Make a chair

Duration: Thursday evenings over 10 weeks

Price: £385

Run by: Ben Willis
at Ben Willis Woodcraft


Stoney Lane Studios
Stoney Lane
Crystal Palace
Greater London
SE19 3BD

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About the Course

London’s only dedicated greenwood chair-making course…. Run over 10 weekday evenings, it’s a commitment, but at the end you’ll have made your own simple Windsor-style chair.

You’ll learn how to fashion fresh timber, straight from the log, into the chair’s main components – the legs, stretchers and spindles – using axe, drawknife and spokeshave. For the more adventurous, or for those who’ve taken part in my introductory courses, you can try your hand at turning these parts on a traditional foot-powered lathe. You’ll then make your seat, using traditional ‘bottoming’ tools including the adze and travisher. Then it’s time for some bending – using steam and a bit of magic to bend the comb (top bit) of your chair to a nice head-cradling curve.

After a bit of jiggery-pokery to put it all together, you’ll have made your own heirloom and probably won some admirers in the process.

Ben Willis was mentored by the green woodworking legend Mike Abbott. He has been making chairs and other green-wood furniture for over 10 years.

If booking with a CraftCourses voucher for part or all of the course fee, please fill in the contact form above or telephone us. Your voucher code must be provided at the point of booking.

What's included in the price?

Basic materials are covered, but there will be an additional charge for the seat material. This will be £20-30, depending on what I have in stock at the time.

Tea, coffee, biscuits and occasionally cake will be supplied.

I will be offering catch up sessions for £25 a go if you miss any classes, to make sure you get over the line!

Want to review this course?

Ben's stool course was a great taster and I later took the chair course as a follow up. It was the perfect antidote to the daily grind, fully recommend it to anyone whether you're a beginner or know more.

- - #10640

Ben’s chair course was absolutely brilliant. It’s a great way to spend the evening, learning about green woodworking and putting your new found knowledge into practice. Each session passed in the blink of an eye, all the while having a good laugh. Ben’s a great teacher, and if you get stuck will help you out as much as needed, all with a smile.

I’d recommend this without hesitation, and second the many positive comments in the other reviews.

- - #10275

What a great way to spend a series of evenings! Learning new skills, using only hand tools, with like minded people and a patient, knowledgeable teacher. Incredible! The beautiful hand finished chair is a great result. My toddler has found her new perch and loves sitting on the chair and feling its texture. I may have to return to finish a set...

A great gift to give or course to complete in the heart of Crystal Palace. I couldn't recommended Ben's course enough.

- - #10061

This really is a superb course for anyone who is interested in wood work. Ben is an excellent teacher who allows you to get on with the task independently whilst ensuring a watching eye is kept over each student to make sure you don't mess it up. The time just flies along and you come away with a creation which you can be really proud of.
During the course you will learn all sorts of techniques in Green wood working and you will become hooked- I have even bought my own tools! It is such a relaxing atmosphere in his workshop and I looked forward to my lessons each week and the progress we would make. 10/10!

- - #9391

I loved every second of my making my beautiful chair with Ben.

I'd highly recommend the course to anyone who is craving getting stuck in with a hands-on project and creating something truly special. Building the chair with only hand tools was hard work on the muscles at times, but incredibly satisfying and much more fun than the gym! The tools, techniques and and the different woods were all an absolute pleasure to work with and I've come away really proud of what I achieved. Thanks again Ben!

If you're umm-ing and arr-ing about signing up, just go for it, it really is a brilliant course.

- - #9226

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- - #9064

My wife encouraged me to sign up to an introductory green woodworking course last June, where I met Ben and found a real interest in woodworking that I had no experience in. He is a great teacher and got the best out of us and we all came away with a spatula and rolling pin. Fast forward through the 2 weekend stool making class and recent 10 week chair making course and I've come away not only with some nice pieces of furniture, but an appreciation and understanding of working with different types of wood, some very cool hand tools, and a new love of building with my hands from scratch. Whether you want to take on a completely new challenge and set of skills, have a bit of good fun, and/or add a bit of nice furniture to your collection - I highly recommend this course with Ben!

- - #7722

It all started when my children bought me the stool making course for fathers day. It was great fun. Ben is an excellent teacher with a wealth of knowledge. He is also very personable and made sure everyone got the time and attention they needed to complete their project. After two Saturdays I came away with a great stool and trust for more.
I had been searching for a creative outlet for years now and this really fitted the bill. So much so I booked myself on the chair making course and loved every minute of it. I have come away confident enough to start making chairs on my own. Ben continued to be a help after the course with reminders and tips via email. I don't think there is anything else like it in London.

- - #7612

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Course Start Dates

Course dates are flexible; please get in touch for the next available date.

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