Cabinet course teaches skill, safety

Paul Brodie has had a passion for woodworking since he was a boy. His enthusiasm for teaching came much later, but the Bowden-area resident has found a way to combine the two.

Paul Brodie has had a passion for woodworking since he was a boy. His enthusiasm for teaching came much later, but the Bowden-area resident has found a way to combine the two.

A journeyman carpenter, Brodie is offering cabinet-making classes out of his 1,600-square-foot shop. Students receive a primer on workshop safety and the correct use of table saws, and other equipment and tools, as well as hands-on instruction on how to build cabinets.

“They learn everything,” he said. “They learn how to use a router, they learn how to use a table saw safely, they learn how to edge plywood.”

And at the end of the one-day course, they have a newly constructed kitchen cabinet with a drawer, door and laminate top — as well as the knowledge and skills to repeat the exercise at home.

“I would say that you could walk out of here after my course and build a simple kitchen cupboard: the lower part and the upper part.”

They should also be able to construct related items, like wall units and computer cabinets.

Now 58, Brodie has done carpentry work his entire adult life. He’s even designed and built homes, and currently also works as a home inspector and safety codes officer.

He lived in Cochrane until moving to his current home — which he built — in 2002.

Brodie taught woodworking courses while in Cochrane, instructing as many as 30 students at a time. He now wants to focus on cabinets, and limit his classes to four people.

“I find with four, I can really watch what they’re doing,” said Brodie, adding with a chickle, “Everybody seems to hang onto their fingers.”

He hopes to draw students from as far as Calgary. Most of the interest is coming from females, whom he’s found to be better pupils.

“Women just seem to listen,” said Brodie, adding that many also appear to respect potentially dangerous equipment more than their male counterparts.

Additional information about Brodie and his cabinet-making course can be found online at www.paulbrodiewoodworks.com.

hrichards@bprda.wpengine.com