Woodwork courses for all abilities in Yorkshire…

…From half day woodwork taster courses for the complete novice to complex jointed chair making or fine dovetailing and drawer fitting for the woodworker who really wants to extend their skills.

woodwork course in progress

“complete novice before – now confident to tackle a number of projects, motivated and inspired to carry on.”

Jon – Beginners Woodwork Course

Whichever woodwork course you choose, you will be in good hands:Woodwork course teacher Chris Tribe

Chris Tribe has taught woodwork for over twenty five years. He is a practicing furniture designer and maker whose work has been shown in galleries and exhibitions nationwide. Chris can help you to achieve the level of woodworking skill you are looking for.

Chris says “I am enthusiastic about my craft and love to pass that on to anyone who wants to learn woodwork or improve their skills. The emphasis in all my courses is on enjoyment of the craft within a rigorous approach to technique. I very much hope that you will join me on a woodwork course soon.”

All woodwork courses are offered at Chris’ fully equipped workshop and teaching area at The Cornmill Workshop in Ilkley, West Yorkshire or now at the brand new teaching unit at British Hardwoods near Skipton, West Yorkshire.

What’s it like on a Chris Tribe woodwork course?

Teaching style

For the hobbyist woodwork must be enjoyable otherwise there is no point in doing it. So you will find Chris has an easy going style in the workshop and a wry sense of humour. However this is tempered by a serious approach to method and accuracy.

Chris teaches all woodwork courses personally and is present throughout the day. He gives whole class input for part of the time. At other times he is observing student technique and will offer advice on how it can be improved.

“very attentive as a teacher, literally doing laps of the work benches and is fully open to individual assistance if you ask or if he thinks you might need it, but he’s not constantly hanging around your neck either.” Martin

Chris, you have a wonderful way with people and were completely ‘ours’ during the day. Without your teaching & facilitation skills the course would have been very different.
Simon – 4 day beginners woodwork course

“The pace of the course was exactly right. I like the fact that we were never waiting; always having something to do.”

Tessa – Basic Jointing Weekend

Read more Chris Tribe course reviews

The workshop

The woodwork courses at Chris Tribe Furniture are taught in a dedicated teaching area equipped with robust cabinet makers benches. Each bench has a full set of woodworking tools, so there is no need to provide your own tools, although Chris encourages students to bring their tools for assessment and sharpening advice. He has equipped the benches with a range of different brands and qualities of woodworking tools so you can try out what is available. This will allow you to make an informed decision when purchasing your own tools. Chris has arranged a 10% discount for his students at the online tool store Workshop Heaven.

The workshop is also fully equipped with machine and power tools which you will be instructed in the use of as appropriate.

“Helps massively getting started setting up my home workshop. I know what initial tools I need.”

Jon – Beginners woodwork course

The students

Four is the maximum number of students on most courses. This ensures that you are guaranteed close attention but also encourages the development of a spirit of esprit de corps amongst the students. Students come from far afield travelling down from the north of Scotland, Ireland, the Isle of Man and up from Kent. There is also the occasional overseas student, a recent beginners course had students from the Czech Republic and Bahrain.

The male/female ratio on the woodwork courses is about 4:1. Chris enjoys teaching women as he finds they are often more persistent with difficult to acquire skills than men.

Chris is holding his first ladies only beginners woodwork 4 day course next March (2018).

“Very enjoyable and a really nice atmosphere.” Paul

“Really nice environment for tuition.”

Finishing Course

“Chris is a skilled and patient teacher. His practical experience & talent shines through. A lovely relaxed, supportive atmosphere.”
Ralph – 4 Day Beginners Woodwork Course

The courses

Chris has designed his woodwork courses to address specific student needs, often they are based around a course project that has been developed to illustrate the learning points in the course

The beginners courses are designed to get you started with woodwork, you do not need any woodworking experience to attend these courses. They explain the essential method and techniques which are the basis of the craft. This includes getting your tools sharp, basic timber preparation, marking out and cutting basic woodworking joints and safe use of power tools.

For instance the beginners four day woodwork course deals with tool sharpening, hand tool use, preparing timber by hand, the importance of establishing reference surfaces and working to those references, marking out and hand cutting basic joints and assembly and glue up . Also using power tools such as the router to cut joints and for shape forming. These elements are also dealt with in the two day weekend courses tool sharpening and maintenance and the basic jointing course.

"I now know what sharp actually is" - Dan - woodwork course student

“I now know what sharp actually is”

Dan – beginners woodwork course student

Intermediate courses are designed for those who have got the basics under their belts and want to extend their knowledge and technique in specific areas. This could be improving your router technique on the router skills course, learning a variety of finishing methods on wood finishing or getting the basics of modern cabinet work so you can tackle kitchens or fitted furniture. The bench making course introduces you to handling a big project with big joints, you also end with a very robust bench at a fraction of the cost of buying one. Students on these courses should have some woodworking experience, having been on previous courses or developed their practice beyond the DIY level.

“I used my shooting board this morning and when I measured the resulting surface, it was dead on square…  this was a skill you taught me.

Since spending a couple of days under your watchful eye my tools are usually razor sharp, my joints much more carefully marked out and the resultant work much better than I was used to turning out.”

David – Special Tuition

Advanced woodwork courses are for those with considerable experience who want the challenge of high class work. This could be making a set of two piston fit drawers, this five day course is all about absolute accuracy and method, you should have some dovetailing experience if you have not already been on Chris’ dovetailing weekend. The veneering and laminating course is a good introduction to these two techniques, mastering lamination allows you to include curved shapes in your designs and veneering opens up new options in surface decoration. On the chair making course, Chris’ most advanced course, you make an elegant jointed chair in ash with a Danish cord seat, this is the only course in the country offering this option, most chair making courses make turned chairs

“Learnt a lot that I should have learnt years ago… it’s never too late to learn!”
Mike – Chair making course

“Thanks again for a great week! My dovetails have certainly improved, definitely going to tackle finishing the drawer on a cabinet I built about 2 years ago when I get home.

David – Dovetailing & Drawer Fitting

Excellent mix of theory & practice. Great project that lent itself to use a wide variety of router applications & skills.

And it’s been a lot of fun too!

Rob – Router Skills Course