‘DOVETAILS’  TUITION IN WOODWORKING  –  held at The Wood Place by Patrick Baxter since 2010

 2022 programme:

overview: (click a title to jump to full info on each topic)

1. SATURDAY WOOD CLUB – work on your own project or chat, share ideas, doodle design & create, drink tea & coffee!  Light supervision & machining assistance from Patrick, most SATURDAYS, free membership, by appointment 10-4 pm,  maximum 7 spaces, £10.

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

3. ELEMENTS – fully tutored, 5 individual essential elements of cabinetmaking – learn the art of sharpening, hand planing, cutting dovetails, surface preparation and polishing – usually over 5 days , 7 spaces, £75/day or £375 as a block, including materials.  Currently looking at autumn ’22 for re-commencement.

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. Over 4 days, Fri & Sun for a fortnight or Mon-Thu, 7 spaces, £300 including materials.  

5. THE BOX COURSE – make a beautiful dovetailed box while learning the essential elements of cabinetmaking – sharpening, hand planing, dovetails, surface preparation and polishing. Taken at a relaxed pace over 12 days usually over a span of weeks or months,  5 spaces only, £975 including materials. currently suspended

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

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TUTOR:  Patrick Baxter, cabinetmaker, furniture designer & antique restorer at these premises since 1991.  On some occasions he might be joined by one of various assistants. Further info : https://www.thewoodplace.com/about-us/

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

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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.

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Adjacent rooms have been converted into a simple 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, through the machine shop.  There is ample parking adjacent to the workshops.

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COURSES,  SESSIONS & BENCH SPACE OPTIONS in detail:

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1.

SATURDAY WOOD CLUB

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work on your own project or chat, share ideas, doodle design & create, drink tea & coffee!  Light supervision & machining assistance from Patrick, most SATURDAYS, free membership, by appointment 10-4 pm or part thereof,  maximum 7 spaces, £10 per session.

Designed to be a relaxed time for either progressing with your own small project with minimal supervision, or just to chat and interact with Patrick and like minded wood and furniture making enthusiasts.

Membership – is free and as simple as possible to enrol – just contact us first to check availability and book a space

  • Booking a space : To come along on any particular Saturday contact us to let us know you are coming and check availability, there is a maximum number of spaces so booking is essential and also sometimes we will be closed for holidays.  Just drop us an email, text or phone to check, or pre-arrange in person when you are attending one Saturday for the following week.  If you are unable to attend please try and let us know asap so we can give the place to someone else.  We may restrict extensive forward block booking in order to give chances to more people.
  • Machinery : as with all Dovetails Woodworking Tuition at The Wood Place, students are not permitted to use the machines but we can facilitate use of some power tools such as routers and sanders.   Patrick will carry out limited amounts of machining for you as required and when there is time to do so.
  • Hand Tools : There is a huge selection of hand tools available for student use, but tuition in their use must first be given by Patrick, if you have not attended previous courses to do so.  It is best if students can bring their own tools though and Patrick will be happy to assess and help with getting them into use, as required.  You may find it very useful to know what tools to purchase by first borrowing some of ours – we have a wide range of premium and lower priced brands.  You will be expected to sharpen the tools you are borrowing, if required.
  • Teaching Time : Patrick will mainly be in the shop from 10-2pm but usually has time to regularly check on members briefly.  From 2 to 4 he will be mainly in the handshop where the workbenches and tools are.  If you are needing more than 20 minutes or so of guidance from Patrick in the day, you will progress further with a Furniture Making Friday session.
  • Projects : space is severely limited so you are requested to keep any projects you are working on small in scale – chairs, boxes etc and take your materials away with you at the end of the session.
  • Other facilities:     Tea & coffee making facilities and a basic kitchen are provided.  You can bring your own food to eat or prepare.  Disabled Toilet.

New members – come along for a workshop tour and induction and enrolment, followed by your first session. Long term existing or previous Dovetails students who wish to join the new Wood Club format will be enrolled during the day.  We will need to take some personal information for emergency contacts etc and store your info safely in our office.

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2.

