This course gives students a basic overview of general terms, tools, and techniques used in the field of carpentry. Learn how to safely use a wide range of hand and power tools while building a small structure such as a garden shed or playhouse.  We'll go over house framing and layout while looking at the anatomy of a structure. Whether you're planning on building a house or just want to learn some basic skills, this course will help you gain the confidence you'll need.

Course start time: Sunday, 5pm
Course end time: Friday, 5pm


"I found the instructors Liz and Patti to be very helpful and fun, wonderful people. Their hands-on approach to learning was in line with my learning methods. I couldn’t have asked for better instructors for this class and would recommend anyone take this course with them teaching."

"Liz and Patti were awesome instructors for this course. They taught us a lot about carpentry in the week we had together. I would definitely recommend them to teach this course in the future. They also had a great sense of humor and related well with the students."

"The course was excellent. I am ready to attempt my own shed and there is no doubt that shed #2 will be better than shed #1. Thanks to all! The course was great!"

"Both instructors were absolutely excellent and made the course totally enjoyable. With great interaction/interpersonal skills and of course knowledge they made everyone feel at home."

  • Competency Level: Beginner
  • Sterling College credits: 2 Continuing Education Units ($260 additional)
  • AIA credits: 35 HSW Learning Units

Course Objective

To provide hands-on experience using a variety of hand and power tools To build student's confidence to tackle projects at home

Suggested Reading

Larry Haun/Taunton Press. Homebuilding Basics

Albert Jackson, David Day/Wings Books. Tools and How to Use Them

any basic carpentry books to familiarize yourself with terminology

Materials to Bring

  • work clothes
  • work gloves
  • sturdy shoes
  • rain gear
  • personal safety items: eye and ear protection, dust mask
  • notebook
  • sunscreen/bug repellant
  • photos or project plans
  • tools you already own that you want to better familiarize yourself with
  • (*using tools in class will help you determine which tools you'll want to purchase for your home tool box)

Note: Each student will receive a call from the instructor prior to the class to discuss their level of experience and goals. The course will be paced according to the needs of the participants.

Course Outline

The course runs from 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM. Evenings are available for discussion and use of the library.

Monday AM

  • Intro to hand and power tools
  • Measuring, marking and sawing
  • Use of clamps

Monday PM

  • Lecture: Understanding wood
  • Begin project
  • Visit to lumber yard (opt)

Tuesday AM

  • Fasteners, hammering and dismantling
  • Lecture: Anatomy of a house
  • Framing layout

Tuesday PM

  • Lecture: Building sequence
  • Math Rules!
  • Reading basic blueprints
  • Continue project

Wednesday AM

  • Intro to drills and accessories
  • Intro to reciprocating saw
  • Wall framing details

Wednesday PM

  • Jobsite tour
  • Continue project

Thursday AM

  • Laying out rafters
  • Roof framing details

Thursday PM

  • Intro to table saw and chop saw
  • Continue project

Friday AM/PM

  • Continue project




Start Date: August 14, 2016
Duration: 5 Days
Tuition: $875