"Great course.. Blew away the myths that had been ingrained all those years ago in school woodwork. With the right tools, sharpened, and set up the right way.. and patience, it can be done! Flat and square.... For me, that was a victory. This is a great introductory course. Taking time to understand the materials, and more importantly the tools, and how to set them correctly is as it says... fundamental. Aidan is a great mentor.. his relaxed approach, combined with a huge knowledge, and a clear enthusiasm for his work means its an easy environment to learn in. I'd definitely recommend this as a starting point for anyone that thinks they have an interest in woodworking. It may get expensive with a new workshop fit out :o), but to I'm going back for Fundamentals, part 2 as soon as I can..."
"This is the first course of this type, or any, since leaving school, that I have done and I think I chose wisely. Really informative and also hands on and finished with my very own masterpiece !!
The processes, reasoning behind them and the use and handling and care for tools was really good and presented in a relaxed style within the small group but also one to one when needed.
I would highly recommend if you are looking to start a journey into fine woodworking or any type of woodworking.
Looking forward to my next course with Aiden."
"Having completed this course and the fundamentals part 1, I can wholeheartedly recommend it. I had no experience with hand tools or joinery and thoroughly enjoyed the pace of the course. The atmosphere is very relaxed.
All the tools are explained, not just in use, but what makes a good tool, how to sharpen them, what to look out for when buying regardless of budget.
I will be going back for more."
"I’m a mature, amateur woodworker looking to improve my skills and pick a few brains on the way. Aidan’s course more than met my aims and ambitions, by providing insight, guidance and encouragement in this most traditional of woodworking disciplines. Initially I was concerned that four days working with dovetails would be too much for me; it soon became apparent the combination of the environment, the company and, not least, the tuition made it a safe place to land. With sufficient interest we can learn the principles and variations involved in dovetail joints from the myriad publications and media available to us; Aidan takes the time to make it a reality, adding useful hints, tips and more general background information along the way – a very valuable addition. Past the theory, the emphasis is on practical application and we were able to complete a number of joints, from marking out to gluing-up and finishing, and even had homework to complete. Lest you are concerned that the only thing you come away with is a pile of scrap for kindling I can confirm that an attractive Dark Oak and Yew ‘project’ now graces my home. In summary; time very well spent."
"I am currently training to become a furniture maker and just graduated from university. I have also completed Aidan's fundamentals part 1 course which I recommend you do. This course was the perfect stepping stone for me to boost my career and enable me to build a porfolio up. The course was well layed out over the 4 days with some time during the week (between the 2 weekends) to practice some joints in my own time, which really helped the constancy and repeatability of my joints. Aidan is very knowledgeable in all areas of dovetails giving his option of ways of completing a task and why he teaches it he says he does. Aidan also touches on other relevant tasks surrounding the the joint such as sharpening and buying tools which is also a big help. I would recommend this course to anyone who is very interested in furniture making whether they are starting out like me or want to learn something new. I think the best place to train in the south. Thanks very much"
"A great course & well run by Aiden.
The bulk of the course is how to sharpen, set up and use a hand plane combined with lots of other helpful tips around selecting wood, choosing tools to meet a budget and lots of other incidentals.
I'm now looking forward to the next course."
"This two day course was a revelation. Aidan is a brilliant teacher with both the theory and practice, and endlessly patient with his practical support and willingness to answer all sorts of questions. I came away with an enthusiasm to put what I'd learned into effect, knowing that Aidan will be happy to respond to emergency cries for advice."
"I thoroughly enjoyed the Fundamentals of Furniture Making two day course in March. Aiden was very welcoming and his enthusiasm for, and knowledge of, the subject was both impressive and inspiring. The tools and set up of the workshop were of a very high quality and you benefit from a lot of one on one assistance throughout the course.
I found that by the end of the second day I had learnt a lot and to have a finished piece was really rewarding. I would recommend this course to anyone who has an interest in learning more about fine furniture making."
