Joinery Bootcamp

Join us May 7th for a day of joinery instruction and practice. Starting at 10am, you’ll learn how to layout and execute the four most used joints in furniture and cabinetmaking.

Lap Joint

Bridle Joint

Dovetail Joint

Mortise and Tenon Joint

Could you in a Box?

Hand tool techniques and design, joinery and finish…we’ll cover them all in this course.

Most of the furniture projects we make are based on a basic box form. A blanket chest, a chest of drawers, a sideboard, an entertainment unit, bookshelves, wall cabinets, medicine chests, even side tables with drawers- they’re all boxes of one form or another.

Hand Tool Bootcamp

This course combines three of our Intro Classes into a single day-long course.  The day rolls three of our most popular classes into one day.

Intro To Hand Tools

Intro to Sharpening

Intro to Hand Planes

MakerSeries - Open Course

In this class, students of all levels will be able to create their own projects, with the help and guidance of our Instructors along the way. Be it something you’ve seen in a magazine, an existing plan on the internet, or one of the furniture or tool projects from my books, we’re here to help you achieve your goals.

May 31st Start

June 2nd Start

June 4th Start

Designer-Maker Programs

3 Month - Designer Program

6 Month - Maker Program

9 Month - Artisan Program

From the historic methods described by André Jacob Roubo in the 1700’s, you’ll study tools and techniques used centuries ago. We’ll then fast forward three hundred years, and find inspiration and motivation from the impractical teachings of James Krenov.

Saw Bench Kits Now Available!

Pre-Dimensioned and ready for joinery and final smoothing.

Available in assorted local hardwoods:

Ash $145

Maple $145

Walnut $170

Bird's Eye Maple: $185

Skinny Legs in the UK

May 5, 2016

Readers Project   I received a letter from a reader in Peterborough, United Kingdom, and wanted to share it with you. Lucian recently finished making a side table, following plans from my book, Made by Hand. I think you did a great job on the table Lucian- thanks again for sharing these images with us!   […]

Joinery Boot Camp

May 2, 2016

    Hi folks! We’ve had an overwhelming response to our Intro to Hand Tools and Hand Tool Boot Camp classes here at the UW-Toronto, and thought we’d put together a nice continuation on that theme. This Saturday,  May 7th, we’re offering a Joinery Boot Camp, where students can spend the day with us, learning […]

EELS of Inspiration

May 2, 2016

‘EELS’ Epiphany    Eureka    Lightbulb    Spark All of these words are used to describe the moment of clarity, when we’re struck by the hand of inspiration. You have an epiphany and suddenly you spring into action designing or working on a new project or idea. You have that eureka moment and feel this […]

Installing a Nicholson Style Bench Vice

April 29, 2016

    When we started the Unplugged Woodshop – Toronto, it was important to keep the student to teacher ratio low. Most of the schools I teach at Internationally have 8 workbenches which seems to work quite well. I decided to follow that model and made 6 Nicholson style workbenches, and 2 Roubo. Over the past […]

It Starts with a Box

April 27, 2016

Rosewood Studio – May 9th to 14th, 2016. Perth, Ontario   As Spring time s-l-o-w-l-y unfolds here in Southern Ontario – I’m really looking forward to my annual excursion up to Perth, where you’ll find Rosewood Studio, a school for fine woodworking. Once a year, I spend a week in the picturesque town of Perth, Ontario, where we […]

To Be Great

April 25, 2016

“You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great” A member of the Unplugged readership sent this quote to me this past week. He said as soon as he read it he thought of Monday Mundane. Reading it, I immediately thought about a few of the greats we acknowledge in our wood working world –

Some Common Ground

April 18, 2016

“The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.”  -Albert Einstein   Over the past few years, I’ve been extremely fortunate to be able to travel all over the world, teaching people about something I truly love- working wood by hand. From East to West, […]

Meet me in Munich

April 15, 2016

I’ve just returned from Australia, after 18 days of teaching my box making courses and already looking ahead to the end of May, when I’ll be travelling to Munich for a week of tool chest building. The Cabinetmaker’s Toolchest is a 6 day course where students will learn how to build a custom chest that […]

18 Days Down Under

April 13, 2016

Once a jolly swagman camped by a billabong Under the shade of a coolibah tree, And he sang as he watched and waited till his billy boiled: “Who’ll come a-waltzing Matilda, with me?” ~ Waltzing Matilda, traditional   I’m home and it sure feels good to be here. I arrived in around 10pm last night, […]

UW Bench Kits

April 5, 2016

– An Apprentice’s Journey –  BY JUSTIN STARR UW Bench Kit Build Video – Part 1 UW Bench Kit Build Video – Part 2 DOWNLOAD PDF PLANS DOWNLOAD SKETCHUP PLANS What do you get when you combine home centre pine, an old piece of plywood, 4 dovetail joints and 1 coat of General Finishes Enduro-Var? With the right […]

