LOS ANGELES, CA - Aspiring woodworkers can now learn and hone skills at Community Woodshop, near Los Angeles. Founded by two brothers, it is outfitted with the latest in woodshop equipment from Bosch, Makita, and Laguna Tools.
Since woodshop vocational classes being offered in city school districts are waning, and with government budget cuts, the public has fewer places to learn and hone woodworking skills. So brothers Bob and Roy Stevens reasoned there would be a market for a new woodshop and educational resource in Los Angeles: The Community Woodshop.
The Stevens originally set out to on a venture to create beautiful, natural, wooden toys. In seeking a place to develop their wood products, they eventually established their fully equipped woodshop, which to the public in 2012. Classes were launched in February 2013.
“My brother and I looked all over the LA area for a woodshop where we could work on prototypes of our idea, but found absolutely no woodworking facilities that were open to the public,” says Scott Stevens. “And then it hit us: why not open our own woodworking shop and fill this obvious void."
Stevens, who has a background in architecture, has a passion for teaching and sharing woodworking skills.
“We attract a full spectrum of woodworkers,” said Stevens. Users of the shop include artists who create sculptures out of exotic hardwoods, an entertainer who makes props for his magic act, as well as enthusiasts who "simply want to learn more about woodworking and create beautiful and useful projects in the process,” says Stevens.
Stevens says the Community Woodshop is special because of the environment, working with fellow woodworking aficionados. “There’s lots of energy in our shop,” he says. "People who come here find themselves surrounded by kindred spirits – and everybody has a great time in the process.”
The Community Woodshop features a fully stocked shop with the latest tools and machines. “Most of our equipment came from Laguna Tools in Irvine,” said Stevens. “It’s good working with a local company. Suffice it to say, we have everything an aspiring or accomplished woodworker needs in the way of tools, space… and now, classes.”
Stevens said he looked at woodshops across the country, creating a list of things he particularly liked about them, and what he felt needed tweaking, so they could create the best woodworking learning and project environment for their clients.
“What makes The Community Woodshop so popular for our clients is that they not only have access to classes from beginning to woodturning and much more – but they have access to the finest tools in the industry,” he said. “They don’t have to use the space in their garage, or buy tools. All they have to do is come to The Community Woodshop and everything they need is right here under one roof.”
Located in the Glassell Park area near Dodger Stadium, The Community Woodshop is situated within the Keystone Arts Space – home to a myriad of artisans. “People who come here feel as though they are part of an artistic community – and it’s very inspiring.”
The Community Woodshop is available for monthly memberships and classes, but they also offer day passes, too. As for the toy prototype Stevens and his brother Rob (also an instructor at the Woodshop) were planning to build? That has been put on the back burner for now. “We’re having too much fun helping other people explore their woodworking creativity.”
For more information on the Community Woodshop, and new classes that are currently forming, go to http://www.communitywoodshopla.com.