DOVETAILS  TUITION 

held at The Wood Place by Patrick Baxter since 2010

2024 PROGRAMME OVERVIEW:

click on the blue highlighted subjects for more info or scroll down

1. FURNITURE MAKING SATURDAYS – all year round except for holidays – work on your own project using mainly hand skills & tools at one of our workbenches;  tuition, supervision & machining assistance from Patrick, most Saturdays,  10-4 pm,  7 spaces, £20/day.

2. FURNITURE MAKING FRIDAYS  – all year round except for holidays – work on your own project using mainly hand skills & tools at one of our workbenches;  tuition, supervision & machining assistance from Patrick, most Fridays,  10-4 pm,  7 spaces, £30/day.

3. ELEMENTS – when available – fully tutored, 5 individual essential elements of furniture making – learn the art of sharpening, hand planing, cutting dovetails, surface preparation and polishing – Monday to Thursday block, 8 spaces, £400, including some free tools and lunch.

4. THE BITS & BOBS BOX COURSE – when available – make a simple hand-cut dovetailed tray / desk tidy / storage box while covering the essential elements of furniture making – sharpening, hand planing, cutting dovetails, surface preparation and simple polishing. Over 4 days,  8 spaces, £400 including materials and lunch.

5.  BEGINNER’S CUTTING BOARD – when available – one day course making a simple oiled cutting board. Suitable for beginners. Hand planing, sharpening, scraping, sanding, grain raising & oiling. £90pp in a group course or 1 or 2 days @ £30 a day as a participant of Furniture Making Fridays.

6.  ONE TO ONE – when available – fully tutored essential elements of furniture making OR be guided through your chosen furniture project OR individual short lessons on your chosen subject.  £30 an hour.

TUTOR:  Patrick Baxter, cabinetmaker, furniture designer & antique restorer at these premises since 1991.   Further info : https://www.thewoodplace.com/about-us/

LOCATION:

The Wood Place, Lanarkshire Hardwoods / Patrick Baxter Furniture – Girdwoodend Farm,  Auchengray,  Carnwath,  LANARK ML11 8LL.   Further info : https://www.thewoodplace.com/find-us/

FACILITIES:

The courses and various sessions are held in the southern half of the long white furniture workshops building,  the oldest part of the building, a former dairy farm byre dating from approx the sixteenth century.  There are a number of differing sizes of workbenches with vices offering up to 9 work positions currently and space for other projects that don’t need a vice.

Adjacent rooms have been converted into a simple but clean kitchen with sink, microwave, utensils and fridge; separate sink area for washing glue brushes etc; plus a fully disabled access toilet.  There is wheelchair access all along the level from the north end of the building.  There is ample parking adjacent to the workshops.

TOOLS:

There is an extensive collection of hand tools for student use.  These tools have mainly come from the following 3 tool suppliers which we can recommend highly if you are purchasing your own:

http://www.workshopheaven.com
http://www.axminster.co.uk
https://www.classichandtools.com

Patrick can offer discount codes to use with some of these suppliers for our regular students and course attendees.

COURSES,  SESSIONS & BENCH SPACE OPTIONS IN DETAIL:

1. FURNITURE MAKING SATURDAYS 

work on your own project in the company of others using hand tools at one of our workbenches;  tuition, supervision & machining assistance from Patrick, run most Saturdays,  10-4 pm  7 spaces,  £20/day,    pre-booking essential.

**NEW FORMAT** Due to popular demand Patrick has recently prioritised more time to teaching on Saturdays so we are now running much the same programme as a Friday, but still at a lesser cost than on Fridays due to the likelihood that less tuition time will be available if Patrick needs to pop over to the shop from time to time to attend a wood customer between 10 and 2 on a Saturday.

Held in the handshop at The Wood Place premises, 10-4 pm on most Saturdays,  by appointment, tutored by cabinetmaker and antique restorer Patrick Baxter.

  • Supervised by Patrick Baxter, who will give on average an hour’s tuition, supervision or machining services.  A couple of hours may be possible in one session to start you off on a project, if possible, or when there are not too many other students in.

