Advanced Women’s Carpentry

July 20-24 or October 19-23, 2022

PLEASE NOTE: Because our classroom is outdoors and we require masks at close distance, we feel confident that all classes will run in 2022. If conditions change and we need to adjust, we will notify students immediately. For more info on classes during covid, see our refund policy and our protocols and procedures

Learn to design and build your own buildings from the ground up!

We’ve had such an awesome experience with our Women’s Basic Carpentry Class, that we decided to offer something to take students to the next level. In the basic class, we cover how to use basic tools and design simple projects. Students get to practice these skills and get really comfortable with them. This class builds on that foundation.

The advanced women’s carpentry class empowers students to design and build structures with confidence

Please note that our Advanced Women’s Carpentry Class is only available to those who have already taken the Women’s Basic Carpentry Class. Visit the class page for the basics class for more info on class sessions and enrollment. 

drawing of woman with hammer


“The advanced carpentry class was best thing I’ve done for myself this decade!”

-Laura McKeithen (age 54)


Please Note: We’ve expanded this class to be 5 days long, and added online material.


Online Lectures: Foundation, Floor, Wall, and Roof Systems, along with window installation

Within 1 week of registering for this class, you’ll receive access to an online lecture series covering foundation, floor, wall, and roof systems, along with window installation. In these in-depth discussions, you’ll learn the theory behind some of the most important parts of structural building. We ask students to watch the lectures in preparation for the class, whenever is convenient. It’s very important that you get through this material before you come to class, so that our in-class discussion can go beyond the basics. You’ll have unlimited access to this material, so you can refer back to it as you embark on your own projects.


framing a floor in a women's carpentry course

Day 1: Creating foundations and footers

We will get to know each other and get logistics out of the way. Building on the online material on foundations, students will explore a couple of different styles of foundations, and see how they are accomplished in a real world setting. Students will get the opportunity to pour a concrete footer and will learn about setting posts.

Please note: day 1 is a half day, starting at 1pm


women doing woodworking

Day 2: Floors and getting started with walls

On our second day, we’ll divide the class into two groups. Each group will get started on building a shed! This day we’ll spend some time getting oriented to the building projects, then dive into building floor systems and a shed floor, cut pieces for the first wall, and possibly start putting together the first wall.


woman using a speed square for carpentry

Day 3: Building walls and cutting rafters

In the online portion of the class, students will learn about the distinctions, advantages, and disadvantages of various wooden-framed wall systems, including: timber frame, post and beam, and “stick-framed,” or “stud” (referring to a vertical board, not a male identified person who likes to strut around) walls. During class, we’ll explore different siding and paneling options. During this phase, students will get their eyes and hands all over various systems. Then, we’ll work on real, live walls, and learn how to build, erect, side, insulate, and panel them. Toward the end of the day, we’ll start cutting rafters for our roof!


door trim carpentry project

Day 4: More walls, plus rafters and maybe even a window!

We’ll complete our walls and rafters on this day. Once the basic framework of our building is up, if the building calls for it, we’ll embark on the exciting adventure of installing a window.


Day 5: Putting on the roof

The morning will begin with a talk on various roof shapes and framing systems. We’ll include a discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of various roofing materials. Then, students will get to work on a real, live roof.


The priority during this class is not progress on buildings, but rather women truly learning carpentry skills and feeling comfortable

We work hard to assure a balance between breadth and depth. Meaning, our goal is that each student understand the big concepts and principles, while also building competence in each step. Everyone will get to explore various different projects, get her hands on a lot of tools, and feel a sense of satisfaction at the end of the class. Upon finishing the online and in person portions of the class, each student should have the skills to build a small shed for herself.


Learn at your own pace – Check out our Online Tiny House Academy

Along with in-person building classes, we also offer an Online Tiny House Academy. This is a great option if you can’t make it to an in-person class, or if you just can’t get enough and want to learn more at home. It’s an excellent compliment to all of our other building classes. The Online Tiny House Building Class includes a ton of how-to’s, along with an extremely comprehensive video library of tutorials, lectures, and demos. Indeed, it covers some of the same material as the women’s carpentry classes, plus much more, including (but not limited to): how to frame, roof, side, plumb, wire, and how to get set up for off-grid living!


Instructors

Natalie Bogwalker

Natalie Bogwalker

Natalie is the visionary behind Wild Abundance, as well as a primary instructor for many classes. She’s passionate about teaching and sharing skills to help all kinds of people live in an empowered and Earth-centered way. Natalie and her family live at the Wild Abundance homestead campus in the Southern Appalachians. She balances her time ...

