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Gift pick No. 21: Community Woodshop for the DIYer

November 22, 2013|By Craig Nakano
  • Community Woodshop classes have covered all kinds of designs, including skateboards and cutting boards.
Community Woodshop classes have covered all kinds of designs, including… (Community Woodshop )

We're pausing the parade of pottery, coasters and ornaments in our Handmade Holidays gift guide to offer up a different idea: crafting something handmade yourself.

For those who have the will but not the way, take note of the workshops that seem to be proliferating around L.A. -- professionally equipped studios that provide access to the public for a fee. It's shop class for adults, essentially.

We recently learned about the 1-year-old Community Woodshop in Glassell Park, where DIYers can access an abundance of saws, planers, sanders and lathes without maxing out the credit card at Home Depot. Experienced makers capable of working independently can get a membership -- "like a fitness club," organizer Scott Stevens said -- and use the space as a shared studio.

Don't know your band saw from your panel saw from your compound miter saw? For newbies, Stevens offers a two-hour orientation class.

"We walk you through the most common cuts and what each machine can do," he said. Beginners also can sign up for classes in making cutting boards, spice racks, end tables, foot stools, modular shelving and more. Next door is Molten Metal Works, so students can learn how to make hairpin legs, for example, then craft a wood tabletop.

And if all of this is still over your head, there's always a gift certificate.


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