I had heard nice things about the Alabama Woodworkers Guild before I left last week to teach a two-day seminar in building a Stickley cabinet and an evening SketchUp workshop. When I arrived on Friday I found a shop that matches my dream workshop almost exactly. Guild members enjoy the use of a restored schoolhouse outside of Birmingham, Alabama. Wood floors, an abundance of natural light and all the equipment needed to build almost anything out in a rural setting greeted me after a nice drive in perfect spring weather.
The wonderful facility was matched by a wonderful group of folks. Friday evening’s SketchUp workshop drew a nice crowd with intriguing questions. Saturday morning we began the woodworking build; me working to construct a modified version of the Gustav Stickley No. 700 bookcase in front of about 20 guild members. I didn’t quite “git ‘er done” but I came close, demonstrating a variety of hand and power tool techniques for making solid wood furniture in the Craftsman style.
Jeff Branch, seen in the lower right corner of the photo at left was in attendance, and you can read his impressions, and see a bunch of photos of the weekend in this post at Jeff Branch Woodworking.
I had a delightful time, fielding questions, talking about history and enjoying the company of the guild members. These folks made me feel right at home, and as a group they help each other build skills. The guild will be doing a group build of this cabinet over the next few months and I can’t wait to see the results.
The guild also helps their community by building toys for several good causes and working with Habitat for Humanity. I’m extremely grateful that I got to spend a few days enjoying their hospitality. If you are near Birmingham, Alabama you should check out the guild. If you are from another area, you should also check them out for here is an example of a local woodworking guild doing things right.
Here is a link to the Alabama Woodworkers Guild website.
This coming weekend I will be in Franklin, Indiana teaching a SketchUp class at Marc Adams School of Woodworking. I will be returning to Marc Adams in the fall to teach a week-long class in building the original version of the Stickley No. 700 Bookcase. Click Here for information on this year’s classes at MASW.
If you’re interested in having me teach a woodworking or SketchUp class for your group or organization, click on my signature above to get in touch by e-mail