2 day box making courses held on weekends throughout the year in beautiful Cumbria. Make your own handmade wooden box.
New dates have been added to replace cancelled courses, and are filling up quickly - please request your preferred date above.
The courses are fun and relaxed, yet will give you the skills & confidence to make stunning boxes on your own. The courses are run from a fully equipped cabinet making workshop. All tools and safety equipment are provided, though you are welcome to bring your own tools if you wish. Ear defenders and dust masks are yours to keep at the end of 2 days. Tea and coffee is on tap :-)
You will get to make a box from a selection of hardwoods, with either a lift off top or a hinged top with solid brass hinges if desired, your choice. The completed box can be lined with a selection of materials from leather to felt and will be finished with oil and wax.
There will be a maximum of 4 people per course with 2 tutors available on most weekends, meaning a ratio of 2 students to 1 tutor, giving you the most of our time. The box you make will be of a fairly simple design with either mitred or dovetailed joints. All brass ware and materials are provided in the cost. Time permitting you could also do some inlay work on your box.
As well as the practical side we will also give you lots of tips and answer all your questions as we go. I have designed the boxes to be doable in the 2 days, in the event you don't quite finish, all the wood work side of things should be done, just leaving the finishing to be done at home, for which I can provide you with some finishing oil and wax. I will have demonstrated how to do this during the weekend.
Please see the link above for more details. I am happy to answer any questions so please get in touch using the above links.
Cancellation and a full refund can be obtained up to 2 weeks before the course starts. Start dates may be amended on request.
The course includes all materials and as much tea and coffee as you can drink.
All tools and safety equipment will be provided (ear defenders and dust masks are yours to keep) and a fully equipped workshop. You are welcome to bring your own tools if you have them, we will show you how to use/set them up properly if you wish.
Tea, coffee and biscuits are provided. Unfortunately being weekends our usual sandwich van will not be around, so you will have to bring your own lunch. A microwave is also available to use. There is a Greggs and burger king within walking distance of the workshop as well as a garage 2 min drive away which sells sandwiches, pies and rolls.
This craft course provider has been awarded Platinum status for receiving 50 or more 5 star ratings from previous students.
The Students' Choice award ensures that course providers get recognised for their efforts in the teaching and practice of UK craft.
They also allow tutors to gain valuable feedback on their courses and for new students to find the course that's right for them.
2 days (9:00am to 5:00pm)
I have just done my second box making weekend and can’t recommend them enough. Without repeating the comments on my previous review which can be seen below I can confirm that the variety of potential options regards box designs means that these courses aren’t just a one off weekend session, the box I made this weekend was completely different to my first one. The other advantage of a second visit is that you can ask Mark all the questions you didn’t know you needed to ask until you start experimenting with your woodworking at home. Once again the two days were extremely enjoyable with Mark who has a very relaxed style of teaching but also my fellow students who were great company once again.
What a fantastic course and a brilliant weekend. Mark was so calm, patient and knowledgeable. A first-class instructor. I never thought that I would have been able to make such a high quality piece of Joinery.
If you’re thinking about booking a course just do it. There are no bad sides, everything is first class.
What a wonderful course. Mark is a fun, patient and excellent teacher. A really relaxed atmosphere and I definitely learned my share of skills I’ll be putting into good use. Highly recommend.
Have just participated in Mark’s two day box making course what an enjoyable weekend. Mark is a great teacher who showed great skill and patience.
I was thrilled with the box I made and also with the skills he taught us.
The weekend passed too quickly.
Thank you Mark!
This is a excellent course. I would recommend it for beginners and experts.
Mark is a great tutor and woodworker. I not only made a beautiful box but learnt a lot of woodworking tips not related to boxes. A great two days.
I attended the course looking for two outcomes: improve my limited woodworking skills and have a box to take home. Both were achieved. The box designs allowed a lot of creativity and personalisation and this along with the knowledgeable support of the tutor made for a great course. I picked up a lot of useful tips in a very relaxed environment. I would really recommend this course; enjoyable and full of help and support.
Booked the course to improve my woodworking knowledge and skills. The course was excellent, I learned such a lot with the added bonus of a beautiful box to take home.
The course was well organised and felt very safe. Mark was superb and I will be booking more courses!
I had been looking forward to this course for a while but work and then Covid-19 got in the way so thank you to Mark for putting on some additional courses to cover the backlog of cancellations. This is a justifiably popular course. Mark’s excellent teaching and patience caters for all abilities, from absolute beginner to experienced woodworkers, and everyone will come away with a fully finished box to be proud of.
