The Cabinetmaking Skills Week is the course you’ve been waiting for. If you’re a complete beginner this will give you the perfect grounding; if you’ve been woodworking for a while, this will be a great tune-up, sorting out any bad habits and reinforcing fundamental skills.
Everything in Woodwork is based on Sharpening so this is the initial focus. You must have a sharpening system at your fingertips that works for you; we will look at angles, the exotic and not so exotic steels used for blades, high speed grinders, water-cooled grinders and bench stones. You will learn a method of sharpening freehand, but you will also learn how to use honing guides – it’s quite OK if freehand honing remains an aspiration for the moment. Western dovetailing and cross-cut saws are great to use, but they also need to be super-sharp for accurate work, so we’ll look at sharpening a Dovetail Saw too.
Planing, Sawing and Chiselling are the three critical elements needed for shaping and jointing bits of wood together so you will be given some good solid technique and exercises to help you practice and conquer these vital skills. Setting up a plane to take gossamer-thin shavings, planing strategies to deal with misshapen pieces of timber, chopping and paring to a knife line with a chisel and bringing a bit of Zen into sawing to make it a focused, precise process.
To see how things are progressing you will prepare and join several pieces of wood together to make a cheese-board, this will give you a chance to get some calm, composed gluing under your belt, adding some tapered chamfers with a wonderful ‘finesse tool’, the spoke-shave, will complete this little project.
Jointing pieces of wood together is what woodwork is all about so we’ll cut some simple dovetails and mortice and tenons, combining this with a bit of plough pane work for some grooves and adding a bottom will complete an elegant ‘Water Biscuit Box’ to perfectly compliment your board.
What will you learn:
* Sharpening – fool-proof systems that produce razor-sharp blades
* Preparing a plane – fettling and setting up for gossamer-thin shavings
* Planing strategies – producing super flat wood with a mirror surface
* Chiselling – techniques for safe, accurate chopping and paring
* Sawing – Japanese and Western saws need different techniques to get the best out of them and Sawing is the key skill for cutting accurate dovetails
* Making friends with a "Finesse" tool - cutting a tapered chamfer with a Spokeshave
* Cheeseboard Exercise – Planing and gluing with some simple cramping tactics and a hand-cut chamfer
* A vital joint - simple through dovetails – sawing and chiselling practice to make this hugely important, elegant joint.
* Another vital joint - through, wedged mortice & tenon – another classic joint, the perfect way to make any frame, cut by hand.
* The plough plane – a hand-cut groove avoids screaming routers and makes you smile.
* Box exercise – Combining all the tools and techniques – this simple dovetailed box exercise is the perfect way to check progress.
Refunds are not available on this booking. Start dates may be amended on request.
The workshops are open from 8am until 7pm. Teaching hours are from 8.30am - 6pm giving the maximum value for money.
All courses are taught by John Lloyd
All tools and materials are provided. Students may wish to bring protective clothing and should wear sensible footwear.
Tea and coffee are provided. Students are recommended to bring a packed lunch, or if they prefer there is a sandwich shop, village shop and pub a short drive away.
We are always happy to help if you require assistance finding local accommodation.
5 days (9:00am to 6:00pm)
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Perfect combination of hand plane, chisel, and dovetail saw skill building. Exactly what I was looking for.
Having not done anything like this before, I feel I learnt a great deal. From the first morning until the final hour new skills and techniques were being shown and valuable knowledge passed on. I enjoyed John's thorough teaching approach and feel he probably covered more detail than anyone else could possibly fit into one week - things like; steel types, different kinds of oil, sharpening angles, blade steepness etc. All valuable info that I'd not really given much thought to previously. The workshop itself was a great place to be for the necessarily long days we spent there. Light and airy with plenty of good quality tools (and cake) to try. I also enjoyed looking around the other workshops a great deal. Seeing what everyone was up to was quite inspiring.
The course is well designed with the beginner in mind. I thought I knew how to use a plane and chisel, How wrong can you be? .John was very clear with his teaching and instructions and always ready to answer questions and help with both minor or major problems. Would highly recommend this course.
Well paced instruction, clear and understandable demonstrations and bags of time to practice. I never felt rushed. I liked John’s instructional style and gained a great deal of confidence from accomplishing to tasks and projects. The workshop and equipment were well thought out. I’m often a bit overwhelmed by the amount of stuff in some people’s workshops but John seemed to have just the right amount of kit which was in excellent condition. And I am left with a clear idea of the minimum amount of stuff I need. I really appreciated the ability to use the workshop in my own time before and after the instruction. I felt trusted and that I was treated as an adult. I liked the way we focussed on the important skills and didn’t spend unnecessary time on less productive things. I was really chuffed with the results...the box and board. And i feel really pleased with the skills involved in producing them. John gave us five full days! No skimping! I will and have recommended the course.
Professional level of instruction
The course is well explained and John is always there to help
Structured and good pace. Very thorough build up of the fundamental skills. Feel like I could completed the projects independently now using the skills covered.
The course was structured - everything we did led into another activity. It was almost like someone had thought about it. Although we didn't necessarily create anything for the first few days there were 'goals' along the way. The methods were taught in a way that was easy to follow (though not always to put into practise!). Tools provided were great, and we got the opportunity to try other variants. Nice cakes as well
Well paced, comprehensive and built skills through practical experiencing. I enjoyed the teaching style.
John is a very good teacher. I really liked the attention to detail, the focus on technique, and the comprehensive approach to understanding the tools and how they worked. The projects were well-judged, with the right balance of challenge and achievability.
Very informative and we gradually progressed through important stages. Informal and relaxed with good interaction between tutor and all participants.
John is a great teacher and the course content was spot on. Its also a great location for me and the home made cakes are a very nice plus!
Even with the bar set so high for beginners, the instruction was presented in such well organised and digestible bite size chunks, one was able to absorb and implement the information without feeling overwhelmed or too confused. The course and instruction far exceeded anything I could have reasonably expected
The knowledge and the way information was put across by John standout but the all round atmosphere was excellent. Please move to Carlisle so you are closer. To be honest it is the best week I have had.
Very good clear and staged instructions to allow skills to develop. The content was challenging but never to the extent that it's outcomes could not be achieved.
Lovely atmosphere, beautiful surroundings, great teacher and fantastic cake!
Well thought out. A good pace. Excellent venue. Beautifully laid out classroom. Good workbench. Very good explanations about tools and the different brands.
The course was taught at the right pace and the tuition was very good.
I liked everything about the course. Really. The people, the equipment, the course content, John's expertise,Sara Jane's cake. It was all brilliant. Very organized. I', struggling to think of anything which could be improved, so that must be a good sign!
I would just like to say a big thank you for the fantastic course that you ran last week, i can honestly say i haven't learnt that much in years and along with that had such fun.
You truly have an exceptional environment to learn and the camaraderie is second to none.
Again many, many thanks and hopefully i will get myself along to the long course in the not to distant future.