How it Works

Cortland Woodworks is a supervised professional-grade woodshop offering reasonably-priced memberships and focused woodworking classes to anyone living in and around Cortland, New York. Whether you're just starting out, or an avid woodworker, Cortland Woodworks has the right tools, space and support for you to succeed!

There are three easy ways to gain access to Cortland Woodworks: become a member, attend a class, or arrange a hosted event.  What's needed?  Follow the steps below to take action today. 

A custom wedding box - nice job Mike!

A custom wedding box - nice job Mike!

Become a member

You want to make things.  Great!  Becoming a member gives you access to a feature-filled woodshop in a comfortable and friendly environment, without the hefty cost and challenge of buying and maintaining your own tools and space.  Please take the virtual tour to see all that our members have access to. 

Steps to becoming a member:

  1. Select what level of membership you are interested in. There are five membership levels available.

  2. Purchase your membership. This can be done easily online, by phone or in-person at the shop. A limited number of personal storage lockers are also available.

  3. New members must sign up to take a FREE introductory shop safety course, which can be arranged by phone, email, or in person. This two-hour course provides a basic introduction to the shop, covers the Shop Rules and Waiver terms, and provides us time to begin safety certification on specific tools that you are interested in using. Safety certification is a 1-on-1 low-pressure introduction to the larger tools in the shop, and is required regardless of your incoming skill level. A shop supervisor will cover how to properly and safely use a specific piece(s) of equipment, answer any questions, and you will be required to demonstrate competent use of the tool. Once you are documented as safety-certified with a given tool, then you are able to use it freely during your time in the shop.

  4. Congratulations, you are now a member of Cortland Woodworks! Members can use our on-site vehicle parking, walk or bike to the shop anytime during open hours. Members must sign in and out of the shop each time they arrive and leave. Members must abide by the Shop Rules. Have fun and make something amazing!

Making a wooden bowl in our Introduction to Bowl Making class

Making a wooden bowl in our Introduction to Bowl Making class

Attend a class

You are ready to make something specific, and are excited about building one of the projects listed.  Or, maybe you really want to pick up a cool new woodworking talent.  We're here to help make it happen.  New and reoccurring classes are offered right at the shop every month. 

Steps to attend a class:

  1. Browse the available classes offerings online, or propose a future class that you would be interested in. You do not have to be a member to attend a class!

  2. Review the class requirements. Most classes include all the necessary rough materials and supplies, so you'll just need to bring yourself. Class duration and recommended skill levels vary, so be sure to consider the estimated time commitment for completing a class and what tools and techniques will be used to build your project. We try hard not to rush anyone - everyone works at a different pace and that's ok.

  3. Sign up and purchase your class. This can be done easily online, by phone, or in-person at the shop. You will receive an email confirmation.

  4. Show up 10-15 minutes ahead of your class's listed start time and get settled in. An instructor will kick things off and before you know it you will be progressing through the steps to walk away with your very own handmade creation!

A family fun night to make a custom live-edge cherry shelf

A family fun night to make a custom live-edge cherry shelf

Host an event

Looking for a unique place to have a one-of-a-kind family reunion event; a team-building exercise with your colleagues; a birthday gathering, or; to hold an activity-packed friends night-out?  The opportunities abound to make a personalized event happen at Cortland Woodworks.  Event participants can be provided exclusive access to the shop during certain days and times, or smaller events may be scheduled during open shop hours if practical.  A shop supervisor will need to be present for the duration of all events, and can be requested to lead certain event activities or to prepare materials in advance of an event.

Steps to hold an event:

  1. Fill out the online event information request form. We'll ask some general questions about your proposed event, such as the number of participants, purpose/goals of the event, your desired time-frame, and your contact information. Once we receive a request, we will work quickly (often within 48 hours or less) to advise on the possibility of the proposed event and what it might cost.

  2. Larger or more complicated events may require a site visit and follow-up conversations to firm up the proposed event details and to confirm that Cortland Woodworks can best meet your needs.

  3. Once you are ready to commit to an event, a non-refundable 50% down-payment will be required to "lock-in" a date and time for the event. The balance is due on the day of the event.

  4. On the day of your event, the shop will be prepared according to the specific terms of the event. We will look forward to providing you and your group with an enjoyable, memorable, woodworking experience!