Mark will let you choose from a variety of different box styles and woods, allowing you to make a unique box. Mark will then introduce hand tool techniques covering measuring, sawing, chiselling, planing and scraping and then let you progress to using workshop machines. All fully monitored and in complete safety. Progress is surprisingly swift (even for those making dovetails by hand!), and the basics of your box will be complete by the end of a very satisfying first day. Day 2 is really all about finishing and again Mark will demonstrate the techniques and materials to use to really make your box stand out.
If you have any doubts about booking this course then just do it - you really will enjoy it and have a wonderful hand-made box to show off to your family and friends at the end of it. Thank you Mark for an excellent weekend!
Great course. I love wood and have wanted to learn more about working with it for a long time. I booked for myself, a 40-something year old woman a little bit scared of power tools, and my 17 year old nephew, who, having just finished his first (somewhat disrupted) first year of joinery at college, already has more experience than me. We both got a huge amount out of the weekend and came out with new skills, more confidence and a beautiful wooden box each.
This is a relaxed course with plenty of time to finish the project without feeling rushed. The different methods offered for making the boxes meant that the 4 students came out with 4 very different boxes and there was enough time to learn by observing demonstrations of all the alternative techniques being used.
A very satisfying and highly recommended weekend.
I've just come home from this course after 2 fabulous days. Covid pushed the course back by 6 months, but it was well worth the wait. Mark has all the right controls in place and, if you chose to, you could spend the entire 2 days in high level PPE with a very low risk.
The course would suit anyone, from an experienced home woodworker to a complete novice (I'm closer to the latter, but there more experienced people on the course) as there's lots worth learning and the results are very professional.
What a fantastic few days, Mark was so calm and helped us through all of the steps, clear instructions and demonstrations, so you always knew what you where doing. Many different options and combinations of the box to choose from, the wood, the shape, the lid, so no one is making the same box. Even more impressed that Mark was always on hand just in case any doubts crept in, he would set every one off doing a task but always new where to look for anyone that needed help.
From start to finish was an excellent course, not just the box making but also loads of tips and discussions on tools in general, even threw in a demonstration on sharpening chisels, plane blades and scraper blades. Cannot recommend this course any higher than by saying I will be booking another course very soon.
What a great weekend! After a lack of normal social activities for months due to the Covid-19 lockdown, it was challenge to attend an indoor practical course that required close supervision. However, excellent attention was given to ensure safety in the workshop, with all appropriate PPE provided, and I would have no hesitation whatsoever in returning for another course.
Mark was an outstanding teacher with a clear precise style of communication and very good-humoured patience (which was certainly needed for me!). His practical demonstrations were like watching a surgeon at work, amazing. We learned lots of little tips that make all the difference and everyone completed a box with their own choice of woods and design.
If you are looking for an interesting workshop that delivers, then this is certainly it - very highly recommended!
Thanks again Mark.
What a fantastic course! With an abundance of ppe and measures in place to keep us safe in the time of COVID-19, each of the four participants was able to learn the woodworking skills required and put them into practice to create a truly beautiful box. With his expertise and a wealth of patience from Mark, each step of the process was clearly explained before we were let loose in his well-equipped workshop. For a well-spent and rewarding weekend in the beautiful surrounds of Cumbria, I wholeheartedly recommend this course.
I came to this course wanting to learn how to make a nice wooden box, having never attempted anything like this before nor the knowledge to do it.
By the end of the two days I'm very happy to say I managed to make a nice box, I picked up new crafting skills and an abundance of woodworking knowledge.
I have no hesitation whatsoever in recommending this course to anyone who is willing to pick up some tools and be taught how to use them to create an item you will be very proud of.
A special mention to craftsmen Mark and Richard for their patience and encouragement.
It was a very enjoyable and worthwhile two days.
What a fantastic weekend, excellent tutors and a friendly environment. Mark and Richard provided friendly advice and guidance at a pace that we could all absorb. Explaining and demonstrating the key points clearly and with patience. Four students all with various levels of ability all came away with hand made boxes that would not of been out of place in a shop window. Will definitely be looking at more courses with them. Thank you.
I have no criticism. I am a complete novice having sat behind a desk my whole life, and I was apprehensive that I would make a fool of myself with the simplest task, even measuring. I needn’t have worried. Mark and Richard were supportive, encouraging, practical and expert in every respect and I managed things I never dreamed I’d be able to do, under their friendly supervision. To cap it all I have a beautiful box to prove that it really happened! I thoroughly recommend this course. If you have half the fun I’ve had you will be very happy indeed.
This is an absolutely brilliant course. The workshop and setting is fantastic with quick access to the M6. There were plenty of tips from both Mark and Richard which come from years of experience and great advice on selecting the right tools and how to use them. I personally found it useful that they covered some of the more basic tool handling techniques. Both Mark and Richard were great tutors, very approachable, and on hand for any questions and advice. I found the ratio of 1 tutor to 2 pupils ideal as it helps you to cover a lot over the 2 days and they are on hand to spot any errors that you may be about to make. You end this course with a beautiful box which honestly looks professionally made. I highly recommend this course.
