Ottawa Coffee Table Making Pilot Course

March 02, 2016

Ottawa Coffee Table Making Pilot Course

Hello World! This is the first blog post on our new site, so I'll take a minute to introduce the concept of the shop. My Urban Workshop is Ottawa's largest community woodshop. We offer shared workshop space (power tools and hand tools) and woodworking courses for members and non-members of any level. We also specialize in building some of the highest quality custom wood pieces in the region. From live edge tables to kitchen cabinets and everything in between, we'll simply build it better. We hope you come check out our custom furniture Ottawa!

This winter we've been working on a rotation of courses for woodworkers of all levels. One of the courses we're experimenting with right now is a coffee table making course taught by Derek Roach. The pilot class has 5 students from beginner to novice, and each student will bring home their very own table at the end of the class. We thought this was an essential aspect of the class, but it presents it's own set of challenges. Everyone has very different personal tastes when it comes to woodworking. One person may want a wood slab on hairpin legs, another person may want a laminate table on a steel frame. The more experienced students may want to build their own wooden table base. How does one accommodate for such varying projects and skill levels? 

We've contemplated a coffee table level 1 vs coffee table level 2 course, where slabs would be undertaken exclusively in level 1 and laminations in level 2. We could then offer a level 3 class for students who want to get into building table legs and bases. Another option could be an add-on portion to a class, say 2 extra sessions, for tables with increasing complexity. Once we have this figured out we'll be enrolling students into what we feel will be our most well attended class to date. We can't wait to see what people make with Derek's amazing guidance. 

Here are a few pictures of one of the tables a student has made. This is his first ever woodworking project. You can follow the progress of the class in the photo album on our Facebook page. The album shows all the steps that were required to make this lamination. And please do follow us on Facebook, it's where we will share the most tips, tricks and ideas to really enhance your woodworking projects. Thanks for coming on the journey with us, we're really looking forward to what 2016 will mean for the shop and it's members. 

Cover image courtsey of Jeremiah Soucie, one of our members.



1 Response

Jeremiah Soucie
Jeremiah Soucie

April 26, 2016

Last fall I purchased a block of 15 hours at My Urban Workshop. I had great intentions on coming in and fiddling around with a couple of starter projects. This course came along and give me the knowledge required to get me into the shop. It was the first Course it’s kind and allowed for perhaps a more organic, free form, student focused class. It was not in a box. You came with your plan, your idea and your wood. It was refreshing to see everyone pursuing very different styles and techniques to achieve the same end goal of the coffee table while being simultaneously well supported throughout. Derricks expertise gave everyone learning far beyond our own individual projects. I now feel comfortable in a number of woodworking skills that before the course I had only cursory knowledge. Perhaps just enough to be dangerous!

Whether this course or some other at MUW, you’ll not be disappointed. Check them out!

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