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our history, instructors and faq's

about us



Bien Hecho Academy was founded in 2014 by John Randall, the Owner and Founder of custom woodworking & furniture design shop Bien Hecho, in collaboration with Tim Dowse, an established woodworking instructor who earned his MFA in sculpture at Rutgers University.

Bien Hecho Academy offers a series of woodworking courses that not only provide a solid education in the fundamentals of woodworking, but insight into the complete process of creating fine furniture from tree all the way to the last coat of finish. In Spanish “bien hecho” means well-done or well-made, and that is the mantra of both the Bien Hecho shop and our Academy. 

Located in the heart of the bustling Brooklyn Navy Yard near DUMBO and downtown Brooklyn, Bien Hecho Academy shares space with Bien Hecho, giving students access to a wide variety of modern equipment, tried and true machinery, and the most precise hand tools. All materials, tools, safety equipment and supplies are provided to students for use during classes, as part of the course fee.

Instructor was very friendly, knowledgeable and informative. He was obviously a master of his craft and a great teacher. Facility was great and so was the tour and history lesson about the Navy Yard... I would recommend it and do it again.
— David, Cutting Board Workshop & Tour
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John Randall

Owner/Founder, Bien Hecho

John Randall founded Bien Hecho in 2009 as a full-service woodworking shop that makes furniture, millwork, cabinetry, and custom carpentry, specializing in reclaimed and sustainably-sourced wood. John takes pride in craftsmanship and founded Bien Hecho Academy in 2014 to share his woodworking expertise with students of all ages and backgrounds.

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Tim Dowse


Tim Dowse is a Brooklyn-based artist and woodworker. He received his BFA from the University of Minnesota and his MFA from Rutgers University. He has been a practicing carpenter for 15 years working in myriad different settings including cabinet and furniture shops, as well as architectural modeling and fine art fabrication studios. Previously, Tim spent 5 years as a teacher at 3rd Ward.

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Peter Wagner


Peter Wagner has been fabricating furniture and sculpture since 2005. Based in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, he has designed and crafted pieces made of wood, various metals, laminates and other materials. Before diving into woodworking, he was a high school history teacher.

Nice class as a prelude to the ‘introduction course.’ The course was easy and interesting!
— Student from Cutting Board Workshop & Tour of Navy Yard
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Q: Are materials included in the cost of Intro to Woodworking enrollment?

A: Yes, all materials and use of tools are included with the cost of our Introduction to Woodworking course. Intermediate and Alumni classes may require students to purchase their own lumber and supplies; please inquire about your design if you have questions. 


Q: What else comes with a sign up?

A: Each student will receive a Stanley measuring tape along with safety glasses. The items you create in class—a cutting board and end table in the Intro course, or whatever pieces you design in Intermediate and Advanced—are yours to take home once completed!

Q: How old do I have to be to sign up for a class?

A: Students for all classes must be 18 or older, unless otherwise noted in a course description.

Q: Is there a pre-requisite for the Intermediate course?

A: Yes. Intermediate courses are only offered to students who have completed the Introduction class. We require this so that we can ensure Intermediate students are comfortable with our machines and know the basics of working with wood.


Q: I took an Intro class at another shop, can I sign up for Intermediate at bien hecho?

A: Sure! But we advise you contact us first to share your experience so we’re all on the same page.


For more information, to join a waitlist for sold-out classes, or for any other questions, contact