I have just completed the 4 day beginners course. I have to say that I am quietly proud of the stand I left the workshop with yesterday. I would have never believed what could be achieved in such a short period. Ciaran is a very experienced, highly effective and likeable tutor. He has a wealth of knowledge (and biscuits) that he is more than happy to share with the students. He allows all participants to progress at their own pace in a superbly fitted out workshop and training room.
Starting with the basics of woodworking, you will quickly become competent with a saw, plane and chisels (not as straightforward as you may think). By day 3 you will be confidently hand cutting mortice and tenon joints (prepare for some aching muscles). On day 4 your project comes together in a way you would not have thought possible.
If you have any old woodworking tools, bring them along - I found some old rusting, blunt and chipped chisels in the bottom of my toolbox, nothing special just cheap DIY Chain-store tools which I thought were only good for the bin. In a very short time Ciaran had them cleaned up and sharpened to the point where the blade literally shaved hairs off your arm! Now they are not 'cheap old chisels'.... they are 'my' chisels.
I spent a lot of time looking at the many woodworking courses available before settling on Cheshire Woodworking. It is 250 miles from where I live, but I know I made the right choice. If you are reading this, you are probably thinking about booking. The best advice I can give is book a course, you will not go wrong choosing a Cheshire Woodworking course
Shaun Sams - - #28996
My girlfriend and I had a great time at the introduction to woodwork course. Ciarán talked us through the hand tools that we'd be using and methods to help us build our own piece. During the day we were given valuable guidance as well as generous amounts of tea and biscuits!
With Ciarán's help we ended up with a great piece to showcase what we learned and the confidence to tackle future woodwork projects at home. I will certainly be recommending the course to my friends.
Luke Petty - - #28740
I can’t thank Ciaran enough. I’ve taken so much away from this course and picked up a lot of new skills for life.
The workshop is such a great place in which to learn, with plenty of space and lots of tools to practice with. His course is really relaxed and very informative and you never feel stressed or worried you will mess up as he’s always on hand to help.
Anyone who has ever thought of learning to work with wood should look no further than this course as you will learn a lot in a short period from a brilliant instructor.
Rich - - #28196
This intensive beginners course is superb and Ciaran is the best instructor I've ever come across. I really cannot rate the experience high enough.
Where to start ...... first Ciaran himself ... he is pleasant, friendly, attentive and so good at explaining and demonstrating techniques. The course has a maximum of six people on it and we each have our own bench and tool set. This is a perfect number to create a great atmosphere and allow Ciaran to spend time with each of us individually. You start with an intro to the basic woodworkers tool kit and learn how to sharpen blades. Then move on to sawing and planning and by the end of day one you're cutting a mortice and tenon joint.
On day two you start to make a display stand (similar to a light weight bar stool). Over the next three days Ciaran teaches you a large number of techniques which are used in its construction - measuring and marking out, squaring up, cutting, planning, chiselling, jointing, sanding, gluing, clamping, oiling and thoughout you learn how to handle all the tools correctly. It's so easy when someone with his great skills and communication shows you how. Our group arrived with varying degrees of experience ranging from none at all, through to long forgotten lessons at school to occasional home diy exponent. We all made an attractive stand of equal quality and amazed ourselves with what we'd achieved.
Throughout the course Ciaran made us regular cups of tea, supplied endless packets of all sorts of biscuits and took us to lunch every day at the White Lion. We all arrived at 8:30 and started straightaway. Most days we finished about 17:45 and the last day about 18:30 but time flew by and I was on such a roll I could have stayed all night. Ciaran stays with you every minute of every day. You are totally immersed in a world of woodworking - Ciaran has his own workshop next door to the class workshop and he shows you bespoke pieces he is working on and discusses wood selection, hardwood suppliers, how to buy wood for your own projects and where to buy tools and what to look out for.
I strongly recommend that before you set off for the course you search your home tool box (and any that the family may have) and take old tools along to show Ciaran. He is an enthusiast for old tools and emphasises that they are often much better quality than modern equivalents and urges you not to throw them away. He'll show you how to clean them up and sharpen them and during the odd quiet moment you can use the tools around you to sharpen blade and restore them.
Above all you'll come away with great confidence and enthusiasm and eager to tackle projects that you never dreamt of being able to tackle. I found it important to take notes throughout the course otherwise I'd never remember the steps and many tips that Ciaran provided.
Go for it - if you have the slightest interest in woodworking and would like to explore whether it could become a meaningful hobby, then book onto this course. You don't need to have done the one day beginners course. Fantastic experience, thank you Ciaran and thank you Cathy, Loz, Rich, Iggy, and Chris. 28.1.20
Mike Baldwin - - #27721
Ciarán is an excellent teacher, a very talented man, and a lovely chap.
I did a 2 day beginners wood turning course with him and absolutely loved it. I learned so much in a short space of time and feel confident to start my own wood turning projects on my own lathe.
Niall Castelli - - #27551
Just attended the two day course in woodturning with Ciaran at Cheshire Woodworking. It was an absolute treat - enjoyable, informative and friendly. Quite amazing how quickly skills can be transferred by a good tutor. I now have the confidence to start turning on my own...… just need to get a lathe and kick-start what I hope will be an enjoyable and rewarding pastime! Would thoroughly recommend this course.
