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Woodworking Training and Consulting

My Background

I am not a trained woodworker - unless you count public school shop class back in the mid-1950s, magazines, forums, etc. But I have been woodworking for over 70 years (I even won a blue ribbon in a hobby show for a stool with hand-cut dados back in the early 1950s.) In the last 35 years or so, I have built and sold many pieces of furniture, working at it full time since 2005, as you can see on my woodworking web site. And I still have all my fingers (despite a chemistry lab explosion in 1960).

I have been very active in woodworking forums, and in the local Fine Woodworkers club. I started this web site to document answers I got tired of repeating multiple times on forums. Maybe my earlier life as a professor, manager, and consultant is why I like to write and share what I have learned. (More information than anyone should want to know about me, including my resume, is on www.plesums.com.)

What I will do

If you have a question, don't hesitate to ask, I love helping people, local and remote. You will never be asked to pay for answers to occasional brief questions.

You may want answers about a specific project or technique that go deeper than the brief reply I would give to you in person or on a forum. Some people are concerned about imposing, but if you want in-person lessons, in depth correspondence, or telephone discussion, I would be glad to do it for a fee.

If you want woodworking lessons, I would be glad to work with you in your shop - I cannot have a "business" in my home, and my shop is too crowded to be a safe teaching environment. If you are local, lets talk. If you are remote, think in terms of $350 per day plus travel expenses.

Email correspondence has advantages for both you and me ... you can review what I said (or the links or pictures I might have sent you). And I can prepare the response at my convenience (I take breaks from the shop throughout the day). If we agree to work together this way, I will suggest a price at the end of each email. If you think the price is reasonable, and accept the charge, we can continue. If the price is higher than you expected, fine, this last reply is free - pay for any previous work where you agreed to the fee, but don't ask for more. (I will not ask you to pay each time - too much bookkeeping, but if the discussion continues after I specify a fee, I will take that as your acceptance of the charge and will expect your payment later.)

I would be glad to consult with you by telephone. If the calls occur often or take a lot of time, my shop rate is $90 per hour, but that includes supplies and machines and clean up after you leave. Using me without my shop (chatting about woodworking as I love to do) is set at $60 per hour. If we talk for 20 minutes, $20.


If we are doing "for pay" services, I don't want either of us to bog down in billing and bookkeeping. My preferred payment is by check (yes, I am old fashioned.) I love the free "instant" money transfer called Zelle by many banks. I do have a paypal account, if necessary. I do not take credit cards (except through paypal).

In the meantime I hope you enjoy this site - and will drop me a note with your results, and your suggestions.