Ron Covell is changing the format of his workshops for 2021. The workshops will be hands-on, and limited to no more than two students each day. The small class size ensures that you will get plenty of individual attention, and you’ll quickly learn that Ron loves to help people expand their horizons. Ron has been teaching since 1995 - helping over 10,000 students to date, in 9 countries around the world. His years of building award-winning cars and motorcycles, plus his strong background in sculpture and design gives him a broad background of experience to share with his students. He can often suggest creative approaches for getting a job done that you might not think of yourself. These classes are open to men and women who work in many different fields, including furniture design, sculpture, automotive and motorcycle building and modification, or any field that involves fabrication with sheet, plate, tubing, and bar.
You can shape metal to fit one of Ron’s many pre-made bucks, or work on projects he has made patterns for (such as Air Scoops, Tables, Gas Tanks, or Bomber Seats). Another approach is to focus on one or more tools (such as the English wheel, beading machine, or planishing hammer) and work through a set of projects which are progressively more challenging. Alternately, you can concentrate on processes such as layout and patterning, making bucks and hammerforms, welding, or metalfinishing. If you don’t know where to start, Ron can suggest projects appropriate to your interests and skill level. By arrangement, you may be able to bring a personal project (call ahead to discuss this).
All classes will be held at Ron’s shop in Freedom, California (80 miles south of San Francisco), and there is a hotel two doors down from the shop. You can register for one or both days, and the cost is $800 each day. If you are flying in, San Jose is the closest major airport (about 1 hour away, depending on traffic). There is a regional airport in Monterey, which is about 45-minutes away (again, depending on traffic).
Watch Ron's YouTube video on the 2021 Workshops to learn more! https://youtu.be/loc-7t4qbjI
Here’s a partial list of the tools available for students to use:
- 3 English wheels – two floor models, and one benchtop version
- A Dake Reciprocating Machine (similar to a Pullmax)
- A Dake 25 ton power H-Frame Press
- A Chicago Pneumatic planishing hammer
- An Eckold hand-held planishing hammer
- 3 Beading Machines – A fully-tooled Lazze machine, plus manual Pexto, Niagara, and import machines
- 2 TIG welders – a Miller Dynasty 350, and a Miller Diversion 180
- 2 MIG welders – a MillerMatic 180, and a MillerMatic 255
- A Miller 625 Extreme Plasma Cutter
- 2 Oxy-Acetylene outfits – with Victor and Cobra (Henrob) torches
- 2 Tube Bending Machines – a manual Shop Outfitter, and a Mittler Bros Hydraulic Bender
- Shrinker-Stretchers – Erco, JS Tools, and Lancaster
- A 12 x 36 Atlas Lathe, with tooling
- A well-tooled Bridgeport-style Milling Machine, with a vise and rotary table
- A 20-inch disc sander
- A 2-inch Burr King belt sander
- A wood and metal-cutting bandsaw
- A 12-inch table saw
- A 14-inch Cold saw
- A 6-foot 10-gauge Chicago Leaf Brake, and a 3-foot 16-gauge Pexto Pan and Box Brake
- A ‘gap’ shear that can cut any length of 16-gauge steel
- A full set of Mittler Bros Punch and Flare dies – Round, Oval, and Triangle
- Many, many patterns, bucks, and hammerforms, made for a wide variety of Ron’s past projects
- Most common electric and air tools – drills, sanders, die grinders, shears, etc.
- Lots of hammers, dollies, mallets, and sandbags, plus most common layout and fabrication tools
You must pre-pay to register. Click the 'add to cart' button under each workshop listing, or call us at 831-768-0705 to register with a credit card.
Review of Ron's Workshop
Going in I wasn't sure what to expect or what I'd learn at Ron's class. I knew I wanted to get my hands on specialty tools and that he could teach me how to use them... but I didn't have much of a goal beyond that for the class. I even told him that when he called and asked what my goals were. On top of that, I didn't know much about Ron... I had found his videos on YouTube and watched a good amount of them... seen the This Old Tony collaboration series (really great if you haven't seen it!), but that's about it. I had a general idea that he was definitely a somebody... but simply put... I had no idea he's an absolute legend.
He truly is one of those guys you occasionally run into, a true grandmaster of his trades, yet he's humble and willing to pass his skills and passion onto another. His approach to problem-solving is amazing to witness and his pursuit of perfection is flat out awe-inspiring. It wasn't until I watched him work a piece of sheet metal, then tried to do the same myself, did I begin to understand his skill level. And that's what's humbling... because he does something incredible in no time at all... but then he breaks it down for you so you understand what's going on.
I'd like to point out that his outreach has been quite extensive over the years... teaching many classes all over the world... and building a large library of instructional videos. He also has done quite a bit of writing in magazines. You would be smart to spend some time and look up some of his work; both instructional stuff he's put out and his metalworking projects (look up the California Star).
Anyway, before this gets too much longer... If you think you might take a class with him you will not be disappointed. Even if you don't take up metalworking, seeing him work at his passion will make you better at whatever you end up pursuing... He's just that good. Side note... His wife showed up for lunch both days I was there. She's an absolute class act herself and her banana bread is the best I've ever had!