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Instead of using my hands for typing or writing this past Saturday, I spent a (very) full day at the Woodright’s Woodworking School in our beautiful town of Pittsboro. You may be familiar with the school if you ever saw an episode of “The Woodright’s Shop” on PBS, a show that’s been running for over 30 years.

Roy Underhill novel

Roy Underhill’s new novel.

The Woodright’s School is owned by Roy Underhill, who I learned during lunch published his first novel just a few weeks ago! Learn about Calvin Cobb Radio Woodworker published by Lost Art Press.

woodworking project

Lining up the pieces for the memento box. Pre-dovetails!

The class I took was centered on creating a dovetailed memento box. Bill Anderson instructed the class, assisted by Will Myers. (Bill also baked pies, brought candy canes, and had mulled apple cider simmering for us all day!!) According to Bill, the Woodright’s School is the only one in the country that requires the 100% use of hand tools; all of which are 100-to-200-years-old. No power tools allowed! When I say it was a full day at the school – it was. I was there 11 hours with an hour break for lunch!

dovetailed memento box

Cut, sawed, and chiseled each dovetail by hand.

No photo provided, but I did chisel my own thumb and had the honor of the day’s only injury!

woodworking tools

Hand tools only!


Dovetails complete!

The classes are very popular. I was on a waiting list for four months to get into this particular class. Fortunately, a seat opened up several weeks ago and I was able to get in! The new schedule was just posted this week, and I won’t be able to make it to another one soon. I hope to take a bookstand workshop in 2015.

Bill Anderson woodworking

Bill Anderson showing everyone our next steps…

Bill Anderson Woodright School

…and patiently helping each and every one of us!

dovetailed memento box

The ‘finished’ product. (Actually unfinished–I still need to sand and seal this!) American walnut box, poplar base, maple top.

People came from far and wide for the class. Our town has several fantastic bed and breakfasts. (One owned by a novelist.) If you’re not in the Triangle-area of North Carolina – register for a class and make a weekend out of it.

The Woodright’s School 89A Hillsboro Street Pittsboro, North Carolina 27312