Our one month woodworking course is perfect for those who are looking to get into woodworking seriously but can’t find the time to commit to a longer course. You will start here with the basics, the same as you would for our 25 and 50 week courses. This hand tool focused course has been refined over 3 decades and breaks down fundamental joinery and skills to their very essence, in order that the techniques and methods you undertake are fully understood. This is “basics” but at a professional standard of work.
You will be surrounded by like-minded people who all share the same passion, focused on crafting beautiful pieces of furniture from wood. The culture of Rowden intends to bring hardworking and enthusiastic makers together and to pass on to them skills, methods and a view on the work, rooted in the Arts & Crafts movement.
The one month course will introduce you to foundational hand tools skills used within the workshop. You are encouraged to take your time and get each one right to the precise Rowden standard, before moving on to the next challenge. Each project will be assessed and contribute to what we hope will be a deeply embedded understanding of how best to achieve a professional grade of woodwork. These projects become increasingly complex as you move through a dedicated 4 weeks at the bench and set the foundation for your capacity as a fine furniture maker.
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 its not. You will be left with a much greater 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 will make your own, and are planing to a specific dimension, then inlaying dark timber into a blonde wood. When it comes to finishing these you will be introduced to polishing and will learn how to keep the dark dust from contaminating the blonde timber.
This project requires you to understand very accurate marking out and planing techniques to create an 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, all while maintaining a high level of accuracy. If you loose accuracy it shows very clearly where the wide chamfer meet or not meet. Hidden in this project are the key skills in creating perfect solid wood panels and surfaces.
A mallet is the quintessential tool for any cabinetmaker. The project was developed to improve our uses of chisels. Here you will be tasked to pare accurately a tapered fitted handle with another face, these will be dead flat. The flat working surfaces of the mallets are the main challenge, a wide area hand pared with a bench chisel, this is a demanding task that improves your skill with a chisel substantially.
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 together in a perfectly fitting wedged tenon joint.
Can you cut a good dovetail? The answer should be an emphatic yes able to after this project. Perhaps the most celebrated joint in cabinetmaking, this dovetail will be a challenge regardless of your prior experience. Two pieces, dovetailed together to create a seamless and strong joint, these components test your sawing, marking out and the fitting of one part to another. Dovetailing thick components tests your sawing and paring accuracy.
In its fullest form, this box is the culmination of our entire making curriculum at the end of 25 weeks or halfway through 50 weeks at Rowden. The box in the one month course is a little simpler, but nonetheless an extremely refined and challenging project. As with all of our tuition at Rowden, we move at the pace of the individual – whether the box forms part of your course to a degree, depends on you. However its possible to get as far as this box in a month. We must emphasise the need for patience and attention though, progress at Rowden is focused on quality, not speed. Moving forward depends on getting projects right, not just getting them done. This is your opportunity to get these tasks right and the projects made as well as you can.
Regardless of where you get to in the curriculum, this course will go beyond hand tool work into finishing, marking, measuring all to the same Rowden standard that after leaving, you will carry with you in your own work. You will also be spending time with our full time students and be party to our daily lectures covering a multitude of practical and theoretical subjects in woodwork. This is a rich, intensive course that will move your work forward substantially and likely shift your mindset – you will have a new understanding of working with wood and hopefully a renewed confidence in your own capacity as a hand tool woodworker.
We offer a range of courses to suit all abilities and availabilities:
If this course sounds like your cup of tea and you would like to enhance your woodworking skills for a month, get in touch!