Jul 14

Rosewood Studio - Excellence with Hand Tools

  • Rosewood Studio

Well developed hand tool skills are essential to efficiently creating fine furniture in the small shop, and are one of the great pleasures of making furniture as an avocation. With today’s emphasis on speed and instant gratification, many woodworkers have developed proficiency with power tools without learning the benefits and acquiring the skills of hand tool use. This course is designed to help you develop or improve these skills, which are intrinsic to the type of carefully made, high quality furniture we strive to create.

 In the first course in our Craftsmanship series, we cover in depth the preparation and use of hand tools basic to the craft of furniture making. In a small shop, as opposed to a factory environment, use of hand tools is often more efficient than doing the required machine set up to produce results of comparable accuracy, to say nothing of lesser health risks and savings in space and machinery costs.

  We work with students to develop their skills in preparing and using hand planes to produce beautiful surfaces ready for finish without the mess, cost and health risks involved in working through successive grits of sandpaper. We delve into the differences between various hand planes available to today’s craftsmen, and how they affect the performance of the tools. You’ll learn to sharpen and tune your planes to maximize their performance, and various means of getting a keen edge on irons quickly and efficiently. We go through a similar process with all of the basic hand tools used in the making of fine furniture, including chisels, scrapers, spokeshaves, hand saws and layout, marking and measuring tools.

  By the end of the week, we pull it all together and have you hand cutting through dovetails. Along the way we’ll explore the physical nature and working properties of wood, a key to understanding what is and isn’t possible in building with this versatile yet at times frustrating material.

8:00 am08:00

Weekend with Wood


150 years ago, hand planes would have been commonplace in all wood shops around the world. There were planes for flattening, smoothing, shaping and joinery cutting. With so many planes how is a woodworker to know what to use? Vic will guide you through the myriad of planes available to modern woodworkers and show you how to use many of them. He will also show you how hand planes can save you time and money in your shop as well as a whole host of tips and tricks that will help you succeed with tools without cords.


Of all the important, fundamental skills required to work wood, perhaps the most overlooked are solid marking and measuring skills.  In this class, Vic will teach you the tricks he’s learned over the years including working without numbers, and pencil and marking-knife techniques. He’ll also go over his essential marking and measuring tool list, take you through the various types of tools available to you and explain how to use them most effectively.

May 20

Handworks 2017

  • Amana Colonies

For the third time, join modern woodworking hand tool makers and fellow enthusiasts for a weekend immersion in all things handwork. Unplug from the world of machines, dust and noise while listening to the crisp sounds of the hand plane, chisel and saw in a restored timber-frame dairy barn in the traditional, historic German village of Amana.

Ask the makers about their tools and learn first hand how hand tools make woodworking more precise, easier, more enjoyable, and more meaningful.

Apr 23

Fine Woodworking Live - Working Wood the Minimalist Way

  • Southbridge Hotel & Conference Center

Vic Tesolin honed his approach to furniture making in a one-car garage, where there just wasn’t room for big machines. He’ll share what he’s learned about working in a small space, relying on hand tools and a few machines (like a bandsaw). He’ll also offer some advice on how to choose tools for the minimalist approach, and demonstrate how to cut a few joints.

9:00 am09:00

Kingston Wood Artisans Symposium 2017

Six excellent presenters, Gallery of work done by the Presenters, KWA Members and invited guests from the Kingston Woodturners Association and the Ottawa Woodworkers Association, free Morning Coffee & Donuts and Lunch, Door prizes exceeding $2,500, Sponsors on site … and sharingcamaraderie with those who love working with wood.

Vic's presentation:

The Jack - The Hand Tool Workhorse

There are few tools in the hand tool stable that are as versatile as The Jack. It is just the right size for a whole host of tasks at the bench and is the first hand tool anyone should own. Vic Tesolin will take you through a brief history, talk about the different types available and how to set them up for ultimate success.


Apr 1

Lee Valley - Ottawa - Make a Cajon

  • Lee Valley Tools

A cajón is a Peruvian box-shaped drum that you sit on to play. Vic Tesolin will take you through the steps to make your own drum. He will help you size your drum and guide you through the plywood and hardwood construction. Vic will also show you how to expand the sound with an optional snare. All tools and materials provided.

Mar 4

Lee Valley - Scarborough - Make a Shaker Dovetailed Box

  • Lee Valley Tools

Dovetails are thought of as being difficult to cut and fit and because of that, there is hesitation in the beginner woodworker to incorporate them into their design. In reality, with a little patience and practise (and the Veritas® Dovetail Guide!), they aren't beyond the beginner. Vic Tesolin will guide you through the making of a cherry dovetailed box. Approximately 8"x10"x4", the box will incorporate a hinged lid and an applied bottom, making it ideal for keepsakes. During the class, you will learn how to install hinges, use a hand plane, cut dovetails (with and without a jig) and apply a simple wax finish. All tolls and materials will be provided.

