Woodworking 101

with Joseph Budka

Woodworking Classes in Chicago


Class Info

This workshop is introduces Dabblers to the wood-shop environment and basic woodworking skills. Aspiring woodworkers will be familiarized with the shop environment, learn the safe and proper use of many common woodworking tools, and several woodworking techniques. Tool instruction will include the safe and proper usage of the table saw, surface planer, clamps, band saw, stationary sanders, palm sanders, and carving tools. Other techniques may be introduced, as time permits. There will also be lectures on safety, wood species, and finishing.

Using the skills instructed, each student will complete a cutting board of their very own design and handy-work. Do to the restrictions of time and materials costs, we will be restricted in the overall size and scope of what we can do. However, there will be an opportunity for everyone to utilize their creativity, and personalize their cutting boards.


This class is intended for absolute beginners. No previous experience in woodworking is required. Though, it wouldn't hurt.

One note on mental preparedness - We will be using some heavy machinery throughout the day. So you should feel confident that you can handle that without getting nervous. Every step will be clearly demonstrated, and all techniques, safety tips and guidelines will be explained before anyone is asked to use any equipment. And no one will be pressured to do anything too far outside their comfort zone.

Course Reviews (46)
98% positive

  • Default_user_photo

    Marcia S.

    Left 16 days ago

    The instructions were excellent. Joseph was very thorough and patient with newbies.
    Safety was super important to him which was much appreciated.
    My only negative is that while we were in the class there was somebody using a finish with noxious fumes and there was not proper ventilation so we could hardly breath. They eventually turned on the fans. I would suggest do not allow this to happen while class is being conducted. It took away from what would of been an overall excellent experience.

  • Default_user_photo

    Sharon S.

    Left 22 days ago

    Joseph is a great teacher; very thorough, clear and helpful. I highly recommend this course - a great intro to woodworking AND you walk out with a great cutting board that you get to brag about.

