Furniture Making Course: Fundamentals of Furniture Making - Part 1

Skill Level: Beginner  (Is this course right for me?)

furniture making course student

This is the first part of a two part beginner’s course. You can do part one as a stand-alone course and then decide whether return to further extend your skills in part two.

The aim is to give you a firm grounding in the fundamentals of making furniture. You will begin by making a breadboard from locally sourced English hardwood. This is an ideal project to help you learn the vital skills of making a piece of wood ‘flat, square and straight’ using a hand plane.

Mastering these traditional skills will help you to achieve perfection in everything you make, whether simple or complex. The ability to achieve flat, square and straight was the very first thing I was taught as a student and it underpins all furniture making techniques.

This course is suitable for beginners but it is by no means basic. We look at each technique in-depth. This will help you begin developing genuine expertise that you can draw on in the future, whether you take only this course or go on to further training.

The course is run in my workshop on the Surrey / Hampshire border, just outside the Georgian town of Farnham. To ensure individual attention, there are never more than five students.

This two-day course runs at weekends and is aimed at those with no, or limited, wood working experience. It provides a good grounding in hand skills and the methods of fine furniture making that I have studied and worked in for over 15 years (see about page).

You do not need to buy any tools or equipment, all hand tools and materials are provided.

A detailed description of the course is below.

Aidan with cabinet making course student

Two Day Course

The course covers:
  • Use of hand planes
  • Sharpening and tuning of hand planes
  • Characteristics of timber and working with it
  • Achieving flat, straight and square with a hand plane
  • Marking tools
  • Advanced sharpening of planes and scrapers for ‘difficult’ timber
  • Building confidence in the use of hand tools

At the end of the two days you will have gained the knowledge and confidence to attempt simple furniture making tasks. You will also have learned the fundamentals of using and sharpening hand planes. Finally, you will leave with your own hand-crafted breadboard which can take pride of place in your kitchen.

Following the course you will receive an email with a range of information to help you take your next steps. For example, advice about buying and maintaining tools and details of suggested suppliers. We will also include plans and a materials list for a project using the skills you have learned during your course. This will help you put your new knowledge into practice.

Course duration: 2 days.

Courses run from 9am to 5pm Saturday and Sunday. All tools and materials are provided.

Course fee:£325 (materials included).

woodworking course student planing

We provide tea and coffee throughout the course but you will need to arrange your own lunch. I recommend that you bring a packed lunch each day. However we are only a few minutes by car from Farnham town centre if you need anything.

If you want accommodation, there are many excellent hotels and B&Bs in the area. Click this link to see a selection.

Please note that we are unable to accept applications from anyone under the age of 18 at the start of their course.

Here is a summary of course dates:

  • 25 – 26 July 2020 (full)
  • 22 – 23 August 2020 (full)
  • 05 – 06 September 2020 (full)
  • 12 – 13 September 2020 (1 space)
  • 19 – 20 September 2020 (full)
  • 28 – 29 November 2020 (full)
  • If you would like to be notified when new course dates are available, you can do so via our Newsletter here.

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