"I attended the fundamental course , part one at the end of February for two days and thoroughly enjoyed my time at Aidan's workshop. He is a very skilful and patient tutor explaining all aspects of what is involved in the weekend project and giving very good practical demonstrations . I shall definitely be returning for more courses as soon as possible and I would recommend Aidan and his training course to anyone . I had very limited carpentry, furniture making knowledge before going on this course but never felt out of my depth in his workshop at all ."
"I attended the fundamentals part 1 course and thoroughly enjoyed the whole weekend.
Aiden is hugely knowledgable/helpful and a great teacher. We learned lots of skills and techniques needed to begin fine furniture making from planing and cutting to precise measuring and finishing.
As well as the info expected from the course Aiden also teaches you about other important parts of fine furniture making including finding and selecting wood, buying and maintaining tools and anything else you would like to know more about.
I cannot recommend this course highly enough, if you have an interest in learning about fine furniture making then Aiden is the man to see!"
"I recently completed the 2 day course and echo the views of all the other reviews; the course is excellent and well worth doing for anyone who holds an interest in woodworking (or fancies trying something new). Aidan has clearly put a lot of thought into structuring the course to ensure that it covers key skills and so that participants leave with the practical knowledge to enable them to undertake projects of their own. I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the work I was able to produce with Aidan's guidance and will certainly be planning to take further classes with Aidan in the future, as well as pursuing my own projects. There is a good balance of practical 'learning by doing' with explanations of important considerations when undertaking your own projects. A highly recommended course."
"I attended Aiden's 2 day course in October and it is first class. You do not have to have any prior experience to do this course. All you need is the interest. Aiden explains everything carefully, is a good teacher, demonstrates well, is patient and you will get hands on experience very early on the first day. He spends time with each person on the course and keeps an eye on each person's progress. He is also generous with his time. As another reviewer has said he really is a lovely guy. He clearly is very skilled and has an infectious enthusiasm for his subject. I was amazed that with his teaching I could produce a smooth square piece of work to very fine tolerances. I was also amazed that I could do all this using only a hand plane and be given the confidence in using this tool to produce a beautiful finish. I learned a massive amount over the two days; not only about the techniques of using a hand plane, dismantling and reassembling it, sharpening the blade and adjusting it, but also about the differences of different timbers, how it is cut, and moisture levels. If you want a useful introduction to this craft, this is the course to go on."
"The fundamentals course really covers the basics of working with a hand plane and other hand tools. Aidan teaches the techniques required to make a piece of wood flat, square and straight. This is all achieved only using hand tools and it is brilliant for anyone hoping to make furniture who doesn't have the knowledge or an extensive workshop.
I've finished the course with the confidence and basic skills to be able to attempt more complicated projects. The thorough use, sharpening and application of the plane really leaves you feeling comfortable with it
Aidan's knowledge is extensive and he is happy to share everything he knows. We picked his brain throughout the course. You leave with a smart chopping board that tests and demonstrates all the skills you have learnt. A great course and thoroughly recommended!"
"Well Aiden is clearly a true master of his craft. As anyone that has been on one of his courses will confirm he is a genuinely lovely bloke too, making you feel completely at ease even when faced with the seemingly daunting task of producing work to the same standard as his. I am very proud of the accuracy that with Aiden's guidance i was able to achieve, with only a few simple good quality hand tools. Over the weekend I really learnt to appreciate the characteristic nuances and natural beauty of the different types of wood provided. I would very highly recommend this course to anyone of any age and skill level who values quality and accuracy, as i have no doubt that any woodwork produced using Aiden's techniques will be treasured not only by the creator but also by many generations to come."
"Having attended Aidan's 2 day course I completed a piece of work with a plane that I would not have thought I would get on with and enjoy so much. I now want one to add to my small collection of tools! The course was excellent and Aidan was professional throughout, his knowledge and skill was enlightening. He clearly loves his work and encouraged us all to achieve his high standard of craftsmanship. I encourage you to take up the challenge and attend one of Aidan's courses, you'll love it. I will be booking another course in the near future."
