Author Topic: Review Of Greg Paolini's Cabinet Making & Doors and Drawers Class  (Read 3727 times)

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Offline jobsworth

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This class was held on Sept 24-29 at his facility near Asheville North Carolina

 I first decided to take this course by Greg because already took a couple of festool end user courses including the cabinet class. I wanted to try a different instructor because each instructor has his own approach to teaching and i wanted to see another instructors approach and instruction.

I recently retired one of my goals was to take woodworking classes from different people, not necessarily just festools but woodworking in generalon different subjects.

 This was a combo course combining cabinet making with doors and drawers. I have not taken  doors ad drawersbefore.

But I have been woodworking for approximately 25 years and have built many cabinets and door and drawers throughout those 25 years.

I have complete Festool shop except for the tools that Festool don’t make.  A Makita bench top planer and a Jet 6” jointer and a few other bits.


When I first met Greg, I was really impressed with his casual attitude but quickly realized that he knew what he was talking about. I quickly learned that Greg does not only totally understands and knows these tools but He actually uses them in his business.

 Greg’s approach to instruction is based on that approach. That is his approach was not only covering the areas Festool required to be taught in their classes but using a real-world perspective in presenting the material.

I felt like I was in a mini apprenticeship rather than a woodworking class.

What I mean by that was he went back to the very basics in his instruction.

I have been using Festools since 2010. The basics he taught were not only the very back to the beginning  He taught me micro portions of techniques that I didn’t think of which I should of but didn't My bad habits".
Prime example is cross cutting on the MFT with the TS 55.
Normally after using the parallel guides to rip plywood into manageable widths, I would set the material on my MFT make sure it is set tight against the fence set hard against the flag stop with no wood chips etc on the table which could be pinched against the fence and the material. I would make the cut and slide the next piece into position and repeat.

Now I got pretty good and square cuts that way.
However, I always did notice that the pieces were a tad off.
By tad off I mean when assembled they would fit pretty good but I would rub my finger across the joint and feel a very slight off set nothing that couldn't be removed during the finish sanding process and actually I thought was a pretty good and accurate joint.

When Greg walked by reviewing my cutting technique during the class, He told me to take my free hand and push the stock against the fence with just enough pressure to ensure that there was no movement of the material during the cut. Like I said very basic.

Well I took his advice. 
To my surprise that little bit of insight helped the cut tremendously and my cut was dead nuts on. Rubbing my finger accross the joint and feeling nothing a perfectly aligned joint.

Nothing wrong with my basic technique but just by adding a little pressure hold the material against the fence which I didnt think of .

It was that way the entire class.
Little tips and attention to detail on all the tools we used."stand in front of the saw, besure not to put pressure when ctting to eith side just straight to into the cut" etc etc.

That my friends comes from real world experience someone who uses these tools to make a living.

His attention to detail on using the Kapex impressed me as now I can perfect miters very very tight.
It was nothing more than my cutting technique olding the stock against the Kapex fence even with the hold down engaged  etc etc and feed rate making the cut.

 I knew the basics and how to make miter cuts but Greg brought me back to even further to even more basic steps which are the basics to the basics (if that makes sense). Things I ever would of thought of.

It was that way through the entire class.
His knowledge of the tools combined with his real-world experience is a tough and hard to find combo.

The CMS router table is what he uses in his shop which is in another room that we as student can access anytime during the class and our time there.

So when he taught cope and stick joinery, at the same time there was a tradesman/ craftsman in his shop doing the same thing and useing the same tools (CMS) for a kitchen they are building for a client.
You will see that festools including the CMS is what Greg’s employees/fellow craftsman use daily in is cabinet shop to make high end cabinets.

 I live in So. Calif and had the had the added expense of flying across the country to North Calolina in order go to his school near Asheville.
I also have a very close friend who lives about a hour 20min from Gregs shop so I saved on Hotel cost. 

Overall, I felt it was well worth the money and time to take this course.

I learned a lot new approaches to building things that I have built plenty of in the past and will continue building and under Greg’s watchful eye showing me the basic basics and correcting my techniques which I call my bad habits.
 I feel I was able to improve my abilities to build quality projects at a higher level then I did before I took his course. I plan on taking more courses from him. Including his Non Festool classes.

 I highly recommend him as a Festool instructor.
I was very impressed with his knowledge of the tools combined with his real-world experience in using them.

Oh yea,

Greg also had co instructor/helper “Phil” who I feel should be mentioned.

Phil is a very pleasant person who to me, helped in making the class enjoyable. He also helps Greg help correct the students with their technique and set ups and answered a lot of questions.

