Please select a course below:

Course Dates

• 19th-23rd Sep 2022
• 21st-25th Nov 2022
• 30th Jan-3rd Feb 2023
• 20th-24th Mar 2023


£720 including all materials to make and finish the rack


5 Days - 8:30am-5:30pm

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Furniture Making for Beginners – Fundamentals & Tool Sharpening

Learn the essential skills needed to use furniture making tools – our beginners’ course will introduce you to the importance of sharpness and how to sharpen hand tools, as well as accurate joint cutting techniques whilst making a dovetailed and tenoned English Sweet Chestnut letter rack

This course is suitable for …

Beginners √
Intermediate √
Advanced √

Course Overview

• Why choose this course?

The beginners’ course at Peter Sefton Furniture School is designed by Peter to give students a thorough grounding in the essential skills needed to understand how furniture making tools work, as well as the importance of of sharpness, accuracy and joint cutting. It’s the first in a progressive set of courses and although a course for beginners, it is by no means basic woodworking – Peter covers the topic in depth.

The course is aimed at those with limited experience or no experience as well as woodworking enthusiasts who have been struggling at home with blunt tools and are frustrated by their inaccuracy. Students will learn how to strip, flatten and re-assemble hand planes and how to bring out the best in their existing tools (if they have them), both by commissioning (tuning) and sharpening them, and will be shown what quality tools can achieve through Peter’s practical demonstrations.

Students will make a dovetailed and tenoned English Sweet Chestnut letter rack using tools they’ve improved themselves – practicing hand skills and joint cutting. Peter teaches the course; small groups ensure plenty of hands-on tuition for every student.

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. Impartial advice is available to help with any problems students may have encountered at home, 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?

At the end of this course students will have gained the knowledge, experience and confidence to attempt fundamental furniture making tasks as well as having learnt how to get the most from your tools. You’ll also take home your own hand-crafted Chestnut letter rack with a shellac sealed and waxed finish.

Course Content

• Induction and Welcome to the School
• Health and Safety in the Workshop
o Storage and safe use of hand tools
• Hand Tool Selection
o Selection, buying and looking after hand tools
o Commissioning (tuning) new and old hand tools to perfection
• Hand Tool Care and Sharpening
o Selecting, testing and using marking out and measuring tools
o Grinding and honing with dry and wet methods to razor sharpness
o Flattening bench planes to within a tolerance of 0.038mm or 0.0015″
o Stones to include Oil, Diamond, Japanese, manufactured and natural stones including Leather Stropping and Scary Sharpening
o Sharpening tools to include planes, chisels, scrapers and saws
• Hand Skills and Joint Cutting
o Reading drawings and preparing cutting lists
o Accurate marking and measuring to furniture making standards
o Planing face side, face edge, thickness and end grain
o Sawing to the line on dovetails and tenons
o Using chisels to clean down to shoulder lines and cut mortices and pare joints
o Joint cutting to include mortise and tenon, through and lapped dovetailing
o Cutting and shaping curved components by band saw and spoke shave
o Hand sanding, glueing up and flushing down joints
o Finishing with shellac sanding sealer and bees wax

• 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 if you can improve and take home your own tools, particularly a bench plane.

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 over 5 days, 8:30am to 5:30pm 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 Once a place is confirmed, please complete the Course Booking Form and forward it with your full course fee to the School. We accept payment by  Bank Transfer and accept debit and credit cards (please email to request an e-invoice to be emailed to you, where payment can be made securely by credit or debit card).

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.