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Old 06-26-2012, 05:55 AM
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Default College of the Redwoods

James Krenov was one of my heroes back in the 70's. I loved his first book since it was more a philosophy for living a good life than specifically about any singular craft. His follow up books were great. Of course, during all of this I didnít have time, money, or tools, so reading about his life was the closest I was to get to woodworking.

I didnít learn until 2005 that Jim had moved to America and started a Fine Woodworking program at College of the Redwoods. I called immediately only to find that he had retired a few years prior. It didnít stop me from contacting him and then visiting him in his home shop. I think that I discussed that around here already.

During my visit, I stopped by the school to see what it was all about. Thereís some very incredible work that is produced every year. Their nine month program is really special and thereís a fair amount of competition to make it into one of the few benches. Their summer programs are easier and last year I was able to attend a saw making class taught by Kevin Drake. I really enjoyed myself and I dreamed of being able to take the Tools and Techniques class, which mimics the beginning of the nine month program. I mentioned it in passing to my loving wife and she promptly pointed out that I should do it as soon as possible (apparently Iím still aging).

I applied and Iíve been at it for the last two weeks. This is our third and final week. Itís been a whirlwind but Iíve loved every moment. Iíll be sorry to see it end. The facilities are great, the area is really pleasant and the students and teachers are all top notch. Iíd recommend this program to anyone interested in woodworking.

Iím not great at describing much of this, but one of my classmates has been blogging about his experience. Check it out at:

Of Woods and Planes and Sharpening

In the meantime, Iíd best get back to living the dreamÖÖÖÖÖ..

Mike

PS Finally I have the time, a few tools, and oh well, two out of three ain't bad.
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Old 06-26-2012, 06:36 AM
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Default Re: College of the Redwoods

That's so cool, Mike! Congratulations on living the dream. I'd sure like to hear more about it. And of course,

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Old 06-26-2012, 09:50 AM
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Default Re: College of the Redwoods

Excellent opportunity, Mike... glad you got booted out of the house for it
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Old 06-26-2012, 02:23 PM
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Default Re: College of the Redwoods

Sounds like tons of fun, Mike! Attending that school has been one of my ethereal dreams for many years.

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Old 06-26-2012, 02:35 PM
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Default Re: College of the Redwoods

Sorry about the lack of pics, but if you take a look at Sean's blog, you'll see plenty. I'm scrambling just to get things done. I'm not sure how Sean is managing to take pics and then blog in the evening.

I've come across some interesting wood here which is now in the back of my truck. The only problem with that is that from here we're heading to Oregon and Montana, back to Tahoe and eventually to the shop in Oceanside at the end of August. The wood is just going to have to travel along and look pretty. Kinda frustrating to not be headed straight back to the shop after the class, but it's all good.

I'd encourage you to check out Sean's blog. Quick and fun.
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Old 06-26-2012, 09:45 PM
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Default Re: College of the Redwoods

Mike
Wow, the pictures and content Sean's blog were a dťjŗ vu moment for me.
I spent six weeks at the Inside Passage of Woodworking on the Sunshine Coast of BC, Canada with Rob van Norman, whose program was developed on the teachings of Jim Krenov. We had a weekly call with Jim just before he died and it was a pleasure listening to him talking about the various exercises (very similar to those at Redwoods) and other things!
Enjoy the rest of the course.
Kev
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Old 09-07-2012, 02:23 PM
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Default Re: College of the Redwoods

I'm now taking a Hand Tool Joinery class at Palomar College being taught by Jennifer Anderson (a 2 yr. grad from College of the Redwoods) at Palomar College. One of the differences coming out of Krenov's program is that they attempt to train you to ďseeĒ things rather than measure them. They work on the eye hand coordination in subtle ways. Itís often pointed out that if it looks right, then it is right, and thereís no need to measure.

The biggest difference (beside philosophy) in the two schools is that at Palomar classes are typically 4 hours. That means hauling tools, materials, and projects back and forth. It was nice to spend all day/every day totally immersed at CR. Once you get moved in, itís just a matter of getting up in the morning with a grand smile on your face as you head out the door to your great day in the shop. Iíll continue to enroll in their summer programs as long as they offer them. Fantastic!

I canít talk this up enough. Iíll let you all know when the next classes are announced. Itíd be great to have a few tFerís there in the future.
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Old 09-07-2012, 03:01 PM
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Default Re: College of the Redwoods

Sounds great!!
If you remember and have time, some photo's would be cool
Cheers!
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Old 09-07-2012, 03:38 PM
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Default Re: College of the Redwoods

I consistently heard great things about the Palomar college program, Mike. As Okamisan said, it would be nice to see some pictures of their set up.

What a pain to haul your tools back and forth. I'm guessing you've figured out the minimum set that you need for your work?

What are you building?
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Old 09-07-2012, 03:56 PM
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Default Re: College of the Redwoods

Quote:
Originally Posted by TahoeTwoBears View Post

I canít talk this up enough. Iíll let you all know when the next classes are announced. Itíd be great to have a few tFerís there in the future.
That sounds good, Mike. How long do the classes typically run (days/weeks)?

.
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