  • You will have the use of a workbench and space in the handshop plus all the woodworking hand tools there, although you are encouraged to bring or acquire your own.

  • Tea & coffee making facilities and a basic kitchen are provided.  You can bring your own food to eat or prepare for lunch.  Usually some stock of biscuits etc available.  Opportunities for those who wish to chat and compare notes with other like-minded folk.

  • Designed ideally, but not essentially, for previous and current Dovetails students to pursue their own projects,  having had a grounding in hand skills and essential cabinetmaking from Patrick already and who therefore can work partially unassisted.  Or those who have picked up fair hand skills elsewhere. Patrick will be nearby for guidance and to carry out some machining (students are not allowed to use the machinery)  for an average of about ONE HOUR per person each session.  Therefore PLEASE NOTE if you are a beginner that it can take between 16 and 24 hours to deliver the essential handskills programme for average ability pupils so you will need to attend a lot of Furniture Making Fridays to gradually pick up these skills – but it is possible if you are patient.

Tuition and guidance can be given on:

  • TRADITIONAL FURNITURE MAKING / CABINET MAKING

  • DESIGN ELEMENTS IN ADDITION TO CONSTRUCTION

  • TRADITIONAL ANTIQUE FURNITURE RESTORATION

If you feel you need a lot more tuition time on your project, 1 to 1 tuition with Patrick (see section 5 below) may be available, @£30/hr or see if there are any group courses coming up like the Bits & Bobs Box Course or Elements

Booking:

Contact Patrick by email or phone; most students / participants let us know each time they are here when they are intending to come back and it goes in the diary. We can book you up spaces about a month ahead or if you become very regular you will find a bench space has been kept warm for you.   If you have purchased or visited you will have access to Patrick’s mobile number to keep in touch as required.

Payment:

Pay by card or cash on the day.  If you want to pay for a small number of sessions up front that can be arranged.  Equally online pre-payment can be arranged if you let us know and it is suitable. We have removed the public access pre-booking and payment facility from the website to avoid over-booking from well-meaning spouses or friends for beginners and to give precedence to returning regulars.

Students should choose projects of a small or modest size that can be undertaken on a workbench.  Some other shared assembly tables will be available.  Chairs, coffee tables, chests, boxes, small bookcases etc but not dining tables, kitchen worktops, beds etc.  Patrick may be working on his own furniture or restoration projects alongside you if time is available or the course numbers low.

You may take your project / components home with you after each session although there is some limited storage space if you prefer to leave items at the workshop. You should take home any tools you bring, however.  No use of the machines can be permitted so your project needs to be carried out mainly employing hand skills but a workspace in the adjacent machine shop can be made available for anyone wanting to use electric routers and  sanders.  Patrick aims to keep the handshop, where the bench spaces are,  a reasonably quiet and dust free zone.

Facilities – our basic kitchen allows you to heat up food and make tea & coffee etc.  The workshop is always warm and dry.  It is adjacent to the toilet facilities.  We have a fully disabled access toilet.

Tools – Certainly bring your own but you may use a wide variety of our tools as long as you leave any edge tools sharpened and ready for the next user at the end of the session.  As with all Dovetails Woodworking Tuition a wide range of tools are available to borrow but it is expected that as soon as you have decided which tools are most suitable for you,  you should start to acquire your own,  if you can afford them.  You will be given guidance in use and care of all hand tools.  There are plenty of sturdy workbenches of different types and assembly / gluing / sanding tables.

Materials – any wood you need will hopefully be able to sourced and purchased in our store,  discounts to past students of course! If we cannot supply the wood you need you may be excused to work on wood purchased elsewhere!!  Sandpaper – our preferred brand Mirka Abranet lasts for ages – can be purchased along with other potential consumables like dust masks and polish / oil / resin.

2.  FURNITURE MAKING FRIDAYS

work on your own project using hand tools at one of our workbenches;  tuition, supervision & machining assistance from Patrick, run most Fridays,  10-4 pm  7 spaces,  £30/day,  pre-booking essential.

