Now in its third year of operation, the Southwest School of Woodworking in Phoenix has a new space and amenities to expand its student body. Founder and director Raúl Ramirez says the new 5,300-sq.-ft. building is five times larger than the previous school, featuring three classrooms and bench rooms, a fully equipped machine room, a library and gallery space. And, to beat the Arizona heat, it also features central air conditioning.
“It’s very exciting. [Previously,] we couldn’t operate properly in the summertime. We shut down four months out of the year because it was too hot and there was no air conditioning. Now we can have three classes here year round. We have more room to grow and provide more opportunities for our students,” Ramirez says.
The new location is on the campus of Rio Salado College in central Phoenix.
“The administration at Rio Salado College is really pleased to have this building being used to teach woodworking classes on their campus. So we are going to be poised to offer more classes and hopefully bring in more students to help pay the rent,” Ramirez says.
Highlights of the new space include two separate bench rooms, each equipped with eight student workbenches; a dedicated room for turning that will house nine lathes and a breakroom.
Classes cover fine woodworking techniques, furniture making, finishing, veneering and inlay, and more. Instructors include David Fleming, Michael Fortune and Paul Schürch.
Contact: Southwest School of Woodworking, 621 North 7th Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85007. Tel: 480-734-0274. www.swcfc.org
This article originally appeared in the December 2015 issue.