Furniture Making by Hand

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No previous experience required





2,400 (payment plan available)


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


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


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

2023 course - starting 18th March - SOLD OUT!

2024 course - starting 16th March - 7 out of 8 places left

Is this the right course for me?

Making takes time and this course gives you time. It's a profound immersion into the making experience. Writer and master craftsman Nick Kary takes you on a journey through developing the hand tool skills necessary for fine furniture making. Nick is a great advocate of the importance of the journey. There are no machine shortcuts here. 10 tutored weekends using a huge variety of traditional hand tools allows your body and mind to acclimatise to ancient techniques of woodworking, absorbing them easily and effortlessly. Your final piece will forever be a memento of the new abilities you've gained.

Course details

During weekends 1 & 2 you will make a green cleft stool, in 3 & 4, a small table and from weekend 5 you will concentrate on your own individual final piece. This piece will be chosen from a few house designs, and modified by you for your specific needs. There's an additional guided trip to a timber yard to choose wood for your personal project. The skills you will learn through the year will encompass fine joinery, green woodwork, design, carving, hand tool use, polishing and some machine learning.

Nick will also 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. Joining the course also gives you discounted participation on other Woodlab courses.

Payment plan available

You can now pay by instalments. £600 up front and then 3 more payments of £600 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. We are launching in 2023 and running another in 2024.

2023 Course Dates​

Weekend 1 - 18/19 March

Weekend 2 - 15/16 April

Weekend 3 - 20/21 May

Weekend 4 - 17/18 June

Weekend 5 - 15/16 July

Weekend 6 - 09/10 Sept

Weekend 7 - 30 September/01 October

Weekend 8 - 21/22 October

Weekend 9 - 11/12 November

Weekend 10 - 02/03 December

2024 Course Dates

Weekend 1 - 16/17 March

Weekend 2 - 20/21 April

Weekend 3 - 18/19 May

Weekend 4 - 15/16 June

Weekend 5 - 20/21 July

Weekend 6 - 7/8 Sept

Weekend 7 - 28/29 September

Weekend 8 - 19/20 October

Weekend 9 - 9/10 November

Weekend 10 - 30 November/1 December

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!


Testimonial text


Client Name


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


Alice Walker


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


Happy Participant

Open For Enrollment