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