Monthly Book Giveaway - January 2023

Liability of teaching a class in my shop - Canada


Last year I gave a chevalet demonstration at a local fine art show where I was asked several times about giving courses etc. This year I have been asked to do a longer demo in which I will include some hands on time for interested viewers. I will be asked again about courses.

I would like to pass on some of what I have learned and would like to “spread the word” as it were about the chevalet as a marquetry cutting tool. My thoughts are that I might offer a course at my shop for a small group to build their own chevalet under my supervision and follow it with a basic course in its use in marquetry.

My question here is to anyone who may have experience with the liability aspect of teaching in one’s own shop in Canada. I know that waivers are of limited value but don’t have any real particulars on that value. My feelings are that insurance is a must but haven’t looked into the cost just yet as I’m just at the early planning stage so far.

I would be interested in hearing from anyone who has experience with this sort of thing.

Thanks in advance for any guidance.

The early bird gets the worm but its the second mouse that gets the cheese.

I don’t know about Canada but I think the solution below might work up there.
Jim, my woodworking teacher, worked around the insurance policy and shop rent.

What he did is to give the class at a local senior center that had a tiny shop. They had insurance and rent is covered.
When he outgrew the center he signed up to give a woodworking class at the adult school that have a much bigger shop. He could accommodate up to 20 students. He also brought some extra tools on his own so he could offer more.
He did not have to worry about liability or rent. He got paid and also made some reasonable money on supplies.

Teaching is very rewarding and I am sure you do very well; I know that first hand:)

Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

Like Abbas said I don’t know about Canada but when I’ve taught out of my shop I have a rather extensive disclaimer I have students sign and have separate liability insurance. When I teach for my local community college the high school shop that lets us use their shop has insurance .
I know a couple other people that teach across the US that don’t bother with insurance at all but limit the use of the scariest tools like table saws and chop saws to students especially New Bs. one of them instructs students on how to use table saws but makes all their cuts for them.

woodworking classes, custom furniture maker

Thanks Jim and Abbas. I am leaning toward making the chevalet building class pretty much a kit assembly class where I machine the pieces ahead and the “students” would be mostly assembling, glueing, and finishing. I’m not as worried about the marquetry class as it doesn’t involve much danger involved.

The early bird gets the worm but its the second mouse that gets the cheese.

I know who every takes your class will be much richer talent wise and only have the best techniques and information passed on to them. Much success in your new classes.

woodworking classes, custom furniture maker

my first thought was the vultures that “trip”. those that set out with the idea to sue or thieves casing whats worth stealing. (just because Im paranoid doesnt mean they are not out to get you lol)
Have you considered instructional videos and kits sold online. It would take less of your time and spread your reach much further than the local community where by definition your market is smaller. multiple courses online for a fee. A lot of people like to have that resource they can keep referring back to. it could generate income without much time other than the upfront production

Thanks for the thought Jeff but that really doesn’t appeal to me at all. What I would enjoy most would be the personal contact and the one on one passing on of what I have managed to learn.
I may be a fool but I won’t live in fear of the unlikely event of someone setting me up for legal action or robbery. I have always treated people with respect and expect the same in return. Perhaps I’ve just been lucky but I haven’t been disappointed yet.
I do understand your points, they just aren’t for me.
Thanks again.

The early bird gets the worm but its the second mouse that gets the cheese.

No worries, just spitballing ideas.