I took away from this course so much more than a beautiful box (with which my wife is as thrilled as I am).
Lots of technical tips, insights into tools, methods and materials of which I would otherwise have remained ignorant and an ambition (and hopefully ability) to continue to improve the design and execution of my artefacts. Both the setting and the workshop are inspirational and Richard and Mark are genial and empathetic tutors who always appear relaxed but have an uncanny ability to spot an error before it is committed.
Mark and Richard offer a range of woodworking courses from their shop and workshop on the outskirts of Penrith in the Northern Lake District. It is very easy to access being close to the M6 Penrith turn-off and is set in beautiful scenery.
I attended the box-making weekend in January with 3 other like-minded students. We were first introduced to the sample pieces on offer in the shop to give us inspiration into the endless possibilities of wood and style on offer. Having been shown how to go about it, the class then proceeded to construct simple oak jewellery / trinket boxes with either mitre or dove-tail machined joints. We were given access to the wood store to select the timber for the lid which is where you can let your imagination run away with you. I chose a beautiful piece of curly mahogany and some burr oak for the lip of the lid to contrast with the oak box .Having fitted the lid we then applied a superb (secret recipe) sealer and wax before lining the base of the interior with suede.
I have to say I am very pleased with the result and now have a ready -made Valentine's present for my wife!
Mark and Richard offer expert tuition in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere , and I can thoroughly recommend this course to any one with an interest in creative woodworking.
This is a course I can thoroughly recommend to individuals of all abilities who want to try their hand at box making and come away after two days with a box they can be proud of. There is no default box that everyone on the course makes, within reason (there are some superb boxes in the showroom) you are able to choose joining method for the sides, lid hingeing techniques, different woods for the lid, whether to line the box or not.
There were four of us on the course and all the boxes had our own individual styles evident when we had finished. A ratio of pupil to teacher of 2:1 meant that Mark and Richard were always available to offer advice and demonstrate the next stage of your particular box and nothing was rushed. Even if you don't intend to take up woodworking you can spend two days having fun in great company, learn new skills and leave with a beautiful box.
This Box Making course was a great treat. I have never done anything before which would count as woodwork. However, even as a complete novice I was encouraged through every stage and by the end of the 2 days had made a beautiful and unique box.
There were 4 students with Mark and Richard as teachers. Whilst we started with making a basic oak box, we all asserted our individual styles in choosing the wood for the lids, whether it should be a mitre or a dovetail joint, what type of hinge would best suit and whether a lining for the inside would enhance the final box.
We progressed at our own pace, but never felt rushed. There seemed plenty of time to ask questions and to be shown how to do things or solve a problem. There were breaks for coffee and lunch.
If you are looking to try something new or different I would highly recommend this course.
A fabulous two day course, with a great product to take home. The tutors Mark and Richard were so talented and knowledgeable. They had endless patience, providing just the right level of support, whilst allowing us the freedom to learn, try things out and make design decisions. The atmosphere was calm and relaxed, enabling us all to work and make decisions at our own pace. Everyone in the group used different woods for the lids and slightly different designs, which made it really interesting. I have learned so much about types of wood, machinery and tools. It's a fabulous environment - both the workshop and location, and I would thoroughly recommend the course. Thank you.
I cannot recommend this course enough. I am a serial crafter/learner but I have never done anything as brilliant as this. My partner and I are total novices and were both excited and apprehensive about the course, having not done any woodwork since our school days. Richard and Mark completely put us at ease and were so patient and supportive throughout the course. I can't believe how much I learnt and it has certainly given us both the bug to do more. The boxes we made are so beautiful and unique. Absolutely loved it, no better way to spend a weekend!
I simply loved this weekend course. The ratio of two tutors to four students worked really well, there was someone to step in and help or advise whenever it was needed. Both Mark and Richard were very gentle and calm in their approach and the energy of the weekend was ideal for a sensitive soul. It was also a lovely space to be in - and for me personally really helpful to see the setup, as I'm hoping to set up a workshop at home but had been lacking confidence and know-how. The course has, I believe, given me the confidence to go ahead and do it. I also was pleased that I could get on at my own pace without pressure to keep up with other people, and stop for a break anytime I wanted to. Stepping outside the workshop is to step into a beautiful, tranquil setting of fields and hills and sheep and trees and sky.....
I'm delighted with my box - and with the whole experience. If you're after learning some key skills and coming home with a beautiful, professional box you've made yourself, go for it!
I was very excited to be going on this course and had been looking forward to it for months. It is obviously a very popular course, and with good reason.
