozen little tips that you gave in class that whether through avoided trips to the ER, or saved wood, or improved quality would have alone made the course a bargain. But again, you went beyond that with a methodical approach in presenting the course material and expert demonstrations. Added to that was attentive supervision by yourself or one of your apprentices during the application exercises.
The course was well designed, literally beginning Monday morning with "this is how wood is formed in a tree" and ending Saturday afternoon with finishing techniques. Consequently, the information fell logically into place and made sense. As you said, we started in woodworking kindergarten on Monday, passed through elementary school, high school through the week, and then woodworking college by the end of the week.
I came to the school a little "snake-bit" from a shop accident and not knowing if I really wanted to continue with woodworking as a hobby. I left rejuvenated and inspired. I believe you equipped the class with knowledge of how to be save in an inherently dangerous environment, and the foundations of skill to elevate our hobby. One epiphany I had during the week was what it is to be a Master Woodworker. It really is so much more than a mastery of woodworking and joinery techniques. It's the mastery of wood. The reading of the wood itself with anticipation of how it will behave under stresses or milling and tooling. And how best a piece of wood will join into a project. Having a well equipped shop (like Norm's) and knowing hot to operate every tool in it makes you a technician. But to combine that with the ability to read and understand wood makes you a Master Woodworker. Coming from a Medical background I liken this ability to that of a Doctor diagnosing a patient and then prescribing a course of treatments. Positive outcomes are a result of first an accurate diagnosis and then appropriate treatments. Your results speak for themselves.
It was a pleasure and a treat to have met you and to have been a part of your class. The little and the big things you shared with us will make a difference in our shops and beyond. You are not only a master of what you do, but also a fine person I am proud to know. You motivated and inspired and passed along knowledge some would have kept secret. In the words of the fictional Texas Ranger Captain Woodrow Call, "splendid behavior". If you add a Woodworking 102 I'll be there. Again you gave more than you had to.
Sincerely, Patrick Bailey Euless, Texas.
To anyone looking to take a class in practical woodworking, I would simply say that there is something here for almost everyone. From rank beginner through advanced intermediate, you can't go wrong selecting the J.D. Lohr Woodworking School. John E. Wilson, Virginia Beach, VA
I took Practical Woodworking 101 in October at Jeff's school. I've done some basic carpentry work in the past and I am fairly handy around the house. I've picked up tools here and there for the past 15 years but have not been able to motivate myself to build very much. I didn't want to build birdhouses in order to practice so I became a couch New Yankee woodworker enjoying the craft through Norm. Jeff's course description sounded like a perfect, hands on, course for me. Although I was all thumbs (which I think is normal when you are learning something new), I enjoyed the week thoroughly. As a matter of fact, the experience gets richer as I look back on it.
I don't think there are many opportunities in life where you get the chance to work with a Master, in his shop, using his tools. And make no mistake; Jeff Lohr is a Master of his Craft. I could have spent an entire day in his Showroom appreciating his work.
Jeff makes a point of spending time with each of his students so they don't fall behind. That's a good thing because he packs a ton of information into the one-week course. He spends time on safety, basic skills, jigs, time and money saving ideas (you will get a new appreciation for garage sales and flea markets) and he shows you several ways of doing each thing. The hardest part for me was just relaxing and soaking up all of the information. If you have a basic understanding of woodworking terms and tools, you can get a great deal out of this course. The experienced woodworker will get as much as he or she wants to get out of it as well. "The more you learn, the more you realize how much there is to learn". I don't know who said it but it applies here. If you watch and enjoy Norm, if you love the smell of sawdust, if a freshly planed board gives you a thrill, you will love this course. Sit down at your computer now, and get on his list for the next available block of classes. It is well worth the wait, (it will be here before you know it) and very much worth the money. Lane Emley, Old Bridge, NJ
Your course is the bargain of the century. I am simply blown away by the depth of your teaching in just six days. Yes these where six completely filled days of you imparting your superior knowledge gained over the decades of your profession. I cannot imagine how I could possibly have learned more in such a short period of time.
Having been a lecturer and adjunct professor myself, I realize that you must have devoted countless hours far beyond what your students saw in order for us to never have any down time during the entire six days.
My advice to anyone considering your course is to ENROLL, "if you are lucky enough to get a slot". Any student cannot possibly be disappointed, provided the student attends with the proper attitude to spend full days (even long days) learning, with much intensity.
Woodworking Course Syllabus