FURNITURE MAKING FRIDAYS

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work on your own project using mainly hand skills & tools at one of our workbenches;  tuition, supervision & machining assistance from Patrick, most Fridays,  by appointment 10-4 pm or part thereof,  7 spaces, £30/day.     some further spaces available at this time.  pre-booking essential.

if you wish to pay in advance click here : https://www.thewoodplace.com/product/furniture-making-fridays/

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

  • 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.

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, unless special permission has been given and extra charges agreed for extra space, if it is available.  Patrick may be working on his own large scale furniture projects.  You are expected to take your wood / furniture away at the end of each session.

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

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Book at short notice or well ahead, as you wish,  but availability is limited to 7 spaces in the workshop.  You don’t need to pay in advance but if you wish to, click here to purchase some days but contact us separately to let us know when you are coming or just keep them up your sleeve for rainy days: https://www.thewoodplace.com/product/furniture-making-fridays/

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Please confer with Patrick about your proposed project in advance – size limitations!!  Think approx an average size chair or a bedside table as maximum project sizes as the handshop is not big enough for many large projects.

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You will be expected to take your project / components home with you after each session.  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.

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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.

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Tools – 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.  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.

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3. ELEMENTS

fully tutored, 5 individual essential elements of cabinetmaking – learn the art of sharpening, hand planing, cutting dovetails, surface preparation and polishing – usually over 5 days , 7 spaces, £75/day or £375 as a block, including materials. 

Currently looking at winter ’22/3 for re-commencement, if time allows.

The 5 essential elements of cabinetmaking, fully tutored –

Sharpening

Hand planing

Hand cutting dovetails

Surface preparation (scraping, sanding etc)

Polishing

– usually taken over 5 days , 7 spaces, £75/day including materials

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Each Element takes a day (usually 10-4pm) and costs £75 per day including materials.

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Depending on the time of year etc we may be running Elements either as individual modules which can be taken in isolation ;  or as a single entity.

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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.  Bring your own sandwiches etc if you want something more at  the halfway lunch break.

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To see forthcoming course dates and availability please follow this link – :  https://www.thewoodplace.com/product-category/woodworking-courses/ NB if nothing appears in your chosen topic then most likely we are fully booked up but please contact Patrick for info on any future availability or cancellations – patrick@thewoodplace.com .

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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.

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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 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 test pieces,  timber and materials supplied at your own bench space.

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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.

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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.

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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 Friday or Saturday sessions for that.

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

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

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PLANING:

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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.

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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.

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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.  Planes of various kinds are used in all 3 modules.

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You will learn how to correctly use bench planes, to 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.

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DOVETAILS:

Following the Planing Element is our classic hand-cut dovetailed ‘bookend’ module in which 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.

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The dovetailed bookend has remained a classic teaching module because once all the skills have been mastered to complete one to a reasonable degree of competence you can go on to do almost any furniture making – you will be able to sharpen planes & chisels; use planes to accurately square, flatten & prepare components to size;  accurately mark up joints; hand saw and chisel to a fine knife line and assemble and glue joints.

If you go on to prepare surface and polish you have the whole range of wood skills required for most furniture and cabinet making projects.

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SURFACE PREPARATION

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‘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.

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Furthermore it is not just sanding – you will be shown and will practice fine hand planing of the surface,  followed by use of hand scrapers or scraper planes;  only then finally will you do some finish sanding with the very best of top quality papers and equipment,  demonstrating the advantages of dust extraction during sanding.

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POLISHING:

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In the POLISHING module you will mainly carry out some simple french polishing techniques and waxing,  learning how to make, store and use french polishing rubbers and will be able to take them home along with some polish.

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Most other finishes take too long to dry to do practical training with on a day course but there will be demonstrations of oil finishes, acrylic / water based lacquer / varnish and various grain fillers/sanding sealers.

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

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4. THE BITS & BOBS BOX COURSE

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( *NEW* ) – 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, either 2 lots of Fridays and Sundays for a fortnight or a Monday – Thursday block may be available sometimes if there is demand. 7 spaces, £300 including materials.  10 am until 4pm, with 45 minutes of breaks.

