In this course you will learn and practice traditional dovetailing techniques and the skills needed to layout, mark and cut dovetails by hand. This course is designed to teach you how professional cabinet makers make traditional hand cut dovetails without using magnetic saw guides or other gadgets.
It is ideal for those with some woodworking experience who want to widen their furniture making capabilities by learning the secrets of this gold-standard woodworking joint. You will take home your own dovetailed pieces, plus a kit of prepared components made from locally sourced timber, to help you practice dovetailing at home.
This four-day course runs over two consecutive weekends, or one extended weekend. 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. .
The course covers:
The attributes of perfect dovetails
Dovetail joint selection
Preparing timber (refresher)
Setting / laying out dovetails
Dovetail saws and sawing tails and pins
Dovetail chisels and paring joints
Speed dovetailing: The fast way to hand cut dovetail excellence?
Advanced dovetail setting out
Using hand tools, such as mallet, chisels, marking and cutting gauge, dovetail saw, marking knife, smoothing plane
At the end of this course you will have gained the knowledge and skills to plan, set out and cut dovetails by hand in the traditional way. You will also have developed the confidence to continue practicing dovetailing for your future projects and know how to use hand tools safely.
If you haven’t trained with us before and would like some guidance on whether this course is right for you, please get in touch by emailing me via the contact form above.
If you will be redeeming a CraftCourses gift voucher on this course, the voucher code must be provided at the point of booking.
What's included in the price?
Materials included. You do not need to buy any tools or equipment, all hand tools are provided during the course.
During and following the course you will receive an extensive range of information to help you take your next steps in furniture making. For example, advice about buying and maintaining tools and details of suppliers. This will also include plans and a materials list for a project using the skills you have learned during your course to help you put your new knowledge into practice.
Access to exclusive discounts for premier tools and timber suppliers.
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. There is a microwave and fridge. However, we are only a few minutes by car from Farnham town centre if you need anything.
The workshop is only a few minutes by car from the Farnham train station. There is a direct train connection to London.
If you want accommodation, there are many excellent hotels and B&Bs in the area. Please feel free to contact me if you require any assistance in finding local accommodation.
Please see my website for up to date information on availability of spaces and to book your place.
If you would like to be notified when new course dates are available, you can do so via our Newsletter, sign up available on my website.
I’m a mature, amateur woodworker looking to improve my skills and pick a few brains on the way. Aidan’s course more than met my aims and ambitions, by providing insight, guidance and encouragement in this most traditional of woodworking disciplines. Initially I was concerned that four days working with dovetails would be too much for me; it soon became apparent the combination of the environment, the company and, not least, the tuition made it a safe place to land. With sufficient interest we can learn the principles and variations involved in dovetail joints from the myriad publications and media available to us; Aidan takes the time to make it a reality, adding useful hints, tips and more general background information along the way – a very valuable addition. Past the theory, the emphasis is on practical application and we were able to complete a number of joints, from marking out to gluing-up and finishing, and even had homework to complete. Lest you are concerned that the only thing you come away with is a pile of scrap for kindling I can confirm that an attractive Dark Oak and Yew ‘project’ now graces my home. In summary; time very well spent.
I am currently training to become a furniture maker and just graduated from university. I have also completed Aidan's fundamentals part 1 course which I recommend you do. This course was the perfect stepping stone for me to boost my career and enable me to build a porfolio up. The course was well layed out over the 4 days with some time during the week (between the 2 weekends) to practice some joints in my own time, which really helped the constancy and repeatability of my joints. Aidan is very knowledgeable in all areas of dovetails giving his option of ways of completing a task and why he teaches it he says he does. Aidan also touches on other relevant tasks surrounding the the joint such as sharpening and buying tools which is also a big help. I would recommend this course to anyone who is very interested in furniture making whether they are starting out like me or want to learn something new. I think the best place to train in the south. Thanks very much