Held in the handshop at The Wood Place premises, 10-4 pm on most Fridays,  by appointment, tutored by cabinetmaker and antique restorer Patrick Baxter.

  • Supervised by Patrick Baxter, who will give on average an hour’s tuition, supervision or machining services.  A couple of hours may be possible in one session to start you off on a project, if possible, or when there are not too many other students in.

  • You will have the use of a workbench and space in the handshop plus all the woodworking hand tools there, although you are encouraged to bring or acquire your own.

  • Tea & coffee making facilities and a basic kitchen are provided.  You can bring your own food to eat or prepare for lunch.  Usually some stock of biscuits etc available.  Opportunities for those who wish to chat and compare notes with other like-minded folk.

  • Designed ideally, but not essentially, for previous and current Dovetails students to pursue their own projects,  having had a grounding in hand skills and essential cabinetmaking from Patrick already and who therefore can work partially unassisted.  Or those who have picked up fair hand skills elsewhere. Patrick will be nearby for guidance and to carry out some machining (students are not allowed to use the machinery)  for an average of about ONE HOUR per person each session.  Therefore PLEASE NOTE if you are a beginner that it can take between 16 and 24 hours to deliver the essential handskills programme for average ability pupils so you will need to attend a lot of Furniture Making Fridays to gradually pick up these skills – but it is possible if you are patient.

Tuition and guidance can be given on

  1. TRADITIONAL FURNITURE MAKING / CABINET MAKING

  2. DESIGN ELEMENTS IN ADDITION TO CONSTRUCTION

  3. TRADITIONAL ANTIQUE FURNITURE RESTORATION

If you feel you need a lot more tuition time on your project, 1 to 1 tuition with Patrick (see section 5 below) may be available, @£30/hr or see if there are any group courses coming up like the Bits & Bobs Box Course or Elements.

Booking:

Contact Patrick by email or phone; most students / participants let us know each time they are here when they are intending to come back and it goes in the diary.  If you have purchased or visited you will have access to Patrick’s mobile number to keep in touch as required.

Payment :

Pay by card or cash on the day.  If you want to pay for a small number of sessions up front that can be arranged.  Equally online pre-payment can be arranged if you let us know and it is suitable. We have removed the public access pre-booking and payment facility from the website to avoid over-booking from well-meaning spouses or friends for beginners and to give precedence to returning regulars.

Students should choose projects of a small or modest size that can be undertaken on a workbench.  Some other shared assembly tables will be available.  Chairs, coffee tables, chests, boxes, small bookcases etc but not dining tables, kitchen worktops, beds etc.  Patrick may be working on his own furniture or restoration projects alongside you if time is available or the course numbers low.

You may take your project / components home with you after each session although there is some limited storage space if you prefer to leave items at the workshop. You should take home any tools you bring, however.  No use of the machines can be permitted so your project needs to be carried out mainly employing hand skills but a workspace in the adjacent machine shop can be made available for anyone wanting to use electric routers and  sanders.  Patrick aims to keep the handshop, where the bench spaces are,  a reasonably quiet and dust free zone.

Facilities – our basic kitchen allows you to heat up food and make tea & coffee etc.  The workshop is always warm and dry.  It is adjacent to the toilet facilities.  We have a fully disabled access toilet.

Tools – Certainly bring your own but you may use a wide variety of our tools as long as you leave any edge tools sharpened and ready for the next user at the end of the session.  As with all Dovetails Woodworking Tuition a wide range of tools are available to borrow but it is expected that as soon as you have decided which tools are most suitable for you,  you should start to acquire your own.  You will be given guidance in use and care of all hand tools.  There are plenty of sturdy workbenches of different types and assembly / gluing / sanding tables.

Materials – any wood you need will hopefully be able to sourced and purchased in our store, discounts to past students of course! If we cannot supply the wood you need you may be excused to work on wood purchased elsewhere!!  Sandpaper – our preferred brand Mirka Abranet lasts for ages – can be purchased along with other potential consumables like dust masks and polish / oil.