Dovetails Bits And Bobs Box

Dovetails Bits And Bobs Box

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.  Bring your own sandwiches etc if you want something more at  the halfway lunch break.

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To see forthcoming course dates and availability please follow this link – :  https://www.thewoodplace.com/product-category/woodworking-courses/ NB if nothing appears in your chosen topic then most likely we are fully booked up but please contact Patrick for info on any future availability or cancellations – patrick@thewoodplace.com .

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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.

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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.

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Course Format:  4 days of 10am – 4pm

Each day is 10am arrival (you will be welcome a little earlier), with a cup of tea or coffee, aiming to start in properly at the benches at 10.15.  There will be a further lunch break for 1/2 an hour somewhere between 12 and 1 depending on where a suitable spot to break off occurs.  Tea/coffee and biscuits supplied but bring your own lunch / sandwiches / soup to supplement. 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Clifton Block Plane – bronze, with walnut cap.

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.

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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.

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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.

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testing for twist on a register plate

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

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Day Four:

Anybody running behind will 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.

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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.

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Dovetails Bits And Bobs Box

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Any time left over can be filled with a general Q & A session on any woodworking or tool subjects; and / or a tour of the premises, sawmill & seasoning facilities etc.

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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.

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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.

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5. THE BOX COURSE

***when available***

make a beautiful dovetailed box while learning the essential elements of cabinetmaking – sharpening, hand planing, dovetails, surface preparation and polishing. Taken at a relaxed pace over 12 days usually over a span of weeks or months,  5 spaces only, £975 including materials.

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Course type:

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Guidance in the varied elements of fine woodworking with an emphasis on honing hand skills & appreciation & use of fine hand tools.  Unlike the Elements course which sees you working on sample pieces of wood,  you will very quickly be working on the components of a beautiful dovetail – cornered box with hinged, shaped lid and a solid bottom, one or both of which require some accurate board joining.

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Like ‘Elements’, 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.  Absolute beginners may struggle;  it would help if you have used chisels, handsaws & planes and carried out some sharpening.

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Patrick will demonstrate each process first and explain the theory and then you will work on your own box components with constant supervision and assistance from Patrick. It is not essential to have completed the ‘Elements’ course,  which covers almost the same subject matter but more quickly,  however it is a good follow up to Elements,  allowing you to put into practice the basic techniques learnt.

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If you have not completed ‘Elements’ there is still enough time in this course to teach you from scratch,  but those who have had some previous tuition from Patrick will find it easier.   With approximately double the time on offer compared to ‘Elements’, high standards of craftsmanship should be able to be achieved at a relaxed and enjoyable pace.  You will take home a beautiful polished hardwood box which can be used for jewellery or similar.

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The basic design will be the same for all but there may be opportunities with size,  design and wood selection to add your own bespoke details in a small way.

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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.  Bring your own sandwiches etc if you want something more at  the halfway lunch break.

Space will be limited to only 5 spaces.  Please ensure you can commit to the dates – in the event of cancellation by you the potential student, full refunds cannot be made unless it is more than 60 days before the start of the first date.  A 50% refund can be made for cancellations made between 30 and 60 days .  Under 30 days we cannot guarantee any refund,  unless we are able to fill the space.

In the event of cancellation of any part or all of the course by us,  of course refunds will be made if alternative dates cannot be arranged.

To see forthcoming course dates and availability please follow this link – :  https://www.thewoodplace.com/product-category/woodworking-courses/ NB if nothing appears in your chosen topic then most likely there is no availability but please contact Patrick for info on any future availability or cancellations – patrick@thewoodplace.com .

The following info from the Elements course is just as appropriate for The 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.  Planes of various kinds are used in all 3 modules.

You will learn how to correctly use bench planes, to 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.

Following the Planing Element is our classic hand-cut dovetailed ‘bookend’ module which has now been expanded to cover two days in order to allow more time and care over carrying out your most accurate marking and cutting of a set of through dovetails,  which will at the completion of the 2 days be assembled into a basic L bookend shape and size.