    {"commenter_avatar":"/assets/fallback/default_user_photo-f2c0a37d5fe569acc6f03ae223a6129d.png","reviewer_name":"Shakila M.","created_at":"about 1 month","title_link":"<strong>Woodworking 101</strong>","positive":true,"review_content":"I learned to use a table saw! This was a great class. Even though I was an absolute beginner, I felt comfortable using all the tools, both powered and manual. I can't wait to go back to take Woodworking 102.","teacher_response":null}
    {"commenter_avatar":"/assets/fallback/default_user_photo-f2c0a37d5fe569acc6f03ae223a6129d.png","reviewer_name":"Daisy M.","created_at":"about 1 month","title_link":"<strong>Woodworking 101</strong>","positive":true,"review_content":"I left this class filled w/joy! I have always wanted to try woodworking and this class met EVERY expectation! Joseph is INCREDIBLY knowledgable and shares with sincerity and a dash of humor. It's so great to know about the MAKE! Chicago space.I can't wait for Wood Working 102 - do u have that? :)","teacher_response":null}
    {"commenter_avatar":"/assets/fallback/default_user_photo-f2c0a37d5fe569acc6f03ae223a6129d.png","reviewer_name":"Jennifer G.","created_at":"3 months","title_link":"<strong>Woodworking 101</strong>","positive":true,"review_content":"I had a great time and learned far more than I expected! The instructor is great, too. I highly recommend checking this class out if you want a solid, hands-on intro to woodworking.","teacher_response":null}
    {"commenter_avatar":"/assets/fallback/default_user_photo-f2c0a37d5fe569acc6f03ae223a6129d.png","reviewer_name":"Nikita W.","created_at":"5 months","title_link":"<strong>Woodworking 101</strong>","positive":true,"review_content":"Great intro class!","teacher_response":null}
    {"commenter_avatar":"/assets/fallback/default_user_photo-f2c0a37d5fe569acc6f03ae223a6129d.png","reviewer_name":"Doug F.","created_at":"6 months","title_link":"<strong>Woodworking 101</strong>","positive":true,"review_content":"I am an experienced woodworker and took this course because it was a prerequisite for independent access to the workshop. I was impressed with Joseph's ability to handle 7 newbies (and me), and to take us all through the process of constructing our own cutting boards, machine-by-machine and step by step. Joseph's coverage of safety issues and his instruction on machine usage were both very good. I would recommend this course for any non-woodworker who is looking for a good introduction to the craft.","teacher_response":null}
    {"commenter_avatar":"https://dabbledoneright-production.s3.amazonaws.com/production/uploads/user/photo/213921/thumb_nikki_profile_pic.png","reviewer_name":"Nikki R.","created_at":"6 months","title_link":"<strong>Woodworking 101</strong>","positive":null,"review_content":"Joseph was really nice. The Maker Space is really awesome and it was a lot of fun be there. Joseph was obviously extremely knowledgeable but I found myself getting a little antsy after standing for 2 hours and only making one cut. The class was 6 hours long and the most interesting part of the class, the actual hands on part, was crammed into 1.5 hours at the end and actually went over the 6 hour time limit. I think the class could have probably been 3.5 hours if the verbal instruction was cut down a bit. I understand the Joseph wants to give a background and perhaps even some \"theory\" but maybe he could incorporate that a bit better with hand on, and possibly provide some chairs? ","teacher_response":null}
    {"commenter_avatar":"/assets/fallback/default_user_photo-f2c0a37d5fe569acc6f03ae223a6129d.png","reviewer_name":"Maureen M.","created_at":"7 months","title_link":"<strong>Woodworking 101</strong>","positive":true,"review_content":"Joseph is an excellent teacher, using a simple woodworking project ( building a cutting board) and then breaking it down into smaller stages , thus teaching the various power tools and techniques. He is patient ,pleasant and very knowledgable. \r\n\r\nDr Dov Rotenberg","teacher_response":null}
    {"commenter_avatar":"/assets/fallback/default_user_photo-f2c0a37d5fe569acc6f03ae223a6129d.png","reviewer_name":"Manny R.","created_at":"9 months","title_link":"<strong>Woodworking 101</strong>","positive":true,"review_content":"I really enjoyed this class. All of the information that Joseph provided was not only useful, but helps you gain confidence in using powerful tools. I would highly recommend taking this class. However, I would suggest coming to the class with a couple ideas of what kind of cutting board you would like to make. Because this class is so long, I would suggest eating before starting the class and bring a lunch. Not much time to eat, when you take a break.","teacher_response":null}
    {"commenter_avatar":"/assets/fallback/default_user_photo-f2c0a37d5fe569acc6f03ae223a6129d.png","reviewer_name":"Keri N.","created_at":"10 months","title_link":"<strong>Woodworking 101</strong>","positive":true,"review_content":"I took the class with my nephew who is really interested in learning how to work with wood. The class taught us a ton about how wood works and gave us a chance to create something that we will have forever. It was delightful and a great memory. ","teacher_response":null}
