Furniture Making Workshop (Saturdays) - Nottingham Trent University

Finished product on the Furniture Making Workshop course


This practical course is for anyone who has an interest in furniture design and making.

No prior woodworking experience is necessary as you’ll be guided step-by-step through the different processes to create your own piece of furniture by an experienced tutor.

On this hands-on course, you’ll be introduced to a wide range of hand tools, machine tools and finishing techniques.

You’ll focus on the fundamentals of woodworking and gain a basic understanding of furniture making in a relaxed atmosphere.

On this course, you will:

• be inducted into our well-equipped product design workshops
• learn what checks to perform when selecting the right timber for your project
• use tools and equipment such as dimension saws, surface planers, thickness planers, spindle moulders, flatbed sanders, CNC and hand routers
• practise a variety of joints on your project and discuss the merits of each one
• build your confidence in using hand tools and woodworking equipment
• explore different finishing techniques that will make your piece truly unique.

You’ll be introduced to techniques through group demonstrations, samples, paper-based instructions and one-to-one feedback as your project develops.

What will you gain?

By the end of the course, you will have a thorough understanding of the different workshop processes, and a finished piece of furniture (a coffee table with a drawer) that shows how you have applied these processes to your project.

You will also leave with the confidence to develop your skills and apply your knowledge to further furniture and woodwork projects.

Level: Beginner

Entry requirement: No experience is required.

Where you’ll learn: You will be based in the School of Architecture, Design and Built Environment on the City Campus.

You'll receive training and advice on how to fully utilise the fantastic equipment in our specialist wood workshop including saws, sanders, planers and spray booth.

You’ll also have access to our library to use outside of your short course; whilst you can’t reserve or take away books, you are welcome to use them as a resource for research and reference.

Here's what some of our previous attendees said:

‘I've got lots of experience, skills, knowledge and enthusiasm to start woodworking from home. Carl was very knowledgeable, understanding, skilled and experienced, and he made me feel so welcome'

‘Great course, really good fun. I have practical wood skills and come away with a great table'

‘I was surprised how many different woodworking machines we got to use. Carl is a great teacher'

‘I've increased my knowledge of furniture making, have an understanding of various workshop machinery and confidence using timber as a material. I enjoyed how hands-on it was too. Carl is an amazing teacher; very welcoming and passionate' MK

‘Carl has been an excellent tutor - very thorough and good with safety. I've got confidence now to develop my skills'

‘I have always wanted to work with wood and learn new skills. Everything was brilliant - Carl is amazing! Great teacher, builds your confidence and makes sure you are safe using all the equipment

'All of the course was enjoyable, Carl gave us useful guidance to all the processes required, and did practical guidance to show us how to do the project. Would recommend it to anyone' RK

'Enabled me to realise that I can utilise new skills in future construction projects. Expert tuition from a fascinating furniture maker. A great way to pass the time during a pandemic!' JR

'Enjoyed all of it! Using all the big machines, making a project I can take home rather than just learning techniques'

'Carl's depth of knowledge, expertise and willingness to pass on skills was excellent. I particularly enjoyed how many machines we got to use. It was all fantastic! I wish I could keep coming back every Saturday' EJ

Tutor Profile: Carl Smith has over twenty years of experience making bespoke and mass production furniture, and is one of NTU’s longest-serving furniture makers.

He started his career as an award-winning apprentice for Stag Furniture, and eventually trained to full certification as a journeyman, winning many other awards along the way including the National Skills Builder winners’ title and Olympia Cup gold medallist title.

In his daily role, Carl advises students on the design and construction of prototype models. His knowledge and expertise is used on many UG and PG courses at NTU, including product and furniture design, architecture, interior architecture and visual and decorative arts.

Cancellation and a full refund can be obtained up to 4 weeks before the course starts. Start dates may be amended on request.

What's included in the price?

Five weeks of quality tuition with an experienced tutor, and materials included.

Certificate of attendance upon completion.

Maximum class size: 9


Creative Short Courses at Nottingham Trent University


50 Shakespeare Street

Suitable for

  • Adults
  • Hearing impaired
  • Limited mobility
  • Public transport
  • Seniors
  • Suitable for beginners
  • Vision impaired
  • Wheelchair users


5 weeks (10:00am to 4:00pm)

Silver Badge
What does this mean?

This craft course provider has been awarded Silver status for receiving 5 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.

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