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Vital jigs & really useful tools

Vital jigs & really useful tools

About the Course

Although we spend a lot of time and energy perfecting our ‘Vital Cabinetmaking Hand Skills’, when making things from wood, we also need some ‘Vital Cabinetmaking Jigs’ to help us in our quest for consistent precision and accuracy. There are also some ‘Really Useful Tools’ that, apart from being ‘Really Useful’, often aren’t available to buy, and in any case, they’re fun to make and really rewarding to use.

Included in this course is our ‘Ultimate End Grain Shooting Board’, this jig has been tweaked and refined over almost 30 years, to a point where I am now pretty happy with it. I’m not saying it’s the fanciest, most complex, shooting board that’s out there, it’s actually quite simple, but it’s very carefully thought out, has some cunning features, and works like a dream. To make this jig even more useful, there are a couple of add-ons, for dealing with mitres, including the curiously named ‘Donkey’s Ear’.

Add to these, jigs that make aligning dovetails or planing thin things a breeze; wooden tools for letting in inlay and checking components for twist, and in just 5 days you will have managed to enhance your life as a woodworker whilst also improving your speed and accuracy.

What you will learn:

How to make and use a comprehensive set of jigs & hand-made tools including:

Long grain shooting board – Vital aid for accurately planing the narrow edges of thin material straight and square

End grain shooting board – We’ve been tweaking and refining this shooting board for years, the current Mk 6 is probably about as good as an end grain shooting board can possibly get

Donkey’s ear –Not the repurposing of equine body parts for the benefit of woodworkers, the ‘Donkey’s Ear’ is a supplementary jig that is used in conjunction with the End
Grain Shooting Board to accurately cut mitres on narrow edges.

45 degree jig – Not quite as exciting a prospect as modifying a small horse’s hearing equipment, but still a very useful aid for accurately planing mitres (also used with the Shooting Board).

Dovetail alignment – A simple and effective way of keeping everything lined up when transferring the shape of the tails onto the end of the Pin-Board. (If you’re in the habit of doing things backwards, you could modify this jig for transferring the Pins onto the Tail-Board, but I wouldn’t recommend this rather awkward approach)

Planing thin things – Another very simple jig which could have life changing consequences if you find the process of planing very skinny pieces of wood rather traumatising.

Scratch stock – A traditional woodworking tool that’s been around for hundreds of years. This is a really basic tool that is capable of very delicate work, like letting in sinuous strips of line inlay, or cutting simple mouldings. This falls into the ‘Finesse Tool’ category, as it requires a gentle sensitive touch, in use, but it can also be used to hit things with. Not a sophisticated tool in any way, but still in use in many furniture-making workshops, it is capable of giving great joy when you’ve made friends with it.

Winding sticks

If you will be redeeming a CraftCourses gift voucher on this course, the voucher code must be provided at the point of booking.

What's included in the price?

All tools and materials will be provided. Coffee and tea will be supplied, please bring a packed lunch and your enthusiasm!


John Lloyd at John Lloyd Fine Furniture
Bankside Farm
Ditchling Common
Burgess Hill
East Sussex
RH15 0SJ
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Suitable for

  • Adults

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5 days (9:00am to 6:00pm)

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