Course Start Dates
Course dates are flexible; please get in touch for the next available date.
For the course dates please click on the link above.
Five day woodworking course in Penrith, Cumbria.
This is a continuation of my other five day woodwork course (tools and things) with the emphasis on timber; what are acceptable defects in timber, how do you write out a cutting list that means something to your supplier, what to look for when buying wood and what to avoid. You will ideally have done course 1 (tools and things) or have a good working knowledge of how to use hand tools and have used hand-held power tools.
To read details of the Tools course please click on 'The Wood Workshop' above and scroll down.
The projects for you to pick from will be more complicated and will involve the use of the more sophisticated hand tools and hand held power tools and will include using some of the static power tools in the workshop. We will also be looking at buying timber with a visit to a local timber yard and making cutting lists and drawing plans. The level of accuracy that is required to successfully complete the projects will be greater
There will still be a maximum of 4 per week so that I will be there to help when you need me.
The course starts at 9 o’clock on Monday morning. We will normally stop for tea at 10 o’clock (tea and coffee will be available whenever you want it but I like tea at 10) but that will not stop me talking as this is a good time to cover general information on woodworking and for you to ask questions of a more general nature. The same at lunch time and afternoon break.
We will finish the day at 5 o’clock. The rest of the week we will follow the same sort of timings. I am usually in the workshop by 8.30am and you will be able to get to your bench from then on. We will finish the week on Friday at 4 o’clock.
You will find that I run course 1 (tools) and this course end to end so that if you want to you can do them both and have 2 weeks in the Lake District.
After this week I would hope that you will feel confident enough to tackle most of the woodworking projects that you will want to do and be able to buy wood with the confidence of knowing what you are talking about.
Come enjoy your week and take home another achievement.
You may also be interested in the 2 day Box Making weekend courses that are run from the same workshop http://www.craftcourses.com/courses/box-making-weekend
What's included in the price?
A basic tool kit and an apron will be provided for your use while you are with me and the course fee includes ear defenders that will be yours to keep at the end of the course. Tea and coffee will be available whenever you want it. There is a van that comes at lunch time where you can buy sandwiches, fruit and pies etc.
I have just completed the 5 day Course 1. It was BRILLIANT! Prior to this course I had zero knowledge/experience. We were very quickly hands on with the tools, not overkill on lectures, and the 45 min daily talks after lunch were genuinely really interesting. The pace of the course was perfect, Richard and Mark are natural teachers. As there are only 4 students for the 2 teachers you have their help constantly when needed but they also let you get on with it whilst keeping an eye on you from the other side of the workshop. I made a spinning stool and was amazed by the variety of techniques, tools, machines etc that I was taught to use making this one item. The reaction I've received from the photos I've posted on my facebook account are indicative of how professional the finished item looks, I still can't really believe that I made it! I'm definitely going back to do one of the other courses. Thank you Richard and Mark for a fabulous week.
I have just done courses 1 and 2 back to back and thoroughly enjoyed them both. As a complete beginner, I felt somewhat daunted on the first morning by the sight of the unshaped pieces of wood piled on my work bench that I was somehow to transform into a long stool. However, by lunchtime, under the expert guidance of Richard and Mark, I had already marked up the wood and used various fearsome-looking power tools to cut the legs and rails and prepare mortises and tenons and felt ready for anything.
With only four students and two instructors, everyone received lots of support and assistance. The atmosphere in the workshop was relaxed and friendly and Mark and Richard struck the perfect balance between keeping our confidence up and gently easing us out of our individual comfort zones in order to tackle more ambitious tasks.
Each day was as intense as it was rewarding as our projects gradually took shape. I felt as though I was using completely new parts of my brain and was exhausted every evening.
Angie's van brought delicious sandwiches, pastries and fruit every day and when the sun shone, as it did for the first week, we sat outside and enjoyed the beautiful Lakeland view from the workshop.
Richard's after lunch lecture course provided a huge amount of useful practical information which he plans to make available on YouTube as well as a welcome period of calm after the thrills, spills and machine noise of the morning.
