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Tools and Techniques

T and T with Jim Budlong

June 6 – June 24, 2022

James Krenov described the plane as ‘the cabinetmaker’s violin’; in this class students learn to make, tune and use this iconic instrument.

The class begins with a day of understanding sharpness and how to achieve it. Each student will be provided with maple stock to make two hand planes. By the end of the week, students can accurately joint two boards and plane the resulting surface to flat and clean.

Two Hock plane irons, 1 1/2” and 1 3/4” will be available for purchase at the beginning of class or you may purchase yours ahead of time. This is a required purchase and is included on the tool list(see link below) for this course. They are not included in the fees (course and materials) collected by Mendocino College.

The second two weeks are concerned with traditional woodworking joinery techniques: edge joining, doweling, hand-cut dovetails, mortise and tenoning, and frame and panel work. We emphasize a satisfying balance between machine and hand tools.

The idea that quality work is the result of sensitive use of tools and materials is a fundamental premise in all our classes, and is a concept underlying the topics covered in this introductory class.

The course consists of lectures, demonstrations, and individual guidance at the workbench. The course covers in three weeks much of the material the nine-month students cover in six weeks. Attendees who account themselves as intermediate learners often remark upon how much they’ve gained in this intense class.

Download our recommended tool list here. If you have any questions feel free to contact us at

T&T Tool List (pdf)

Just to give you an idea what we will be doing here is our schedule. We follow it closely and the class moves along rather quickly as we try to pack as much in as we can. 🙂

Week 1
Monday: Sharpening, block plane tune-up

Tuesday: Hand plane construction, mouth opening, slot for capscrew

Wednesday: Cross pin, sole slot, glue ups. Begin second plane

Thursday: Truing the block, sole glue up, filing the opening, scraping

Friday: Edge joining

Week 2
Monday: Joining and surfacing

Tuesday: Mortise and tenon

Wednesday: Through tenon. Issue doweling exercise stock. Rough sawing

Thursday: Dovetails

Friday: Half-blind dovetails

Week 3
Monday: Doweling

Tuesday: Detailing – rabbet, shelves, partitions

Wednesday: Frame and panel

Thursday: Frame and panel – the glue up

Friday: Review and catch-up; sawing for grain pattern; shellac finishing




440 Alger Street
Fort Bragg, CA 95437
Phone: (707) 964-7056