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12-Week Furniture Making Course


The 12-week course will give you a solid foundation in furniture making and an introduction to design. Intensive and practical: You will learn about wood and material choice, hand skills, power-tool and machine-use through several practical making projects. Theory from timber technology to 3D-construction will support the practical work, and you’ll have the option of a level 3 qualification. Using your new found skills you will also make a final piece of your own design.





Course Content

You will start by sharpening the tools and developing your understanding of wood as a material. With visits to local woodlands, sawmills and timber suppliers you will learn about the value of woodland management and longevity in approach. You will work exclusively with homegrown timber or found and recycled material. Design-work will build on the following principles; to eliminate waste and pollution, circulate products and materials and regenerate nature.

Although the course is focused on furniture making and design, inspiration is drawn from the boat building environment and you will be introduced to steam bending, scarf joints, riveting and other traditional techniques.

  • Sharpening
  • Hand tool use
  • Sourcing of materials
  • Timber technology
  • Timber preparation
  • Steam bending and laminating
  • Veneering
  • Finishes and application methods
  • Joint making
  • Power tools
  • Safe machine use, setting up and maintenance
  • Machine jointing
  • Furniture construction
  • Batch production
  • Sketching
  • Model making
  • Technical drawing
  • Marquetry
  • Turning

Weeks 1–3: Introduction to tool use and joinery foundation. From mortise and tenons and dovetails to steam bending and hooked scarfs.

Weeks 4-5: You will make a tool cabinet which can be customised to your requirements

Weeks 6-9: You will make a side table with a drawer and a cabinet with lockable door. Those who wish to gain a Level 3 qualification will be assessed on these pieces. There will also be three technical drawings and four exams. The qualification is unique to the Boat Building Academy, is benchmarked against the C&G framework and approved by PIABC. You will make the decision of whether to undertake the assessment once the course has started.

Weeks 10-12: You will make a personal project piece. You will work closely with your tutor on the design of your final piece and prototype. It will highlight the skills learned so far, and acts as a brilliant showcase of your abilities. Timber, fixtures and fittings for the project is the only element of cost not included in the course fee.

Comprehensive hand-outs are given to support learning, and The Woodworkers Manual, Jackson and Day, is provided as a study aid. Individual tutorials are held between you and your tutor where feedback is given in confidence.

This course includes 480 hours of scheduled bench time supervised by your tutors and with plenty of 1:1 guidance. You’ll have your own bench and all tools will be provided. When fully trained in the use of the machine shop, you will have access to the facilities in your own time throughout the course.

Course dates

23 September - 13 December 2024

  No spaces

13 January - 4 April 2025

  Spaces available

12 May - 1 August 2025

  Spaces available

September - December 2025 (Dates TBC)

  Spaces available

Course fee

January 2025 £7,150
May 2025 £7,150
September 2025 £7,150


Bursary assisted places

Bursary assisted places are available for this course, please click here for further information

How to book

Potential students are asked to visit the Academy and send a simple CV. This process allows you to get a feel for the life and work at the Academy and enables you to make an informed decision.

If you are unable to visit, we will conduct a telephone/zoom interview at a mutually agreed time.

    See what our students have designed and made

    To browse the range of personal projects built here at the Academy by our students of the 12-week course, visit our Student Gallery