Paul Welsh - - #26507
I jumped straight into the Intermediate course with a little trepidation having not done the Beginners course first but I needn't have worried, Ciarán is an excellent teacher. He takes you through each process and is always there to guide/rescue when needed. Best of all you come out of it with a real piece of furniture (a coffee table)!
Mark Thornton - - #24902
I have just completed the four days beginners course with Ciarán, and I have to say it was the best birthday/Christmas present I have ever had.
Ciarán is a charming man and a natural teacher, his love of wood and working with it is infectious, his knowledge is extensive and he seems to genuinely enjoy sharing that knowledge with his pupils.
As a complete beginner I was delighted with Ciarán's patience, guidance and encouragement. With his help I created a table that I would never have been able to make, even in my wildest dreams, without him.
I learned so much on this course from how to sharpen and bring old tools back to life, to how to make a mortice and tennon, along with many simple little tips to make the running of the workshop more efficient without having to spend a fortune.
I was also lucky enough to see some of Ciarán's bespoke commissions, he is obviously very proud of his work and quite rightly so. His attention to detail is minute and it shows in the quality of his work, which is quite exceptional and beautiful.
If you are looking at this course, I recommend, without hesitation, that you do it. It has given me confidence and the pleasure I get by looking at my table and thinking "I made that!" is priceless.
Thank you Ciarán!
Four day intensive beginners woodwork course - - #22662
Excellent course. Ciaran led us through the various works needed in an easy to understand method and was always there to help you if you were having any problems. Friendly and sociable atmosphere. Above all it has given me confidence to go off to design and make my own items of furniture
David Henton - - #22614
I cannot recommend this course highly enough. I really enjoyed the beginners course and the intermediate builds on this. The coffee table we made looks very professional. It has 24 joints of 4 different types and required time and patience to build. Ciaran is an excellent tutor and takes you through each stage really well. He is always on hand to give help, and is a very amiable chap with a fund of stories. His workshop is very well equipped and the banter with other course participants good fun. The walk over the fields to the White Lion for lunch makes a refreshing break before getting back to the workbench. I have now got my own workshop equipped, and ordered my first batch of hardwood from Potters in Northwich. I am building a round kitchen table using the techniques Ciaran taught us. If you want to get the confidence to start your own projects then do this course.
Rob Stephenson - - #21889
I would highly recommend this course.
I completed the intermediate course early in 2018, after the beginners course in 2017. Both courses were great. Really informative and fun, but hard work! It was amazing to take home the end result along with new skills.
Ciarán is a fantastic teacher, and a lovely bloke. Organised, patient and unassuming, which makes the course great for complete newbies, or hobbyists with a bit of experience already.
The workshop is a welcoming environment (although make sure to wrap up in the colder months), and the tools he has for students to work with are great.
Craig Evans - - #19423
A really great experience. Learning to work with wood is one of my bucket list skills and this woodworking course by Ciarán at Cheshire Woodworking launched me on my way.
The course was a great blend of theoretical and practical - Ciarán firstly introduces you to a topic, explains the details, answers questions, performs a demonstration and then sets you off to practice. He guides you step-by-step through everything you need to know, from tools to techniques, to wood types and joints, etc. Every question was answered! This all culminates in you building a piece of furniture.
I was a total novice but there were a couple of more experienced students in my class and they expressed that, like me, they were constantly learning. Ciarán managed the class so as to ensure that no one was left waiting or wanting - each individual progressed at their own pace.
The class was a mixture of men and women of various ages, all of whom were very friendly, fun and chatty – there was a real sense of comradery in the class.
Ciarán is a lovely guy, very friendly and welcoming. He developed an immediate rapport with all students. Most importantly, his skills as both a craftsman and teacher were equally impeccable. He has a few great Irish turns of phrase that add to the enjoyment of the course – keep an ear out!
The greatest testaments to the quality of the course are that:
a) every day the students arrived early and departed late because we were enjoying ourselves so much – the days fly by!!
b) I will be booking onto another course and I know that other students from my course are doing the same.
Cheers to Ciarán
Nathan - - #19165
Such a brilliant course! Excellent teaching, well-structured and guaranteed to equip you with a good set of core skills and make you feel confident about undertaking projects of your own. Ciarán is so patient and has a wealth of knowledge and expertise, and clearly loves to share them. My fellow participants were also great - we bonded quickly and were soon cheering each other on as we progressed. Some of us (me) were slower than others, but that didn’t seem to be a problem, and I never felt as though I was falling behind - just going at my own pace.
All that, and I now have a lovely table! I’m already planning my next course....
Mary Hollinshed - - #19146
I have just completed this course and cannot rate it highly enough. Ciaran is a lovely chap with a real passion for his craft. His gun boxes are outstanding examples of his ability. The course is very intensive and we produced a very nice tall table. I have done basic woodwork with power tools but now know the difference between this and real carpentry. The facilities and equipment provided are great and the lunches at The White Lion very sociable. I have already booked myself on the intermediate course and am going to upgrade my tool kit. Thanks again Ciaran.
Rob Stephenson - - #18329