A wonderful workshop, plenty of space for everyone (4 pupils and two tutors), a great selection of tools and Mark and Richard are excellent mentors. I describe them as mentors because, although they are there to teach you the basics (and they do so brilliantly), they let you get on with it. They are watchful, mindful and step in at just the right moment to give you pearls of wisdom that are obviously years in the making.
I am confident that the experience (and confidence) I have gained during the weekend will carry me forward into my own projects.
A truly wonderful experience; thank you!
Brilliant weekend. Attentive instructors and a professional outcome. Can't wait to return and try other boxes or items..
Outstanding. I thoroughly enjoyed this Box Making Course. Very experienced course instructors were a fountain of knowledge that will no doubt be invaluable for moving forward with other woodworking projects. Not only did I come away with an exceptional box, I had a great weekend in the beautiful Lake District.
An excellent course. The small class size means that there is a good student to instructor ratio. Someone is always on hand to supervise and offer help. Mark and J are both exceptional woodworkers but also have the ability to impart their knowledge upon the student. They offered an insight that could only come from those active in the industry and which would take the beginner years to work out by experimentation.
As the course has an element of flexibility we were all able to produce boxes of different styles which allows for personal creativity and the feeling that it’s not just another ‘off the shelf’ generic course.
I would thoroughly recommend.
Very good course, Mark is an experienced cabinet maker.
I would recommend this course.
Really great course.
I was amazed by the finished box that I made, having never tried working with wood before.
I would recommend this course to anyone who wants to try their hand at working with wood.
I had a fantastic time on the two day box making course......it didn't feel like a course at all. Mark and Richard have a great way of passing on the skills needed without making it too 'teachy'. Not only have I made a beautiful Oak and Walnut box that I am so proud of, but I have learnt great skills and added confidence to try making things on my own.
I was originally going to spend the money for the course on a new router but I am so glad that I invested it in the course instead.....now I know that all the tools in the world will not improve my woodworking without the skills and understanding I learnt from Mark.
I am sure I will be attending more courses with Mark and Richard in the future.
Lovely course, well thought-out and designed to give relative beginners to fine woodworking a good set of core skills. Tutors are friendly and very helpful - when you get one standing next to you holding a lamp so you can see what you’re doing, you know you’re onto a winner! Lots of excellent tips and techniques, and you will come away with a lovely box with which to astound friends and family!
The two days I spent in the Wood Workshop near Penrith, with Mark's guidance and three other like-minded students of the craft, were hugely rewarding and something I will definitely repeat.
Some may be put off by the price, but I assure you that the course was worth every penny. The tips and advice you receive, as well as the access to a fully-equipped workshop and excellent quality hardwoods, are valuable and the price reflects the experience.
By the end of the two days I am left with a beautiful hardwood box of oak and Ash, fully oiled and waxed, the likes of which I never thought I would be able to create.
I intend to go on and practice at home, with the list of suppliers provided by Mark to help me produce the best quality boxes I can.
This course is well worth it for the skills and experience you will gain, as well as the box.
Anyone who knows me, knows I am a classic Taurean, a "Bull in a China shop" so attending a fine box making course was to say the least challenging. I thought it beyond my capabilities. However from the very first moment the whole course was a absolute pleasure, a small mixed group of strangers but all with a common goal to improve their skills. Mark is the most welcoming of people, he immediately gave us all the assurance to attempt making a range of boxes that we all thought were impressive and delightful to look at. He was always assisted by Jay who ensured that none of us were left unattended. They provided detailed explanations on many skills that are so simple when you know them but make a massive difference to the look of the finished article. I have no hesitation in recommending the course to anyone, regardless of your skills, you will learn more in these precious hours than you will in a life time browsing the internet.
This is a brilliant course. Run by very talented and knowledgable people. Lots of information given about tools and machinery and the wood that is used.
The workshop is amazing and has such atmosphere it encourages you to make beautiful things. The passion for the subject oozes from the environment you are working in.
Highly recommended. Anyone from novice to the more experienced will gain great skills and knowledge.
Thoroughly enjoyed the 2day box making course with Mark and Jay. They were very patient and laid back, always happy to answer any questions. I was astonished how well my box turned out and now have the confidence to do more. Thanks guys!
What a great way to spend the weekend. Mark and Richard were excellent instructors.
After initial instructions we were encouraged to do everything for ourselves. They were always on hand if we got into difficulties. Their knowledge and skills are unbelievable and their levels of patience endless.
Their workshop is well stocked with plenty of different high quality work working tools, that we were guided into using in order to make our boxes.
Our boxes are for our twin grandchildren and the knowledge that dad-cu and mam-gu made them make us very proud grandparents.
Thanks guys, you are an awesome duo.
Great course. Mark and Jay looked after us well. The 2 student to one tutor ration meant that you could always get help. Looking at the example boxes at the beginning was quite daunting but the careful step by step guidance made the process stress free and enjoyable. The course fee may initially seem a bit expensive but it's more than worth it for the training, experience, access to all the machinery, materials etc and the end result of a beautiful box.
