This content was published: April 11, 2019. Phone numbers, email addresses, and other information may have changed.

Woodworking and Metalworking at PCC

PCC Community Ed

an overhead view of woodworking tools

Despite a modern obsession with ready-made store-bought products, the crafts of woodworking and metalworking still command interest and intrigue in Portland – and sit proudly as if atop an Iron Throne – among the ranks of our popular classes.

It’s easy to forget that across the world, many people don’t have easy access to furniture superstores, and artisans are still making functional and ornamental handcrafted objects using metalworking and woodworking skills. These skills are rewarding and versatile – with a satisfyingly creative punch. Explore this blog to determine if woodworking and metalworking courses at PCC are right for you.


Using the right tools and techniques, people can use wood to handcraft a wide variety of objects, including art, furniture and standing structures. As far back as 2,000 B.C., ancient Egyptians expertly crafted furnishings for their homes including beds, chairs and chests. They used woodworking skills to create any numbers of tools – and even the sarcophagi used in their tombs. Decadent!

In China, woodworking caught hold around 720 B.C. with a focus on using precise measurements to create their wares. From pots to tables, these measurements ensured the uniform creation of each piece. Many tools in use today, such as the plane and chalk line, were likely developed during this time by Chinese woodworker and proclaimed originator of woodworking in China, Lu Ban.

You can learn many of the most effective woodworking techniques developed around the world in PCC’s woodworking courses. These classes will give you the information about tools, safety measures and materials that you need to create your wooden masterpieces. You will also learn useful tricks of the trade that will help you excel in building your skillset, such as how to make woodworking joints.


As one part science and one part art, metalworking techniques give people the ability to create nearly anything their mind can conceive. It’s a versatile skill used for building structures, plumbing and constructing furniture – and that weird art piece created by your distant uncle. As people learned to smelt metal alloys, civilization moved into a new era of tech, called the Bronze Age. This historical period began as early as 3,300 B.C., though worldwide adoption lasted up until the Iron Age that began around 1200 B.C. in Asia.

As advancements in metalworking continued through the centuries, civilizations left behind numerous artifacts showcasing their skills. As a testament to its creator’s expertise, the Iron Pillar of Delhi continues to stand tall with little sign of corrosion despite begin constructed as far back as 402 A.D. in India. With the right level of training, you can also develop the skills needed to construct lasting works from metal materials of all kinds.

You can start learning about metalworking tools and techniques by signing up for a class at PCC. The metalworking classes will teach you all you need to know about the different types of metal cutting, shaping and joining practices used for this discipline. With the metalworking skills you learn, you can create functional products and beautiful works of art of all kinds. Whether you want to pursue this track as a hobby or a career path, your new skillset is sure to yield many rewards.

Shape and Build Tomorrow with Woodworking and Metalworking Skills

With the ability to craft objects out of wood and metal materials, these wood- and metalworkers helped their civilizations advance through the eras. You can have a hand in shaping and building tomorrow by picking up woodworking and metalworking at Portland Community College. Start by learning the skills you need, and then strengthen them through advanced courses and challenging projects.

Or maybe just make weird art.

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x by Samuel Lightner 4 years ago

Hello. My name is Sam Lightner and I am 34 years old. I’m in a manual wheelchair and I have a medical condition that makes my head big. I also breathe with a tracheostomy tube. I really want to learn metalworking or even woodworking. My main question is would you know where i could get custom made protective ware? Or do you know of anyone who could work with me to get protective ware I’d need for metalwork/woodwork?

x by Mike Phillips 4 years ago

Hi Sam,

We’ll forward your question along to the woodworking instructor to see what we can learn. Thanks for the question, we’ll be in touch again shortly!