The dovetailed bookend has remained a classic teaching module because once all the skills have been mastered to complete one to a reasonable degree of competence you can go on to do almost any furniture making – you will be able to sharpen planes & chisels; accurately square, flatten & prepare components to size;  accurately mark up joints; hand saw and chisel to a fine knife line and assemble and glue joints.

If you go on to prepare surface and polish you have the whole range of wood skills required for most furniture and cabinet making projects.

‘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.  Furthermore it is not just sanding – you will be shown and will practice fine hand planing of the surface,  followed by use of hand scrapers and scraper planes;  only then finally will you do some finish sanding with the very best of top quality papers and equipment,  demonstrating the advantages of dust extraction during sanding.

In the polishing module you will mainly carry out some simple french polishing and waxing,  learning how to make, store and use french polishing rubbers and will be able to take them home along with some polish.  Other finishes take longer to dry but there will be demonstrations of oil finishes, acrylic / water based lacquer / varnish and various grain fillers/sanding sealers.  All the polishes may be purchased in our store if you wish to take some home.

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6. DOVETAILS ONE TO ONE TUITION:

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

One to one £30 an hour;  use of quality hand tools and a bench space provided.  Tuition tailored to individuals needs.  Typically 16 to 24 hours to cover essential hand tool & sharpening modules and making a dovetailed bookend or box plus finishing techniques – following the  Dovetails Woodworking Elements modules. Or be guided through your chosen furniture project.  Or individual topics as required, covering as little as half an hour – much more likely that time and space will be available at short notice for slots of up to an hour or so.

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typical tools employed:

Block plane (adjustable mouth no. 60 ½)
No5 or 5 1/4 Plane
Set of Waterstones

Glass or other Lapping Plate / stone Flattener
Honing Guide
Camelia Oil

Engineer’s Straight Edge,  450mm or longer.
Dovetail Saw
Cutting /marking gauge
Adjustable Bevel
10mm & 25mm chisels (approx sizes)
Mallet
Coping Saw
Square
Marking Knife
Pencil
12” rule

Recommended Tools :

(see lower down page for recommended suppliers)

Block Plane

No 60 1/2 low angle,  adjustable mouth. Preferably with 01 / forged carbon steel.

Veritas no 60 1/2 Low Angle Block Plane,  very nice also well made,  good quality,  good steel, get the 01 blade for it. Well engineered lateral blade adjustment feature.

Lie-Nielsen no 60 1/2, very well made traditional block plane based on the old stanley design, preferably with optional 01 blade.

Quangsheng Low Angle Block Plane.  Also based on the stanley,  excellent value, good T10 carbon steel.

Other cheaper brands can be improved with an upgraded blade from one of the above 3 but will not have the quality of engineering to prove pleasurable and easy to use.

Jack Plane no 5 or 5 1/4. 

5 ¼  if you will typically work on boards of around a metre or less most of the time,  the longer  5  if you want to edge plane boards for tables & worktops,  but either will cross over.  The 5 is the better all rounder.

Clifton No 5 Jack Plane with hand forged high carbon blade as standard.

Lie Nielsen No 5 or No 5 ¼   Jack Plane, preferably with optional 01 blade.

Veritas No 5 ¼ Jack Plane, preferably with the optional 01 blade.

Quangsheng No 5 jack Plane with standard T10 carbon steel blade, excellent value.

Other cheaper brands can be improved with an upgraded blade from one of the above 3 but will not have the quality of engineering to prove pleasurable & easy to use,  and may take some work to flatten & square before use.  Old / antique planes may have very good steel so worth considering but check for flatness – may take a lot of fettling work before they can be used.

to be continued…

My favourite suppliers :

http://www.classichandtools.co.uk/

 http://www.workshopheaven.com/index.html

 http://www.axminster.co.uk/

Your Tutor

Have a look here for some of the many & varied projects undertaken and styles worked in by Patrick Baxter Furniture over the last 20 years.http://www.lanarkshirehardwoods.co.uk/portfolio-item/furniture-examples/

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.