What a great weekend , Mark and Richard were very good teachers very patient explaining everything clearly as we went along. I liked the fact that Mark and Richard showed us what to do and then left us to do it but still there if we needed them. The end result was a great box that my friends did not believe that I had really made and were very impressed.
Thank you very much Mark and Richard .
Lovely way to spend a weekend, mark and richard are very knowledgable cabinet makers but are also down to earth when teaching part of their skills to everyday people like me 😀
Well worth booking this course.
I’ve known Mark for a few years now as I’ve been on other courses that he runs (all of which I HIGHLY recommend). But this course was outstanding. I had such a wonderful weekend. Mark is so skilled and brilliant at explaining things and not making you feel stupid when/if you make a mistake. You get to add some of your own personal touches and ideas too. The box I’ve come away with is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever made and I already have friends and family wanting me to make one for them now too! I need to send them on the course. Thanks so much Mark! Will be seeing you again soon.
Enjoyable weekend , good company ,interesting oppurtunity to learn new skills in a relaxed atmosphere ,
Thanks to Mark , i went home with a good loking box.
Wonderful two day course with Mark and Richard. They were happy to share their experience, patiently explained the methods and created an enjoyable friendly atmosphere. At no point did you feel rushed and care was taken in ensuring each person got as much as they could from the experience.
I am very proud of the box I created, it exceeded expectations and then some! Each course member created something unique and to a really high standard. Thoroughly recommended and I hope to return in the future
A box making course!
What do you have at the end?
A box of course.
But I wouldn't have expected to make a beautiful oak box (with dovetail joints) and with an elm lid (with lovely graining) supported on hidden pin hinges. Mark and Richard were excellent as they supported and guided each of us in making a box of our choice.
Maybe this should be called an introduction to cabinet making for absolute beginners. Excellent!
I wanted to make something special for my late husband’s ashes. It was a rollercoaster of emotions for me doing this and to be honest my head was like treacle but with a lot of help and encouragement from Mark & Richard I’ve made the most beautiful box and I think he’d be proud of me. It was a lovely weekend and they give me a lot of support, the other 3 people doing the course were great too! I’d really recommend anyone to have a go, if I can do it anybody can. I wish I could post a picture of my fabulous box!
I'm 73 and the last time I did woodwork was at the Grammar School in the 1950/60's so to say I was a bit nervous was an understatement. I thought there's no way I could make a box remotely the same as the ones on show in the workshop..... but how wrong I was !!!!! I made a very professional box of which I am so proud. The mitred corners were 95% perfect and the fitted lid with its hidden hinges looked very impressive. Our tutor Mark was the reason I did so well. He was good at explaining each step and showed us how to safely use all the various tools and machinery. I have booked another weekend course for next year.To anyone who is interested I would say "Have a go like I did". You will enjoy it.
Thank you Mark for all your help and guidance.
Mark is a fantastic tutor and his workshop is great! He was happy to answer any questions that I had (about the making of the box and general questions about woodworking) and struck a good balance between showing me what to do and letting me work on my own. I'm very happy with and proud of the box that I've made, especially as I have never done anything like this before. The sides of the box are dovetailed together and the lid is attached using brass pins, but there was the option to do mitred joints and the option to use brass hinges too. After Mark's course I really want to acquire some tools and try and make some more boxes like the one I've already done. Very enjoyable weekend on the whole!
Mark is a fantastic tutor. He is very patient and guides you really well. The time flies by (even though the clocks went back this weekend). I have just done the box making weekend and I cannot believe that a novice woodworker walked out with such a lovely box! It was relaxed and enjoyable. I have learnt such a lot and will be back for sure for more teaching.
I wasn't sure what to expect after my wife bought this course for me as a gift. On arrival on Saturday morning, Mark asked us to pick the type of box we wanted to make and I thought "there's no way I'm going to make any one of these". I was wrong! Two days later I had a wooden box I was really proud of.
Mark's style of delivery, the pace of the course and the workshop all come together in what is a great weekend. I've left with a new sense of belief that I can make stuff, some new skills and a bunch of ideas for spending long hours in the man-shed. I hope to be back for some other courses.
I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this course to anyone with an interest in learning some new skills and actually creating something tangible.
Just completed the weekend box making course with Mark and it was everything I wanted it to be.
As you would expect, the workshop was very well equipped and Mark’s instructions and guidance on the safe and correct use of each tool or piece of equipment was spot on.
I picked up lots of useful tips and tricks over the course of the weekend and I had a lovely dovetailed oak box with walnut lid to show for my efforts.
A really enjoyable weekend in lovely surrounding spend with a great bunch of fellow students and a very passionate and knowledgeable craftsman. I’m off to start saving for a Wood Rat !