    {"commenter_avatar":"/assets/fallback/default_user_photo-f2c0a37d5fe569acc6f03ae223a6129d.png","reviewer_name":"Kim K.","created_at":"over 1 year","title_link":"<strong>Woodworking 101</strong>","positive":true,"review_content":"This was a great workshop to learn the ins and outs of woodworking. It's not called \"make a cutting board\" for a reason. Yes, you leave with an awesome shaped cutting board of your own design, but you also are given information and experience using shop tools (I was so grateful for the safety lesson when we got to use the table saw!), the hows and whys of wood as a material, and even the mind frame you should have when working in a wood shop. I hope there will be a 102 class soon! ","teacher_response":null}
    {"commenter_avatar":"/assets/fallback/default_user_photo-f2c0a37d5fe569acc6f03ae223a6129d.png","reviewer_name":"Isabelle H.","created_at":"over 1 year","title_link":"<strong>Woodworking 101</strong>","positive":true,"review_content":"This class was awesome. what a great way to spend a saturday and i now have my new favorite kitchen accessory: a whale-shaped cutting board!","teacher_response":null}
    {"commenter_avatar":"/assets/fallback/default_user_photo-f2c0a37d5fe569acc6f03ae223a6129d.png","reviewer_name":"Megan H.","created_at":"over 1 year","title_link":"<strong>Woodworking 101</strong>","positive":true,"review_content":"The woodworking class was very educational and enjoyable. Joseph was extremely knowledgeable and informative. Def recommend taking this class!","teacher_response":null}
    {"commenter_avatar":"/assets/fallback/default_user_photo-f2c0a37d5fe569acc6f03ae223a6129d.png","reviewer_name":"Shawn H.","created_at":"over 1 year","title_link":"<strong>Woodworking 101</strong>","positive":true,"review_content":"Might be the best $40 I ever spent! Got a fantastic overview of the main shop tools\u2014and the chance to use them quickly got me over my anxiety about using them. I thought the resulting cutting board would be incidental\u2014a \"means to an end\"\u2014but I ended up really taking it seriously and am proud of what I did! \r\n\r\nJoseph really knows his stuff and was great at making us understand how and why things in the shop are the way they are. He was extremely patient and encouraged questions which he answered happily and thoroughly.\r\n\r\nThis class is all I needed to feel comfortable in the shop and around tools\u2014and excited to dive deeper and make more stuff. If there was a follow-up class I would absolutely take it!","teacher_response":null}
    {"commenter_avatar":"/assets/fallback/default_user_photo-f2c0a37d5fe569acc6f03ae223a6129d.png","reviewer_name":"Priyanko P.","created_at":"over 1 year","title_link":"<strong>Woodworking 101</strong>","positive":true,"review_content":"Students were walked through some basic power tools and safety standards, then got the opportunity to create their own butcher board.","teacher_response":null}
    {"commenter_avatar":"/assets/fallback/default_user_photo-f2c0a37d5fe569acc6f03ae223a6129d.png","reviewer_name":"Merrie S.","created_at":"over 1 year","title_link":"<strong>Woodworking 101</strong>","positive":true,"review_content":"I thought Joseph provided an excellent learning experience for me as well as the other students in the class. He was completely prepared, extremely knowledgeable re subject matter, and guided you step by step. I was admittedly nervous because I have never been around heavy duty machinery for woodworking. Joseph does not push you out of your comfort zone, but provides all the supportive techniques if you wish to go beyond what you think your comfort zone may be. I think that was the overall takeaway message from this class--with proper support and guidance you can do things you might not think you would be able to do. I highly recommend his class for anyone wishing to explore the art of woodworking and its tools.","teacher_response":null}
    {"commenter_avatar":"https://dabbledoneright-production.s3.amazonaws.com/production/uploads/user/photo/141781/thumb_rarhug.JPG","reviewer_name":"Rebecca R.","created_at":"almost 2 years","title_link":"<strong>Woodworking 101</strong>","positive":true,"review_content":"The perfect way to spend a saturday afternoon! I left the class with a cutting board I made MYSELF and I feel like I could build anything now. Josh does a great job teaching you about all the different tools and tool safety. I highly recommend this class! ","teacher_response":null}
    {"commenter_avatar":"/assets/fallback/default_user_photo-f2c0a37d5fe569acc6f03ae223a6129d.png","reviewer_name":"Katie M.","created_at":"almost 2 years","title_link":"<strong>Woodworking 101</strong>","positive":true,"review_content":"A very thorough intro to woodworking. The morning went a little slow- lots of safety stuff and one one person could use the table saw at a time- but the afternoon pace picked up nicely and I have a pretty neat cutting board to show for it. ","teacher_response":null}
    {"commenter_avatar":"/assets/fallback/default_user_photo-f2c0a37d5fe569acc6f03ae223a6129d.png","reviewer_name":"Sameer B.","created_at":"almost 2 years","title_link":"<strong>Woodworking 101</strong>","positive":true,"review_content":"I made an awesome fish shaped cutting board while learning a lot about the tools, and process of making it happen. Definitely a great beginner woodworking class. Joe is really good at working with whatever comfortable level you maybe at when it comes to tools. ","teacher_response":null}