I decided to cover my stool with woven leather rather than upholstery and Mark (unflappable even when I was firing a tack gun perilously close to his thumbs) went far beyond the call of duty in helping me source, cut and attach the leather.
By the end of the first week I was keen to tackle something more complex and embarked with gusto on the side table which involved making a drawer with dovetail joints.
Doing the two courses back to back enabled me to consolidate a lot of the information and skills I learnt in the first week and I now feel ready to try some projects of my own. I went home with two beautiful pieces of furniture that I still can't believe I produced. It's the most satisfying thing I've done in years and I highly recommend both courses to anyone, especially if, like me, you could do with being reminded what you're capable of.
Great for quickly gaining the capability to get off to a flying start in woodwork.
I did this course straight after course one (tools and things) and it was definitely more challenging, but absolutely do-able thanks to the very supportive instructors, who both have a wealth of cabinet making experience. In this course, I produced a beautiful side table-table, for which I employed fairly advanced joints (e.g. tongue and grove) and techniques (e.g. draw fitting). I also learned about the attributes of different wood types as well as how to select, store and prepare wood.
The range of different experience levels among the four students in the class was vast, with me still being a beginner and one student having already made lots of fairly complex furniture, yet each student was really able to improve.
Finally, the tone of the course is perfect thanks to the down-to-earth, friendly and funny instructors, Richard and Mark, thanks guys!
I had a great time on this course and would heavily recommend it to anyone who's even considering it as an option. It is a great way in to practically doing and understanding how to work with wood, the tools and range of techniques available. Richard and Mark are very welcoming, always on hand to help and answer any questions. Definitely looking to go back for course 2.
My wife gave me the week on course for me birthday. I had learnt a little wood work at school but that was a very long time ago. I learnt a lot on the course about all aspects including tools, machinery, the importance of accuracy and relearn the pleasure of making something from wood. Richard and Mark were always there with advice but also let you get on and do things by yourself. I made the small table and my family were very impressed with its quality, of course I can see all the flaws - next time it will be better.
Overall a really good course which does what it says in the tin. I am now working out how to make a very small work shop in my very small cellar, Richard's advice on this has been very helpful.
Definitely recommended if you are looking to learn about working with wood
I have always loved wood but never had the chance do do any workworking at school so here I was, recently retired, with the opportunity to go all the way to The Lakes to go back to being a 15 year old again on a course called "Tools & Things". This was drive that was really worth it.
Richard and Mark do not hang about with introductory lectures - you get straight into it. I was making a step stool and started measuring up when it dawned on me that I just had a pile of wood and how on earth was it all going to go together! Richard and Mark took me through it step by step by showing me how to do a particular task and then saying over to you.
I made a point of trying out all the different joints by hand and now have a much better appreciation of what is involved in this wonderful world of wood.
Thanks Richard and Mark and I cannot recommend the course highly enough.
I did wonder, when I was driving up to Cumbria to live in my van for 2 weeks in October, if I was nuts, going all that way for a woodwork course, but it was totally worth it! I am back home now, after two brilliant weeks, with two great pieces of furniture a few new skills and more of a clue what I’m doing to show for my time.
Right from the start, Richard and Mark were welcoming, friendly and inclusive. They were patient, knowledgeable, good fun and supportive, with bags of experience between them and loads of tips that helped us all get the most out of the fortnight.
They kept us all moving along at a pace that meant that we could all finish by Friday but still had time for questions and to learn from each other - particularly handy, as people did different projects, so it was interesting to learn from watching them.
Having completed the two courses I feel like I have a lot more idea of what I need to do to get up and running in a workshop - I just need to find somewhere to host all my projects now!
I booked for the course as a complete novice, never having even picked up a chisel yet came away having completed a table. The tuition was relaxed, expert and friendly and Richard and Dave had infinite patience.
It was a great experience, thank you. I enjoyed the lunchtime lectures very much.
