Fall Seminar

2017 Seminar - Andy Rae

September 15-16-17, 2017

Andy Rae has been working wood for over three decades, designing and building furniture as well as teaching and writing about the craft. His work has been featured in galleries, museums, and in the homes of appreciative clients around the world. Andy has authored over 100 articles for woodworking publications such as Fine Woodworking, American Woodworker, and Woodcraft Magazine. He has authored five books, including Furniture and Cabinet Construction (2001, Taunton Press) and Working with Wood (2005, Taunton Press).


Andy Rae worked with George Nakashima and Frank Klausz before founding his own woodworking business. He has been awarded a New Jersey Council of the Arts Fellowship for his furniture designs. Rae spent six years on staff with American Woodworker magazine when it was owned by Rodale Press. As senior editor, he published articles by woodworking enthusiasts and penned numerous bylines. He wrote his first woodworking book in 2001 (Furniture and Cabinet Construction, Taunton Press) and has since authored four more, including Working with Wood (2005, Taunton Press). In addition to making furniture and writing about it, Rae teaches regularly at schools and clubs. Probably his biggest thrill (besides woodworking) is tooling around the mountains of Western North Carolina on a motorcycle, often with a sidecar attached and kid or two-and sometimes a tongue-wagging dog-in tow. He currently works in Asheville, North Carolina, making furniture as well as teaching and writing about woodworking.


During the weekend, Andy will teach the essential steps for building a small side table. Dubbed a ‘student table’ due to its use of solid wood and time-tested joinery, this particular form allows students of the craft to get a firm grasp on the most basic aspects of designing and building furniture, from dealing with wood’s inclination to move and how to accommodate it, and choosing and cutting the right joints (joints that every student of woodworking needs to master), to the art of detailing your work, selecting the right glue, and building a fine finish. Don’t be fooled by its diminutive size: The construction of this small table is the perfect doorway for opening your skills—and your mindset—into the bigger world of furniture making.


Andy’s focus will be on straightforward construction methods that any beginner or intermediate woodworker can handle in a small home workshop. He’ll use a mix of hand tools, machine tools, and shop-made jigs, as well as stress the need for a comfortable approach to building furniture. We’ll look at wood selection, surface preparation, and the tools and techniques for achieving dead-flat, straight and curved surfaces, as well as furniture-grade joints, from dadoes and dovetails (through, sliding, and stopped), to mortise-and-tenon (through and wedged) and bolts and nuts (used sensitively, bolts are fine in fine furniture). A durable, fast finish will complete the course. Participants will come away with an in-depth understanding of how to design and build their own furniture (and not just tables!), plus they’ll gain a better understanding of what tools, materials, and techniques work best for the small shop.


The weekend seminar includes:

3-day seminar – Friday evening, Saturday, and Sunday
Breakfast rolls, donuts, coffee and juice provided


Saturday and Sunday morning
Catered hot meal lunch – Saturday and Sunday
Soft drinks, coffee and snacks provided all day




Andy's table will be raffled off Sunday

proceeds to support the Turnaround for Vets program


Download Seminar Poster

Download Seminar Flyer 

Download course outline


$130 - SDFWA members
$160 - non-members (includes 2017 SDFWA membership)


Dates & Times

Friday, Saturday, Sunday   September 15-16-17, 2017

Friday 7pm – 9pm, Saturday 8am – 4pm, Sunday 9am – 3pm


San Diego School for Creative & Performing Arts

2425 Dusk Drive  <<< click for Google map

San Diego, CA 92139

Driving Directions

Go South on I-5 or I-805 towards National City, and take 54 heading East.

Take the Reo Drive exit off of 54.

Turn left (North), then take the first right onto Parkside Ave.

Proceed about 3/4 mile, then turn left onto Dusk Dr.

Proceed about 1/2 mile, then the School for Creative and Performing Arts will be on the right.


Ed Gladney, Seminar Chair