Beginner Student Reviews

A MUST ATTEND COURSE FOR WOODWORKERS

What an amazing experience. An intense week of learning, of fun, of bonding, and of watching masters at work who were more than willing and happy to share their knowledge and expertise. Even though it is advertised as a beginners course it goes well beyond beginner level. I believe any level woodworker attending this class will learn a lot more than they expected when signing up. The syllabus which covers woodworking steps in an organized comprehensive manner is well thought out and covers an extraordinary amount of material. As structured the transition from one step to the next is totally natural and logical. The balance between the didactic and the practical is flows totally seamlessly. Every step of the course is first demonstrated by a member of the staff. The staff does not move on until everyone in the class has grasped the concept. Then, onto the hands-on part which is closely supervised by an extremely friendly, dedicated, patient and professional staff. Jeff and his staff could not be more engaged. The ratio of 4 instructors to 11-12 students allows each and every student to feel as if they have a personal one on one instructor throughout the course.

As the sign says in the shop “All things will be revealed”, indeed all things not only were revealed but revealed with great detail and clarity always with a total focus on safe techniques. Any question the class had was responded to by pointing to the sign above and indeed all questions were more than answered.

I came to the course thinking I was an intermediate level woodworker and was skeptical about attending a beginner’s course. After a very short time with these true professionals I realized how much there was to learn, so much so that I am seriously debating attending the same beginner’s course again to absorb even more of the sound principles, before attending the next level course. The only difference is that now I know I would be more than happy paying double the awfully modest tuition I paid for the course.

Thank you Jeff, Rob, Larissa and Eoin for sharing your knowledge and expertise with us in a most accommodating, gracious attentive manner. I look forward to seeing you soon.
— Samir Azer, VA
I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you, Rob, and Larissa for a week that substantially exceeded my high expectations. I learned an enormous amount, built a decent amount of self- confidence, had fun, but know there’s a tremendous lot yet to learn before I’m really comfortable. It was a lot of work last week! I’ll enjoy drawing on my experiences in Schwenksville, my notes, and your very good DVD to keep moving forward. Thank you again.
— John W., Ellicott City, MD
Besides the beautiful setting and the patient instructors, what stood out for me during the week was Jeff’s no-nonsense and straightforward approach to woodworking and how much time we spent actually practicing the craft. Jeff and his team broke down how-to demonstrations into very understandable steps, emphasizing first safety, safety, safety. And they were always around to explain something further or to ensure we were doing our work safely and properly. As a beginner, I came away from the course feeling confident in using the different tools and excited about putting my newly learned skills to use at home.
— Denise-Marie S., Rochester, NY
I just wanted to take a moment to say thank you for the great time I had this past week in the Practical Woodworking class. I have nothing but nice things to say about the whole experience. The course is structured perfectly and provides an excellent balance between lecture, demonstration and shop time. Rob, Larissa and Eoin were all great. They are all very knowledgeable, talented and entertaining. They kept things moving at a good pace and never hesitated to step in when I or anyone else needed help (which was quite frequently).
I have no doubt all of the information that was shared this week will help me immensely with my future woodworking projects. You and your crew helped demystify many things in a relatively short period of time. Both your school and the body of work your professional studio produces are very impressive. I sincerely hope to attend the advanced courses in the future once I’ve had some time to develop my skills.
— Brian P., Souderton, PA
Jeffry Lohr and his fantastic team, Rob, Eoin, and Larissa, expert woodworkers in their own right knocked it out of the park in this six day Practical Woodworking Course. For the beginner to experienced woodworker, you will be challenged in this fast paced, hands-on class. As a novice, I came only knowing how to use an electric screw driver and walked away knowing how to work with raw wood, how to read wood grains in order to match them up for seamless gluing, how the importance of marking each step of the project eliminates mistakes, how to safely use high powered machinery like a joiner, a table saw and different types of blades and blade placement for a rip cuts and cross cuts, to learning how to use a plainer, a jig saw and a router.

Jeff also designed several jigs for each type of job that made even a novice look professional. His expert knowledge in jig making was the highlight for everyone who attended. He and his team demonstrated the progression of different jigs that he designed over the years, why they work and how they changed to make the job even easier. Everyone also learned the proper use several hand tools, how to sharpen them for different types of task, how to use different types of clamps for specific steps of your project. The class was filled with daily lectures and demonstrations to prepare for each step. I don’t think a minute was wasted by his team between teaching, demonstrations, and hand-on experience.

Jeff and his team guided us step-by-step and also demonstrated the types of mistakes we could easily make and why. And yes, some of us even made the mistakes and discovered how to correct them and save our project. All of the teachers were readily available to answer any questions and help guide everyone. There were several advanced woodworking tips, from safety to making mortises, to advanced jig making that would enhance even the experienced woodworker’s skills.

Thank you for sharing your wisdom and expertise in such a delightful way.
— Donna S., Doylestown, PA
I wanted to take the time to thank you, Rob, Eoin, and Larissa (yes, Joie too) for a great week.

I have done some work on small wooden boats but never learned the right way to do woodworking and was reluctant to start building my small home shop until I had the sense that I knew the basics. Thanks to you and your intrepid crew, I’ve reached that goal. In six days your course did exactly what you said it would, equipping me with the basic knowledge and skills I need to take the first steps in building my own workshop and start working on the small projects (boxes in particular, along with other “mini” versions of furniture) I want to explore over the next few years.

I have a good sense of what tools I need – and don’t need. And thanks to you, I have a good basic knowledge of some specific jigs I’ll use frequently and a real appreciation of when and how to use jigs for consistent results. Most important, I have the confidence to begin I did not have when I signed up for your course. You were right on target when you said that the project table was the means to an end and not the end itself. During the week learning was more important than the actual product, although my wife, Julie, is delighted with the table: “I’m impressed,” she said; high praise from someone with high standards. Thanks for making that possible.

I’d recommend your workshop and your wonderful crew to anyone who knows a little or even nothing. Your course provides the opportunity to gain knowledge, skill, and confidence, not to mention tool knowledge and help setting up a shop!
— Sam B., Easton, MD
As I remarked while there, I had waited a long and anxious time to attend your class and, having been there, am in no way disappointed. I thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of it - even the repetition of safety rules (which I have since learned is absolutely necessary). The techniques I learned, the skills I acquired, the tips I picked up, the assistance I was given, the instruction I received: all top-notch, high quality and professional. Larissa, Rob and Eion were always happy to help, and having you walk around and offer spontaneous insights was tremendous.
— Woody V., FL
I have nothing but nice things to say about the whole experience. The course is structured perfectly and provides an excellent balance between lecture, demonstration and shop time. Rob, Larissa and Eoin were all great. They are all very knowledgeable, talented and entertaining. They kept things moving at a good pace and never hesitated to step in when I or anyone else needed help (which was quite frequently).
I have no doubt all of the information that was shared this week will help me immensely with my future woodworking projects. You and your crew helped demystify many things in a relatively short period of time. Both your school and the body of work your professional studio produces are very impressive. I sincerely hope to attend the advanced courses in the future once I’ve had some time to develop my skills.
— Brian P., PA