Intermediate Furniture Making (short course)

Add to my prospectus Why study this course? More about this course Our teaching plans for autumn 2021 Who's this course for Course structure What our students say How to apply

Why study this course?

Chairs are a very particular and challenging woodworking project... they require the same core skills, techniques and considerations as many constructions but must also be dictated by the body of the sitter and the function of the usage. If you have done basic furniture making or any wood working, making a chair with guidance and expert instruction in our fantastic workshops is a really worthwhile and rewarding way to extend and broaden your experience. This course is designed to extend furniture-making skills that have been acquired on the Introduction to Furniture Making course.

More about this course

This course is designed to build your confidence in using hand tools, give you an understanding of construction and introduce you to basic safe use of fixed machinery and portable power tools.

On the course we will be making simple, functional and versatile chairs according to a design selected by the tutor in a hardwood of your choice from our stock. This will require a good standard of wood working and wood machining skill, which will be the focus of the time we spend on the project. At the end of the course everyone will have a completed (or close to completed) chair that they are proud to take home, but more importantly they will have tackled the trickiest kind of furniture making. Classes will be less lecture-based, but will feature a lot of demonstrations, information sharing, handouts, recommendations, advice and food for thought (and future projects).

The project will be within everyone’s capabilities, whilst being challenging enough to stretch those woodworkers who have already built good basic skills. As in the introductory course there will be a set project, but with some room for your own interpretation.

It will give you the opportunity to:

  • acquire the new skills and techniques necessary to be competent in furniture making
  • undertake hands-on practical sessions to create a finished product
  • build upon your previous knowledge 

It will involve all stages of production including:

  • making cutting lists
  • preparing materials
  • adapting/reading drawings for construction
  • surface preparation
  • hand finishing

 By the end of the course you will be able to: 

  • use a broad range of wood machinery safely and effectively
  • load tooling, set and use a range of available portable power tools
  • select, use and sharpen hand tools to a good standard
  • identify and produce a range of woodworking joints by hand and machine
  • understand construction requirements and the suitability of forms of joinery
  • read and make useful working drawings for personal projects

You will be producing work that you can take away at the end of the course.

Fees and key information

Course type
Short Course
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Our teaching plans for autumn 2021

We are planning to return to our usual ways of teaching this autumn including on-campus activities for your course. However, it's still unclear what the government requirements on social distancing and other restrictions might be, so please keep an eye on our Covid-19 pages for further updates as we get closer to the start of the autumn term.

Who's this course for?

The course is aimed at individuals who have completed our Introduction to Furniture Making course and/or Making Furniture with Power Tools course.

It may also be suitable for people who have previous experience in woodworking, cabinet making or joinery and have the core skills to be able to make pieces of furniture to a good standard and those in related fields such as architecture or interiors wanting more practical skills experience.

Course structure

  • Understanding ergonomics and chair design. Selecting materials and machining components
  • Using full-size drawings, marking and making complex components
  • Jointing: rationale, requirements, safe use of fixed and portable machinery
  • Fitting, correction and hand tool use
  • Front and back complete (safe use of fixed and portable machinery)
  • Sides complete (safe use of fixed and portable machinery)
  • Making seats: options and considerations
  • Assembly: use of adhesives and clamping equipment
  • Finishing: abrasives and surface preparation
  • Finishing: application of surface finishes

What our students say

"Kate Payne was a great tutor with huge experience and I am very grateful for her patience throughout the course. The facilities were excellent and well-maintained."

"I learned a lot from this course and enjoyed it immensely. Kate Payne is a wonderful teacher who is also patient and insightful."

"The course was great, very informative, flexible and the teaching was always done in a nurturing way."

"I absolutely LOVED this course – Kate Payne is an amazing and inspiring teacher. Even though many of the practices and machinery were new to me, I felt like I learned a lot in a short space of time. The woodmill is incredible and I felt very fortunate to be able to do a course there."

Course dates

Course dates

Course will be rescheduled to January 2021

Length One day a week for ten sessions
Day and time Saturday, 11.30am to 5.30pm 
Maximum class size 13
Contact hours 55


A 20% discount is available for:

  • those who are registered as unemployed and in receipt of Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA), Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) or Universal Credit.
  • those whose sole or main income is a Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) state retirement pension
  • those who are registered as disabled and in receipt of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
  • full-time and part-time UK students on credit-bearing courses
  • London Metropolitan University students on year-long day courses
  • London Metropolitan University alumni members
  • London Metropolitan University staff

If you're eligible for the 20% discount, please contact us before booking.

What's included in the price?

Materials are included in the fees for this course. 

Terms and conditions

Please read our terms and conditions before booking.

How to apply

Booking for this course isn't open at this time as the dates of the next intake are not yet confirmed. Please get in touch for further information or register your interest to receive notification as soon as booking opens.