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Independent Skills Development

Independent Skill Development

Individual Skill Development (ISD) provides a mechanism whereby students can use our School Workshop to complete a project they started in one of our classes, or to build their own project using skills learned in our classes. Regular time slots will be designated in our School Workshop specifically for Independent Skill Development. During these time periods, a Workshop Supervisor will be on duty at all times to help if there are problems with any of the equipment, but not for individual instruction. If you would like private instruction, please contact to inquire about the possibility of a private class.


Our primary goal, and it should be yours too, is to ensure that everyone knows how to use tools and machinery safely. To insure that people who utilize our facilities independently do know how to use the equipment safely, a Safety Certification Program has been established. Individuals who sign up for Independent Skills Development must have first achieved a Safety Certification in the area of the shop that they wish to use. The Certification Levels that will be available are as follows:


  • Level 1 Woodworker – Individuals with this level of certification know how to safely use the basic tools and machines required for simple woodworking projects such as the table saw, bandsaw, miter saw, jointer, planer etc.
  • Level 2 Woodworker – This classification covers some of the larger and potentially more dangerous machines such as the larger jointers and planers, and specialty tools such as the Domino and the Leigh Dovetail Jig.
  • Level 1 Woodturner – This certification covers spindle turning using carbide tipped tools.
  • Level 2 Woodturner – Bowl turning and use of traditional turning tools is covered by this level.


For details on the requirements for these levels of certification, please see: SafetyCertificationRequirements2016.pdf


Some of these certifications can be achieved by having previously taken classes in our school and taking a 2-hour familiarization class and a simple Safety test. For the Woodworker certifications, classes, entitled Woodworking Safety 1 and Woodworking Safety 2, will teach you to safely use the tools and machines covered, but not how to design and build woodworking projects. There will be no class projects in these safety classes, but at the end you will be given the option of taking both a written and a practical test to qualify for Woodworker Certification Badges, and access to the Independent Skill Development program. For more information on these classes, please see: ISD Prep Classes


To utilize the CU Woodshop School of Woodworking's workshop for Independent Skill Development, students may purchase ISD coupons. Each coupon is good for one 3-hour ISD session and must be submitted to the Workshop Supervisor at the beginning of that session. We hope to soon have an online method of purchasing ISD coupons and reserving space but currently, it must be done manually, by visiting or calling the store at (217) 355-1244. The cost for the coupons is as follows:

Each coupon is good for one 3-hour session

ISD Coupons

























A calendar of available times will be distributed and students may call the store at (217) 355-1244 to register for a session. Coupons must be purchased before registering.

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