I'm playing a bit of catch-up :)
If you've ever watched his videos (YouTube, DVDs, or his guild), you know he has a hundred ways to accomplish the same thing depending on your tooling and mood. I respect that a lot since all too often in woodworking there's a preponderance of "only" ways to accomplish anything. If anything, learning 12 ways to make a certain joint comes in handy when you have to correct something undoubtedly caused by your tape measure being a half inch short. ahem...
The first day was a woodworking show held at the Tucson Woodcraft. Days two and three were the real classes.
Anybody who has watched Charles knows he's a finishing guy; all throughout a build, he's focused on preparing anything he can to simplify and improve the finishing stage. He had a good overview class of various finishes followed by a small spraying workshop complete with Apollo and Earlex spray systems.
General Finishes Enduro-Var to stabilize punky spalted Maple. He had a very punky board with large soft pithy areas. A quick coat of Enduro-Var (which dries very quickly) and the pithy part was solid enough to work. He talked about a bowl he turned back home that was nearly falling apart. A soak in Enduro-Var and he was able to finish turning without loads of CA glue. I've used the stuff on a few small shop projects since the class and I can tell you it's tough!
The spraying class was a lot of fun for everybody; most people have questions about certain spray problems or don't have a sprayer yet and want to see how it feels. We had a booth setup where they could spray exotic corrugated cellulose (ahem, cardboard). What was fantastic for the participants was explaining a problem they get and having Charles reset the gun so it produced that problem. It was then easy to make the adjustments right there and try again. I think he's taught this class a time or three.
Fozzi Bear when done... yes, I was the hose-monkey who held the DC hose near the grinder and I looked like that when we were done; it was a hazing incident, I'm certain!!)
He's made a video of this now that you can see here:
Coincidentally, a friend of mine (hi, Brian!) is making a lot of Maloof-inspired chairs right now. I mentioned this class to him and how well it worked so he found the video. From what he said, it was much easier than other methods, faster, and cleaner. Worth a try.
This posting is too serious, so we need a funny story. Day 2 ends and it's time for dinner. Everybody says the Silver Saddle is a great steak house so we decide to let the other gopher lead the way thanks to GPS. To protect the guilty, we'll call this gopher Donald. He types in Silver Saddle and the top two entries are both Silver Saddle. I say it's the second one cuz it's Silver Saddle Grill; Donald punches the first one "oh, it sometimes has duplicate entries". Well, true, both entries were 5.3 miles from Woodcraft. We drive there. We're getting close and it's in a residential neighborhood. Then we're by a used tire yard with hubcaps. Then, there it is, the Silver Saddle... strip club! Awesome! Wait, why is Donald going around apologizing to the other cars? I mean if he needs cash or something...
Meanwhile, back at the Silver Saddle Grill, I'll assure you our waitress was prettier than any at the other place.
Funny story part deux: the store got the wrong type of PVC for the steamer so it was melting and collapsing everywhere before the class while pre-heating. Just wanting to make it last through the class, Charles asked for some duct tape and was given a big new roll. His eyes got big and told me, "with a whole roll, I can make a car!" I believe it.
Last class was on cutting compound tenons on the table saw. The jig is featured on his chairmaking DVD as well as the latest "Tables" series in his guild. We built it before class in no time at all. It's both ridiculously simple and ridiculously effective. Clever. You'll see it in use on a project video early next year.
All in all, it was an excellent 3 days of woodworking education. Since I follow his guild and have many of his DVDs, I knew a lot of the content already. The gems above (and the location of the other Silver Saddle) will definitely get used in future projects.
Thanks for the great weekend, Charles!