The first day of class is over, and it was well worth it. I'm very pleased about that! As expected, things got off to a somewhat slow start, but having no expectations resulted in exceeding them.
The school itself is in a neat old building on the old Fort Warden (spelling?) facility - it's kind of like a bunker. The room is spacious and it has really nice benches for everyone. The class size is 7, which is a really nice number (i.e., not too many). Jim, the instructor, is a super nice guy - very laid back but passionate about what he's teaching. They have a generous donation of tools from Lee Valley - I brought my own but it's nice to have these if you need them.
The day's activities involved making a straight edge - we started from rough lumber and crosscut and ripped the pieces. We did 'cheat' by using a bandsaw to rip them into 2 pieces, but that will be the only cheating we do today. But the main bonus for the day was face planing the stock - Jim helped tune up my 4-1/2 smoothing plane, and it was the first time I was able to succesfully face plane a board thanks to cambering the blade. The surface was super smooth. Some would refer to it as smooth-mo-'d'. Anyway, very nice to get such nice results!
Plenty of planes for all.