Making furniture

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Overview

SKILL LEVEL

No previous experience required

HOW MANY PEOPLE?

8

HOW MUCH?

£

2,720 (payment plan available)

MAIN TOOLS USED

Japanese saws, hand planes, chisels, measuring and marking tools, adze, froe, draw knife (bandsaw and other machining dependent on need)

WHERE?

WoodLab, Woodlands Yard, Dartington, Totnes, Devon, TQ9 6N

HOW LONG IS IT?

10 weekends over 10 months

A Journey to Making

A unique ten month furniture-making programme with writer, lecturer and master craftsman, Nick Kary.

Dates & Availability

2024 course - SOLD OUT

2025 course - 6 out of 8 places left - please register your interest through our contact page

Is this the right course for me?

Furniture-making takes time and this course gives you time. Writer and master craftsman Nick Kary takes you on a journey through woodworking. Along the way you'll cover greenwoodworking, bench joinery, understanding trees and reading timber (with a trip to a timber yard), designing for construction, and a variety of woodworking machines - essential skills to be able to make your own fine furniture. Nick is a great advocate of the importance of the journey. 10 tutored weekends using a huge variety of tools allows you to understand woodwork through a rich hands-on experience, not just instruction. Your final piece, designed and built by you, will forever be a memento of the new abilities you've gained.

Course details

During the first three weekends you will construct pieces designed by Nick utilising greenwoodworking and bench joinery tools. Through these early sessions Nick and his assistant will discuss your own ideas for an object or piece of furniture for your final piece. And from weekend 4, you'll be guided through the process of making it - from initial idea to final product. Your journey will be littered with advice, work-arounds, jig-use, techniques, tips and best practice. And above all, plenty of hands-on time for you to understand what it is to work with wood.

You'll use Japanese saws, hand planes, chisels, measuring and marking tools, adze, froe, draw knife, and - depending on the needs of your final piece - a huge range and variety of powertools and freestanding machinery from our very well-equipped workshop.

Nick will help you build your own tool kit, giving advice and the opportunity to experiment with the wide variety of tools and equipment on offer in the workshop.

You'll also understand the essentials in setting up a workshop, and the role and purpose of larger scale workshop machinery. Please note however that we do not give students inductions on every machine. Some of the larger ones will only be used by tutors. 

Payment plan available

You can now pay by instalments. £680 up front and then 3 more payments of £680 over the ten months. If you'd like to apply for this option then please let us know though the enquiry form on our contact page.

Further information

The course is 10 weekends of tutor time (both the Saturday and the Sunday, so 20 days total) spread over 10 months. 2024's course has sold out. Here are the weekend sessions for 2025:

2025 Weekend session Dates

Weekend 1 - March 15/16

Weekend 2 - April 19/20

Weekend 3 - May 17/18

Weekend 4 - June 14/15

Weekend 5 - July 19/20

Weekend 6 - Sept 6/7

Weekend 7 - Sept 27/28

Weekend 8 - Oct 18/19

Weekend 9 - Nov 8/9

Weekend 10 - Nov 29/30

Teaching time

On each Saturday and Sunday, we ask participants to arrive at 9.15am for a 9.30 start. We aim to finish by 5.30pm.

There will often be tasks set for you to do before the next weekend session. Nick will also take you on a trip to a timber yard to select wood for your final project and after the final session we will hold a friends and family showcase day to display and celebrate your individual pieces! Both dates will be confirmed once the course starts.

Where is it held?

In our beautiful double-height, purpose-built workshop in Dartington Forest. Map and parking details will be sent to you once you’ve booked.

What is and isn't provided?

The course fee covers tuition, tools, materials for group exercises, the use of PPE (personal protective equipment), teas, coffee and dairy-free milk. The fee does not cover materials (and their processing if needed) for your individual project.

Anything else?

What to bring, what to wear, where to park, etc. will all be given to you once you've booked.

We look forward to welcoming you to Woodlab!

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Testimonial text

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Client Name

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In nature, nothing is perfect and everything is perfect. Trees can be contorted, bent in weird ways, and they’re still beautiful.

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Alice Walker

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The course is great, I finally have a frame for my squashed newt and I made it myself!

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Happy Participant

Open For Enrollment