Private Tuition at the Heritage Woodcraft Centre.

Learning the skills…

Many people ask us about the Private Tuition we provide to people from all walks of life and of all ages at our Heritage Woodcraft Centre in Canning Vale, Western Australia. It is a very exciting area of what we do, and has become the major aspect of our range of services.

Where it all began.
While the Joy of Wood has been operating for over 14 years now, the ability to offer Private Tuition has only been possible since we were located in a building. For the first five years, Greg had been mobile, running the Joy of Wood out of his ute and trailer, hiring a range of short term spaces to run workshops at places like Perth City Farm, Earthwise, and the Vic Park Arts Centre to name a few. However, when Ross Gobby from Timbecon invited Greg to try out using some unused warehouse space in Canning Vale, everything began to change.

Private Tuition continues to Grow!

When Timbecon moved into its new location, they invited Greg to rent space in an area at the rear of the shop. This enabled the Heritage Woodcraft Centre to be born. We are still there, and gradually extending, and the Timbecon shop has extended around us too! We are now in the middle of the shop! However, being co-located in the building with Timbecon is a mutually beneficial arrangement. We are grateful to Timbecon and their staff for their support and encouragement. It hasn’t been an easy road getting established, but being in a fixed location has enabled the Private Tuition aspect of our activities to develop and grow into our primary activity.

Our second teaching space is now operational!
The growing demand for Private Tuition meant we needed to create more space in order to work with more than one person at a time. Timbecon kindly allowed us to expand further into the warehouse space behind, so many months ago we started to build a second small teaching space behind our larger workshop space. While it is not yet entirely finished the way we would like it, it is now operational and the finishing off continues to take place as we get a chance to do so! 

Now we can have two sessions of Private Tuition running concurrently, or we can have a Tuition session operating at the same time as a larger workshop group. This is a wonderful development! 

People of all ages come to experience the joy of hand tool woodworking with us.

How does the Private Tuition work?
Mondays to Fridays are now divided up into 2 hour sessions:

  • 8am – 10am;
  • 10:30am – 12:30pm;
  • 1pm – 3pm; 
  • After school (roughly 3:30 – 5:30 or 4pm-6pm, depending on when the person can get there);
  • Occaisional Evenings (commonly 6:30 – 8:30pm). 

People book in for Tuition with us, on either a regular weekly or fortnightly basis, or on an irregular, occasional or even one-off basis. Priority is given to the regular people of course, so we will fit in the occasional and one-off people around the regular bookings. It works pretty well.

The charge for Private Tuition is $130 incl.GST per hour, which means $260 per 2 hour session. The materials are provided within this charge for most ot the smaller projects, however larger projects will incurr an additional materials charge. 

A pair of “Matched Planes” are used for creating tongue and groove joints. This has been done this way for centuries! We love the way the old tools work so well still today.

Who comes for Private Tuition?
In short, people from all ages and all walks of life! We have tradespeople who want to expand their skills, hobbyists who want to expand their skills generally or develop a specific skill. People who want to have a taste of woodworking with out the noise of machines and screaming power tools. However, most people who come have very little or no previous woodworking skills. Homeschooled kids come during the day. Other kids come after school. The diversity is wonderful.

We almost exclusively use just traditional hand tools and techniques. If you want to learn how to use an electric router, we are not the right place. However, if you want to learn to use a traditional Router Plane, we are the right place for you!

The No.71 Router Plane in action. Such a versatile tool!

Therapeutic Woodworking

An interesting area which has really grown is our use of Therapeutic Woodworking. We have an increading number of Private Tuition clients who have Acquired Brain Injuries from motor vehicle accidents or industrial accidents. When done right, hand tool woodworking offers powerful therapeutic benefits for people recovering from brain injuries, and Occupational Therapists refer people to us for this purpose. We value the relationships which grow as we travel the journeys of recovery with these lovely people.

Many of these ABI clients are accompanied by a Carer or “Care Buddy”. We always invite these people to participate too! They also get to experience the joy of hand tool woodworking, for no charge. We understand the significance of the shared experience. It is great to see both the client and the Care Buddy thriving on the Private Tuition sessions!

We also work with a number of kids with special needs, including kids on the Autism Spectrum.  So many great therapeutic benefits! Creating with our hands in a safe environment is really good for mental health too.
There is nobody else around who does this stuff like we do. We are unique and the word is getting out… 

You might be interested to check out this little 4 minute video: “Woodworking for Life”

Nathan, featured in the video, has been coming to us for therapeutic woodworking via Private Tuition on a weekly basis for nearly 4 years now, and in that time he has made an amazing range of wood items, from spoons and spatulas to large pieces of furniture. He is currently building a really solid woodworking bench, which we have designed together to meet his needs – so he can do some woodworking at home. It will be an amazing piece of furniture, too, because we like to make things properly and to last – and he appreciates that too! You should see the Garden Benches he has made! Like the one on the picture below. Beautiful.

Nathan was going through his “Blue Cockatoo” phase when he built this memorial Bench for the Cockburn Wetlands Centre. It is a beautiful piece, made from recycled West Australian hardwoods. Love your work, Nathan – and that hair-do!

The possibilities are many and the results are wonderful….

Want to know more or to find an opportunity with us? Send Greg an email…

When completed, this will be a draw-bored mortice-and-tenonned cabinet door with a recessed lining board panel, which “E2” is making, to go into the Bedside Cabinet he has been building – all by hand with traditional tools and techniques. “E2” and his brother, “E1”, come fortnightly to Private Tuition after school. Together, they are known as “The Energy Brothers”.

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