This was provided by Andover Historical Society staff member Carrie Midura.
Leave the 21st century behind and step back in time to an era before electricity while taking part in a working class at the Andover Historical Society in the 187 year-old Amos Blanchard Barn. While listening to the hum of a handsaw cutting though air-dried lumber and the sound of a sharp plane shaving curls of wood from a board, pick up a 19th century plane or router and try your hand at traditional woodworking with expert craftsman Stephen Anthony. Feel the warmth of the wooden tools and the satisfaction of learning an old “new” skill this fall.
“Hand Planes & Wireless Routers” is a six-week class designed to meet the needs of woodworkers, from the novice looking for an introduction to traditional woodworking skills to the advanced craftsman. The small class size and location create unique learning opportunity. With instruction from expert craftsman, Stephen Anthony students can make a basic, introductory project, such as a foot stool or candle box, from pre-milled stock. Novices will learn from the instructor and the more advanced students as everyone gets to use the antique tools and machinery.
In 1986, master craftsman John Ross provided an antique tool collection to the Andover Historical Society and started offering woodworking classes. Today, Ross’s student Steve Anthony continues to teach these woodworking classes using antique tools with the same sense of camaraderie and respect for tradition that instilled Ross’s classes.
Stephen Anthony started wood working by building kit furniture. He learned the basics of assembling the pieces and finishing, but found that these were his least favorite parts of the process. Looking to understand the other steps, things took a radical turn when he joined up with John Ross at the Andover Historical Society. There Stephen was introduced to the joys of hand-tool work, the fundamentals of preparing wood for use, joint layout and cutting, and how to assemble the various pieces together to create a finished piece of furniture.
Stephen’s goal is to help newcomers understand the basics of furniture construction, and to let them get some hands-on experience with joint layout and cutting. He also welcomes more experienced woodworkers who are working on longer-term projects and are looking to hone their hand-tool skills in an authentic 19th century woodworking setting.
“Hand Planes & Wireless Routers is $60 for members of the Andover Historical Society and $70 for non-members. Students receive a discounted rate of $40. Classes are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. This six-week series takes Saturdays from 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m., October 20-November 24, 2012 with one make-up session offered on December 1. Call the Andover Historical Society at 978-475-2236 or visit the Society online at www.andoverhistorical.org.
The Andover Historical Society tells the unique stories of Andover in order to foster a strong community that knows its history, values what it inherits, and takes pride in what it passes on to future generations. The Society offers a variety of educational programs to individuals and groups of all ages. For further information about Hand Planes and Wireless Routers woodworking classes call 978-475-2236; or visit www.andoverhistorical.org. New history stories are added weekly to the Society’s blog, www.andoverhistorical.org/blog. The Andover Historical Society is funded in part by a grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Commission.