Have just completed Course 1 and intend to continue onto course 2 at the next opportunity. The course was very good, quite relaxed with very experienced help from Richard and Mark whenever required. It is an excellent course for those like me with only limited previous experience. That said, for those more experienced there are more difficult projects that can be tackled and all power tools are available to try or use on your own projects if you have time. The projects can easily be completed during the 5 days so it is a good idea to have a few extra things in mind that you want to try or do in order to make use of all the available time, help and equipment that is on offer. The project you take away with you will be superb and your friends and family will be surprised at how professional it looks! Richard gives lunchtime talks on relevant topics each day and he will tailor these to participant's desires. I think their flexibilty of approach, coupled with their obvious vast knowledge and experience and the relaxed pace is what makes the course so enjoyable. One recommendation would be to outline the project stages at the start so you know what is coming next - on occasion I was unsure so not prepared properly for the next stage (eg taking my time as I knew there was another day only to be told with 10 minutes to go that I needd to oil the project so it could dry over night).
I have attended course one which I really enjoyed and feel that I learned a lot, thanks to Richard and Mark's excellent tuition.
I ended up with a piece of furniture which I am very pleased with and is far better than I imagined I would produce.
I will definitely be attending Course 2.
I have no hesitation in recommending this course.
Having just completed Course 1 on the 23rd October, I must say that this course exceeded my expectations and wildest hopes.
Richard and Mark provided a mine of useful information both in the lunchtime lectures and numerous brief "group hugs "throughout the week, as specific points of learning were covered real time.
The camaraderie of the group built during the week and I was surprised to find that whatever our initial level, we all learned together and shyness rapidly became confidence.
Techniques were shown and practised, safety, modern machinery options and easy ways were always in mind.
The results spoke for themselves.
'Must book Course 2 for next year !!
I had a great week with Richard and Mark 8th - 12th June and learned a lot of tips as well as being encouraged to make a good job of my project. Looking forward to Course 2 in October.
Cyril Wardill Derby
Well, I didn't think it could get much better than Course 1, but Richard and Mark have surpassed my expectations yet again! Course 2 was an amazing week of building confidence and knowledge. It was a really good consolidation of the techniques learned in Course 1 coupled with a steady flow of information and plenty of hands on experience. By the end of the week I felt that I had a really good grasp of the concepts required and the ability needed to set to work on my own projects, right from the designing stage, through selection and purchase of the wood required, to construction and finishing. All I need now are a few power tools…..
I have just finished course 2 last Friday, March 13 2015; straight after finishing course 1 the previous week.
I am glad I did the two courses back-to-back as it gave me a continuity which would have been lost if I had waited for any length of time between the courses.
Learning about the different woods available, how to get the wood you need, how to order from a saw mill what you need, and how to choose the correct wood for your projects, is a must to learn if you want to be serious about your woodworking. Richard and Mark are first class in giving this insight. The visit to the saw mill was an experience not to be missed.
I have learned so much on the course that I now feel confident about walking into a mill and using the correct terminology to order what I need.
The courses have given more than I thought and I am now prepared to venture into woodworking as a hobby.
Many thanks to Richard and Mark for all their help and guidance during my time in the workshop
Course 2 has proved to be more challenging, as one would expect. Just like before Richard and Mark were excellent. They are undoubtedly excellent cabinet makers, but on these courses it is their ability to help you develop your skills which is invaluable. Their love of wood and what they do is infectious. From start to finish it was brilliant fun and after the second day I found myself phoning home to chat to my better half and realising that I had a grin like a cheshire cat. If you are interested in developing your cabinetmaking skills then this course is a must.
I went on course one, thinking that I could have skipped it and gone straight on to course two. How wrong I was. Woodwork has progressed since I did it at school. I learnt tons of stuff. Richard and Mark are very capable and patient tutors. It was so good that I attended both courses twice and learnt a huge amount from the revision. Fortunately I have the means to build a well stocked workshop for myself. I could not have done this had I not been on the courses. I am now up and running and trying to reduce the errors in my work.
