Best Woodworking Classes in San Diego (Reviewed)

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San Diego is known for its incredible beauty – the stunning landscapes of swaying palm trees, and the region’s famous Torrey pines. Think about how cool it would be to craft a beautiful, decorative wood piece using some of that gorgeous local wood!

Fortunately, San Diego offers a wide range of woodworking classes and workshop spaces, for everyone from novice woodworkers to those at the professional level.

Round-up of the Best Woodworking Classes in San Diego

Here is a comprehensive list of the best woodworking classes in one of the coolest cities in the world. Whether you are looking for a kid’s class or a maker space, San Diego, California has got it all.

Best Woodworking Class in San Diego:
San Diego Craft

Basic Info

  • Location: 2590 Truxton Rd., Studio 106, San Diego, CA 92106
  • Main Contact: Steffanie Dotson
  • Phone Number: (619)-273-3235
  • E-mail: sandiegocraftcollective@gmail.com

PROS

  • Very clean
  • Has a class specifically for female students
  • Attendees report the staff is great with working with their kids
  • Recommended for those who are super intimidated at the idea of woodworking

Why Did This Class Make Our List?

You are not going to be able to find better instructors than the ones at San Diego Craft. Most of the class instructors have full time gigs teaching woodworking courses at the college level at local colleges in the area, so you know you are working with the best of the best.

They are also great at working with kids – parents report that their children were allowed to keep their small woodworking aprons after their kid’s class.

What Types of Programs Are Offered?

Classes are designed to serve a range of participants: adults, teenagers, children, and even one class option for kids and parents to work side by side.

Most of their classes are for folks at the beginner level of woodworking, though some focus on specific projects. And if you want to expand beyond woodworking, they also offer classes on weaving and working with leather.

Best Advanced Woodworking Class in San Diego:
San Diego Fine Woodworkers Association

Basic Info

  • Location: 5360 Eastgate Mall, San Diego, CA 92121
  • Main Contact: Gary Anderson
  • Phone Number: (858)-230-7593
  • E-mail: vice-president@sdfwa.org

PROS

  • Has a lot of parking
  • Membership is affordable
  • Power tools are professional grade
  • Also offers volunteer opportunities to further the interests of the woodworking community

Why Did This Class Make Our List?

This workshop offers access to some pretty cool equipment you will not be able to find in many other spaces, including computer controlled machines such as a laser cutter and a CNC milling machine.

They also always have knowledgeable people present in the shop to help with any sort of technical issue you may have. It is an excellent way to meet and interact with other woodworkers as well.

What Types of Programs Are Offered?

The San Diego Fine Woodworkers Association offers classes through their Member Shop, which is only open to members. Membership is not free, but once you are a member you can sign up for all of their classes.

You are also assigned a “sponsor” who will work with you to help you complete all of your safety certifications so you can start working in the shop as soon as possible. They do offer some introductory classes, but most classes are focused on specific projects such as spindle turning, wood carving, etc.

Best Beginner Woodworking Class in San Diego:
San Diego Continuing Education

Basic Info

  • Location: 4343 Ocean View Blvd., San Diego, CA 92113
  • Main Contact: None listed
  • Phone Number: (619) 388-4956
  • E-mail: communityeducation@sdccd.edu

PROS

  • Offers a quiet atmosphere
  • Has a lot of comfy seating
  • Hand tools are high quality
  • Instructors allow for a lot of autonomous work, with support

Why Did This Class Make Our List?

We were impressed at the wide range of different classes and different instructors that San Diego Continuing Education can offer. Because they are a larger institution, they have more resources than many of the other woodworking classes in the area. 

Plus, they are conveniently located in a safe, and central, location. Attendees report the staff is friendly and welcoming to people of all skill levels.

What Types of Programs Are Offered?

The woodworking classes offered at San Diego Continuing Education (SDCE) are focused primarily on beginning woodworkers, hence why we are designating them as our best beginner woodworker option.

SDCE is technically a local college, so classes are offered in a semester format in which you pay “tuition” at the beginning of the semester. You can also progress to more advanced classes once you complete the beginner level. 

Best Kid-Friendly Woodworking Class in San Diego:
Woodshop Wizards

Basic Info

  • Location: 5360 Eastgate Mall, San Diego, CA 92121
  • Phone Number: (817)-739-0805
  • E-mail: info@woodshopwizards.com

PROS

  • Helps foster engineering skills
  • Children are encouraged to plan out future projects
  • Offers flexibility with adding children to classes
  • Teacher has a wise, calm, patient, and friendly personality

Why Did This Class Make Our List?

We were impressed with how these classes are often able to individualize the experience of each child. The teacher adapts projects to the skill levels of each child, i.e. if a child has been taking his classes for a long time, he will work with that child to give them more challenging projects than the rest of the class. He also focuses on teaching the kids the value of safety and of cleaning up after themselves.

What Types of Programs Are Offered?

Woodshop Wizards offers after school woodworking programs for children. They work with various schools within the area in order to bring the class directly to the school (so the address listed above is not the location where the classes typically take place). Classes are offered based on grade level according to the school, and payment will enroll your child in an after school class once a week for two months.

Best Retail Woodworking Class in San Diego:
Rockler San Diego

Basic Info

  • Location: 8199 Clairemont Mesa Blvd., San Diego, CA 92111
  • Main Contact: Mike Durlak
  • Phone Number: (858)-268-1005
  • E-mail: store6@rockler.com

PROS

  • Very organized and clean
  • Has a dedicated parking lot
  • High level of attention to safety
  • Instructors are very passionate and knowledgeable

Why Did This Class Make Our List?

Attendees report that class instructors are super friendly and engaging, immediately putting them at ease even if they do not have a lot of experience with woodworking.

They provide a detailed overview at the beginning of the class, then step back and allow class attendees to try out the projects for themselves, offering support to anyone who may need assistance as the class progresses.

What Types of Programs Are Offered?

Most classes offered by Rockler are focused on completing specific projects, such as a wooden dog bowl holder. Payment is on a per class basis.

Registration remains open until shortly before the class begins, so this could be a good option for a last minute date idea. All classes are suitable for beginner woodworkers, as the instructors provide detailed instructions all throughout the class.

Conclusion

San Diego may actually be one of the world’s hot spots when it comes to woodworking classes!

Even if you have never worked with wood before, you are going to be able to find a class taught by an awesome teacher who will be able to put you at ease and give you some tangible woodworking skills.