Our speaker for our special Friday evening meeting will be woodworker, teacher, and author Alan Turner, the founder of the Philadelphia Furniture Workshop. Alan is in Pittsburgh to teach a two-day class on how to dovetail a drawer, and more importantly, how to properly fit it into a carcass for a piston-like fit. The class is full, but in Alan’s Friday evening session he will provide an overview of what he will be teaching in the class, such that you can learn enough to try his methods in your own shop. Additionally, Alan will talk some about his history and body of work, and will have with him a small four-drawer Litchfield chest, decorated in the Federal style, that will demonstrate the use of some of the skills that he will be teaching, and other skills skills also taught at the school.
For more information about Alan and his work, visit his website: http://www.philadelphiafurnitureworkshop.com/view/show/18.html, and from this page you can get a good idea of what his school is all about.
About the Presenter
Alan Turner has been working wood for about 60 years, having been introduced to woodworking when he was 6 while shadowing his father around their home workshop. Turner’s father was an excellent amateur woodworker, and a good teacher. Over the years, Turner honed his skills as an amateur, and when his family’s homes were filled with his work, he hung out a shingle as a studio furniture maker. He still enjoys commission work.
About the same time, and after pursuing a long career in the law, Turner began teaching basic woodworking classes through an adult night-school program. His classes were run out of a former high school woodshop, which lacked any power tools and quality workbenches since woodworking had been dropped from the curriculum. As a result, he was limited to teaching the basics of hand tools, and small projects built with hand tools. Over those years, he dreamed of opening his own school, and eventually made good on his plans. PFW is the result; its first class ran in March 2006. And in 2014, in order that the school would continue after his retirement or death, he started a nonprofit, donated the school to the nonprofit of the same name, and secured a tax exempt determination from the IRS. Turner is now a recovering lawyer.