3. ELEMENTS

fully tutored Handskills module, 5 individual essential elements of furniture making – learn the art of sharpening, hand planing, cutting dovetails, surface preparation and polishing – Monday to Thursday block, 8 spaces, £400 to cover cost of all materials, use of all our hand tools.

***NEXT COURSE INFO***: https://www.thewoodplace.com/dovetails-tuition-next-group-course-june-2024-elements/

LUNCH is provided and a few FREE HAND TOOLS to take home.

The 5 essential elements of furniture making, fully tutored –

  • Sharpening

  • Hand planing

  • Hand cutting dovetails

  • Surface preparation (scraping, sanding etc)

  • Polishing

Held in Patrick’s own hand workshop at The Wood Place,  with the woodburner on for the colder months.  Teas, Coffees & Biscuits/baking will be served or help yourself all day long.  We will provide lunch in the form of a vegetarian homemade soup with oatcakes / crackers / bread / spreads or maybe sandwiches ; or bring your own lunch choice if you prefer.

ELEMENTS INTRODUCTION:

Guidance in the varied elements of fine woodworking with a major emphasis on honing hand skills & appreciation & use of fine hand tools.  The standard is aimed at those who have been doing some woodwork for a while and would like to raise their abilities and acquire new skills to intermediate level furniture making skills.    Contact Patrick for further info if in doubt as to your abilities on the course.

YOUR REQUIREMENTS:

Absolute beginners may struggle unless you feel you are a natural learner and have good general hand & eye co-ordination;  it would help if you have used chisels, handsaws & planes and carried out some sharpening,  even if without any success – so that the pieces will quickly fall into place when Patrick shows you how it can be done.  It is useful to be able to focus on incredibly fine detail,  the line left by a scalpel on hardwood, for instance, and be able to place a razor sharp chisel edge into that tiny line, so think of being able to read a book with very small print, at any distance within comfortable arm’s reach.  Patrick will demonstrate each process first and explain the theory and then you will work on your own test pieces,  with timber and materials supplied, at your own bench space.

TOOLS REQUIRED: NONE!

all tools are supplied and they are mostly fairly high quality examples such as Clifton, Lie-Nielsen & Veritas,  with good but medium priced examples such as Quangsheng and Narex too and the odd basic Record or Stanley which has been fettled and enhanced.  New tools are constantly being added to the collection.  You may bring your own tools if you are confident they are up to the job or would like Patrick to give them a look and see what they might need to get them working properly.

SHARPENING:

Patrick teaches traditional sharpening techniques using waterstones and honing guides, employing primary and secondary bevels.    You will be shown how to flatten soles of new planes and backs of new chisels in order to make them ready for sharpening and use..***We will supply you with a FREE Narex 8116 chisel to prepare, sharpen and use which is yours to keep. Worth over £18 ***

You will have the basic outline described or briefly demonstrated of how to fettle and bring up to standard any older planes and chisels etc that you might possess or acquire, however this often takes a very long time and cannot be done in practice on this course. You can come along to the Friday or Saturday sessions for that.

You will be shown and then practice sharpening plane irons and chisels until you have them razor sharp.

The differences between different types of steel, and different brands, will be discussed, along with some theory on differing planing angles.

You can try out some of the sharpened planes on test pieces of wood and ask whatever questions you like.  Lots of advice and discussion will be provided on different makes and suppliers of sharpening equipment and tools.

HAND PLANING:

You will learn how to correctly use Bench Planes (the traditional looking plane with a chipbreaker and the bevel down) to clean up faces and create a perfectly flat and straight edge,  hopefully! After planing boards all round with the appropriate planes the ideal test is finally being able to fit two small boards together edge to edge ready for glue jointing with no gaps or glue lines for that perfect wood to wood join.  The use of adjustable mouth Block Planes (hand sized small plane, bevel up) is also taught.

Unless you are sure you have top-notch first class approved tools fettled and properly set up for use it is better to leave them at home for these starter lessons and just use Patrick’s.  There are plenty and enough to share and swap about during the sessions with the other students.  But feel free to bring them in for advice.

