Fine Woodworking Classes & Workshops
FINE WOODWORKING CLASSES AND WORKSHOPS IN BRISBANE.
 
I have a strong desire to share my knowledge with those seeking a creative outlet, or tangible form of self-expression that can be fulfilled through a medium such as wood. This is why I’ve been actively writing for Australia Wood Review magazine since 2012 and why I also teach woodworking to others who share, or wish to discover, my passion for this craft.

 
Teaching and training has always been a passion of mine. I held several key instructional postings throughout my 20-year military career. To read more about this aspect of my background, scroll down below the class information. Take a look at our Student Project Image Gallery.

My classes are for all levels of woodworkers in a modern, clean and fully-equipped professional workshop in Darra in metropolitan Brisbane. Students will learn on and operate machinery from Felder, Hammer, Jet, Festool, Triton and Bosch. An extensive suite of handtools is available for use from premium makers such as Lie-Nielsen, Veritas, Starrett, Colen Clenton, Chris Vesper, Blue Spruce, HNT Gordon, Tite-mark and more.

Classes are conducted on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6-10pm. Students attend one evening per week.
 
I offer the following classes in fine woodworking:

Hand-tool Essentials

Students new to hand-tool woodworking, or those who wish to learn to do the basics extremely well, would complete an introductory course in hand-tool use, covering marking and layout, tool care and maintenance, tool tuning and setup, tool selection, the design and cutting of several fundamental joints (such as half-laps, dovetails, mortise and tenon) and sharpening. Core woodworking tools such as chisels, planes and saws, as well as layout tools, will be covered in great detail. Each evening session would also contain a short discussion on key woodworking topics such as designing for wood movement, choice and use of adhesives, wood identification and selection etc.
 
Rather than focussing on any set projects, I set skills-based exercises that have been carefully chosen to give you the best grounding and experience in the use of each key group of tools. I've found that by teaching this way, you will finish this course with more advanced skills and a higher levcel of confidence to begin tackling projects of your own that are far more advanced than if we'd built a simple project that can only cover certain skills.
 
To ensure you get the best experience possible, all exercises are completed with select pieces of premium timbers such as Tasmanian Blackwood, Jarrah, Hoop Pine, New Guinea Rosewood, American White Oak, Queensland Maple, Silky Oak etc. The exact species will depened on what I have available in the shop at the time of each week's class.
 
This course is designed to fit the maximum amount of learning value into a finite time frame. Accordingly, whilst we spend as much time as is needed to complete the exercises, it is deliberately designed to be an accelerated learning curve so that you can get the most out of the program.
 
This is all covered as a structured program conducted over 6 evening sessions, one evening per week. This is the course to attend if you want to learn to use hand tools properly. The cost for this module is $600+GST, which includes the use of all tools and all materials.

Course overview:
 
Week 1 - Introduction to the core groups of hand tools. Exercise - Lap joint. Theory topic - The nature and properties of wood
Week 2 - Exercise - Dovetail lap joint. Theory topic - Woodworking adhesives, clamps and clamping techniques
Week 3 - Exercise - Through dovetail. Theory topic - Designing and building for wood movement, including the selection and application of grain and the different cuts from the log.
Week 4 - Exercise - Half-blind dovetail - Theory topic - Sharpening for premium performance
Week 5 - Exercise - Twin mortise and tenon joint. Theory topic - Wood finishing
Week 6 - Handplane round-robin. Spend 15 mintues at 12 separate stations designed to introduce you to the power and flexibility of handplanes in the workshop. Shape a rough bandsawn leg with spokeshaves, take 1/1000" shavings with a smoothing plane for a finish-ready surface, mill roughsawn timber, cut grooves and rebates with joinery planes and more.....
 
Machinery Essentials

This class program is designed for those who'd like to experience how to safely and effectively utilise powered woodworking tools and equipment. Suitable for beginners, those with some experience, or even those with their own workshops at home who wish to learn how to better operate their machines. It covers the safe and effective setup and operation of core woodworking machinery such as table saw, jointer, planer, bandsaw, router, drill press, drum sander, dust extraction etc. Again, this would be conducted as a structured program over 6 evening sessions, one evening per week.
 