    {"commenter_avatar":"https://dabbledoneright-production.s3.amazonaws.com/production/uploads/user/photo/127391/thumb_Profile_Picture.jpg","reviewer_name":"La Tosha J.","created_at":"about 2 years","title_link":"<strong>Woodworking 101</strong>","positive":true,"review_content":"Joseph is a fantastic teacher. My mom and I learned a lot because he is very thorough and patient. We were able to make two very nice cutting boards which we cannot wait to use. :)","teacher_response":null}
    {"commenter_avatar":"https://dabbledoneright-production.s3.amazonaws.com/production/uploads/user/photo/176581/thumb_154670_10100174545217413_2014551084_n.jpg","reviewer_name":"Elizabeth M.","created_at":"about 2 years","title_link":"<strong>Woodworking 101</strong>","positive":true,"review_content":"I had really high hopes for this class as woodworking is something I've wanted to learn for a long time now, and the class did not disappoint. Joseph was a really great instructor: patient and thorough. He gave us such a great understanding of all the machinery we were using and then let us do everything ourselves after careful explanation of technique and safety protocol. I left with a (darling) whale charcuterie board. I highly recommend this class. ","teacher_response":null}
    {"commenter_avatar":"https://dabbledoneright-production.s3.amazonaws.com/production/uploads/user/photo/175811/thumb_393187_2303795071621_2068190765_n.jpg","reviewer_name":"Amanda G.","created_at":"about 2 years","title_link":"<strong>Woodworking 101</strong>","positive":true,"review_content":"This class was great. Though you get to work hands-on with heavy equipment, I felt very safe and much attention was paid to safety during the class. The teacher is extremely knowledgeable, but is patient and allows you to do every step in the process on your own. I am very pleased with the product I came out with, and I had no prior experience at all.\r\n\r\nBring a sweater, it is cold in there! Also, be prepared to be on your feet for 6 hours -- definitely wear comfortable shoes.","teacher_response":null}
    {"commenter_avatar":"/assets/fallback/default_user_photo-f2c0a37d5fe569acc6f03ae223a6129d.png","reviewer_name":"Gerardo C.","created_at":"about 2 years","title_link":"<strong>Woodworking 101</strong>","positive":true,"review_content":"Awesome experience. Had fun with the hands on approach to woodworking. I loved the creative part where we design our own cutting board. Mine was a retro lazer gun!","teacher_response":null}
    {"commenter_avatar":"/assets/fallback/default_user_photo-f2c0a37d5fe569acc6f03ae223a6129d.png","reviewer_name":"Bernadette F.","created_at":"about 2 years","title_link":"<strong>Woodworking 101</strong>","positive":true,"review_content":"Really enjoyed the class went over all the basics so you were not intimidated when you had to use the tools. Projects were as easy or as hard as you wanted to make them.","teacher_response":null}
    {"commenter_avatar":"/assets/fallback/default_user_photo-f2c0a37d5fe569acc6f03ae223a6129d.png","reviewer_name":"Courtney M.","created_at":"over 2 years","title_link":"<strong>Woodworking 101</strong>","positive":true,"review_content":"My mother and I were looking for something fun to do together. Having both taken a woodworking class separately several years ago, we decided Woodworking 101 could be a fun refresher course. \r\n\r\nJason was a patient an thorough teacher. He taught us more about working with wood than I had expected and helped each person realize their own vision. Mom left with a cutting board inspired by Russian nesting dolls' shape, and I took home my Tardis-inspired cutting board. \r\n\r\nMom and I will definitely be trying other Dabble classes in the future.","teacher_response":null}
    {"commenter_avatar":"/assets/fallback/default_user_photo-f2c0a37d5fe569acc6f03ae223a6129d.png","reviewer_name":"Kathleen J.","created_at":"over 2 years","title_link":"<strong>Woodworking 101</strong>","positive":true,"review_content":"I wanted to understand how to use wood tools safely and this class did exactly that. I appreciated the thoughtfulness the teacher gave in explaining the tools and safety issues. All seemed to enjoy and it was nice to walk out with a finished functional object.","teacher_response":null}
    {"commenter_avatar":"https://dabbledoneright-production.s3.amazonaws.com/production/uploads/user/photo/118181/thumb_profile-photo-placeholder.jpg","reviewer_name":"Dabble Student","created_at":"over 2 years","title_link":"<strong>Woodworking 101</strong>","positive":true,"review_content":"Focused on the goals of the class and gave ample time to thoroughly cover the subject. Student questions were solicited at every step in the class and at the class end the instructor stayed for any further questions.","teacher_response":null}
    {"commenter_avatar":"https://dabbledoneright-production.s3.amazonaws.com/production/uploads/user/photo/118181/thumb_profile-photo-placeholder.jpg","reviewer_name":"Dabble Student","created_at":"over 2 years","title_link":"<strong>Woodworking 101</strong>","positive":true,"review_content":"The teacher, Joseph, was very clear about how to use the equipment, giving very good instructions. He was also very knowledgeable and enthusiastic.","teacher_response":null}
