AMERICAN WOODWORKING ACADEMY HISTORY
American Woodworking Academy began it's foundation long before it opened in 1993. It's founder, Christopher J. Fuchs, who is a Master Woodworker, was born in 1958 on a small rural farm west of St. Louis, MO. Chris helped build many tree houses, wood
push carts, and wooden creek boats. Youngest of nine children whose father was a commercial carpenter,Chris' mother stressed upon him a
good education. So Chris entered a local community college in an
architectural program in 1977. His drafting gave him an even greater desire
to build with wood. With two brothers already carpenters, Chris
entered his carpenter apprenticeship in the Carpenters Local 47 of
St. Louis in 1978. He spent 13 years in the trade with the last
five years doing fine finish carpenter work for one of the biggest home
builders in St Louis. Chris' love for wood and it's beauty lead him to answer an ad for a part time woodworking instructor in 1990. Within six months he quit a well paying union job to earn $6.50 plus 50/50 commission on classes taught. Most of his family and friends thought he was nuts to make the switch to retail sales. While working sixty hours a week and
spending his off days at the shop, Chris knew he had found his
calling, no matter what the pay was. Within two years his pay had skyrocketed and his classes were in
huge demand. No one ever knew woodworking would be so popular and
a 50/50 commission on classes would cost the company 60 grand a year.
In 1993, his position as an instructor was being terminated.
He opened his own school in August of 1993 and proudly named it "AMERICAN WOODWORKING ACADEMY". A name he thought would stand for hard work, pride and the American dream. The academy grew from 3,300 sq ft to 5,000 sq ft and finally a new 12,000 sq. ft.
woodworking lab facility and classes ranging from a single courses to a 22 or 44 week Master Woodworking Program. In 2004 the academy was moved south 45 miles where Chris
grew up in Fenton, Missouri. The school was approached to teach adult education for three local community colleges and still teaches for two of those today. The school has expanded to work in conjunction
with Vocational Rehabilitation, Veterans, including company tuition
plans that help students afford the Master Woodworking Program.
The academy also has worked with tuition plans from U.A.W. plants,
TFC credit for student loans and a wide variety of smaller companies who offer educational benefits. With numerous articles in the print and media, tool companies have joined in to help provide and develop beta testing on
tools with AMERICAN WOODWORKING ACADEMY. Offering a wide variety of tools with many brand names has
helped students become aware of new products for their shop
and their educational uses. Chris travels the Midwest promoting woodworking education at
many woodworking shows. Those interested in joining Chris'
team as students, instructors or employers of graduates,
may write or schedule appointments at the Fenton location.
In 2006 the academy is waiting for you and your woodworking dreams to come true.
Call and let us help you enroll today!
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Last Updated 11/08/10