It is always greatly appreciated by students that they quickly acquire an appreciation of good quality tools and which ones in particular they prefer,  without having to go out and buy them. Lots of advice and discussion will again be provided on different makes and suppliers of tools.

HAND CUTTING DOVETAILS:

The Dovetails Element is based on our classic hand-cut dovetailed ‘bookend’ original group course. You will be carrying out your most accurate marking and cutting of a set of through dovetails,  which will be assembled into a basic L bookend shape and size.  We believe the art of producing a set of dovetails gives you the skills required to cut most joints – hence it’s place in the essential 5 elements of furniture making.

You will be working on timber already hand planed square all round previously – by yourself on the accompanying planing element.  There will be plenty scrap wood to practice on too and lots of practice cuts are encouraged.  We may be content with a dry fit set of dovetails as there may not be time for most students, especially beginners, to also prepare the inside surfaces, glue up, allow to set, clean up etc, though you may do this at another time.

*** Participants will receive a FREE dovetail marking guide to use and take home. ***

SURFACE PREPARATION

‘Surface Preparation’ is so called because it is absolutely essential to properly and thoroughly prepare the wood before any polishing can be carried out with any degree of success. Typically the least subscribed-to module if offered in isolation of the other elements because few realise the importance of proper surface preparation to achieving a good polished surface.

Good surface preparation will ensure that when you hit the surface with oil, french polish etc you will see all the full colours and attributes of the grain popping out.

Patrick will show you traditional wood preparation techniques which avoid just sanding everything from coarse grit to fine, thereby keeping the grain flat, crisp and open, reducing dust, noise and electricity consumption, rounding over at edges and risk of machine sanding marks showing.

You will learn the following:

The extent to which fine hand planing can first be used to remove machine marks and tears.

Scraping – using cabinet / card scrapers as well as scraper planes to work a planed surface to a smoother finish, especially useful on difficult timbers, with instruction on how to sharpen them.

*** You will receive a FREE top quality cabinet scraper to sharpen and use on the course and then take home. ***

Sanding – only then finally will you do some fine grit finish sanding with the very best of top quality papers and equipment,  demonstrating the advantages of dust extraction during sanding.

Grain raising – how to avoid rough raised grain areas which can appear when certain stains or polishes are used, by pre-wetting; or simply as good practice to acquire that perfect glass-like finish.

POLISHING:

There will be demonstrations of several oil finishes, acrylic / water based lacquer / varnish and various grain fillers/sanding sealers.

Participants in the POLISHING module will be taught a simple to learn french polishing technique on some sample boards;   learning at the same time how to make, store and use french polishing rubbers which will be able to take home FREE.

Patrick will cover waxing and discuss different brands of wax.  You will also be able to use Hard Wax Oil on some samples to create a smooth oiled finish quickly.

We will be working on the wood previously properly prepared on the planing and surface preparation modules.

All the polishes may be purchased in our store if you wish to take some home.

Terms and Conditions

  • To secure a place we take full payment of the course fee at point of booking.
  • We offer a 7 day cancellation period with full refund from the point of booking no matter how close to the start date you book.
  • If you cancel over 60 days before the course start date 90% of the course fee can be refunded.
  • If you cancel 31 to 60 days before the course start date 50% of the course fee can be refunded.
  • If you cancel 30 days or less from the course start date all course fees become non refundable.
  • If we cancel the course at any time, 100% refund is due to you.

4. THE BITS & BOBS BOX COURSE

Make a simple hand-cut dovetailed tray / desk tidy / storage box while covering the essential elements of cabinetmaking – sharpening, hand planing, cutting dovetails, surface preparation and simple polishing.

Held over 4 days,  Mon-Thu, 8 spaces, £400 including materials. 9.30 – 4.30pm

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Held in Patrick’s own hand workshop at The Wood Place,  with the woodburner on for the colder months.  Teas, Coffees & Biscuits/baking will be served or help yourself.  Simple lunch provided.