I came on the course hoping to get some experience with woodworking machinery. I left with lots of ideas and a beautiful box I made myself. The atmosphere was relaxing from the cameraderie of my fellow students to the patience of the instructor; a thoroughly fulfilling way to pass a weekend.
Fun and relaxed with a small group where each person got all the attention they required.
Mark was great at teaching you and letting you do the work which meant that you really feel you'd accomplished something at the end of the weekend.
Having just completed the 2 day weekend box making course with Mark I can say it is thoroughly great fun. Mark is friendly and a wealth of knowledge and has a wonderful way of explaining everything so you can understand. His passion shines through and is infectious and I will be continuing wood work as a hobby. The product from this course turned out amazing, mark having coaxed unknown talent out of me.
Thank you so much.
What can I say. The other reviewers are spot on. Great weekend box making. Relaxed style from Mark puts you instantly at ease. Very clear yet detailed advise and supervision. You will come away with a box you have made which you will be proud of, and will have learned lots as well, whether a beginner or not. Go - you will be glad you did!
It is difficult to believe that someone who has always been clumsy and imprecise with wood can be taught to make a beautiful hardwood box (in oak) that looks and feels fabulous. Mark enabled me to do that in two days on a fantastic box-making course which was well run, allowed us to work independently, learn how to use hand tools and machine tools, and feel more confident doing previously impossible projects at home. A great course in a great location, highly recommended.
I arrived with some trepidation - I did a little woodwork in school in the '70s but since then only Ikea. But I was very quickly put at my ease and started to enjoy myself hugely. I learned a lot and am now ridiculously proud of the wooden box I made during the course - I have shown it to everyone! Thank you Mark.
Mark has the patience of a saint. This course was an unexpected Christmas present for me and accordingly surprising. I never thought I could make an interesting box but I have. Mark has an enormous attention to detail and could convey this without being intimidating. A great way to spend a weekend and I am impressed with my insight into what it takes to make a good wooden box. Thanks very much
I'm sat looking at the results of the May box making course attended last weekend and still can't really believe just how good it looks. My last wood working efforts of any kind (other than flat-pack furniture assembly or patching up a skirting board) was around 54 years ago as a 12 year old. That experience was traumatic and resulted in a wobbly teapot stand that only a mother could love; this one was cathartic and resulted in a fine looking box.
I've just re-read through all of the previous reviews for this course, in the hope that I could think of something that hasn't already been said. I can't though! You might be forgiven for thinking that there must be a degree of exaggeration in many of them, but I can confirm that I found that all were accurate. Mark was a patient and helpful guide to technique, tools and scary machinery through every stage of the process. He demonstrated what needed to be done and watched over your initial efforts with advice as necessary, but never doing the job for you.
This was a well-organised and very enjoyable course that I would give 6 stars to if it were possible. Recommended to all - thanks Mark!
I made a box! The only thing I have ever before made out of wood was kindling and a fire, I left Mark's workshop with a fine wooden box of which I was very proud.
The workshop was very well organised, Mark is a great tutor with a very "put you at ease" style which took any apprehension away. Having selected the style of box, received safety training on the machinery we set about cutting the wood and assembling the pieces that would eventually be the box.
This was a practical hands on box making workshop, progressing at my work rate. I learnt to use various types of machinery and Mark was always on hand to advise if needed.
I thoroughly enjoyed the workshop, I have confidence to tackle other projects and will be back to learn skills on a wood turning lathe.
Having started with no knowledge I can thoroughly recommend this workshop as great value and giving a new skill to be proud of.
Just finished my weekend course with Mark on box making, what a great and interesting time spent with a guy with so much skill and knowledge of wood, from learning about timber joints to the hints and tips they give you, things you would never have thought of until they are pointed out to you, I myself have worked with timber and sheet materials for many years but this was still an eye opener for me to see a master at work. The items they produce have to be seen to be believed, taking into account the challenges faced when working with a natural product such as wood. So many thanks go to Mark for his teaching over the last 2 days I will take this back to my own workshop and try to apply some of the skills he has shown me. I would recommend these courses to anyone that has a love of wood. Many thanks for all your help again.
What an amazing weekend! Whatever expectations I had for this were exceeded by the excellent Mark and Richard. Having done no woodwork since school, other than bodge a bit of DIY, I felt a complete novice. No matter. I was helped along when I needed it and left to it when I could cope, no stress. I am proud of the box I have made, it didn't think it would be as good as it is. That is down to the help from the guys. I thoroughly recommend this weekend to any one.
Great little weekend. Choice of boxes to create. Step by step help as required. No experience necessary. End result - something to be proud of, and some new skills. Relaxed environment. Many thanks.