This is the course to attend to really learn how to use woodworking machinery safely and properly. As part of this, we will each be building an elegant lift-lid box, which has been specifically chosen as the teaching vehicle for this course as it includes practical use of most of the learning objectives of the course. See the American Oak and Walnut "Keepsakes" box in my gallery to see an image of this project. We will build this box in Tasmanian Oak or Queensland Maple as the primary timber with the lid, base, and accent details being done in a contrasting timber such as Jarrah, Tasmanian Blackwood, Queensland Maple etc.
 
This course is also designed to fit the maximum amount of learning value into a finite time frame. Accordingly, whilst we spend as much time as is needed to complete the exercises and the project, it is deliberately designed to be an accelerated learning curve so that you can get the most out of the program.
 
The cost for this module is $600+GST, which includes the use of all tools and materials.

Course overview
 
Week 1 - Introduction to general workshop and power tool safety procedures. Learn the basics of milling roughsawn timber and take several large pieces of Hoop Pine from roughsawn to dressed-all-round. Learn and practise the basics of handheld routing and planing. Theory topic - storing timber, roughsawn or dressed.
Week 2 - Commence box project. Learn and practise the basics of handheld powertool joinery, including dowel, pocket screw, biscuit, Festool domino
Week 3 - Continue project. Learn and practise the basics of table-mounted routing, as well as handheld and standing sanding tools and machinery.
Week 4 - Continue project. Learn and practise the basics of power drills and impact drivers and learn how to choose and install threaded hardware and fixings in your projects.
Week 5 - Continue project. Learn and practise the basics of handheld power saws, including jigsaws and the use of circular saws both freehand and with a track/rail guide
Week 6 - Finalise and finish project. Course wrap-up and open question time.
 
Ongoing classes

Once both of these introductory modules have been completed, students can continue to attend and would then essentially, under my supervision and guidance, use my workshop and equipment to go on to designing and building projects of their own choice.
 
A significant benefit of these ongoing classes is that very rarely will two students be working on the same type of project. Accordingly, by sharing the same workshop space you will “learn by osmosis” as you observe other students learn and conduct specific techniques, which could be as simple as a specific type of joint or something more elaborate such as bent laminations or veneering.

This type of class is also open to woodworkers who already have some experience and wish to further their skills and experience in a professional workshop setting. With access to my equipment and under my guidance you will be amazed at what you can create.

The cost for ongoing workshop classes is $600+GST for a block of six weekly evening sessions. These sessions must be taken during consecutive weeks. This includes the use of my workshop space, benches and machines, supervision and ongoing guidance in the design and building of individual projects. Students will need to purchase their own materials for the construction of individual projects for this level of class. I can provide guidance and referrals to several reputable local suppliers for all your needs in this regard, or you can purchase directly from my own stocks at reasonable prices.
 
Individual tuition

Individual tuition, on the topic of your choice, may be available during working hours for $75 per hour + GST. Availability will be dependent upon my current work schedule. This could be as short as spending an hour with me to learn the fundamentals of sharpening and tool setup for premium performance, through to a week or more of dedicated, customised training to suit your individual needs.

IN-HOME INSTRUCTION
 
I can travel to your home workshop to assist you in any woodworking topic of your choosing, from workshop design and setup to the tuning and use of hand tools to the safe and effective use of your suite of woodworking powertools and machinery. This is a unique option to secure some individual instruction and guidance to suit your own particualr workshop arrangement. I have significant experience on both European and American machinery styles and Western and Eastern styles of handtools, so I can give you the appropriate guidance for any given situation.
 
Subject to my own production schedule, this is available in the Brisbane metro area for $100 per hour plus GST or outside the metro area (up to 4 hours drive from Brisbane) for $100 per hour plus GST and travel costs. 

