Our one-month woodworking course is perfect for those who are looking to get into woodworking seriously but who can’t find the time to commit to a longer course. You will learn all of the basics, the same as you would for our three, six and twelve-month courses. These entry-level projects have been created for both beginners and the more experienced to bring your woodwork skills up to the high level of craftsmanship needed within the industry. This is the “basics” for those of you seeking professional standard.
You will be surrounded by like-minded people who all share the same passion as you, are focused on crafting beautiful pieces of furniture from wood, and also know how to have a laugh.
“The culture of Rowden is to bring hardworking and enthusiastic people together to pass on to them the best quality mentoring and traditional arts & crafts skills. This, along with expert guidance on the fundamental carpentry skills, is what we offer in our month-long woodworking courses.”
– David Savage
The one month woodworking course will introduce you to basic skills with hand tools used within the workshop. You are encouraged to take your time and get each one right to Rowden standard before moving on to the next challenge. Each project will be assessed and will contribute to your qualification at the end of the month.
This project is great as you learn to join wood seamlessly whilst learning skills such as how to plane, pare and mark out your wood correctly. The fit of the two pieces is challenging, either it is right or it’s not. You will be left with more of an understanding of how to use your tools correctly.
Winding sticks are a useful tool in the workshop, making sure you can work out the twists in your timber so that it can aid you in later projects. Here you are planing to a specification and inlaying one dark timber into a blonde wood. When it comes to finishing these with the polish, you learn how to keep the dark dust from contaminating the blonde timber.
Not only will this be handy for cutting your bread in the mornings, it will also require you to learn very accurate marking and planing techniques to create a hexagonal component. You will learn to plane straight, plane on end grain and plane diagonally. You will have to make the job dead square then create a hexagon and chamfer a 30mm wide edge whilst maintaining a high level of accuracy. If you loose accuracy it shows very clearly where the wide chamfer meets or does not meet.
Until now you will have been not hampered by dimensions. You can make it smaller if you have to. Now make a second smaller cheese board – same design, same techniques – but to fit exactly within the chamfers made on your larger breadboard.
A mallet is a quintessential tool for any cabinetmaker. The project was developed to improve our uses of chisels. Here you will be tasked to accurately pare a tapered fitted handle with another face, to be dead flat. The flat working surfaces of the mallets are the main challenge. A wide area hand paired with a bench chisel, this is an eye-watering task!
The Mortice & Tenon is a joinery technique used throughout woodworking history. We use a tusk tenon version of this for the students’ bench so that they can move it around and take it apart more easily. We ask all students to make a through wedged mortice and tenon joint. This wedging turns a simple glue joint into a much stronger mechanical joint. You will be asked to take two pieces of timber, mark them out, cut the joint and bring it together in a perfectly fitting wedged tenon joint.
Can you cut a good dovetail? You should be able to after this. Dovetailed together these components tests your sawing, marking out and fitting of one part to another. Dovetailing fairly thick components tests your sawing and paring accuracy.
This project crops up in short and long woodworking courses. We expect a one week student to be able to do it, but not as well as student who has had a month’s training and bench practice and certainly not as well as someone who is halfway through the year course. It’s all about quality. You will probably get the box finished in a month – but it depends on you. But don’t rush, this is your opportunity to get these tasks right, made as well as you can. If you are ahead of schedule, you can also make a fine small dovetail tray to fit inside your splendid french polished box. The perfect way to prove to anyone that you now know a bit about furniture making. See Student boxes.
During your month-long course, you will be encouraged to take part in the weekly drawing and design classes run by Ed Wild.