All courses are held in our 'woodland workshop', that is cool and shaded in summer, cosy and warm in winter. It is peaceful and quiet all year round - guaranteed to help you feel you really are 'getting away from it all'. Please note that all our courses have a minimum age of eighteen.
Guests have the use of a set of very high quality tools and we provide all the materials needed to complete the projects. Our materials are personally and locally sourced from sustainable, managed woodland.
Our woodworking courses specialise in 'green woodworking' skills. Green woodworking means both green as in 'unseasoned wood' and green as in environmentally preferable to the alternatives. A well-managed woodland is a perfect sustainable resource.
Green woodworking offers the opportunity to see the whole process from start to finish - from log to end product. Being unseasoned, it is soft and easy to work with hand tools and working this way offers a unique insight into the properties of wood. It also ensures anyone can do it!
The hand craft techniques and the types of wooden equipment we teach and use are both ancient, as well as being dust free and quiet. Guests have use of all the high quality tools required, sharpened prior to each course. Green wood is also affordable and readily available. The scale of the timber that is extracted for the good management of a woodland is too small for economical conversion into planks. The timber that we use would be otherwise destined for the log pile and has little or no commercial value apart from being cut into firewood. However, the species of tree that we use are the beautiful hardwoods that any other cabinetmaker would routinely use in fine furniture.
When using green wood the logs are cleft (split along the grain) rather than sawn and so we are working much more with the nature of the wood. As a result of this cleaving process, the grain runs along the length of the piece whereas a sawn piece of wood will usually have the grain running diagonally across it. This 'cross grain' is a weak point. This means that pieces made using green woodworking techniques are stronger than mass produced counterparts.
What's more, because the wood is worked to shape before it dries, there isn't the tension build-up found in the drying of large sawn boards of dry timber. For this reason green woodwork has less tendency to split and crack as it is drying and we explain how to use the drying process to your advantage.
You'll find green woodworking processes relatively straightforward: the basic techniques can be picked up very quickly by everyone - even those with little or no experience. This means that everyone - including complete beginners - goes away from one of our courses with a finished product to be proud of. Having said that, experienced cabinetmakers also gain a great deal of satisfaction and insight from learning about this specialist area of woodworking.