I am so pleased with course 1and2
I can make things which I'm proud of thanks to richard and mark.
New skills, friendly groups and best of all helpful, skilful teachers
I would recommend to all, whether as introduction to new hobby or as a really enjoyable week with something you made to remember it by
I wholeheartedly recommend attending this course. For those who have always hankered to learn or brush up their school carpentry skills, and make something worthwhile, then this is the course. Richard and Mark were always helpful, instructive, patient, and encouraging. They made it a fun and rewarding experience. The lunchtime lectures are extremely informative and along with the fabulous setting in the lake district it all adds up to a tremendous experience and value for money.
Some 47 years have elapsed since I last attempted woodworking. It was with some trepidation that I signed up to spend a week with Richard in Penrith.
The course was exactly what I would have wished for. Both Richard and Mark showed great patience, kindness and humour throughout. More importantly they were able to pass on knowledge and skills with a clarity that was of great benefit to this complete beginner.
They both instilled in me an enthusiasm for the subject that I intend to continue.
The lunchtime lectures by Richard were especially valuable.
I recommend this corse without reservation.
If you are thinking of taking woodworking seriously and just don't know if you can do it, then do this course. Fun, hard working week with good supportive teaching. You will be so pleased with what you can make and the info that Richard and Mark share.
Just what I wanted. A great week.
It was perfect. Richard was a brilliant teacher and the whole atmosphere of the week was fun but focussed. I had a great week and took home beautiful steps so I can now reach all the cupboards in my kitchen.
Filled with trepidation about the potential result of my first venture into the Woodwork World, it was a relief to be under the expert tutelage of the ever patient Richard and Mark. They were eager to encourage the best from the Students for the week, with tactful tips and imparting knowledge at a rate we could absorb. As a result we all left for home with a feeling of achievement; with pieces that will grace the Living areas rather than be hidden in a dark corner of a Hallway.
Passing muster as the respective Families examine the work, with surprise at the result, must be one of the greatest feelings.
The enthusiasm from the Course is still running high, with my head full of fresh hope and ideas for independent projects.
See you both next Autumn for Part 2!
I attended this course as a complete beginner and was delighted at the confidence that Richard and Mark gave me in one week. They achieved the perfect balance between giving help and advice when it was needed and leaving me to have a go by myself. R & M showed great patience and good humour and created a very warm and easy working environment . I made a step stool which I was very proud of and would recommend the course without hesitation or reservation to anyone who is, or thinks they may be, interested in woodworking.
I had a great week making a step-stool. I didn't have a clue about woodwork before the course, but by the end I had made a beautiful piece of furniture, which taught me a lot of useful skills. I also had a go at wood-turning when I'd finished the stool. Richard and Mark are really chilled-out and friendly and they give you lots of tips about tools and show you what to do step-by-step, but they never just do it for you, so when you've finished you feel a great sense of achievement. It's a really satisfying and rewarding course. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys making things; I'm so glad I've entered the realm of woodwork and I feel confident to start my own project now - a wooden board game.
This was an amazing week. The teaching was very good and thorough. The work we all did was produced to a professional standard that I didn't know I could ever achieve! i will definitely go back for the second course
I have attended both of Richard's courses. You gain experience of using lots of different tools and machines in the process of making a beautiful piece of furniture. I made two oak tables, both of which have been well and truly admired.
Richard also gives lunchtime lectures that complement the practical sessions. He and Mark guide the students every step of the way.
I strongly recommend these courses to anyone interested in working with wood.
Richard is brilliant at challenging you just enough,so you get satisfaction from your work without feeling out of your depth. There is always another way of doing things if anything is a problem. Very relaxed but with great respect for safety, and his dog, Ash. is great too.
I have always thought I would enjoy working with wood but with no real opportunity to find out. That has now been rectified as I have just completed Course 1 with Richard and Mark. Course 1 is a most enjoyable fun week in which you are guaranteed to learn an awful lot of wood working skills in Richard's Workshop. A great set up with loads of top quality tools and top quality guidance and instructions. I have completed this course with a massive sense of achievement and a super Spinning Stool which is taking pride of place.
