Hi Ken,

Once again, thank you for presenting an outstanding, challenging and interesting course at Peters Valley a couple of weeks ago. I learned a lot and am a better woodworker now than when I began the course. That is a real statement about your teaching techniques and your patience.

As we discussed, I am interested in learning about future courses that you will be presenting at your studio or at Northampton College. When you have worked out the schedule, please, if I wasn’t in your face too much, let me know the schedules.

I hope our paths cross again soon. It was a pleasure to meet you and to take your course.


Efrem H. Zaret, Ph.D.
EZ Associates Inc.
Washington NJ 07882


ThomHi Ken!

I just wanted to let you know that I had a wonderful experience in your boxmaking class. Thanks for being a great resource. Again, please keep me informed on upcoming events. If you ever have time for a one on one class on lamps or sculpture, I'd love to work something out.



Hi Ken,

I hope this email finds you well.

I really enjoyed the cabinet class I took with you last summer at Yestermorrow. I learned so much from you and am very proud of the piece I made with the help of your incredible expertise and supportive guidance. I have attached a photo of my finished cabinet. Your suggestion of finishing it with linseed oil was great…the exact look I was hoping for…I love it!…Thank you Ken!

Because I have such great respect for you and your skills, and like your teaching style, I would like to register for the same class this June at Peters Valley.

All the best.


Hi Ken-
Again, great course. Hope to take more of yours through the years. Thanks again for all your time, help and PATIENCE (someday I'll have more confidence with the router and table saw) with beginners like me.

Ralph Hohmann


Thank you for another great week. I picked up plenty of tips that will make a big difference in my next project. I’m looking forward to setting up a workshop in my basement and spending time making things for my grandchildren.


Hi Everybody,

I really had a great time at class, and I'd like to thank you all. Everyone's participation and interest was very helpful and enjoyable to me. And I'd especially like to thank Ken. I learned a great deal. Both technique and staying composed. It's hard to imagine allowing a bunch of newbies to work on one of my client projects! Now I have to get busy designing my own shelves before I forget everything i learned.

All the best,


Hi Ken,

Thanks for your great help and instruction in constructing this bookcase last week. I'm very proud of it and have written this short reflection on the bookcase with the idea in mind that you can make use of it as a student testimonial.

I'm attaching one pic, a good one of us together, standing by the finished shelf. I'll send another of the shelf where it sits in my home in the next day or two.

Your friend,

P.S. I realized after the fact that I didn't use a calculator or computer once in design or construction -- I'm especially, maybe even inordinately proud of this for some reason.

With the help of Ken Burton and my classmates, I built this birch bookcase over four and a half days while staying at the Yestermorrow Design/Build School near Waitsfield, Vermont.

Apart from knowing how to properly measure and mark wood, I had no experience woodworking whatsoever prior to the workshop. I think it helped that I chose a very straightforward and simple design. I went with a birch plywood structure, and covered its face with a rectangular hardwood birch frame and shelf edges. Initially I had few ideas for the bookcase, apart from a few rough dimensions, and went with the face frame and shelf edge design that Ken suggested. The dimensions are 36" wide X 12" deep X 68" tall. The shelves are 12" deep, 34 ½" wide, and 11" tall, except for the top shelf which I made a little taller to account for the hanging down of the face frame.

Ken is a master builder who has been at woodworking since he was a child. More importantly, he's a great teacher who's capable of conveying his experience and knowledge to beginners in a direct and accessible way. In four days, I learned how to use a table saw, a mitre gauge, how to use and sharpen a card scraper, to make tongue-and-groove joints, to use a plunge router for biscuit joints, to use a block plane, and more. I would recommend Ken's classes to beginners who are seeking an introduction to woodworking as well as those with some experience who want to deepen their knowledge.

My advice to beginners would be to design as symmetrically and as simply as possible and to avoid doors and hinges. This will greatly reduce the complexity of your project and makes execution much easier. Using a plywood structure can also help -- much less preparation is required before you start building.


Thanks a lot for the good information. I will definitely use it...So far you're the only professional wood worker that has taken the time to email me back and not talk to me like I'm an idiot hahaha. I will definitely check out your website and classes you do.

Michael Hosey
Dallas, TX