12:30 pm12:30

Lee Valley - Scarborough - Plan and Set Up a Workshop

  • Lee Valley Tools

Are you in the early stages of setting up a workshop or just getting started in woodworking? Have you slowly acquired an assortment of tools (hand and power) and now wish to organize them into a safe and productive work space? Vic Tesolin will cover the basics of purchasing tools emphasizing skill level, project intentions, budget and priority. Vic will also cover workshop organization and space considerations.

Feb 26

Hamilton Woodworking Show

  • Canadian War Plane Heritage Museum

Whether whittling a branch with a knife or using intricate tools, many Canadians use Woodworking as a form of relaxation, with the added bonus of creating something useful and/or beautiful. The Hamilton Wood Show, Canada’s largest consumer woodworking show celebrates everything to do with wood for hobbyist and professionals at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum.

Attend free seminars and learn from the best! Special guest Vic Tesolin author of the Minimalist Woodworker, alumni and past instructor of Rosewood Studio, past editor of Canadian Woodworking Magazine and Technical Advisor at Lee Valley Tools will be down from Ottawa to pass on his knowledge and expertise in various seminars. 


Nov 20

The North of England Woodworking and Power Tool Show - UK

  • The Great Yorkshire Showground

The North of England Woodworking & Power Tool Show is the largest and longest established retail woodworking and power tool show in the Country.
The show is an excellent day out with over 30 demonstrators taking part, plus a woodworking clinic, great prizes to be won in the free raffle and more than 70 companies exhibiting.

I will be there working with Axminster Tools & Machinery demonstrating tools and techniques. 


5:30 pm17:30

Lee Valley Seminar - Ottawa Store

  • Lee Valley Tools - Ottawa

Woodworking in a Small Space

To be a woodworker, you need the desire to make something with your own hands, but you don't need hundreds of square feet of space or thousands of dollars' worth of gear. You may be surprised at what you can accomplish with about 50 square feet and some hand tools. Vic Tesolin will talk about his own shop and how he has made it efficient despite its small 170 square foot size. He will cover the furniture in his shop and how all of it began on a hopped-up Workmate® bench.


6:00 pm18:00

Lee Valley Seminar - Ottawa Store

  • Lee Valley Tools - Ottawa

Fundamentals of Finishing

Many people are intimidated by applying finishes. What's the difference between lacquer and shellac? What are some simple finishes that you can use? What tools do you need? Vic Tesolin will answer these questions and show you various methods to protect and highlight your woodworking projects. Safety, surface preparation, topcoats and sealers will all be covered. As a bonus you will go home with a copy of Understanding Wood Finishing.


9:30 am09:30

Lee Valley Seminar - Ottawa Store

  • Lee Valley Tools - Ottawa

Make a Shaker-Style Schoolroom Bench  

The Shakers were known to value function over ornamentation. Many of the items they made had a timeless design and an appealing elegance. Vic Tesolin will take you through building your own communal bench with only hand tools. The hand-cut joinery is simple and charming, and the overall design will fit into almost any décor. All tools and materials will be provided.


6:30 pm18:30

Lee Valley Seminar - Ottawa Store

  • Lee Valley Tools - Ottawa

Fundamentals of Bench Planes  
Vic Tesolin will discuss various bench planes and their uses in the workshop. You will have the opportunity to learn the proper grip, stance and techniques to successfully handle various types of bench planes, including jack, smoother, jointer and low-angle block plane. Other topics will include holding the workpiece, which direction to plane, the use of a shooting board, and the fine-tuning and maintenance of hand planes and scrapers. All tools and materials will be provided.

Oct 2

Woodstock Woodworking Show

  • Woodstock Fairgrounds

The Woodstock Woodworking Show, Canada’s oldest consumer woodworking show celebrates everything to do with wood for hobbyist and professionals at the Woodstock Fairgrounds. The Show returns for its 31st year from September 30 – October 2, 2016.

Please visit http://woodshows.com/woodstock/seminars/ to find the topics and times for my lectures.

Sep 17

Woodworking in America

Woodworking in America is the ultimate woodworking experience, offering you top-notch education, an array of high-quality vendors showcasing the latest tools and supplies and the opportunity to learn from woodworking legends in person. 

Now in its 9th year, Woodworking in America is headed back to the Greater Cincinnati Area for its 2016 event!

Woodworking in America is brought to you by the editors of Popular Woodworking Magazine. Blending the best of hand tool and power tool woodworking, its editors specialize in providing woodworking projects for all skill levels. 

I'll be in my usual spot in the Lee Valley booth demonstrating and answering questions.