Fine Woodworking Technology


The University of Rio Grande's Fine Woodworking program prepares and enlightens students with the skills necessary to be successful woodworkers.  These skills will be developed in a "hands on" experience where most of the students' time is spent in the shop building fine furniture.  The program operates like a professional, custom furniture shop using machine for dimensioning stock and increasing efficiency.  Hand tools are used to cut fine joinery and create the many fine details that machines can't duplicate.

The FW program design and build jigs to use with the table saw, shaper, and other machines to increase safety and production.  Dovetail joinery, turning, carving, and other visual details are done by hand.  We feel that learning this balance between hand tools and machinery is the key to making fine furniture. 

The program offers a one-year certificate and a two-year Associate's Degree.  The FW classes, along with courses in math, science, and communications greatly increase the marketability of graduates of the Fine Woodworking program.

Job Opportunities Available With Fine Woodworking Degree

The Fine Woodworking program prepares students for an array of opportunities in a woodworking related field.  Woodworking graduates will be well suited working in custom furniture shops, high end mill work, cabinet shops, finishing, and installation as well as owning and operating their own business.  Although graduates will thrive in any high end custom application, they will also be able to pursue paths in machine setup, machine maintenance, tooling, and also the manufacturing and industrial side of woodworking.  The combination of the intellectual, and physical skills developed greatly increase the marketability of graduates.


In addition to the vast job opportunities available, there are also internships available as well.  Summer internships are available for Rio graduates through Merritt Woodwork.


Fine Woodworking Requirements

Students are required to obtain their own hand tools, lumber, hardware, and some finishing supplies to complete projects.  These tools and supplies are an essential part of becoming a true craftsman. To view a list of required material, please view the Fine Woodworking Tool List, or you can obtain a list in Davis Career Center room 150. 

If you are interested in the FW program, please view the Fine Woodworking FACT Sheet for a brief overview of the program as well as a suggested curriculum for the certificate and degree programs.  Fine Woodworking Certificate Gainful Employment Disclosure

General Contact Information      
  • Eric Matson, FW Assistant Professor
     1-800-282-7201, ext. 7441 - Email:
  • Admissions 1-800-282-7201, ext. 7206