Workshops

In addition to my regular evening classes, I offer short-term workshops focused on specific woodworking techniques, as follows:
 
Introduction to Double-Bevel Marquetry with Peter Young
 
Marquetry is the art of making pictures with wood. On this two-day course you will learn how to make a simple picture using commercial veneers and how to use a vacuum press to glue it to a substrate, suitable for use as a box lid. The double bevel cutting technique is simple, quick and neat and once the basics are mastered it can be used for quite complex designs. Peter Young is one of Australia’s finest exponents of this amazing technique. Limited to 8 places.

15-16 July 2017

 $550, including GST, all tools, materials, food and refreshments

Introduction to Kumiko and Shoji with Des King

Learn the fundamentals of traditional Japanese woodworking techniques on this workshop with world-renowned Master, Des King. Students will learn the correct terminology, layout, sawing, chiselling and planing skills to successfully execute some amazing patterns, such as the asa-no-ha. Suitable for all levels of woodworker, this is a very popular and enjoyable program. Limited to 10 places.

12-14 May 2017

2018 TBA

$660, inc GST, catering, all materials, tools (students will be required to provide some basic tools for themselves), and the full set of layout, sawing and shooting jigs used on the program.

Build your own custom workbench

 In a one-week time frame, come along and build your own dedicated workbench, custom-made to suit your own ergonomics and style of woodworking. This is proving to be an extremely popular option for those looking to be able to continue their woodworking in the comfort of their own workshop. Based on a contemporary version of the versatile Roubo workbench design, we will select an appropriate hardwood (I usually recommend using either Victorian Ash, European Beech, Rock Maple or American White Oak), discuss the style and type of vise hardware to be utilised, exact dimensions to suit your personal ergonomics and proceed with the build.

Starting from large, rough-sawn boards from one of my suppliers, we will go through the full process of dressing the stock, laminating the benchtop and frame components, layout and cutting of joinery, assembly, design and installation of the sliding deadman (a very useful workholding device on the front face of the bench), installation of the vise hardware and installation of the bottom shelf.

This is an exciting and intensive week of woodworking, a full-immersion program in my fully equipped professional workshop, the culmination of which is your very own custom workbench, designed and made just for you.

The cost for this program is calculated on an individual basis. The stock and hardware you use is charged at market rates from my suppliers. The workshop time taken for the build is charged at my rate for Private Tuition ($82.50 inc GST per hour) for individuals. This activity also works very well in pairs, as the extra set of hands on deck gives a lot more flexibility in regards to the milling and dressing of stock, big lamination glue-ups etc. In this instance the time is charged at $110 inc GST per hour, shared between the two participants. Let me know if this interests you and I'll add your name to the list of interested people and we'll coordinate a mutually suitable time together.

Please note this program and timeframe is based on installing a simple vise mechanism - if you're interested in installing a more complex mechanism (such as a leg vise or chain-drive vise), this will require additonal workshop time so please contact me to discuss this option further.

Parquetry Masterclass with Peter Young 

Parquetry is the art of making patterns with geometric shapes. In this two-day veneering workshop you will learn the skills required to incorporate simple yet visually stunning patterns into your next project. Two exercises will be set, a chessboard and then a Louis Cube. Both projects will be fixed to a suitable substrate in my industrial-grade vacuum press for you to take home and build into a project of your choosing. Peter Young is one of Australia's finest exponents of this technique and you will take home many new skills. Limited to 8 places.

2018 TBA

$550 inc GST, all tools and materials and catering both days

Introduction to Veneering

 Knowing the basics of veneering will significantly expand your woodworking capabilities. The correct use of veneers can allow you to design your projects around the traditional constraints of wood movement, make the most of a special piece of wood, create stunning visual patterns and effects and minimise the environmental impact of woodworking. On this two-day workshop you will learn the basics of using commercial veneers, including cutting, edge-jointing, creating basic patterns, the selection and use of appropriate substrate materials, the preparation and conduct of pressing in a vacuum press and the application of solid edging to your veneered panels. Along the way you will make either a decorative serving tray with some elegant stainless steel carry handles, or a lovely quarter-matched tabletop with a decorative frieze and mitred border. Limited to 8 places.

