This is a 5-day course and is held at our workshop near Ely, on the Cambridgeshire/Suffolk border. The course sees attendees make a traditional armchair of similar design to a Welsh stick chair. This is done using a combination of hand tools and machines, however the emphasis is on hand tools and traditional methods. This is a variation on a traditional Welsh stick chair design but with a contemporary twist, inspired by 'The Anarchist's Design Book' by Christopher Schwarz. This chair really shows off wood, and its natural beauty combined with your individual handmade influence.
The course is for a maximum of 4 people to ensure we can focus on delivering quality tuition and support you to the full. The course is run over 5 days and there are milestones to hit each day to ensure the chair is completed. This will all be covered when we have the briefing/introduction over a cup of tea on the first morning. On arrival, you will have your own space to work at and your timber pack on top ready to get started. The workshop is well-equipped and with a small group everyone soon gets to know each other quickly, and we all help each other at various times. This course is suitable for intermediate level, as some basic woodworking skills are required. We do run a 1-day ‘Introduction to woodwork’ course and if anyone books an introductory course and chair-making course we can arrange a discount. If you want to discuss the skill/experience level required, please contact us as we will always try and be flexible where possible. You will use the following timbers to make your chair: Legs, seat, spindles in Ash, armbow and crest rail (head rest) in oak. The legs and spindles are secured with oak wedges, the contrast between the oak and ash is lovely particularly when polished. (Other timber options can be discussed in advance of the course if required) During the course you will use templates, jigs, and your measuring & marking skills to the full. You will use traditional chair making tools like travishers, reamers, spoke shaves and rasps, but you will also use the router, band-saw and lathe. As we approach the various processes of the build we will point out options, and you can try different tools/methods, if you wish to.
The schedule is full but by the final day you will have a beautifully assembled chair that is fully functional, you can then work on the finer detail and the surface preparation. If you have time you can also start the surface finishing to bring out the lovely grain of the timber.
You will have a creative fun week in a relaxed professional workshop and meet new like-minded people in the process.
The courses run 9.30am until 5pm Monday to Friday. However, anyone with questions or wishing to make special arrangements for a course on a different date or involving a weekend should please email Bill.
What's included in the price
All materials are included in the course price and all tools provided to complete the project. Tea, coffee & biscuits provided. Please bring a packed lunch, there is a fridge and microwave available for use. Please wear clothes suitable for workshop including sturdy footwear.