Today, we have interviewed Glenn Palmieri (CoFounder – Bentwood Studio) from Carmel NY. So without wasting much of your time, let’s take a look at things Glenn has to say about WOODWORKING.
1. Tell us about yourself.
My name is Glenn Palmieri and I am one of two founders of Bentwood Studio, a family run woodworking school that offers classes from hand tools to machines, to custom building furniture. I grew up with a father who was a home builder and furniture maker (who learned from his Swedish and Italian grandfathers). I spent a lot of time as a youth sweeping up job sites to framing, roofing, laying floors when I got older. Eventually, I ended up in Chicago and apprenticed at the now-closed Chicago Bauhaus Academy. I started teaching night classes there to adults and fell in love with sharing my knowledge with others. When I moved back to the East Coast with my wife, I came up with a plan and borrowed money to get going.
While I was getting my school together I ran a shop that renovated churches. There I worked with several people all with their own unique skill sets. I took care of the woodwork, we had a carver, a painter, a finisher, and a stone cutter. Notably, I built the chair for Pope Benedict in 2008 for the Papal Youth Rally in Yonkers. I left that once I got going with my school and build custom pieces for clients. We have been open 10 years and have grown in shop size three times. We specialize in one on one classes building furniture with our students. I love the closeness we have with our students as their triumphs are our triumphs. Teaching what I am passionate about is an amazing experience. Not to mention I get to teach with my father!
2. How do you keep your woodworking knowledge up to date?
We stay up to date by looking at magazines, books, online forums, etc. There is a big local tool store nearby that I have a good relationship with who helps me out when I am looking for a new piece of equipment and they keep me up to date with what is worth getting. But doing research online is key. You can find forums with people posing similar questions and getting great feedback. Nothing beats hands-on though. I try to take a class myself with different makers/teachers each year to keep my skills up and to challenge myself with more difficult builds.
3. Your advice for newbies who are just starting with woodworking.
You don’t have to buy every tool or every gizmo. I try to teach my students that sometimes less is more. Yes, some tools are worth purchasing, but not all of them. Don’t buy tools that are one trick ponies (i.e., a mortise). You can buy an attachment for your drill press that lets you do the same thing! Magazines will sell you something for anything, don’t fall into that trap thinking you need this little do-dad to make this or this do-hickie to do that.
A lot of times you can make your own jigs or setups with what you have and get great results. Watching Youtube is great, reading articles is great, but it doesn’t beat hands-on skills and safety you learn in a class setting. If you are thinking of investing in a major tool (table saw, bandsaw, router), take a hands-on class with that tool so you feel safe and comfortable using at home. Tools are dangerous, and a lot of accidents can be prevented by taking simple steps! We all need our fingers to tie our shoes!
Recommended Read – Best Drill Press For Woodworking!
4. How should people connect with you? E.g.: Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, email, website, etc.?
5.Where are you located? Please include city + state + country (if outside the US).
1214 Route 52 – Suite 100 – Carmel NY 10512.