BITS AND BOBS BOX COURSE INTRODUCTION:

Take home a simple but highly useful item showing off your hand skills.  You will be guided through the processes involved in building a hand-cut dovetailed open-topped box with demonstrations and tuition by cabinetmaker Patrick Baxter. Tuition will be given in the varied elements of fine woodworking with a major emphasis on honing hand skills & appreciation & use of fine hand tools.  The standard is aimed at those who have been doing some woodwork for a while and would like to raise their abilities and acquire new skills to intermediate level furniture making skills.

The box is approximately 8″ x 5″ x 3″.  The one in these pictures is made of Maple, with a Cedar of Lebanon bottom.  Exact sizes and wood type may change from course to course and depending on availability.  Something not too tricky to hand plane will always be selected.  The box has a piece of genuine leather cut and glued to the underside to hide the pin holes left from attaching the quarter-sawn bottom (minimum shrinkage / expansion potential) to the box carcase; it also happens to offer surface protection to your desk etc.  The box will be simply oiled or waxed.

COURSE FORMAT:  4 DAYS OF 9.30AM – 4.30PM

Each day is 9.30am arrival, with a cup of tea or coffee, aiming to start in properly at the benches at 9.45.  There will be a further lunch break for 1/2 to 3/4 of an hour somewhere between 12 and 1. We will serve a simple soup and sandwiches type lunch, or bring your own if you prefer.  Tea/coffee and biscuits supplied. We have a clean but very basic kitchen with a microwave for heating things up, sink for washing up and a selection of mugs, glasses, plates and cutlery.

DAY ONE:

Sharpening; hand planing ; cross cutting (sawing).

Patrick teaches traditional sharpening techniques using waterstones and honing guides, employing primary and secondary bevels.    There will be a demo on how to flatten soles of new planes and backs of new chisels in order to make them ready for sharpening and use.

You will have the basic outline described of how to fettle and bring up to standard any older planes and chisels etc that you might possess or acquire, however this often takes a very long time and cannot be done in practice on this course. You can come along to the Furniture Making Fridays or Saturday Wood Club or One To One sessions for that.

You will be shown how to  sharpen plane irons and you will practice yourselves with constant help from Patrick until you have them razor sharp.

You will learn how to properly set up planes ready for use.  Most planes are not ready to use straight out of the box, even after sharpening.

We will also be making good use of the smaller Block planes for this project,  for both planing faces and trimming end grain (including use of shooting boards)  as well as shaping the mould on the box bottom.

When the box section is planed flat and square you will choose from the selection of fine handsaws and, after careful marking, hand cut the components to length, then trim the ends square with the block plane and shooting board.

DAY TWO:

Marking & hand sawing Dovetails; sharpening chisels ; trimming and paring to size with chisels.  Assembling dovetailed sides and end components to a dry fit.

You will use a selection of marking gauges including some of the latest wheel types,  along with knives, scalpels and sharp pencils to extremely carefully and accurately mark your dovetails for cutting.  With demonstrations and active tuition you will go through the process of hand sawing and chiselling the tails, marking for the pins, cutting the pins, more chiselling ( and sharpening) as required,  until you have your 4 components brought to a dry fit.

DAY THREE:

Glue up box; make the box bottom; flush off & clean up box exterior; level the base & fit the bottom.

After a final sand of the inside faces you will assemble and glue the box carcase together; while it is drying, you will cut a section of quarter sawn wood to size for the box bottom.  Once planed all round you will use block planes and scrapers to run a simple mould all around the edge. Before fitting the dried box needs to be cleaned up all round  – more planing, scraping or sanding, and the lower surface planed flat so it has no twists in it.

The bottom will be prepared for nailing to the box by pilot drilling with a very fine bit before gluing and pinning on.

DAY FOUR:

Anybody running behind may be able to catch up here as there is only a half day of work scheduled.   To complete the box you will first cut a piece of leather to fit the bottom, glue size it and then stick it on.  While  glues are drying there is an opportunity to be taught and experiment with a range of different polishes on sample pieces of wood by Patrick.  We can study polishes which may not be appropriate for the box so that you are better prepared for making other pieces in the future.

