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Meet the Instructors

Mark Tindley using a bandsaw

Mark Tindley

Mark trained in traditional Furniture Making and Machine Wood Working at London Metropolitan University before going on to the Fine Woodworking Diploma Program of the Building Crafts College where he graduated with distinction.

Mark's primary focus is on fine furniture (particularly in the English or American arts and crafts styles), luxury built-in cabinetry and architectural woodworking. His expertise extends from a set of 300lb gothic trusses to an intricate reproduction of a Stradivarius violin.


He worked for many years in London, England and Northern California as a custom furniture and cabinet maker before starting his own woodworking business in 2014 catering to high end clients in San Francisco and the bay area. The projects he has produced showcase his expertise in hand cut joinery, veneering and an intimate connection with the material he loves.

Mark has over 20 years of teaching and presenting experience and has been the Guild Chair of the Sonoma County Woodworkers Association since 2017.

Andrew Carruthers

Andrew is native of Oxfordshire, England. He worked at the Lawrence Berkeley Research Labs in California before deciding to follow his passion for building stringed instruments. He studied at the Welsh School of Violin Making and Repair. After graduating he joined the restoration workshops of Bein and Fushi in Chicago to apprentice under the guidance of master cello restorer, Russell Wagner. In 1996 he opened his own workshop in Santa Rosa, California, providing restoration services to the violin trade. Since 2015 all of his work has been devoted to building new instruments for clients across the US and in Europe. Andrew regularly makes high-end violins, cellos and violas. For fun and experimentation he has also made several wonderfully eccentric "off-beat" instruments plus some guitars, ukuleles and marimbas.

Andrew teaches our Letter and Sign Carving class and the carving as surface decoration segment of our 9 month Fine Woodworking program.

To see examples of Andrew's work please visit

Andrew Carruthers holding a carved sign.

Ron Ashby


Ron has had a life-long passion for woodworking and is described by anyone who knows him as a Wood Finishing Geek. He grew up in a woodworking shop and has over 50 years experience with woodworking, finishing and refinishing. As the owner of Wood Finish Supply and in Napa, CA he is a stocking distributor and technical service representative for several well-known finish manufacturers. Ron has a broad and varied expertise in dealing with a wide range of finish problems and solutions.


Ron has been teaching and lecturing on finishing, refinishing, and touch-up repairs for over 20 years, and regularly advises furniture factories all over the world to help them develop and improve their finishing. He was very active in the development of the California State and North Bay air quality wood coating regulations.


Ron spent 6 years as a professional photographer which he says gave him a full understanding of the importance of lighting for wood finishing applications.

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