Learning Path — Furniture

Anyone who has ever assembled a piece of IKEA furniture (aka everyone) knows how satisfying it is to look at a bed or a book shelf you put together. Now imagine you didn’t just assemble it, but actually designed it and welded it together. Whether you need a table or a chair or a custom shelf for your Troll Doll collection, there’s nothing better than a piece you made yourself.
We’ve put together the following list of classes as a “curriculum” of sorts that we recommend for you DIYers out there looking to make your own steel furniture. It’s only a general guide — the more you learn, the more you’ll know what you want to learn next — but we think it’s a good place to start:
Class Details: Every Sunday and most Wednesdays from 10am–4pm. Cost is $200 for one person, $360 for two people.
Class Description: In this six-hour class, we will cover the basics of welding using MIG welders, to have you safely and effectively ready to start your very own furniture, bicycle chopper, or top fuel dragster project. We will be emphasizing skills and techniques that will make welding more accessible to those without extensive workshops, toolsets, or experience. During the class we will cover safety, metal procurement and selection, welding technique, and finishing/rust prevention techniques.
About MIG: A MIG welder is like a hot glue gun for metal. It uses electricity to melt steel and feeds out more steel as you go, so it’s the fastest and easiest welding technique to learn. It’s also ideal for making steel furniture.
Also, after Intro MIG, you can come in and work on your own projects during Open Shop.
Requirements: No prerequisites or experience required. Standard clothing. 18 or older or instructor permission.
Class Details: 6 weeks, 3 hours a week. Cost (total of materials and instruction) is $405.
Class Description: This class will cover the basics of designing, jigging, and constructing welded steel furniture. For the first two weeks, we’ll practice techniques by building something for the shop, learning how to use the horizontal bandsaw, cut miters, use the drill press, how to keep everything nice and square while welding, and going through your design for your own project, picking out materials and preparing a cut list. The next four weeks will be spent working on your own personal project, be it your very own bench, coffee table, or table table.
Requirements: Intro MIG Standard clothing. 18 or older or instructor permission.
Class Details: 2 weeks, 3 hours a week. Cost (total of materials and instruction) is $180.
Class Description: In this two night class, we’ll cover how to use all the bending machines in the shop. We’ll cover how to use all three of our major bending machines: the JD tubing bender, the HF tubing roller, the ring roller, the compact bender, and some hot bending. Also covered will be tube notching, some welding, and some fine sitting.
Requirements: Intro MIG Standard clothing. 18 or older or instructor permission.
Class Details: There are many Wood and Metal Combo classes that we teach together with our neighbors Community Woodshop. Most of them cost $275–$500 range, check the Wood Metal Combo Page for the specific price.
Class Description: These classes will take you through the process of making a specific piece of beautiful wood and steel furniture. Beyond leaving with a great new piece of furniture you build yourself, you will also leave with new insights into how to integrate wood and metal in our own projects going forward.
Some examples of Wood Metal Combo Classes include:
Requirements: No prerequisites or experience required. Standard clothing. 18 or older or instructor permission.
Class Details: 3 sessions, 3 hours each. Cost (total of materials, instruction, and CNC cutting) is $280.
Class Description: First, Jeff will teach you the basics of Fusion 360–a really powerful FREE computer design software. Second, we’ll teach you how to get your files from Fusion 360 and get them ready for the CNC plasma cutter. Third and final, you’ll take your CNC cut pieces and assemble them together into a custom pendant lamp you designed!
Requirements: No experience or prerequisites required, but you’ll get more out of the class if you have some welding experience so you can assemble plasma cut parts in the future (Intro MIG recommended). Laptop running the latest version of Fusion 360 MUST be installed prior to the first class. 3-button mouse required. $7 on Amazon. 18 or older or instructor permission