2018 TBA

$495, including GST, all materials, food and refreshments

Sharpening

Unlock the true potential of your edge tools with this half-day session dedicated to the development and maintenance of your working edges.

Learn about the use of mechanical and hand methods for cutting and polishing the steel, as well as their specific application to plane irons, chisels and card scrapers. Bring in your worst, most banged-up old chisel for review. Damion will pick one and prepare a brand new, razor-sharp edge on it as a demonstration. Limited to 12 places.

21 Oct 2017

2018 TBA

$165, including GST, all materials, morning tea and lunch

Bandsaw Masterclass

If you are considering buying a bandsaw for your workshop or if you already own one and can't get it to work properly, then this one day class is for you. In this class you will learn how to select the correct blade, how to install the blade and tune the saw, how to safely use the machine for basic cutting operations and then learn about some of the more advanced cuts and joints that can be made with this incredibly versatile machine. Limited to 12 places.

18 November 2017

$198, including GST, all materials, morning tea and lunch

Handplane Masterclass

If you would like to learn how to use handplanes to their full potential then this workshop is a must. There are few things more satisfying in woodworking than the sweet feel of a well-tuned handplane taking the wispiest of shavings to leave a wonderfully tactile surface on the workpiece. In this workshop you will learn about basic handplane anatomy, the various styles of handplanes and how to correctly prepare the tool, including preparing and sharpening the iron (both with straight and cambered edges).

Further, you will learn how to set the tool for the correct depth of cut that you are seeking, how to correctly secure your workpiece at the bench and how to apply the most efficient use of force through the correct application of body posture and alignment.

Along the way you will get to experience making shavings on many types of planes, from the No101 Violin-Maker's Plane to No8 Bench planes. Towards the end you will get to witness and experience the true versatility of handplanes as we go over making rebates, dadoes, grooves, hinge mortises and more with joinery handplanes. Limited to 8 places.

10 June 2017

$198, including GST, all materials, morning tea and lunch

Introduction to Handcut Joinery

Knowing how to cut fine woodworking joints by hand is extremely rewarding. In this workshop you will learn the fundamental skills and processes required to successfully cut two challenging yet versatile joints, the through dovetail and the mortise and tenon.

Experience using premium quality hand tools and working on premium grade cabinet timbers as we go through the skills and processes necessary to successfully execute these two quintessential joints. The skills and experience you gain from this workshop will transfer directly to many other woodworking skills and techniques. Limited to 8 places.

9 September 2017

$198, including GST, all materials, morning tea and lunch

 

Reservations

To enquire about a class, please contact me via email or on mobile 0407 522 207.

A 40% deposit will secure your place, with the balance payable at the commencement of the first session. The deposit is refundable up until 14 days prior to the commencement of your classes, providing that a replacement can be found.

Payments can be made by cash, cheque, credit card or direct deposit.
 

Damion’s non-woodworking teaching and training background
  • Officer-in-Charge of Ground Defence training at the RAAF Security and Fire School, 2000-2002. In this position I was responsible for the planning and provision of initial employment and postgraduate studies for Airfield Defence Guards and postgraduate training for Ground Defence Officers
  • Instructor in Tactics and Leadership at the Royal Military College, Duntroon, 2003. In this position I was responsible for the planning and conduct of the Security Operations tactics package undertaken by cadets in their senior semester.
  • Chief Instructor, RAAF Security and Fire School, 2006-2007. In this position I was responsible for the scheduling, standard and quality of instruction on 75 different courses of instruction provided to 23 separate military trade groups.
I also hold formal qualifications in Training Development and a Nationally Accredited Certificate IV in Assessment and Workplace Training.
 

So what does this all mean to you as a potential student of mine?
 
It means that I have vast experience in the development, planning and conduct of quality training. Specifically, it means that I can take a particular skill or process, break it down into subordinate steps and then design the best method of teaching that skill in the most efficient manner, using a variety of theoretical and practical methods.