    {"commenter_avatar":"https://dabbledoneright-production.s3.amazonaws.com/production/uploads/user/photo/118181/thumb_profile-photo-placeholder.jpg","reviewer_name":"Dabble Student","created_at":"over 2 years","title_link":"<strong>Woodworking 101</strong>","positive":true,"review_content":"Small size meant it felt safe and productive","teacher_response":null}
    {"commenter_avatar":"https://dabbledoneright-production.s3.amazonaws.com/production/uploads/user/photo/118181/thumb_profile-photo-placeholder.jpg","reviewer_name":"Dabble Student","created_at":"over 2 years","title_link":"<strong>Woodworking 101</strong>","positive":true,"review_content":"I think we made an awesome project, and the teacher was very knowledgeable. ","teacher_response":null}
    {"commenter_avatar":"https://dabbledoneright-production.s3.amazonaws.com/production/uploads/user/photo/118181/thumb_profile-photo-placeholder.jpg","reviewer_name":"Dabble Student","created_at":"over 2 years","title_link":"<strong>Woodworking 101</strong>","positive":true,"review_content":"Taking a lot of time for safety, and allowing us to create whatever type of cutting board we liked.","teacher_response":null}
    {"commenter_avatar":"https://dabbledoneright-production.s3.amazonaws.com/production/uploads/user/photo/118181/thumb_profile-photo-placeholder.jpg","reviewer_name":"Dabble Student","created_at":"over 2 years","title_link":"<strong>Woodworking 101</strong>","positive":true,"review_content":"\"Joseph is relatively no-nonsense and gets into the class quickly. He's clearly a thoughtful educator, and communicates with his students with clear, intentional process. I was really impressed!\r\n\r\nThe class size was small enough to get things done in a reasonable amount of time, and the other students were relatively diverse, which I wasn't expecting.\r\n\r\nThe location was clean, bright and felt extremely safe - this is a good class for people who are intimidated by the average workshop.\"","teacher_response":null}
    {"commenter_avatar":"https://dabbledoneright-production.s3.amazonaws.com/production/uploads/user/photo/118181/thumb_profile-photo-placeholder.jpg","reviewer_name":"Dabble Student","created_at":"over 2 years","title_link":"<strong>Woodworking 101</strong>","positive":true,"review_content":"Joseph's teaching style was very hands on! We learned a lot of material!","teacher_response":null}
    {"commenter_avatar":"https://dabbledoneright-production.s3.amazonaws.com/production/uploads/user/photo/118181/thumb_profile-photo-placeholder.jpg","reviewer_name":"Dabble Student","created_at":"over 2 years","title_link":"<strong>Woodworking 101</strong>","positive":true,"review_content":"Small class size = plenty of attention, teacher was extremely knowledgeable and very specific in his instructions and answered all questions thoroughly, fantastic value, fun, casual, wide range of equipment in great shape","teacher_response":null}
    {"commenter_avatar":"https://dabbledoneright-production.s3.amazonaws.com/production/uploads/user/photo/118181/thumb_profile-photo-placeholder.jpg","reviewer_name":"Dabble Student","created_at":"over 2 years","title_link":"<strong>Woodworking 101</strong>","positive":true,"review_content":"Instructor was very experienced and knowledgeable.","teacher_response":null}
    {"commenter_avatar":"https://dabbledoneright-production.s3.amazonaws.com/production/uploads/user/photo/118181/thumb_profile-photo-placeholder.jpg","reviewer_name":"Dabble Student","created_at":"over 2 years","title_link":"<strong>Woodworking 101</strong>","positive":true,"review_content":"\"patient, thoughtful teacher\r\ngreat, useful project\"","teacher_response":null}
    {"commenter_avatar":"https://dabbledoneright-production.s3.amazonaws.com/production/uploads/user/photo/118181/thumb_profile-photo-placeholder.jpg","reviewer_name":"Dabble Student","created_at":"over 2 years","title_link":"<strong>Woodworking 101</strong>","positive":true,"review_content":"hands on. safety. walk away with product.","teacher_response":null}
    {"commenter_avatar":"https://dabbledoneright-production.s3.amazonaws.com/production/uploads/user/photo/118181/thumb_profile-photo-placeholder.jpg","reviewer_name":"Dabble Student","created_at":"over 2 years","title_link":"<strong>Woodworking 101</strong>","positive":true,"review_content":"Woodworking with Joseph Budka at Pagoda Studies was worth every cent. For nearly six hours, Joseph explained, in detail, the works of at least five important shop machines, then safety tips and eight woodworking techniques, all as part of our construction of aesthetically pleasing cutting boards. Before this class, I had no idea I could make something so useful so easily. ","teacher_response":null}
    {"commenter_avatar":"https://dabbledoneright-production.s3.amazonaws.com/production/uploads/user/photo/118181/thumb_profile-photo-placeholder.jpg","reviewer_name":"Dabble Student","created_at":"over 2 years","title_link":"<strong>Woodworking 101</strong>","positive":true,"review_content":"Good class size. I've taken a woodworking class through another local business where my experience wasn't so great -- they had so many people taking the class that I had to stand in line for 30+ minutes just to wait my turn to use the band saw. ","teacher_response":null}

