This course is aimed at the woodworker who may have some experience but who wishes to learn how to tune or ‘fettle’ a basic woodworking tool-kit and how to sharpen blades to ‘razor sharp’ using a combination of grinder and bench stones. If you have never experienced the joy of working to very fine tolerances, using a plane that is well set up, with a razor sharp blade, this course will be a revelation! The main purpose of this course is to emerge with a set of tuned/sharp tools that will allow you to make furniture to a very high standard. Students are expected to bring along whatever woodworking tools they may have for evaluation and discussion. Advice will be given on buying new or used tools before or during the course, and various tools and sharpening systems will be available to try and buy. What you will learn: Tuning • Flattening and fine tuning the castings and various components that make up any plane • Setting up a cutting gauge and if necessary upgrading the blade Sharpening • Grinding bevels using bench grinder and whetstone grinder • Grinding / honing angles • Flattening bench stones • Honing techniques with bench stones – freehand and using honing guides • Making and using a strop • Techniques for sharpening shaped blades e.g. carving chisels, moulding planes • Sharpening a cabinet scraper The tools covered on this course will include the following: Bench plane – The No.05 or No.05½ ‘Jack Plane’ is probably the most useful. This plane will be your main workhorse, which despite its size, when tuned will be able to undertake remarkably fine work. Block plane – Useful for end grain and very delicate work. Shoulder Plane – Designed, not surprisingly, for trimming shoulders, but also very useful for trimming rebates and cutting mouldings by hand. Chisels – European or Japanese, depending on your personal preference. Cutting Gauge - Used primarily for marking out joints, such as dovetails, and also used in hand veneering. Cabinet Scraper – When sharpened properly, this simple tool can take the finest shavings from the wildest woods and veneers.

What's included in the price?

Teaching hours are from 8.30 am - 6pm with a break for lunch. The workshops are open from 8am until 7pm for unsupervised practice. Tea, coffee and cakes will be provided but students are requested to bring their own packed lunch.


2 days

Cancellation policy

Non-refundable - Refunds are not available


Over the 35 years I have been running a successful bespoke furniture making and antique restoration business, I have become passionate about passing on the skills and knowledge through my Woodworking School. We have designed a range of educational long and short courses that have traditional hand skills at their core, the key requirement being simply enthusiasm and a thirst for knowledge.

Suitable for

  • Adults
  • Weekends
  • Parking provided
  • Suitable for beginners
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Bankside Farm, Ditchling Common, Burgess Hill, East Sussex, RH15 0SJ