Chair Making Courses
Get away from the every day pressures of modern life, take some time out to re-charge in the beautiful Sussex countryside and at the same time make an elegant, contemporary Windsor chair in an ancient woodland setting. The Chair making course comprises of five days in our beautiful woodland workshop building a “Windsor” style chair using solid, locally grown hardwoods and high quality tools.
The Windsor style chair has been around for about 300 years. Its a popular type of wooden chair constructed of turned (shaped on a lathe), slender spindles that are ‘socketed’ into a solid wooden seat.
At the begining of the chair making course you will be able to choose one of our tried-and-tested chair designs or modify the design to make a totally unique chair. During the chair making course you will learn several interesting and unusual woodworking techniques:
- Cleave wood with axe and maul.
- Use a bodging axe
- Use a shaving horse and draw knife
- Use the pole lathe
- Use an adze, spokeshave and travisher
- Steam bend wood
- Use a brace and bit for hole boring
- Master complex multi-angle assembly
You will be predominantly working with green wood. Green wood is relatively soft and easy to work and does not produce dust while working. Which negates the need for extractor fans and masks allowing for a much more enjoyable experience.
The schedule is roughly as follows, although there is some flexibility:
- Courses run from 10am to 5pm each day with a break at 1pm for a wholesome energy boosting lunch.
- Days 1 & 2 are spent making the components for the chairs (starting with legs, stretchers and moving on to spindles), using the processes of cleaving, shaving, lathing and steam-bending. By the end of the second day all your components should be put aside to dry.
- Day 3 Is focused on shaping your seat, drilling holes and preparing for the assembly by tenoning your legs, stretchers and spindles.
- Day 4 Is spent completing the assembly of the under carriage of the chair i.e. legs and stretchers.
- Day 5 The final day is focused on completing the assembly and oiling the chairs.
By the end of the 5 day course you will not only have mastered the above techniques, you will also be able to go home with a heirloom quality Windsor style chair to be proud of.
All abilities catered for and all tools and materials provided.
The cost of the course is £495, this includes all tuition, all tools and materials.
Vegetarian lunches are provided. We usually have a wholesome soup with good local bread and cheese, home-made pickles and fruit.. Plenty of tea and coffee, cakes and flapjack will keep you energised.
Camping in the woods is available at no extra cost . The woods are large and wild and there is plenty of wood for camp fires. Apart from a compost loo there are no amenities. There is space for camper vans too, but not hardstanding and no electric hookups!
There is also a woodland cabin… Be the envy of the chair making group and book the cabin for your course! There is only one cabin so the first person to book it will have this cosy pad to themselves.
Alternatively you can check out AirBnB for some great local accommodation during your course