I am now trying to work out how I can set up my own workshop and get back for Course 2.
I have attended Week One and the followed it with a Week Two Course. I knew virtually nothing about woodworking beforehand but was trained by Richard and Mark in the use of hand tools and power tools. Their teaching was excellent and the small class numbers meant that we were never left waiting to find out what to do next. I thoroughly enjoyed the weeks and have two beautiful pieces of furniture to show for it!
I have just completed both courses - "Tools and Things" and "Wood and Things" back to back. The last time I tried woodworking was over 40 years ago when I was about 12, so I was a little apprehensive about my lack of talent. I needn't have been. Both Richard and Mark were very good tutors with loads of patience and an eagle eye to stop you before you did anything stupid. I now have the confidence to embark upon new projects and am considering a few of my own ideas to create something really bespoke for my own home.
I would recommend these courses to anyone whatever your level of skill. I have attended many different courses during my 30 year professional career,and I can honestly say this is the only one I've never wanted to end. I left with a sense of achievement I have not experienced in many a year.
The courses are such fun! You learn practical woodworking from a practising woodworker and take away finished project at the end of the course - Richard inspires you and gives you the confidence to complete the work that you want to complete and is quite happy to continue after completion of the course - he's always happy to reply to e-mails.
The courses are structured well, mixing practical with informative lunchtime lectures.
For me it was the stepping stone to a new pastime.
This course is fantastic and has changed my life! I have been searching for a long time for the 'thing I want to do next', and this is it. Richard and Mark have so much knowledge and patience and are open to your ideas no matter how crazy - "you really want to leave the bark on that chest of drawers?!" I would recommend this course to anyone, young or old, male or female, as a hobby or as a stepping stone to a future career. It is great value for money considering the rewards, and you get to take home your new prized piece of furniture to enjoy for a long time to come.
I have never had lessons before in the use of a lathe, band saw etc and was very pleased to discover that with the patient guidance of Richard I too could successfully complete a wonderful little table for all to see and admire. I loved using their new sander that had a tilting table as part of it.
The course is also very informative in practical tips for a workshop set up, sharpening tools, helpful gadgets, screws, drills and much more. Go for it!!!
I attended the course without prior knowledge or experience of woodwork.
I was amazed I learned so much, so quickly. Richard and Mark are true craftsmen and it was a priviledge to be in their company. Their skills, knowledge and expertise was imparted with enthusiasm and their positive encouragement was palpable alowing each individual to attain a high level of competence. Set in beautiful countryside in superbly equiped workshops this is a great course and a wonderful experience. Without doubt I recommend this course to anyone who loves to learn and at the same time thoroughly enjoy themselves.
Richard has worked really hard to structure this course brilliantly - it's not just a good woodworker showing you what he does. He mixes a series of lessons with hands-on practical work at a pace that keeps both your brain and hands engaged in a thoroughly absorbing week. And its a lovely relaxing environment too, so it does feel more like a holiday than a course. The real test is that I now have a workshop in my garage and I've made a chest of drawers, a garden table and I'm even contemplating building my own kitchen units!
The courses run by Richard are excellent. He combines knowledge and experience with an infectious enthusiasm that makes the week flash by. Mark works together with Richard and between them they have all the skills you can imagine! On both courses I learned so much about wood and got to practise a whole range of skills and techniques. The courses taught me a tremendous amount and gave me confidence to adapt what I learned to other projects in my own workshop. If you are a beginner or someone with a good set of skills already you will learn a great deal from Richard and Mark. Thoroughly recommended!
Both Richard and Mark clearly love what they do and their enthusiasm is infectious. I have attended two courses at The Wood Workshop and both have been excellent learning experiences. Both the courses have had their core content to follow yet Richard is happy to work around this to address, wherever possible, any personal objectives or specific areas of learning you may want to cover. I enjoyed and benefited from my time on these courses and have no hesitation in recommending them.