Phil is a accomplished wood wood worker who took me back into the shop and showed me a beautiful guitar he is currently building.
I was quite impressed with him and his even/ quiet and very nice personality.
So with 2 instructor and 6 students in the class everyone got alot of attention.

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Offline Dick Mahany

  • Posts: 395
Re: Review Of Greg Paolini's Cabinet Making & Doors and Drawers Class
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2018, 11:59 AM »
Sounds like a great experience and thanks for taking the time to write your experiences up and sharing.  I have seen many things written or published from Greg over the years including his MFT3 setup procedure.  All sage advice.  As much as any of us think we really know our tools and how to use them, it is always eye opening learning new techniques.  The endless learning process is so rewarding and it sounds like you experienced this as well.

Offline DynaGlide

  • Posts: 248
Re: Review Of Greg Paolini's Cabinet Making & Doors and Drawers Class
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2018, 12:21 PM »
This class was held on Sept 24-29 at his facility near Asheville North Carolina

 I first decided to take this course by Greg because already took a couple of festool end user courses including the cabinet class. I wanted to try a different instructor because each instructor has his own approach to teaching and i wanted to see another instructors approach and instruction.

I recently retired one of my goals was to take woodworking classes from different people, not necessarily just festools but woodworking in generalon different subjects.

 This was a combo course combining cabinet making with doors and drawers. I have not taken  doors ad drawersbefore.

But I have been woodworking for approximately 25 years and have built many cabinets and door and drawers throughout those 25 years.

I have complete Festool shop except for the tools that Festool don’t make.  A Makita bench top planer and a Jet 6” jointer and a few other bits.


When I first met Greg, I was really impressed with his casual attitude but quickly realized that he knew what he was talking about. I quickly learned that Greg does not only totally understands and knows these tools but He actually uses them in his business.

 Greg’s approach to instruction is based on that approach. That is his approach was not only covering the areas Festool required to be taught in their classes but using a real-world perspective in presenting the material.

I felt like I was in a mini apprenticeship rather than a woodworking class.

What I mean by that was he went back to the very basics in his instruction.

I have been using Festools since 2010. The basics he taught were not only the very back to the beginning  He taught me micro portions of techniques that I didn’t think of which I should of but didn't My bad habits".
Prime example is cross cutting on the MFT with the TS 55.
Normally after using the parallel guides to rip plywood into manageable widths, I would set the material on my MFT make sure it is set tight against the fence set hard against the flag stop with no wood chips etc on the table which could be pinched against the fence and the material. I would make the cut and slide the next piece into position and repeat.

Now I got pretty good and square cuts that way.
However, I always did notice that the pieces were a tad off.
By tad off I mean when assembled they would fit pretty good but I would rub my finger across the joint and feel a very slight off set nothing that couldn't be removed during the finish sanding process and actually I thought was a pretty good and accurate joint.

When Greg walked by reviewing my cutting technique during the class, He told me to take my free hand and push the stock against the fence with just enough pressure to ensure that there was no movement of the material during the cut. Like I said very basic.

Well I took his advice. 
To my surprise that little bit of insight helped the cut tremendously and my cut was dead nuts on. Rubbing my finger accross the joint and feeling nothing a perfectly aligned joint.

Nothing wrong with my basic technique but just by adding a little pressure hold the material against the fence which I didnt think of .

It was that way the entire class.
Little tips and attention to detail on all the tools we used."stand in front of the saw, besure not to put pressure when ctting to eith side just straight to into the cut" etc etc.

That my friends comes from real world experience someone who uses these tools to make a living.

His attention to detail on using the Kapex impressed me as now I can perfect miters very very tight.
It was nothing more than my cutting technique olding the stock against the Kapex fence even with the hold down engaged  etc etc and feed rate making the cut.

 I knew the basics and how to make miter cuts but Greg brought me back to even further to even more basic steps which are the basics to the basics (if that makes sense). Things I ever would of thought of.

It was that way through the entire class.
His knowledge of the tools combined with his real-world experience is a tough and hard to find combo.

The CMS router table is what he uses in his shop which is in another room that we as student can access anytime during the class and our time there.

So when he taught cope and stick joinery, at the same time there was a tradesman/ craftsman in his shop doing the same thing and useing the same tools (CMS) for a kitchen they are building for a client.
You will see that festools including the CMS is what Greg’s employees/fellow craftsman use daily in is cabinet shop to make high end cabinets.

