Making Shaker Oval-Boxes


In this class, we are making our own variation on the Shaker Oval Box as an introduction to some of the skills used in traditional boatbuilding – like steam-bending and copper clench-nailing.  And, every student goes home with a carrier style bentwood box.

$65 includes all tools and supplies to make one bent-wood box

Choice of Dates: Sunday August 15, 11-3pm, or Saturday Sept 11, 11-3pm  Sign up soon – courses fill up quick!



What’s a Shaker Oval-Box? It’s a single piece of thin hardwood, bent into a circle, ends sewn together, with a fitted wood bottom. Add a tight-fitting lid to make a storage container, or a handle to make an open carrier. People were making boxes like this for thousands of years before them, but the Shakers standardized and perfected these iconic and useful containers so that they are now – appropriately – just called Shaker boxes.

This one-day class is a great introduction to woodworking, a great follow-up to other introduction-to-woodworking courses, and the perfect introduction to traditional boatbuilding!  In this class we will be making 1 carrier style Bentwood Box that utilizes a copper riveted bentwood handle. 

Cost of this course is $65 and includes all tools and supplies to make (at least) one Shaker Oval-Box.

Choice of dates include Sunday August 15 11-3pm, or Saturday Sept 11, 11-3pm



The Instructor for this course is Wade Smith:

Professional Boatbuilder and Co-Founder of Mill Hollow Works, LLC, Wade has been a boatbuilder and woodworker for over 25 years.  His career began at the Apprenticeshop in Nobleboro ME, where he studied boatbuilding under the direction of Lance Lee. After a productive two years in this intensive working-for-learning environment, he moved into a position at the boat shop at Mystic Seaport working for Barry Thomas, researching, documenting, and replicating historic watercraft from the museum’s collection, and learning every word of John Gardner’s famed “Boatbuilding For Amateurs” course.  After Barry’s retirement, Wade continued on as the Director of the John Gardner Boat Shop for 11 years, during which time he helped to create, and subsequently oversaw, an exponential increase in boatbuilding-related courses, and assisted in setting up new boatbuilding programs from Maine to Honduras. Wanting to focus primarily on boatbuilding instead teaching, he joined the team at Snediker Yacht Restoration in Pawcatuck CT where he engaged in high-end commercial boatbuilding and yacht restoration for 15 years.  Once again, Wade has made a major move; in 2016 he re-located back New Hampshire and founded Mill Hollow Works, with his wife Heather. 

Additional information

Dates September 11, 2021, August 15, 2021