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Course Dates

19th-23rd Feb 2018


£640 including all materials


5 Days - 08:30-17:30

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Improve your Furniture Making Skills Advanced Course – Dovetailing & Drawer Fitting

This improvers’ course is aimed at students who already have a good understanding of basic furniture making skills. You’ll make an accurate and stylish small box carcass and hand-made dovetailed drawer to piston fit, using hand skills

This course is suitable for …

Beginners X … you’ll need basic skills to get the most from the course
Intermediate √
Advanced √

Course Overview

• Why choose this course?

Peter Sefton designed this intensive course to follow on from the beginners’ course, however, it is also suitable for students who already possess good furniture making skills and are practised in tool care and sharpening.

The improvers’ course offers students an opportunity to learn the skills needed to make a square and true box carcass capable of taking a hand-made and dovetailed drawer using the best flush slip and solid drawer bottom. This project is a testing piece designed to fine tune your hand skills under Peter’s informative guidance.

Making the carcass and drawer introduces students to the following skills; selection and use of solid timber, accurate marking, joint cutting, gluing, cramping and cleaning down of joints and the use of constructions to allow for timber movement. You’ll receive hands-on tuition in the accurate use of the router table for groove cutting and expand your planing skills to individually fit components to form a piston fit drawer.

There’s no need to buy any tools to come on the course; we have a complete, individual quality tool kit for each student to use whilst on our short courses, but if you do want to bring your existing tools, they should be very sharp and ready to use – please note that this intensive course does not allow time for tool sharpening and tuning. Participants will be given practical demonstrations and shown the quick and professional methods used to produce quality handmade dovetails and drawers. Peter teaches the course himself; small groups ensure plenty of practical, hands-on tuition for every student.

Impartial advice is available to help with any problems students may be encountering in your own workshop, as well as on tool selection and buying. Students are able to try out, test and buy woodworking tools and equipment from Peter’s tool shop with a 5% discount – try before you buy …

• What will I achieve?

Students are taught the skills needed to produce quality, hand-made dovetails and drawers. Practical demonstrations and one-to-one tuition provide participants with the knowledge, experience and confidence to attempt more advanced furniture making projects. You’ll also gain a fuller understanding of fine furniture construction and timber selection as well as take home your own hand-crafted dovetailed drawer and carcass box.

Course Content

• Induction and Welcome to the School
• Health and Safety in the Workshop
o Safe use of hand and basic machine tools
• Hand Skills
o Reading drawings and preparing cutting lists whilst considering timber movement
o Accurate marking and measuring to form accurate carcass constructions
o Appropriate use of face side, face edge and timber selection
o Using hand planes to produce perfect square and true components
o Using cutting gauges and dovetail markers to mark clean and attractive dovetails
• Hand Cut Joints and Techniques
o Traditional markings for drawer components
o Marking out and cutting through and lapped dovetails
o Using dovetail saws and bevel edge chisels to cut dovetails
o Making flush drawer slips using the router table and a scratch stock
o Gluing, cramping and squaring avoiding twist
• Machine Skills
o Using the router table to cut grooves in the drawer front and flush slips
• Hand Finishing Skills
o Sanding techniques on flat surfaces, mouldings and end grain including damping
o Shellac sealing and waxing to give professional results

• No Tools Required
You do not have to bring any tools with you, as we have a complete, individual quality tool kit for each student to use whilst on our short courses. However, if you do already have them, you will gain much more out of the course.

Where to Stay
Please see the Find Us page of our website and then click on Accommodation

  • Booking Info
Duration and Facilities: The course runs from Monday to Friday, 08:30 to 17:30 with 1 hour for lunch. Students will need to provide their own lunch each day; tea and coffee are provided by the School. It is only a 3 minute drive to the town centre, where you will be able to buy lunch from the bakery or supermarkets on the High Street – there’s also a great fish and chip shop …

How do I apply for any of your Courses? First, please contact us to confirm there is space on the course either by phoning 01684 591014 or emailing Then complete the Course Booking Form and forward it with your 50% deposit to the School. We accept payment by Internet Bank Transfer, Debit and Credit cards.

The balance will be due 6 weeks prior to the start of the course and if booking less than 6 weeks in advance, the total course fee will be due. Don’t forget you will receive a 5% discount code for use at Peter’s tool shop whilst on your course. The School regrets that we are unable to accept applications from anyone under the age of 18 at the start of their course.