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Dovetail Carpentry

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Course Content and Outcomes:

The Dovetail Carpentry course provides beginners the opportunity to learn about joinery and apply the techniques through safe tool handling as they create their own shadow box frame. Dovetail is an ancient joinery technique that has proven versatile, resilient, and beautiful. Using interlocking pins and tails, dovetail joinery-created boxes, drawers, and other items can last hundreds of years. 

With instructor guidance, students will work at their own pace using hand tools to cut and assemble their projects. As pictured, the project is focused on creating four corners of the frame, there are no front or back panels to this completed shadow frame. This course is designed to empower and educate women of all backgrounds in the basic concepts of dovetail joinery. All materials and tools including handsaws, vices, chisels and mallets will be provided to complete the project.

Safety is the primary focus of the course. Instructors will provide hands-on technical training in a manner that allows participants to feel comfortable and empowered. The course curriculum will allow participants ample time to learn and practice at their own pace, while creating a collaborative learning environment conducive to meeting individual and group learning outcomes.

Physical Requirements

The course is physically demanding – applicants must be able to lift 20 lbs, bend at the waist, and be able to be on their feet for up to eight hours. This course takes place inside a workshop, but students should be prepared for variable temperatures and conditions.



The course starts on

Saturday, March 11 at 9 AM 

and ends at 

1 PM on Sunday, March 12, 2023.


Participants must be over 18 years of age, will be required to sign a release of liability waiver, and be able to meet physical requirements.


White Sulphur Springs, Montana.


There are two local hotels that are near to the workshop site. Lodging costs are not included in course tuition.

Local hotels:

The Edith Hotel: 406.547.8888
The Spa Hot Springs Motel & Tenderfoot Cabins: 406.547.3366


Lunch and snacks will be provided. The food is ample, fresh, and healthy. Most dietary restrictions can be accommodated with prior notice.


We encourage you to enjoy dinner and breakfast at one of the several White Sulphur Springs restaurants.

Equipment & Tools

Participants will need to provide appropriate personal clothing, safety glasses, and hearing protection.


The RAP Foundation will provide all other equipment, safety gear, and tools needed to participate. 



2023 rate: $250 per person. The course fee covers instruction, materials, and course equipment. This fee includes snacks and lunches for both Saturday and Sunday.


Scholarships and payment plans are available! Contact us for more info.


Payment is required upon registration.

Check or Credit Cards accepted. Details provided upon registration.


The workshop is limited to six participants per section. Courses fill quickly. Once the course is full (first come, first served) we will add names to a waitlist.

Registration for this class will open on 

Wednesday, January 18, 2023.

To stay in the loop regarding

Red Ants Pants Foundation programs, please subscribe to our mailing list here.


Course fees, minus a $50 cancellation fee, will be refunded if cancellation is made prior to 30 days before the start of the workshop. Fees are nonrefundable if cancellation is made within 30 days of the start of the workshop. In the event that the Timber Skills course is canceled due to public health concerns, full refunds will be issued for the course tuition.

For questions or additional information, please feel free to reach out to
Mary Webb

Mary entered the construction and carpentry world in 2010 by joining AmeriCorps and working for Habitat for Humanity for two years. This led to an interest in fixing up old houses rather than building new ones, attracted by the details and craftsmanship in historic buildings. After working as a historic preservation carpenter for the National Park Service for many years, she made her way to Helena to work for the Montana Preservation Alliance as their restoration director, planning and coordinating restoration projects around the state. Mary’s carpentry interests span from restoring old wood windows to handcrafting jewelry and children’s toys, and everything in between.

Heidi Rogers

Throughout her career, Heidi has worked to blur the line between Architecture and Construction. After graduating with her Masters of Architecture from MSU, she dove headlong into carpentry in Gallatin and Paradise Valley. Working primarily as a framer of custom homes, she also joined crews to learn Timber-framing, roofing, cabinet install and interior finishes. She now works as both a Carpenter and an Architect in Park County. The world of carpentry has brought beauty and self-reliance to Heidi’s life and she looks forward to sharing that world with other women.

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