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Furniture Making Workshop

  • Level(s) of Study: Short course
  • Course Fee:


  • Start Date(s): 30 September 2023 / 11 November 2023; 13 January 2024; 24 February 2024
  • Duration: Saturdays 10 am - 4 pm, five weeks
  • Study Mode(s): Short course
  • Campus: City Campus
  • Entry Requirements:
    More information


This practical course is for anyone who has an interest in furniture design and making.

No prior woodworking experience is necessary as you’ll be guided step-by-step through the different processes to create your own piece of furniture by an experienced tutor.

On this hands-on course you’ll be introduced to a wide range of hand tools, machine tools and finishing techniques.

You’ll focus on the fundamentals of woodworking and gain a basic understanding of furniture making in a relaxed atmosphere.

By the end of the course you will:

  • have a thorough understanding of the different workshop processes.
  • have created a finished piece of furniture (a coffee table with drawer) that shows how you have applied these processes to your project.
  • leave with the confidence to develop your skills and apply your knowledge to further furniture and woodwork projects.

Here's what some of our previous attendees have said:

'Fantastic course. Carl is an excellent teacher. He took time to explain each action and was always happy to help when needed. I can't rate him highly enough. Great tutor and first class facilities.' SF

'Carl is an exceptional tutor who has endless energy and is a huge asset to the university.' JW

'Carl is a fantastic, hugely knowledgeable instructor. It's been great learning from him.' AS

What you’ll study

On this course, you will:

  • be inducted into our well-equipped product design workshops
  • learn what checks to perform when selecting the right timber for your project
  • use tools and equipment such as dimension saws, surface planers, thickness planers, spindle moulders, flatbed sanders, CNC and hand routers
  • practise a variety of joints on your project and discuss the merits of each one
  • build your confidence in using hand tools and woodworking equipment
  • explore different finishing techniques that will make your piece truly unique.

Day by day you'll explore different processes to build your final piece. These will include:

Introduction to Furniture making
Timber stack / visual checks
X – cut saw (correct bow in timber and set machine)
Dimension saw: change a saw blade, gullet and saw tooth angle of cuts. Saw height, riving knife, side fence
Surface planer: change cutters, 3 different sets for the timber
Thickness planer
Clamping with sash clamps and gluing

Front, back and side rails
Surface planer to make sure they are kept square against fence on edging them.
Flat-bed sander on tops measuring the joins for thickest part and moving bed max 0.2 per pass till top is clean on both sides
Wall saw 6mm MDF 50mm over size both ways for cut to size after on dimension saw
Spray booth seal

Overhead router
Biscuit cutting
Domino cutter
Finger joints and rub jointing
Gluing legs and rails up

Spindle moulder
Overhead router
CNC router
Hand router
Drawer box assembly

Advanced spindle work
Assembly of furniture
Finish sand
Hand finishing with wax

Furniture making workshop in action

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How you’re taught

This very practical, hands on course is taught in our well equipped woodworking studios.

Tutor Profile:

Carl Smith has over twenty years’ experience making bespoke and mass production furniture, and is one of NTU’s longest serving furniture makers.

He started his career as an award-winning apprentice for Stag Furniture, and eventually trained to full certification as a journeyman, winning many other awards along the way including the National Skills Builder winners’ title and Olympia Cup gold medallist title.

In his daily role Carl advises students on the design and construction of prototype models.

His knowledge and expertise is used on many UG and PG courses at NTU, including product and furniture design, architecture, interior architecture and visual and decorative arts.

Campus and facilities

You will be based in the School of Architecture, Design and Built Environment on the City Campus.

You'll receive training and advice on how to fully utilise the fantastic equipment in our specialist wood workshop including saws, sanders, planers and spray booths.

You’ll also have access to our library to use outside of your short course; whilst you can’t reserve or take away books, you are welcome to use them as a resource for research and referencing.

Entry requirements

Level: Beginner

Entry requirement: No experience is required.

You must be over the age of 18 to attend this course

Fees and funding

The fee for this course is £995.

Payment is due at the time of booking.

How to apply