After a quick check of the box for perfect surface preparation and any necessary trimming of the leather, you can move on to applying whatever polish you prefer.  Usually a simple coat or two of wax or oil will be sufficient.

HOW MUCH EXPERIENCE AND TECHNICAL ABILITY DO I NEED?

Absolute beginners may struggle unless you feel you are a natural learner and have good general hand & eye co-ordination;  it would help if you have used chisels, handsaws & planes and carried out some sharpening,  even if without any success – so that the pieces will quickly fall into place when Patrick shows you how it can be done.

It is essential to be able to focus on incredibly fine detail,  the line left by a scalpel on hardwood, for instance, and be able to place a razor sharp chisel edge into that tiny line, so think of being able to read a book with very small print, at any distance within comfortable arm’s reach.

Patrick will demonstrate each process first and explain the theory and then you will work on your own piece at your own bench space with continual guidance from Patrick and sometimes his assistants.

Tuition will be given in the varied elements of fine woodworking with a major emphasis on honing hand skills & appreciation & use of fine hand tools.

The standard is aimed at those who have been doing some woodwork for a while and would like to raise their abilities and acquire new skills to intermediate level furniture making skills.

WHAT TOOLS DO I NEED?

The following info from the Elements course is just as appropriate for The Bits & Bobs Box Course :

all tools are supplied and they are mostly fairly high quality examples such as Clifton, Lie-Nielsen & Veritas,  with good but medium priced examples such as Quangsheng and Narex too and the odd basic Record or Stanley which has been fettled and enhanced.  After becoming at least moderately proficient in sharpening techniques using water stones you will learn how to properly set up planes and will have the knowledge to fettle and bring up to standard any older or sub-standard new planes and chisels etc that you might possess or acquire.

Unless you are sure you have top-notch first class approved tools fettled and properly set up for use it is better to leave them at home for these starter lessons and just use Patrick’s.  There are plenty and enough to share and swap about during the sessions with the other students.  It is always greatly appreciated by students that they quickly acquire an appreciation of good quality tools and which ones in particular they prefer,  without having to go out and buy them.

5. BEGINNER’S CUTTING BOARD:

one day course making a simple oiled cutting board.

Suitable for beginners.

Covers acquiring basic hand skills – Hand Planing, Sharpening, Scraping, Sanding & Oiling.

£90 per person including materials when run as a group course,   8 spaces available.

Bring your own lunch. Teas, coffees & biscuits provided.

£30 / day option:  This project is also suitable for beginners who wish to join the Furniture Making Friday sessions at £30 a day, but depending on your speed and how many Furniture Making students are also in on the day,  all taking up tutor Patrick’s time, you may well need more than one day to complete the project.

You will be given a short board of hardwood pre-cut into a rectangle, faces machine planed, very approximately 30 x 20 x 2.5cms. You will be provided with various hand planes and shown how to use them to plane the board flat on both faces, removing machine and other marks; also planing edges and ends square and straight.  You will learn about grain direction and structure and how it influences planing.  There will be a brief lesson on sharpening planes and how to set them up. Then you move on to the surface preparation, use of scrapers and sanding techniques and grain raising before polishing – in this case an oiled finish.  You will be able to take your cutting board home at the end of the session.  There is usually time for general Q & A.

6. ONE TO ONE :

fully tutored essential elements of furniture making OR be guided through your chosen furniture project OR individual short lessons on your chosen subject.  £30 an hour.

Suitable for all levels, Patrick will adapt the instruction to suit the student.  Rarely available at present due to lack of time but more possible in very short bursts of an hour only.

Your Tutor

Patrick Baxter, 54,  drawn by his daughter Holly in 2023, age 17,  as part of her advance higher art portfolio in her last year at school.
Holly is now studying art at Dundee University.

Have a look here for some of the many & varied projects undertaken and styles worked in by Patrick Baxter Furniture over the last 30 years.  https://www.thewoodplace.com/galleries/

Patrick has trained numerous staff and apprentices as well as giving tuition to customers over the years in traditional cabinetmaking skills from basic joint cutting and french polishing through to hand and press veneering and intarsia.