 I live in So. Calif and had the had the added expense of flying across the country to North Calolina in order go to his school near Asheville.
I also have a very close friend who lives about a hour 20min from Gregs shop so I saved on Hotel cost. 

Overall, I felt it was well worth the money and time to take this course.

I learned a lot new approaches to building things that I have built plenty of in the past and will continue building and under Greg’s watchful eye showing me the basic basics and correcting my techniques which I call my bad habits.
 I feel I was able to improve my abilities to build quality projects at a higher level then I did before I took his course. I plan on taking more courses from him. Including his Non Festool classes.

 I highly recommend him as a Festool instructor.
I was very impressed with his knowledge of the tools combined with his real-world experience in using them.

Oh yea,

Greg also had co instructor/helper “Phil” who I feel should be mentioned.

Phil is a very pleasant person who to me, helped in making the class enjoyable. He also helps Greg help correct the students with their technique and set ups and answered a lot of questions.

Phil is a accomplished wood wood worker who took me back into the shop and showed me a beautiful guitar he is currently building.
I was quite impressed with him and his even/ quiet and very nice personality.
So with 2 instructor and 6 students in the class everyone got alot of attention.

I was supposed to be in that class but when I went to register the next morning the last spot was taken. Was it you?   [tongue]

Offline Pompeio

  • Posts: 37
Re: Review Of Greg Paolini's Cabinet Making & Doors and Drawers Class
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2018, 12:30 PM »
I signed up the day I received a notice from Festool that the course was scheduled as prior listed classes filled up pretty quick.

I also took Greg Paolini’s Cabinet Making & Doors and Drawers Class this past week  and would like to echo Ron’s comments.  This was my second class with Greg as I previously took his router class this past December.

I am more of a novice and have no where near the experience nor the Festools that Ron has but I learned a great deal from Greg (and Phil as well).   I am looking forward to participating in a third class later next year.

Offline jobsworth

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Re: Review Of Greg Paolini's Cabinet Making & Doors and Drawers Class
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2018, 02:48 PM »
 [mad]@DynaGlide

Snooze ya lose my friend, but Ill never tell  [big grin]

You wont be disappointed when you you do take this class buddy.

Who knows maybe we'll end up taking a class together along w pompeio to.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2018, 02:57 PM by jobsworth »

Offline jobsworth

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Re: Review Of Greg Paolini's Cabinet Making & Doors and Drawers Class
« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2018, 02:52 PM »
@Pompeio

it was great finally meeting you in person. What amazed about Greg and other festool instructors is their ability to teach everyone at all levels of experience at the same time, everyone learns at their own level to , which to me is amazing.

Offline DynaGlide

  • Posts: 248
Re: Review Of Greg Paolini's Cabinet Making & Doors and Drawers Class
« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2018, 03:24 PM »
[mad]@DynaGlide

Snooze ya lose my friend, but Ill never tell  [big grin]

You wont be disappointed when you you do take this class buddy.

Who knows maybe we'll end up taking a class together along w pompeio to.

@jobsworth It's all good. Turns out that week was a no go for me in the end. I will take that class eventually.

Offline TSO_Products

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Re: Review Of Greg Paolini's Cabinet Making & Doors and Drawers Class
« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2018, 08:10 PM »
@jobsworth  - just saw your previous post about about attending Greg Paolini's class in person. Very nice report - bound to make his classes fill up even more quickly than they already do.

Did you receive a copy of Greg's Book and CD "Building Kitchen Cabinets made simple" as part of the class?
Since we started offering this book on our website's BOOKS section we have only received positive responses. Helpful stuff!

We just launched our first construction PLAN set today, the TSO Systainer Cart 90cm tall (TSC-90) to offer a time saving way to get these SYSTAINER Carts built more quickly.
https://tsoproducts.com/plans-drawings/tsc-90-systainer-cart-plan-set/

 But as we were constructing the Systainer Cart and putting the plans together we realized we had an opportunity to share some basic but very helpful tips along with the PLAN set. The idea being that we can include some "instructional information - how and why".

The download plans are being snapped up in a way that tells us we are on the right track. More helpful information will follow from TSO.

Hans

Offline Pompeio

  • Posts: 37
Re: Review Of Greg Paolini's Cabinet Making & Doors and Drawers Class
« Reply #8 on: October 01, 2018, 11:58 AM »
Hans:

I previously purchased Greg's Building Kitchen Cabinets Made Simple book/CD.  It was not distributed in the class---possibly because the course was a Festool class and the book does not include much Festool discussion/usage by reference.  A good book nonetheless.

