Woodworking Boot Camp was a week I won’t soon forget. Sponsored by the Woodworking Machinery Industry Association
(WMIA) and Pittsburg State University (PSU) in
Pittsburg, Kansas, the Woodworking Boot Camp is
a five-day instructional course on secondary wood
processing fundamentals for sales professionals,
managers, product managers and executives.
The camp gives sales, marketing, and executive
staff a better understanding of the woodworking
industry’s manufacturing process.
But students don’t sit idly in lectures - though
there are plenty of classroom hours during the 50-
hour workshop. In addition to providing an overview
of the wood processing industry, students are brought
into the PSU wood lab, where we sawed, cut, sanded,
joined and finished wood components, similar to a
“We wanted manufacturers to see the entire
process, and how what they do affects the other
areas of manufacture,” said Doug Hague, director
of the camp. The program was devised as a way to
thank the WMIA and its members for their support
of the PSU program, and the
industry as a whole. Tuition for
the five-day course includes the
hotel stay, 10 meals, a Resource
Book, materials to build a table
and cabinet, and the experience
of a lifetime.
I had very little woodworking
training before the camp and
was worried I would feel out of
place. But my fears were quickly
overcome. I soon learned that
many of the other guys were just
as clueless as I was.
The camp is a 50/50 mix of class time and
lab time, typically beginning with a lecture before
moving into the wood lab for further instruction.
Hague, along with PSU professors Charlie Phillips
and Jordan Backs, presented lectures throughout
the week and assisted in the lab. Also helping in
the lab were PSU Wood Tech graduate assistants
Mark Welle and Sam Galliart.
“The students will be experts in some areas, but
they might not know as much in others,” said Hague.
Woodworking Boot Camp: An Inside Look
One participant shares his experience at the WMIA-sponsored educational program.
Boot Camp, he says, certainly lives up to its name.
Woodworking Network Associate Editor Bobby Dalheim
was among the participants in the winter 2018 Boot Camp.
Using CNC and traditional machinery, the class machined
and assembled a coffee table and small cabinet.
The camp is a 50/50 mix of class and lab time, typically beginning with a lecture before moving into the wood lab for further instruction.