My wife, Lara, and I thoroughly enjoyed the weekend course. Mark and Richard were great hosts and teachers; it's clear to see their passion for what they do. We came away with a couple of lovely boxes to be proud of and an enthusiasm to take the skills and tips we gained into a new hobby at home.
A fabulous course & worth every penny. Mark & Richard are excellent patient tutors and explained things very well. I have never done any type of woodwork before & was very nervous by Mark & Richard soon put me at ease. I came home with a beautiful box which I am so proud of.
Many thanks Mark & Richard for a great experience.
I really enjoyed this course. Had not done any woodwork for many years but was helped to get back into it by Mark and Richard's patient and excellent tuition. I learned lots of great tips and hopefully will be able to put them into practice in the future. I was delighted with the box that I made. I would highly recommend this course.
Great course and I came away having learned so much. Made a lovely dovetailed box with a feature Australian silky oak lid, which was brass pin pivoted and the inside was leather lined.. all over a weekend. With 2 students to one instructor (Mark) there was never any problem in asking for advice or questions. Worth every penny!
Excellent course and Mark a very patient teacher and balanced the right amount of teaching and demonstration with allowing me to get on with my box and quietly supervising. End result a beautiful box, far nicer than anything else I have ever made and a shed load of new skills. What my wife didnt bank on when she booked the course were all the essential items of workshop equipment I will now need to buy to kit out my own workshop 😁
The weekend box making is real joy. No matter how much woodworking background one has, there is a lot to learn from Mark who is a very creative craftsman. I am glad i came for this course it was well worth it.
Thank you Mark. You have certainly made me a more confident woodworking hobbiest.
So many firsts for me this weekend, including the first time I have written a report on-line! I had to!!!
What a fantastic course. The family were amazed at the box I created - if I can anyone can.
Mark is an excellent teacher. There were two of us on the course and the other person had far more experience than I, even having his own work shop. I would definitely class myself as a beginner but I was not made to feel inferior in any way.
On arrival we were asked what type of box we wished to construct - 2 different shapes, mitre or dovetail corners and 3 different lid mechanisms. We chose completely different styles of box and Mark showed us the both the techniques required, calling the other over when demonstrating the next step.
I have never used machinery before - Mark was very clear in his instruction and I felt very safe as a result of his attention to detail. Each piece of equipment (hand or machinery) was explained as in what it does and how it is used. He also taught us some maintenance tips for hand tools e.g. sharpening chisels. Mark has provided details of suppliers (materials and tools) should we wish to have a go at home.
We were made very welcome. There was the opportunity to have a drink whenever you wanted but I became so engrossed I forgot - until we were told it was lunch time!
Thank you so very much for a fabulous weekend. I have a beautiful box - they don't keep the best wood for themselves. I will definitely be back when I can.
Excellent course. Mark was outstanding in showing us everything and we were never kept idle. This was my first time wood working and everything was made exceptionally clear and simple. The materials and tools were also second to none and all thoroughly detailed and explained.
I can not recommend this course enough!
I have just completed the weekend box making course and would highly recommend it . The help and tuition from Mark was exceptionally good . I am proud of the boxes I made and the skills I learned .
It is one of the best things I have done .
This was the first woodworking i had ever done, never really used tools, or even knew the names of some tools.
Mark was an excellent teacher, i learnt so much over the two days, he was also very patient and answered every question i had, no matter how stupid the question was! I used a variety of hand tools and power tools, and had a lovely box by the end of the weekend.
I found this course as a great introduction to working with wood and would absolutely recommend this course to anyone who asks, and would definitely take any future courses that Mark puts on.
A very good course. I had no real previous wood working skills but even so managed to produce a very satisfactory box in the two days. Mark is a good tutor and along the way I picked up a lot of useful information from him on using tools and materials. Recommended.
I have recently returned from this box-making course in Penrith and it was excellent. Mark teaches in a very relaxed and encouraging manner which enabled me to dust off some old woodworking skills and learn some new ones. I now have a beautiful lined flip top box made of oak and ash. I would fully recommend this course!
Mark is a true craftsman. You will learn a lot on this short course. I loved it.
Previously attended furniture course in the same workshop. It has been revamped and the new layout lends itself to the function with more room in the central area.
Mark was well prepared for the course; more than ready for the students and our questions about the project. His teaching style is quietly confident; courses without the dramatic effect are so much more enjoyable by all parties, Able to share knowledge in a workshop environment, underpinned by his experience; nothing phased him. His belief all of the potential problems can be resolved; basically reinforcing the belief that Tradesmen get things done rather than admitting defeat.
Two days well spent in a frosty Penrith; coming home with a sense of achievement and a beautiful lined Jewellery box as evidence to all of those doubting the potential for such a short course.
Thanks again Mark, it was like coming home to a welcoming, stress-free family atmosphere.
