Bob Van Dyke (Fig. 1), owner of the Connecticut Valley School of Woodworking (CVSW), traveled a woodworking career path unlike most others. He began his work life as a chef, but after 18 years, 15 of which were enjoyable, he found himself gravitating toward woodworking. After working part time at a local architectural woodworking shop that also dealt in hardwoods, Bob was approached by the business owner with an offer to start a woodworking school. At first Bob declined the offer. A short time later, however, he accepted and his career moved into woodworking.
Sometime during 1998, a student who Bob taught woodworking to on a regular basis convince Bob to partner-up to open a school in conjunction with a Woodcraft store – at the time Woodcraft had only a couple of franchise stores in existence. A third partner was added and the combination school/store was hatched. About six years later Bob sold his interest in the store but not the school.