Advanced Skills Week - More Skills & New Techniques

Skill Level : Students should have attended the SKILLS WEEK 

Cost : £590

Duration : 5 Days

Test Piece : A veneered, laminated and dovetailed jewellery box, with lock and lift out tray.  Amaze yourself with your abilities!

Other : All tools and equipment will be provided

Dates : 

9-13 April 2018
30 July -3 August 2018


About the Advanced Cabinetmaking Skills Course

 The Advanced Skills Week is the perfect follow-on course to the Skills Week or Skills Weekend, if you have the basic skills under your belt, this will give you the chance to review and refine those critical cabinetmaking elements of planing, sawing and chiselling. We will then build on those skills with some new techniques, including some laminating and veneering, to make an elegant dovetailed jewellery box.

The cornerstone of all cabinetmaking is accurate planing, a little revision of basic technique, some gossamer thin shavings, will be followed by preparation of the main box components. Dovetails are still the best solution for joining wood together at a corner but to raise your game a little, and make the dovetails look more exciting, we’ll lay out and cut some really attractive ‘Hound’s Tooth’ dovetails, this will give you the chance to reinforce and build on those other key skills, sawing and chiselling.

A small tray inside a box is a useful way of keeping contents under some sort of control and the process of making crisp precise mitred corner joints in fine material will introduce a new skill-set , a new jig, a contrasting veneer reinforcement and a new gluing strategy.

Veneering & Laminating are techniques that tend to go hand-in-hand, are a natural progression to using solid wood and will take your cabinetmaking to a whole new level, but for this to be successful you will need to understand how to incorporate a dimensionally stable material with a material that keeps moving, without them both getting into a fight.

Veneering and laminating open up huge opportunities for adding decoration and shape into your work (and allow you to disguise MDF!) Low tech ‘Hammer Veneering’ with hot glue, and high tech Vacuum Presses, or just using loads of clamps, are all relevant , so you’ll have the opportunity to try each technique. Add making your own Inlays & Bandings into the equation and you really have the icing on the cake.

Letting metalwork into wood is another important milestone for a cabinetmaker, usually coming close to the end of a project, it’s vital that you have a fool-proof method of fitting hinges and locks. You will learn about hinge positioning, pivot-points, how to make fine adjustments and how to make a standard Butt Hinge work like a Stop Hinge. Having fitted the lock, making and fitting a diamond shaped escutcheon will be the final finishing touch.

As usual a full set of razor sharp tools will be provided, knowing how to sharpen them would be useful for this course but is not critical.


Project images to follow shortly



What you will learn

PREPARING TIMBER TO FINE TOLERANCES – A little bit of a recap on planing technique to prepare the main components for a box

HOUND’S TOOTH DOVETAILS – Taking ‘Through Dovetails’ to the next level with pins of different lengths. Centuries old, but still probably the best, technique for jointing bits of wood on a corner, ‘Hounds Tooth Dovetails’ are the perfect way to build on those vital sawing and chiselling skills.

HAMMER VENEERING – An introduction to a delightfully simple method of sticking bits of veneer down without the need for any sort of press, just using animal glue and an oddly shaped piece of wood – prepare to get hot and sticky (you’ll hardly notice the smell!!)

LAMINATING – A technique that has something of the Dark Arts about it – used to make things eye-catching, stable and curvaceous, although not necessarily all at the same time. We’ll look at suitable glues, together with high and low-tech pressing solutions.

DECORATIVE BANDINGS – Making a decorative banding is just so much more satisfying than buying an off the shelf number, giving complete control over design, size, colours…….. Having made it you’ll learn how to let it in to a veneered surface.

EDGE TREATMENTS – A chamfered edge will give an elegant aid for lid opening

LETTING IN BUTT HINGES – There’s no room for mistakes when letting metal fittings into wood. Just to make things more interesting we’ll turn a standard butt hinge into a stop-hinge

FITTING A LOCK – After fitting hinges, fitting a lock shouldn’t be too challenging, another excellent way of learning how to use a chisel with absolute precision.

MAKING AND FITTING AN ESCUTCHEON – An elegant diamond-shaped reinforcement for a key hole, again, handmade, this time using a router for part of the process.

MAKING A SMALL TRAY WITH MITRED CORNERS – A strategy for planing very thin components, and cutting accurate mitres, always a test for a cabinetmaker. Donkeys are often used in woodworking, for this joint we’ll be using a donkey’s ear! Adding veneer keys in the corners will give a decorative reinforcement and some hand-cut ‘pockets’ in the ends give an introduction to a carving chisel and result in a finger hold for removing the tray.

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