The Spark Woodshop teaches two kinds of classes: instruction and project. Instructional classes are currently for Spark members only, and focus on teaching the use of one or two specific tools. Students learn the operation of those tools, which allows them to use those tools at any time. Project based classes are open to the general public, and center around a woodworking project. As well as learning appropriate tools, students also learn design, assembly, and finishing techniques, and take the project home at the end of the class.
To sign up for classes, visit the Spark Eventbrite page. New classes are announced on the Spark website, the Spark Facebook page, and through e-mail on the Spark mailing list. Class descriptions identify which tools will be used in the class.
Update 1/9/2022: The Woodshop leads are currently working on assembling the shop space in the 7 Union Street building. Instruction classes for members will be coming soon; project classes will follow at a later date. More updates to come.
If students are not Spark member, or Spark members who have not yet been approved for Woodshop access, they should read the Non-Member Safety Rules and expect to sign a liability waiver prior to the start of classes. Paper copies of the rules will also be available.
Suggestions for students on attire, foods, parking, etc. is available in the Woodshop Class Preparation Guide, and reproduced below.
What to Wear:
- Comfortable shoes and appropriate clothes.
- Students should expect to spend most of the class standing on their feet, so comfortable and supportive closed-toe footwear is important. Students should expect that clothing worn in the shop may end up full of shavings, sawdust, splinters, and glue. If the class includes power tool use (most do), students should avoid hanging cords, loose sleeves, or other entanglement hazards in clothing. Coats and purses may be hung on the coat rack in the shop, but are likely to get dusty during long classes. Please plan accordingly.
What to Bring:
- Drinks and a lunch.
- Students should bring drinks and snacks, if desired. Weekend classes over three hours generally incorporate a one hour lunch break. Spark has a refrigerator and microwave available,or students can avail themselves of a number of restaurants in downtown New London.
- Personal Protective Equipment (optional).
- All classes in the woodshop will require the use of protective eyewear (ANSI Z87 rated). Ear and respiratory protection is also suggested for most classes. If you have personal equipment to meet these requirements, we encourage you to bring it. If you don’t have any of this gear, don’t worry - Spark will supply all the required equipment to safely complete your class.
Where to Park:
- On the street, or in back of the building.
- Street parking is usually available on State Street, but is limited to 2 hour parking between 8am and 6pm. For non-members, the street parking allows easier access to the building as only the front door has a doorbell. There are also some parking spaces in the rear of the building. If you park in back,please ensure that you are in a Spark space and not one belonging to the church. Parking gets quite tight on Sunday mornings or when the church has an event. Non-members parking in the rear of the building should expect to knock VERY LOUDLY on the rear door in order to be let into the building.
Students will make a small box with drawer(s) out of a single piece of stock to be taken home at the end of the class. Students will be introduced to gluing techniques, several bandsaw techniques, and basic methods of finishing (shellac). Students should expect to do a significant amount of hand sanding as part of the process. Students will gain significant experience with the bandsaws and the bench sander during this class.
For more information, see: Woodshop Class - Bandsaw Box
Students will build a wooden cutting board. Students will start with mixed strips of wood, and will glue, flatten, shape, groove, and finish the cutting board. This is a two-session class, and at the end of the second class students will take their project home. Students will use the table saw, planer, plunge router, and router table as part of this class.
For more information, see: Woodshop Class - Cutting Board
This class is aimed at the complete woodshop novice. Students will build a laminated wooden mallet using oak and epoxy. At the end of the class, students will take home their mallet. As part of the class, students will be signed off on the compound miter saw and the bandsaw, and will get an introduction to the drill press, router, and table saw.
For more information, see: Woodshop Class - Laminated Mallet
Napkin Holder and Trivet
Students will make a matching napkin holder and a trivet out of a single laminate board with contrasting colors. Students will learn how to set up and use the router table to cut dados and round over edges. Finishing techniques including applying shellac and mineral oil will also be demonstrated. Members will be certified on the chop saw and the router table as part of this class.
For more information, see: Woodshop Class - Napkin Holder
This class is intended to teach the use of common portable power tools. Students will make a Viking chair, also called a bog, stargazer, or one-board chair
For more information, see: Woodshop Class - Viking Chair