A Reason to #getwoodworkingweek

March 26, 2016

– An Apprentice’s Journey –  BY JUSTIN STARR It’s #getwoodworkingweek 2016. Here are a few tips that helped me get started in woodworking. If you want to know more about how Get Woodworking Week started, click here. Set a Timeline Sometimes it’s easier to work to a timeline. You may find it easy to complete projects you are […]

Unplugged in Germany

March 23, 2016

READERS PROJECT I received a letter from a former student in Germany this week and wanted to share it with you. John recently finished a smoothing plane following plans from my book, The Unplugged Woodshop. He used Ash for the body and a reclaimed iron. I love how he made the plane somewhere between the […]

Doing the Best You Can

March 21, 2016

MONDAY MUNDANE   No, let me rephrase that; doing the best YOU can. ( see the difference? ) I read a quote by Albert Einstein and it inspired me to write today’s journal. This is what he said: “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, […]

Meet me Down Under

March 20, 2016

    Hi folks! As March is quickly winding down, I’m getting ready to head down-under, to Melbourne, Australia, where I’ll be teaching at the Melbourne Guild of Fine Woodworking for the next couple of weeks. From March 29th to April 3rd, I’ll be teaching my favourite course, “It Starts with a Box.” ( sold out ) followed […]

A Sawyer’s Bench in New York

March 18, 2016

READERS PROJECT   I received a letter from David in NY this week and wanted to share it with you. David recently completed a Sawyer’s Bench inspired by the robust, timber bench I made last summer while I was in Cape Breton. ( You’ll find that project over on our membership site – An Unplugged […]

A Funeral Chair in California

March 16, 2016

READERS PROJECT   I received a letter from Tyler in Napa, California this week and wanted to share it with you. Tyler recently completed making a Funeral Chair following plans from my book, The Unplugged Woodshop. I really like how he shaped the front corners of the seat frame, adding an almost Arts and Crafts […]

Saw Bench Kits Now Available

March 14, 2016

    Whenever I speak to new wood workers, one of the reoccurring discussions we have is the time and energy they need to spend on dimensioning lumber down into manageable parts before they can start a new project. To that end, we decided to help the process out a little and are now offering […]

A Tour of the Unplugged Woodshop

March 12, 2016

  Hi folks, it’s early Saturday morning and I’m just getting ready to run off to teach our Introduction to Hand Tools class at the UW-Toronto. Before I get going, I thought I’d share a new YouTube video recorded last week. I know there’s still a few of you who don’t follow the social media links, […]

Unplugged in West Virginia

March 11, 2016

READERS PROJECT I received a letter from TJ in West Virginia last week and wanted to share it with you. TJ recently made a Kerfing Plane and Frame Saw following plans from my book, The Unplugged Woodshop. He really did a fantastic job putting his own style into the Kerfing Plane with its carved elements. […]

Walking With The Hope of Spring

March 9, 2016

    By Stephen Melhuish February has come and gone fast and the days are stretching a little longer now, the crisp air of January has turned to gentler temperatures as the sun bathes my journey to work. Already things are changing, the guy who sells coffee in a roadside lay-by from the back of […]

Life is a story, and we're all writing our own chapters, what will you decide to say?"

From The Unplugged Woodshop book. Tom Fidgen, 2013

Contact Us

An Unplugged Life

An online membership site that will inspire you to get offline, slow down, & work smarter with your hands & heart.

  • Weekly Episodes
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  • Fundamental Hand Tool Skills
  • Tips & Tricks to finish each project

Here on theUnpluggedWoodshop.com, we proudly welcome tens of thousands of visitors each and every month, from 146 Countries worldwide! While teaching both Nationally and Internationally, I realize that some people will never have a chance to take a class with me, face to face, at the UW - Toronto or abroad.

The internet had leveled the playing field and by joining our Member Only area, AN UNPLUGGED LIFE, you can see what I do on a daily basis while I teach furniture design and hand tools, regardless of where you are on the planet. If you have access to internet-you can study the fine art of furniture making with me from the comfort of your own home. Members will not only learn how I do the work I do, but more importantly, I'm going to teach you why.

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Episode 167 – The Fluted Panel

By tom | May 4, 2016

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episode 166 – Cabinet Frame Continued

By tom | April 30, 2016

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Episode 165 – Haunched Mortise & Tenon

By tom | April 28, 2016

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Episode 164 – Group Project Rabbets

By tom | April 26, 2016

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Episode 163 – Unboxing the Bayonet

By tom | April 23, 2016

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Episode 162 – MGFW & Alastair Boell

By tom | April 21, 2016

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Episode 161 – Vesper Tools

By tom | April 19, 2016

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Episode 160 – HNT Gordon

By tom | April 16, 2016

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Episode 159 – BJS Planes

By tom | April 14, 2016

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Episode 158 – Could You in a Box?

By tom | April 11, 2016

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Episode 157 – Great Ocean Road

By tom | April 8, 2016

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Episode 156 – Walking With Giants

By tom | April 3, 2016

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