Offline jobsworth

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Re: Review Of Greg Paolini's Cabinet Making & Doors and Drawers Class
« Reply #9 on: October 01, 2018, 12:49 PM »
@TSO_Products

Hans, I already have Gregs book and video, for those that dont know the video is included with the book.
I have built many many cabinets and gregs book is a great reference for those who want to learn/understand the different methods of cabinet making.

Gregs class focused on using Festools and their tools and methodology for cabinet making. Im not 100% sure but about 85% sure thatthey gave Greg a ciricculum to follow /methods to use to build cabinets using their tools their way.

I have taken this class before and Greg followed the same process the other festool instructor followed.
What stands out to me is Gregs hands on knowledge as He uses these tools in his business.
Another example (I havent gone back to see if I mentioned this or not ) Is the CMS router table.

There has been some discussions here about it. Some say its over priced, some say its lacking is accessories that the fence is inadquate etc etc.

Greg blew most of the criticism out of the water, when I walked into his shop and see professional cabinet makers using the CMS router table to produce various pieces for a high end kitchen Greg is currently making for a customer. Especially when his 3 CMS RT are equipped with the stock festool fence.

I agree with Greg when he said that he can do anything he wants to do using the accessories festool created for their tools and no real need to buy other after market accessories.

Sure I do have a few after market accessories like the slop stop and the Lee Valley stand offs for cutting on the MFT.
But do I need them to perform at a acceptable level making quality wood working products? No not really.

Its mainly understanding the tools and how to use them properly .

For those who have taken FT end user classes from Steve Bace, Steve starts his classes i the intro lecture stating:
The average festool user only uses 58% of the tools capabilities.
Then he goes on to teach the other 42% of the tools capabilities.


Offline TSO_Products

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Re: Review Of Greg Paolini's Cabinet Making & Doors and Drawers Class
« Reply #10 on: October 01, 2018, 10:37 PM »
@jobsworth  - your comments about Greg Paolini's classes underscores an important point:
YouTube will never replace formal training of the type offered by Greg, the other FESTOOL classes or for that matter the structured week-long courses in many parts of the country (world?).

The Marc Adams School of Woodworking is on my list for 2019 to get a better grounding in basic joinery in addition to Greg Paolini's FESTOOL School.

Hans

Offline jobsworth

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Re: Review Of Greg Paolini's Cabinet Making & Doors and Drawers Class
« Reply #11 on: October 02, 2018, 01:08 AM »
I agree. Im very interested in taking some other courses greg has a dining chair making class and there are some other talented people who also offer classes.

Offline woodvkk

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Re: Review Of Greg Paolini's Cabinet Making & Doors and Drawers Class
« Reply #12 on: October 06, 2018, 12:01 PM »
Great write up.

How does one get notified of the class offerings? I went to the classes site and didn’t see anything.

Offline Pompeio

  • Posts: 37
Re: Review Of Greg Paolini's Cabinet Making & Doors and Drawers Class
« Reply #13 on: October 06, 2018, 12:29 PM »
Go to Festool’s site and click on Knowledge and then scroll down to Training where you can then select Classes.

Offline jobsworth

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Re: Review Of Greg Paolini's Cabinet Making & Doors and Drawers Class
« Reply #14 on: October 06, 2018, 02:02 PM »
@woodvkk

Here is the link to festool training.
https://festooltraining.com

You can sign up there for email notices of their classes being offered. The classes fill up very fast as they only have 6 students for a class. Las Vegas is being moved and remodeled so it will be a while until it will be up ad runing.
So that limits us to 2 locations. Gregs in NC and Sedges in Indiana.

 What I found is I periodicaly check for class offers when im ready to take one. So I go directly to the link and check frequently.
That way Im able to sign up immediately w/o waiting for a email.

It looksike there are no new offering at this time. However I would check towards the end of the month and continue checking periodically.

Personally, Ill be looking for another class for spring next year. I try to take at least one or 2 a year. Even if its a class ive taken before, I ll take it from a different instructor. Same class cirriculum but a different approach.

Offline woodvkk

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Re: Review Of Greg Paolini's Cabinet Making & Doors and Drawers Class
« Reply #15 on: October 06, 2018, 10:48 PM »
Thanks guys, I still don't see a link for notifications, but I'll monitor it.

Offline jobsworth

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Re: Review Of Greg Paolini's Cabinet Making & Doors and Drawers Class
« Reply #16 on: October 07, 2018, 11:40 AM »
@woodvkk

yer right. I checked, I guess they dont do that anymore. So just keep your eye on the training site.