This weekend I took part in a class at the Northwest Woodworking Studio in Portland, Oregon. The title was Hand Planes, Spokeshaves, and Scrapers, and that is a fairly accurate description of the content.
I'd been looking forward to this workshop for several weeks since becoming aware of it. In the end, I am glad I attended but have lots of mixed feelings about it.
It is difficult to seperate out what was just not right for me, as an individual, from what was actually ill-conceived about it. I do not wish to really go into it publicly, since perhaps it was just not the right course for me. I do believe the description was misleading, and have addressed this with the school.
In the meantime, I wouldn't hesitate to go back if a course were appealing. There is a class on building a brass hand plane I would love to take. I would offer caution, though, to anyone thinking that this hand plane course has the information needed to get going in traditional hand tool work.
Perhaps I will follow up on this soon (if/when I hear back from the school on my concerns) but in the meantime, I do encourage taking classes whenever and wherever possible, and sharing the experiences with other woodworkers, good or bad as they might be.