Antique Furniture Restoration (Two Terms)

Skill Level - All levels from complete beginner

Total Cost - £11,600 (Two terms £6,900 + £4,700) (2017-18)

Duration - 2 x 12 Weeks

Other - There are no additional costs during the first term.  In the second term, the small amount of materials usually required for restoration projects will be included.  Extra will be charged for any specialist fittings etc. required. 

We highly recommend anyone considering this course visit the workshops to discuss the syllabus with John and have a chat with our current students.

Students are welcome to commence their course on any term start date to suit their circumstances. 


3 Jan – 24 Mar
24 Apr – 14 Jul
18 Sep – 8 Dec

2 Jan – 23 Mar
23 Apr – 13 Jul
17 Sept – 7  Dec


About the course

This course is taken in conjunction with the 12 Week Foundation Furniture Making Skills and Techniques Course.  Students already enrolled on either the 24 or 36 week Furniture Making Courses may take this as a 12 week bolt-on course (The cost of this “Bolt-On” is £4,600 for the 2016/17).

Cabinet-making is the foundation skill for a Furniture Restorer, allowing structural repairs and replacement parts to be made; add to this metalworker, lock-smith, polisher, gilder, carver, turner and problem solver of immense cunning…………. and you begin to realise that a Restorer is very much a ‘Jack of all trades’, and has to be a master of all of them!

What you will Learn


Mastering Furniture Making Skills & Techniques (Term One of the Designer/Maker Course)


The Ethics of Furniture Restoration & Conservation

Dismantling Antiques

Strategies for the controlled loosening of joints to take furniture apart for repair/re-gluing

Joint Repairs

  • False tenons
  • Dovetails
  • Rub-joints
  • Dowels

Specialist Restoration Techniques

  • Straightening bent/twisted components
  • Stabilising splits
  • Flattening table tops, leaves…
  • Splices


  • Re-laying loose veneers
  • Letting in repairs
  • Cutting new veneers

Inlay & Marquetry

  • Techniques for matching/replacing missing parts

 Assembling Antiques

  • Glue choice
  • Cramping strategies
  • Home made cramps


  • Silver-soldering
  • Repairing fittings


  • Overhauling
  • Cutting missing keys
  • Gaining entry to locked items!


  • Consolidating wormy timber
  • Treating/preventing woodworm infestation

Colouring & Polishing

  • Oxidising new work to replicate age
  • Blending new work
  • Cleaning original surfaces
  • Advanced French Polish & Waxing Techniques

Test Pieces

For Example: Knuckle Joint; Cabriole Leg; Cross-Grain Moulding

Project Work

As always, Project Work forms the back-bone of the course and the majority of the course time is spent at the bench.

Students will generally bring in several small(ish) pieces of furniture to work on and to practice restoration techniques

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