About Alpine Technical Workshops©

Back in early 2009,

after numerous conversations I had had with many of our customers who produced windows, I had an idea of a workshop. Everyone I spoke with about European tilt-and-turn windows wanted to know more: How are the windows built? What about the sub-components such as hardware and weather stripping? What is the correct machinery required to produce these products? What tools are most suited and effective for a scale production? These were a few excellent questions as these windows and their productions were new to many. With my access to the tooling and machinery industries along with previous visits to the European windows factories, I was able to share my knowledge. Then, an idea came: Why not educate the market and build a network of suppliers and industry people to grow this fairly new solid-wood industry by sponsoring workshops? This would allow all of the interested parties to exchange information and grow more quickly.

I had a thought of a school to explain and teach all aspects of European window production,

but I would need a partner or two to make this successful. I knew I wanted to have this workshop at a live production shop, not just a classroom or online. This would give the hands-on, practical and realistic experience. So I contacted Joe Calhoon of Cascade Woodwork to see if he would be interested in partnering on this crazy idea. He quickly accepted this interesting concept as he had wanted to grow our industry by teaching! I invited Riccardo Garniga from Italy to travel together to Joe's shop to discuss my concept and begin our location assessments and course development. Joe's shop had the best of everything, including a complete shop of Martin machines and Garniga cutterheads. We quickly found that Joe had a vast production and assembly knowledge of the tilt-and-turn windows. And the added benefit to have the workshop hosted at Joe's would be that it's located in one of the most beautiful areas of Colorado: Ouray! What a great few days we spent there!

As we developed the workshop,

we also wanted to partner with the finest machinery manufacturer as we already have the highest quality tooling and accessories. So Riccardo and I, off we went, visited Carl Stout of Martin Woodworking Machines Corp. in Charlotte, NC to run our ideas. Within five minutes, Carl understood how this would benefit the solid-wood industry and was on-board with this project. Hence, the Alpine Technical Workshops© was born.

After six months of behind-the-scene development,

we finally had our very first beta workshop. This was a sold-out three-day course, held on January 22, 2010. We even had lots of fun, in and out of the workshop schedule in Ouray. Joe and I received very positive feedback and course structure improvement suggestions. We made some friendships at this event as well, and that’s exactly one of the results we wanted. We are ready to host new courses in April after the Holz-Handwerk Exhibition in Nuremburg, Germany.

We are very excited to have put this workshop together,

and many of you have already shown interests in attending any future course. As we continue to develop this project, we are flexible on the duration and topics, catered to the interests of the attendees of various levels. Please feel free to give us your idea on how we can help you with your European windows and doors production!

Greg Godbout, co-partner of Alpine Technical Workshops© with Joe Calhoon
Rangate, Inc. and Cascade Woodwork