Ella Scotto

Ella (she/her) took a carpentry class with Wild Abundance in 2017. After that, she bought an acre of land in Barnardsville, NC, and began building a house. For over a year, she worked with Barron Brown, learning everything she could about carpentry and construction. Ella is always eager to learn more, and is constantly honing her ...

Alex Kilgore

Alex (he/him) has been learning and teaching primitive and traditional living skills since 1995. He began with a formative apprenticeship with Steve Watts, the founder of the Society of Primitive Technology and director of the Aboriginal Studies Program at the Schiele Museum of Natural History.  In 1997, Alex completed his degree in Outdoor Experiential Education ...
Nadi

Nadi

Nadi (they/them) has been on a quest to study traditional woodworking, metalworking and ancestral skills ever since leaving behind their Aerospace Engineering path in Germany where they grew up. While attending University in Germany they turned an old early 1900s circus trailer into their first tiny home they lived in for the duration of their ...

Class Location

This class is held in Barnardsville, at the Wild Abundance home campus 

The Wild Abundance home campus is a beautiful and diverse permaculture homestead, about 25 minutes north of Asheville. You’ll receive detailed directions on how to get here upon registration. This is where Wild Abundance founder and director Natalie Bogwalker lives with her family. It’s nestled amidst a handful of other homes in a small community on a short gravel road. If you’re attending a class hosted at Wild Abundance, you will likely also traveling on field trips or going to other nearby sites for builds.

Please note: our campuses are all unconventional, with rustic amenities and uneven ground. Read more about our campuses here.

Local Accommodations and Facilities

Wherever you’re coming from, you’re welcome to pitch a tent in one of our flat camping spots in the woods or field, or to tie a hammock in the forest on our seven-acre property. If you live locally, you may prefer to commute to Wild Abundance from Asheville (25 minute drive). If you choose to camp, please bring your own bedding and rainproof tent or tarp. In the early spring and late fall it can be cold at night, so please bring warm bedding if you’ll be here before May or after September. We have a lovely outdoor kitchen equipped with a stove and running water, an outdoor shower, and an outhouse available to campers.  In extremely cold weather, the sink and shower may be out of operation due to water freezing.

If you prefer something with more creature comforts, we suggest you browse Airbnb for numerous options close to the campus. You can also check out local motels and B&Bs within a 10-15 minute drive to Wild Abundance. We’ll send a list of links to several options (with varying amenities and prices) in a welcome letter upon registration.


Registration Info

July 20-24 or October 19-23, 2022

Pricing for Advanced Women’s Carpentry Only

Please note that our Advanced Women’s Carpentry Class is only available to those who have already taken the Women’s Basic Carpentry Class, either this year or in previous years. We will be running several sessions in 2022, including: April 21-4, May 12 – 15, June 16 – 19, July 14-17, August 11-14, Sept 1-4, Sept 29-Oct 2, Oct 13-16. Some of these classes will be announced with our New Years Sale, and some of them will open during our Spring Sale.

Regular Pricing: $1,000 – $1,600

Please pay what you can afford.  The median price is suggested to help cover the full cost of hosting this class. Please select the low end of the sliding scale if you are low income. If your household income is over $80,000/year, please select the maximum fee.  Please place yourself in this range where you deem appropriate, based on your income.

Includes Basic and Advanced Women’s Carpentry

Please note that our Advanced Women’s Carpentry Class is only available to those who have already taken the Women’s Basic Carpentry Class.We will be running several sessions in 2022, including:April 21-4, May 12 – 15, June 16 – 19, July 14-17, August 11-14, Sept 1-4, Sept 29-Oct 2, Oct 13-16

Regular Pricing:  $1,600 – $2,560

Please pay what you can afford.  The median price is suggested to help cover the full cost of hosting this class. Please select the low end of the sliding scale if you are low income. If your household income is over $80,000/year, please select the maximum fee.  Please place yourself in this range where you deem appropriate, based on your income.

The following are included in the price of the course: instruction, optional camping, and facility use (kitchen, outhouse). 

To register, please complete the online registration by clicking on the “Register Now” button above and then make your payment. Registration will be processed upon receipt of payment.

Expect to receive a confirmation email within one week of sending payment. Additional emails will cover logistical details as the date approaches.

Click here to see our policies on refunds, payment plans, and scholarships.

Also, feel free to read our Frequently Asked Questions.