Woodworking Essentials


A complete course covering foundational knowledge and core woodworking skills recommended for all serious woodworkers.

Skill level: Beginner to intermediate

Instructor: Jonathan Cohen, has more than forty years experience as a professional furniture maker/designer and over twenty years experience teaching.

Class Length: 10 weeks, 6 hours per week, meeting twice weekly.


Woodworking Essentials here at the Ebanista School provides the student with 60 hours of lectures and hands-on practical knowledge. The student should come equipped with a thirst to learn fine woodworking skills, focus, and desire to work.

Initially, the course will be more lecture-oriented, covering subjects such as trees and lumber, a bit of history, and lots of slides and examples of fine woodworking. Quickly we will move into the basic use of hand tools such as chisels, planes, and saws; hand power tools such as routers, biscuit joiners, and jig saws; and machinery such as the joiner, planer, and the all-important table saw.

Great attention will be given to general shop safety and the safe use of all tools.

The course culminates in students applying their newly acquired knowledge and skills to a small project along the lines of a jewelry box or side table.


By the end of the ten-week program the student should:

  • Have the ability to make decisions on accruing personal tools to carry them further into their career in woodworking.
  • Have the ability to make informed choices on the different woods available to use in their projects, and how to select individual pieces and treat them.
  • Be confident and able around every basic tool they will use and that will carry over to a facility with which to approach new ones.
  • Have an introductory understanding of the function and construction of jigs, and other aides around a woodshop.
  • Have a wonderful project to take home.


There are no prerequisites for the Essentials class.


Shop materials included (sandpaper, glue, oil finishes). There will be books recommended to those who wish to supplement their learning at Ebanista, which also has a small lending library.