"I attended Aiden's two day weekend course in March 2016. I did this because as a hobby I like to restore furniture and I was finding that I struggled when I came to anything structural. Most important, Aiden is an excellent trainer. He clearly is a very skilled craftsman but it doesn't always follow that skilled crafts people can put it across to students. Aiden most definitely can. He was very patient, calm and he had to be with me! I found the two day course quite intense; there was a lot to do in 16 hours but I certainly learnt the importance of ensuring my work was completely square, flat and smooth! It was also useful to learn how to use, dismantle and sharpen a plane.
Well done Aiden."
"I attended a 1 week course with Aidan during November 2015 as a 25 year old looking to potentially moving into the industry. My only prior knowledge of the craft was what I had read online so I was eager to gain a realistic perspective on the craftsmanship and industry itself. Aidan's course gave me just that. I think the unique thing about this workshop is not only the authenticity, but also the personal attention given to each individual. I had a lot of questions, and I left on the Friday with everything I needed to know. Whether people want to go into this industry, take it up as a hobby or just do the course to do some much needed hands-on craftsmanship then I see no better valued scheme out there"
"My wife bought me a two day Fundamentals of Furniture Making Part 1 course as a birthday gift and after having had no woodwork training since school 30 years ago I was a little nervous about what to expect. I needn't have been as Aidan is a really friendly and encouraging teacher, freely sharing his incredible knowledge and experience and with only a small group of pupils on each course he has the time to help each person individually as and when needed.
My thanks to Aidan for an incredible course and I will be booking further courses with him - my ability with a hand plane after just two days amazed me which is down to Aidan's ability to pass on a very small fraction of his obvious skill and passion for his craft."
"I went for a weekend part one introduction course and it was wonderful. It was my first foray into furniture making and Aiden was a fantastic teacher. He explained steps easily, and really made sure we understood the key concepts very well. I would recommend him to anyone that is interested in furniture making, and I am looking forward to coming back to do part two when I get the opportunity."
"I attended the 5-day version of this course, which was at a more leisurely pace and included a lot more background information, such as types of wood, saw cuts, finishing and buying tools. The workshop and equipment has clearly been thoughtfully set up, with each student having their own set of good-quality tools. We were a small group allowing Aidan to spend plenty of time with each of us. I had a great time and was amazed at the quality of my breadboard, despite no experience or apparent skill. Aidan is a great teacher who is clearly in love with his vocation and an inspiration to all."
"I did a 5 day introduction fundamentals course with Aiden towards the end of last year (2015). I hadn't really done any carpentry before but really enjoyed the course and gained a really good understanding of everything covered on the course. I hope to attend some of Aiden's other courses. He's a great teacher and a really nice person to spend some time with. I would highly recommend doing any of Aiden's courses."
"My weekend working with Aiden was an illuminating woodworking experience.
On Saturday morning we were given a rough 2" slab of Ash which apparently we were going to turn into a square, flat beautiful bread board using only hand tools !
On Sunday evening when i looked at the exquisite mirror like finish of the board i just thought to myself 'if i'd been shown this on Saturday morning and was told that i'd be making it, i just wouldn't have believed it was possible'.
Would recommend this course to anyone."
"I attended the Part 1 course in November 2014 and thoroughly enjoyed myself. Aiden is clearly an expert in his field but freely shares his extensive knowledge with enthusiasm and humour. I am in my late 40's and had not turned my hand to any carpentry since school but came away confident that I could do what the course had set out to teach me. I fully expect to attend all of Aiden's other course offerings."
"I had the pleasure of attending a woodworking course in September 2015. I'm a DIYer and I needed to improve my skills to undertake a big project at home. During the weekend we looked at the skills I needed and also planned the best way to tackle my project. Aidan was flexible in allowing me to structure what we focused on to most beneficial. Aidan is a great teacher and a real craftsman with what can be achieved in woodwork. Highly recommend a course with Aidan to anyone looking to improve their skills."