Make a Windsor-style stool



This course will run over two consecutive Saturdays between 10am and 5pm and involve the creation of a beautiful three-legged Windsor-style stool using traditional chair-making tools and techniques.

You'll learn how to split freshly felled timber straight from the log, then fashion the legs of your stool with a variety of simple hand tools such as the axe, drawknife and spokeshave. You'll then use an adze and travisher to shape a comfortable saddle. This process is called bottoming. No smirking now!

Finally, you'll be taken through the process of assembling the final piece, involving precision drilling and the construction of some super-strong wedged mortise and tenon joints.

Then it’s yours to take home and show off to friends and family, and hopefully sit on occasionally when you're not sneaking admiring glances at it when no one's looking!

The course is run in a fun, relaxed environment in the Stoney Lane Studios, a working community of artists and craftspeople in the bustling Crystal Palace area of south London.

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?

Basic materials will be supplied, but there will be a small additional charge for the timber for the seat. This will depend on what I have in stock at the time, but is likely to be £15-30.

Copious quantities of tea, coffee and biscuits (and occasionally cake) will be supplied throughout the day. Please bring a packed lunch.


Ben Willis at Ben Willis Woodcraft

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

Suitable for

  • Engagement, birthdays & anniversaries
  • Public transport
  • Suitable for beginners


2 days (10:00am to 5:00pm)

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What does this mean?

This craft course provider has been awarded Platinum status for receiving 50 or more 5 star ratings from previous students.

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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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Shyam - - #27497

I had a great time. Ben gives clear and interesting descriptions and demonstrations and helps you just the right amount. It’s good fun trying out all the different tools. Time flies! I love my new stool, too.

Steve H - - #27470

I really enjoyed this course - learnt loads and got a great little stool at the end of it. Ben really knows his stuff and communicates it very well; friendly, patient and just an all round good guy. His workshop is well set up too. I will hopefully be doing more with him soon. Thoroughly recommended.

John - - #27450

Incredible fun and rewarding weekend. Ben is a fantastic teacher - extremely knowledgeable, patient and attentive. Not to mention a really nice bloke. Learned an awful lot and took home something I am proud to say I made. I'll certainly be returning to take another course soon. Cheers Ben!

Michael Whiteside - - #20177

This course is one of the most brilliant and enjoyable I have done. My wife, Liz, bought me the course for Christmas as she had enjoyed it so much- and that says it all: I have worked with wood before, but learnt many new-to-me traditional skills working from the 'green' chunk of tree we started with. Liz on the other hand, had never so much as cut a piece of wood before, and yet we both have a lovely chair that Ben taught us to craft.

Ben is a very skilled communicator, teacher and craftsperson, who guides you through the traditional process and tools to make your own gorgeous chair or table from - well- a chunk of tree. My group of 6 was a mix of men and women from of novice to experienced; we all enjoyed the course and came out with good looking chairs that we can be proud of, thanks to Ben's teaching.

I highly recommend Ben's course, especially if you want some time out from the busy world, immersed in a focused, creative and rewarding process.
Michael, Feb 2019

Jeremy - - #18949

The course was fantastic. I entered as a complete beginner to woodwork but Ben was a great teacher and was able to guide me through everything meaning I managed to take home an amazing looking stool. I'd thoroughly recommend to anyone.

Philip Durrant - - #18497

This was a really fun course and Ben is a great teacher. I'd recommend it to anyone with an interest in learning about wood working. And now I have a stool that I've been showing off to everyone!

Joe Evans - - #18264

This was a superb course. Ben was a great teacher - clear, patient and highly knowledgeable. He created a warm and supportive atmosphere, and kept everyone bouyant and motivated. The process was well-paced over the two days, with no sense that you were either being rushed or waiting around. All of the tools and materials were of the highest quality and the finished product is beautiful, functional and an object to be proud of for years to come. I’d recommend this course, and Ben as a teacher, without hesitation.

Nico - - #15962

Brilliant course. I am very inexperienced at woodworking and a pretty bad DIYer, so it is to Ben's credit that I managed to bring home such a lovely object! Ben is very patient and spend time with you to be sure that you are not lost. All his explanations are very clear and I've learned a bit about trees.
I strongly recommend this course, I now everyday sit on this very comfortable stool I have done with my own hands, great stuff!!

Paul Brophy - - #14274

This is an excellent course. This was my first attempt at woodworking and I am delighted with my finished stool. Ben is a great teacher and the sessions in his workshop are really enjoyable, relaxed with a healthy dose of hard work.

Lee Umney - - #10768

Absolutely loved this course! the time went so quickly. Great atmosphere. Nice surroundings for lunch. Ben is a great, patient and approachable teacher.
Could not ask for more.
Highly recommend this course or any of Ben's - you will be amazed by what you start off with and what you go home with!

Andrew J - - #10542

Thoroughly enjoyed the course - learnt a lot about working with wood and using traditional wood tools (and pleased to say I still remember the names of many of them). I also liked the fact we start with green wood (i.e. straight from the tree) and at the end of the course you have crafted an awesome stool (which my kids have put to good use). Keen to sign-up to the chair course next.

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