John is a master woodworker who specializes in working with traditional hand tools and utilizing traditional building techniques. His students consistently comment that this approach permeates every class he teaches. John has recently concentrated his efforts on traditional early American methods of woodworking, including spring-pole lathe turning, the construction of snowshoes, and hand-crafting Windsor chairs & stools. John's training includes work with the Rockport Apprentice Shop in Maine, Strong's Canoe Yard in Vermont, and the Windsor Institute in New Hampshire.
Current Courses Offered by John Beltman
Beginning Windsor-Style Turning
Don't stop at bowls-- spindle turning offers the turner endless possibilities to create traditional and contemporary furniture and household items, particularly those rooted in Windsor-style furniture. Try your hand using the skew chisel, spindle gouge and roughing gouge in this workshop with Windsor furniture maker John Beltman.
Pram Boat Building: Build Your Own Traditional Norse Pram
Take this one-of-a-kind opportunity to build a custom-sized, traditionally built wooden lapstrake boat, originating in design and construction from the fjords and fishing villages of Norway and Sweden. Over 12 days, students will complete the Norse Pram, an inshore craft that makes an excellent tender or rowboat at the lake,…
Snowshoe Construction: Up the Trail
Carve, bend and lace your own pair of wooden ash snowshoes style up the Gunflint Trail! Part of the Up The Trail Series hosted at historic Gunflint Lodge, this class is designed to allow students ample opportunity to not only make snowshoes but also partake of the many recreational opportunities…
Techniques of Pram Boat Building: Old World Boatbuilding Traditions
An old Norse saying goes, “A man without his boat is a mere prisoner.” This class is a one-of-a-kind study and hands-on look into the techniques of traditional Norwegian and Swedish boat builders: we'll explore the developments and skills required to build wooden lapstrake boats that have plied the fjords…
Timbered Workbench: Early American Style
Have bench, will travel? Indeed - with this workbench you can do both! A fine workbench is an essential fixture in the home workshop. In this class students will build a sturdy timbered workbench based on early American designs using simple and classic joinery that echoes timber framing techniques. Mortise…
Windsor Kitchen Stool: On the Lathe
This course is an overview of Windsor design and construction. Explore the origins and history of Windsor stools and chairs along with the traditional methods and tools used to construct them. Students learn how to select appropriate materials, split green wood for legs and stretchers, and sculpt a seat using…