    Other Teacher Reviews (4)
    100% positive

    • Default_user_photo

      Alex O.

      Left 20 days ago

      A full day class- (make sure you pack a lunch) and I learned so much!! I was also surprisingly sore the next day. Joe was extremely patient and explained everything well! Loved this class and would definitely sign up for his others!

    • Default_user_photo

      Roxane G.

      Left about 1 month ago

      Measure twice cut once and you're all set for a great class that teaches skills that go beyond making a box. Slow and steady with power tools produces a better product. Measure and remeasure before cutting or you might be surprised or upset by the results. And when in doubt, whack the box into submission. Oops! That one was the mantra I was reciting until Joe resuscitated the box and made it look, well, boxlike. A great class for the neophyte and for the DIYer who wants to power up their know-how.

      {"commenter_avatar":"/assets/fallback/default_user_photo-f2c0a37d5fe569acc6f03ae223a6129d.png","reviewer_name":"Colleen B.","created_at":"about 1 month","title_link":"<a href='/courses/rustic-pallet-furniture-with-joseph-budka'> Rustic Pallet Furniture </a>","positive":true,"review_content":"The Rustic Pallet Furniture class was really fun! Have u ever disassembled a pallet before? It was a cool experience. Then you get to make a bench, small table or end table. You learn how to use a compound miter saw and pneumatic brad nailer, among other tools. NO EXPERIENCE NECESSARY. You can do this! Awesome instruction & neat finished product.","teacher_response":null}
      {"commenter_avatar":"/assets/fallback/default_user_photo-f2c0a37d5fe569acc6f03ae223a6129d.png","reviewer_name":"Chris M.","created_at":"5 months","title_link":"<a href='/courses/woodworking-201-basic-joinery-with-joseph-budka'> Woodworking 102 - Basic Joinery </a>","positive":true,"review_content":"The class covers a wide variety of joins in a detailed manner. Leaving the class one will feel comfortable executing a lot of joins on their own. It is a great introduction to wood working. Joseph is an expert in the field and provides understandable instruction. ","teacher_response":null}

      Joseph has been a woodworker for over 19 years. He has a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and his areas of expertise include woodworking, welding, metal fabrication, sculpture, furniture design, and more. He owns Pagoda Studios, Inc. - a full service design and fabrication studio in Chicago. There, he designs and creates custom furniture, sculpture, home accessories, and more. Over the years, he has taught classes in woodworking, drawing, painting sculpture and other artistic fields.

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