I might come on another Course, and will definitely pop in next time I am in the area.
Having already covered a fair amount in fine furniture woodworking on my college course I went on the box making course and really enjoyed it. I learnt various new techniques on machines and by hand including decorative dovetails, cutting hinges, finishing and lining boxes. Mark and Richard were both brilliant tutors and passed on their skills and knowledge of woodwork with great enthusiasm. The ratio was fantastic with 2 tutors to 3 students. I was delighted with the end result. I would highly recommend this course and would like to do another.
What a fantastic course! I arrived as a novice with a limited idea of how to do much with wood. The challenge of making a box over a weekend seemed a little daunting, especially when offered the choice of what sort of box to make while looking at a range of Mark's work.
Mark is an excellent teacher, and quickly helped me gain confidence as I learnt a whole range of new skills. His experience both as a craftsman and teacher shine through with great tips and support all given in a really relaxed style.
The course is held in Mark's very well equipped workshop which is in a beautiful setting just a few minutes walk from the Rheged centre.
By the end of the course I was amazed at how much we had covered and even more amazed at the box I had made.
I really enjoyed this course. Mark was friendly and helpful and guided us in making the boxes rather than being overly prescriptive. At the start of the course you are shown samples of the boxes that Mark sells and you can choose the one you want to make (or design your own using elements from a number of styles if you prefer). You are then instructed in how to safely use the various tools/ machines needed to make the box and given the space to learn the required techniques at your own pace (in my case that meant making a lot of mistakes and wasting a lot of wood). I was also impressed with the quality of timber we were given to use, I expected to be using standard timbers but we given beautiful pieces of furniture grade oak to work with. All in I had a fantastic weekend.
I admired Mark's boxes when attending the Cabinet Making courses in Penrith and made the decision to build on my woodworking skills by attending the Box Making course.
Just returned from a most enjoyable Box-Making weekend in a snowy Cumbria; it was a welcome sight to see the smoke of the wood-burner drifting skyward as I pulled into the car park. Mark provided the tuition in his quietly confident manner. Each stage was described in detail, and any hiccoughs managed without any fuss or panic. (on Mark's part anyway) Patience personified!
Mark was supportive through the entire process from choosing wood; preparing the wood; selecting a design and onward to the conclusion of building a high quality box with light oak sides and brown burr oak back and front; with a burr oak top to die for.
He even managed to help me with my ongoing projects once the box was complete; sharing his knowledge freely; at least two will be finished by the Christmas deadline. The short duration of the course belies the usefulness of the transferable skills taught in this forum.
Thanks again Mark, for your encouragement to be more adventurous in my projects.
I fully intend to return to further my skills next year and look forward to being reacquainted with my Cumbrian support network.
I have just completed the weekend box making course and was impressed not only by Mark's own boxes but his depth of knowledge and how he explained everything in detail as we proceeded - and I ended up with a beautiful Cumbrian Elm box which has been much admired. The detailed explanations, hints, tips, sharpening, info on workshop practice all added to my knowledge. Above all, Mark has very high standards and this rubbed off throughout the course.
I greatly enjoyed this course. Mark explains the steps, techniques and tools used to take selected timber and produce a professional-looking box. The workshop has a good range of woods available and Mark takes you through each stage of making a box and the variations you can have.
I would recommend this course to anyone who has an interest in trying their hand at box making or craft woodwork in general. Starting as a box-making novice, I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the result I achieved with Mark's tuition.
Just completed the box making course with Mark - June 2015. I'm an amateur woodworker with limited experience but with Marks expert tuition and guidance I managed to make a beautiful, high quality box that I can be very proud of. An excellent opportunity to learn new skills and improve knowledge. Relaxed approach in a well equipped workshop in beautiful Lakeland setting. I can thoroughly recommend the course.
I've just completed the box making course and absolutely loved it! its great to see your very own piece come together from a 'lump' of wood to a beautiful box. Mark was a very good teacher - very patient with me! I'd love to go back and do more of the courses run at the wood workshop.
I had previously been on a cabinet making course that Mark teaches with Richard at the Wood workshop, While there I admired Mark's boxes on display in the showroom with much envy. Talking to him about his boxes, he told me about the courses he was setting up and I jumped at the chance to be on the inaugural course.
I already knew the standard of tuition which not surprisingly was maintained on the weekend course. Good fun, relaxed but at the same time fairly intense. The result.....a fantastic box, the standard of which I was amazed at, especially in 2 days! Admittedly with lots of guidance :-)
Thanks for a great weekend. will be back for more courses in the future.
Having been with Richard and Mark on the 5 day tools and things course I wanted to try my hand at "box making" on the brand new weekend course. What a great weekend we had lots of fun, a great deal of informative was gathered and I went home with a lovely box to show/give to my wife.